Do you find yourself feeling frequently overwhelmed by clutter and disorganization? You’re not alone. In fact, many people who claim to be organized admit that achieving a clutter-free lifestyle took work, practice, and dedication.
Psychological obstacles are some of the biggest reasons for disorganization. Unlike technical or external challenges that are easy to remedy, psychological obstacles normally present themselves in the form of three hidden personality traits that must be directly addressed in order to achieve organizational success. Below are three leading reasons why you might be disorganized, as well as tips to help you overcome these common obstacles to achieve an orderly, tidy life.
1. The Need for Abundance
Look around and make a mental note of excessive items. Do you have an excessive amount of shoes? Is your kitchen stocked full of every pot, pan, appliance and gadget you can get your hands on? Do you have a dozen different types of cleaning supplies that are only half used? If so, you probably struggle with the need for abundance – you feel better when surrounded by stuff.
Combat this challenge by understanding that nothing needs to be thrown out at first. Choose a small bite-size section and simply sort and organize every item. You won’t face the anxiety that comes with having to get rid of things, but you’ll come to your own realization that some items simply must go.
2. Comfort In Chaos
Whether deliberately or unconsciously, you might find personal satisfaction from pulling order out of chaos. If you struggle with this difficulty, chances are you maintain a minor level of disorganization in your lifestyle or at home simply because it presents you with a challenge: find something amongst your chaos and clutter. When you do finally find whatever it is you’re looking for or achieve your goal, you feel value in your success. Similarly, you avoid getting organized because you feel valueless without a challenge or something to fix or rescue.
Living in a perpetual state of chaos isn’t just inefficient, it’s also stressful and can take a serious toll on your body. To counter this problem, outline and prioritize goals that will help you design and maintain a lasting organizational system. By changing your focus from chaos as a challenge to organization as a solution, you’ll retain your desire to fix things while also feeling valued in your lifestyle.
3. Sentimental Attachment
The most common of the leading psychological reasons for disorganization is sentimental attachment to items you ultimately have zero use for. Whether it be a pair of shoes you haven’t worn in ages because they’re a half-size too small, a coffee mug you don’t use because the handle is chipped, or a pair of pants with a broken zipper, you hang onto these items because of the sentimental attachment you have to them – not because they are useful.
Your reasons for keeping these things might be legitimate; you wore that skirt to a successful interview or that coffee cup was how you met your significant other. But by tagging each and every item you own with some measure of significance, you’ll never be able to declutter and become organized.
Instead, categorize every sentimental item into past, present, and future categories. Ask yourself if the item in question will be useful in the future (i.e. baby clothes, tools, etc.). Would someone else get more use and enjoyment out of it? Do you absolutely love it, find it genuinely useful, and think it’s completely irreplaceable? You’ll be amazed at your ability to get organized once you’re able to manage sentimentality.
Keep in mind that being organized is often largely dependent on your ability to sort, categorize, and evaluate. Contrary to what many people do when trying to figure out how to organize their home, you shouldn’t simply shove things in a closet or fill your garage to the brim with items you don’t want to deal with. Maintaining organization in these areas – especially your garage – will encourage you to keep your entire house clutter-free. Check out Flow Wall for more organizational tips and products that will help you achieve your home organization goals.