When I tell people how unorganized I am, a lot of people react the same way. “No way! You are super organized!”
So, here’s the thing. I think you can be organized mentally, and then you can be organized physically. Mentally, I am able to organize a lot of information. I am able to keep track of a ton of things all happening at once. I am able to manage large projects, meet deadlines and coordinate details. In fact, I am an extreme detail person when it comes to organizing an event or a project.
However, I do all of this from a desk that is stacked with papers so high that they are on the verge of toppling. The top of my desk is covered in paperwork, coins, candy wrappers, post-it notes and just general messiness. The desk drawers are stuffed so full of paper and random objects, I can barely open them. Surrounding the desk are more piles of paperwork. These piles are intermixed with puzzle pieces and toy parts because the 3-year-old is usually sitting right beside me playing while I work. And I can never, ever find a pen.
I can’t stand all of my messiness. And yet, I let it go. During the last six weeks, I have started to figure out some of the reasons why.
1. I’m a huge procrastinator when it comes to doing anything that I don’t like to do.
2. I don’t like cleaning and organizing because it feels very mindless to me. I want to be creative. I want to think about things. I want to solve problems and work puzzles. I don’t like to do housework. So I procrastinate.
3. I’m good at cleaning the surfaces and making things looks pretty if someone is going to come over. But I’m impatient, and I want cleaning to be finished as quickly as possible. So, I don’t take the time to really organize the drawers, closets and hidden places that guests don’t see.
4. I place emotional value on objects, making it difficult for me to get rid of things. “I might need that someday!” “That was really expensive when I bought it!” “Someone else could really use that!” “But I (or someone else) spent so much time making that!” Or perhaps the object reminds me of an experience or person that I really love. I can’t get rid of it because it brings me such great memories!
5. Housework seems so futile to me. As soon as I clean something it’s just going to get messy again. So why even bother? I would rather go be creative. Think about something. Try to solve a challenge. So, I procrastinate.
6. I haven’t made organizing a priority. I don’t enjoy doing it. So… you guessed it… I procrastinate.
7. I’m afraid of failure. I have organized my closets, drawers and other spaces before, and a month later, they seem to be messy again.
8. I have never made the choice to be organized, which leads me to #9.
9. I don’t think of myself as an organized person. When I see my messiness, I tell myself that it’s fine because that’s how I am. I have lots of good qualities, and being an organized person isn’t one of them. I don’t think of myself that way. And so I’m not.
But all of that is starting to change.
Can you believe it? In the next few posts I’m going to tell you about some of my favorite projects and organizational tools. ME? I have favorite organizational projects?!?