So as you may (or may not) know, January is National Organizing Month. Hip Hip Hooray! One of the best things about National Organizing Month is all of the extra advice and tips that organizers are offering to support the general public in kicking off their 2013 resolution to simplify and get organized. Even organizing guru Peter Walsh is running a month long campaign on Facebook that challenges readers to tackle one problem area a day.
When I started thinking about where the most value in organizing spaces and systems lie, I kept coming back to our company tagline “Clear the Outer, Calm the Inner”. Really, isn’t the true benefit of having yourself and/or your space organized that it makes you feel so much better … less stressed … more at peace … as if a weight has been lifted? I want to take the opportunity to walk you through the emotions behind the organizing and hopefully this in itself will inspire you to tackle that organizing project that has been lingering on your to-do list.
Over the past 4 ½ years I have been so blessed to be invited into clients’ homes and share in their emotional journey as they work through spaces and routines that have been holding them back. Regardless of the client or the space being tackled there are a series of common intangible threads in the process of organization that combine and ultimately lead to the sense of peace and pride that you experience at the end of a project.
Phase 1 – The Beginning
When you are standing on the edge of a project and trying to decide if you really want to jump in or not, there are a range of emotions that you may be experiencing….
- Feeling overwhelmed – How and where do I begin?? There’s no way I can do this….
- Self-Judgment – I can’t believe I let this get so out of control! What’s wrong with me?
- Stressed out – With all that I have on my plate, this is the last thing I need to be dealing with…
- Ashamed – If anybody knew this is how I really lived, I would be so embarrassed!
Sometimes there are costs associated with being disorganized – emotional, financial and social costs that you may feel impacting your life. Whether you do it by yourself, recruit a friend or your spouse, or hire a professional organizer once you decide that you no longer want to feel this way you begin your journey and enter phase 2….
Phase 2 – Clearing the Outer
This is an exciting experience – you’ve made the commitment that you are going to be proactive rather than reactive in your life and in your space. As you are working through your project you begin to feel….
- Empowered – Life happens and I am not going to let this space define me!
- Encouraged – Once you jump in you realize “this is doable!”
- Anticipation – You get to re-design and redefine your spaces for how you live now … “this space will function better for me than it ever has!”
- Cathartic – to realize that what has been weighing on you is not as bad as you have built it up to be in your head….
And this leads us to the conclusion of your project…
Phase 3 – Calming the Inner
Success … Mission accomplished! While it feels so good to have the physical space organized, truly it is the emotional impact that will make you feel the best. By simply tackling and completing your project, you are now experiencing….
- Calm – You have shut down the mental dialogue that you would engage in whenever you looked at the cluttered space before…
- At Peace – The belongings that you have in the space now are only things that are useful and that you love ….
- Lighter – The objects that you owned that had layers of emotional guilt and sometimes unwanted memories are no longer there to weigh on you…
- Inspired – This project feeds you the energy, inspiration and realization that there are many other things in your life that you are ready to be proactive in…
And this journey to “Clear the Outer and Calm the Inner” is why I am so addicted to organizing …
Kristin Van Dusen, partner, Design and Conquer, Professional Organizers.
See the website for more information www.designandconquerllc.com
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org