Don’t give up on getting organized

As much as I like this xkcd comic (licensed under Creative Commons), I hope most people don’t feel they need to “just give up.” The following are some alternative suggestions if you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Adjust for health issues that may be getting in your way

If you’re dealing with ADHD, you might appreciate books that provide organizing solutions tailored to those with attention deficit issues. ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life and Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder are two that might give you some good ideas.

If you have a chronic illness or disability, you may well be familiar with the Spoon Theory regarding the energy you have available for daily tasks. Some days you may not have any “spoons” available to tackle organizing work, and that’s to be expected. But hopefully you can establish systems that allow you to get and stay organized — perhaps with help from family, friends, support groups, or paid professionals — while minimizing the demands on your energy.

Realize that situational disorganization will pass

All of us are likely to have times when our life situation means we’re not as organized as we normally are and like to be. You may be adjusting to a new job or hitting a particularly demanding time at an existing one. You may be dealing with a temporary medical issue: recovering from surgery, for example. In these and similar situations, it’s important to identify the organizing tasks which must be done, such as making sure the bills get paid. You can then let other things slide for a while, without feeling nervous or guilty.

Experiment with different approaches

Judith Kolberg wrote, “Chronic disorganization is the result of the bad fit between people who organize unconventionally and the very conventional organizing methods which exist for them to use.” If you’ve been fighting disorganization for a long time, you might find some useful ideas in her book Conquering Chronic Disorganization.

4 Comments for “Don’t give up on getting organized”

  1. posted by Jen on

    I love that you mention the spoon theory and tailoring decluttering/organization, etc for those with disabilities as well as mental illness. I talk about these subjects in my blog in addition to other aspects of life with chronic illness/disability/mental illnesses. I’ve been reading this website for a long time for inspiration and I’m glad to see such inclusive moments!

  2. posted by Cheryl Lawson on

    Perfect timing for your post. I just finished reorganizing my closet. I definitley needed a sense of humor to finish the job! Love your blog!

  3. posted by laura ann on

    For aging folks with mild to moderate disabilities (arthritis, back problems, etc) a minimalist house makes sense. I started downsizing more so (never was big on clutter, nick nacks,) about a year ago, and it makes cleaning more efficient, faster. I corral things in baskets, bins knowing where everything is kept. We downsized wardrobe since retired, and took loads of stuff to several group homes. Now as I go thru day to day, I find things here and there that need to go. Not buying in bulk (quitting Sams several years ago) was a smart move.

  4. posted by Lindsay on

    I highly recommend the book and blog of “Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess” by Rachel Hoffman, for those who are easily discouraged or face mental/physical health challenges. (I am in no way affiliated, just loved the book whereas things like FlyLady made me give up and hide under the duvet)

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