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You are here: Home > Organizing Advice > Balance and Stress Relief > Are You Chronically Disorganized?
by Diane Hatcher, Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services, Inc.

Does your home or office look like a tornado just blew through?

Do you spend hours looking for something you know “is around here somewhere?”

Do you have paper piles all around your office, desk, floor or home?

Then you may have the characteristics referred to in the Professional Organizing industry as
Chronic Disorganization (CD).  Although it is not a medical or psychological disorder, it can
cause you real problems.  You may be shaking your head in agreement at this point, because
you or someone you know may fit this description.

Chronically disorganized people can have adverse effects on those around them, as
well as to themselves.  They are rarely prepared for meetings, appointments, paying bills on time,
deadlines, finishing things they start, filing papers or any combination of these.  They may feel they have little control over their lives, as life tends to control them. (Visit www.nsgcd.org for a more comprehensive checklist of characteristics).

Is this the kind of pattern you want your children to learn from you? We all know “Children live what they learn…” Your bad habits will be noticed and assimilated by your children. How are you going to get them to learn to clean up after themselves if they live with the disorganized clutter you’ve created all around them?

A person can be chronically disorganized at work, and not at home, and vice versa.  Once one gets so backlogged with mail, paperwork, clutter or disorganization, he/she tends to avoid the situation even more.  This willingness to endure the clutter causes further stresses and frustrations due to the overwhelm generated by the thought of addressing (or avoiding) the issue.

Disciplining one’s self to get organized can be as simple as taking the time to do so.  Ironically, this can be one of the most valuable uses of a CD’s time.  Instead they spend it compounding the problem.  In the “being busy,” they avoid attacking the situation head on.  While in their office, the avoidance is compounded by working around the piles, not realizing the stress they feel is due to the surrounding disorganization.  The vicious cycle continues until intervention is sought.

The good news is, getting organized does not have to be a painful process.  It is a matter of breaking old habits and establishing new ones.  Professional organizers are available to guide the process.  We not only help clean up, we create systems and solutions that save time and help you maintain the organization. 

Soon, a newfound sense of freedom and control is realized.  This rejuvenation then positively impacts other areas of one’s life.

The following tips can get you started:
  • Commit to putting in a few hours at a time to get organized.
  • Find an appropriate place (a home) for each item.
  • Place papers and items in those homes when they are brought into the home or office.
  • Set up systems that save time.
  • Purge files, drawers and closets annually at a minimum.
  • Make a daily To-Do list, the night before.
Benefits of being organized at work include providing you with more time for customer service, increasing sales or to spend with employees at your business.  At home, there will be more time for enjoying family and leisure-time activities.

Think about simplifying your life.  Busy is great, but isn’t being organized worth the benefits?

Diane Hatcher, CPO®, the only Certified Professional Organizer in South Florida, owns Time-Savers Professional Organizing Services and is the author of Don’t Agonize, Organize Your Office Now! She has been organizing paper and clutter in offices and homes since 1998. Contact her at (954) 252-7511 or at www.timesaversUSA.com.