Some of us, even as we profess a need to “get my act together,” are actually afraid of getting organized. These fears include:
1. Doing it “wrong.” Perhaps we grew up in a home with a perfectionist parent who insisted that there was one right way, right tool, right time for organizing, cleaning, and everything else. We may have been told, “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all;” so we don’t do anything about our chaos because we are uncertain what the “right” way is.
2. Being consumed. We’ve tried to be organized in the past and it took all our time just to put things in order. We don’t want to become obsessive about neatness, but that seems to be the only alternative to chaos.
3. Losing our identity. Many of us have cluttered homes and offices because we identify ourselves by the things around us. Knitting or sewing supplies reflect our desire to create special garments for our loved ones; stacks of books about starting a business tell us that we want to do something extraordinary for the community; canning jars show that we want to be thrifty; boxes of photographs, college papers and memorabilia remind us of the places we’ve been, the things we’ve done in the past.
4. Success. As long as we stay in “someday I’m going to…” mode, we don’t have to prove ourselves. The disorder around us is actually a sanctuary from having to make a go of a particular dream.
5. This is who I really am. It’s not unusual for someone frustrated by their own inability to overcome disorder to sound like an alcoholic in denial: “I can get organized anytime I want! I just don’t want to right now…” Deep down, there is a concern that they are out of control and unable to conquer the problem on their own. Admitting this is akin to confessing failure as a person, rather than realizing that everyone needs a boost now and then.
Living in chaos and disorder keeps us stuck in our fears. As one who dealt with these fears myself, I can attest to the freedom that comes from conquering them. What fears keep you trapped in clutter? Let us know in the comments section!
Brenda Spandrio, The Declutter Lady