It was about ten o’clock in the morning, and though somewhat cool, it was a bright sunny day when I entered into Lena’s home (names have been changed to protect the innocent). She had seen an interview I did on getting organized. So, she said to herself, “I need her in my home.”
When I entered Lena’s three-bedroom apartment, I immediately noticed the amount of clutter she had accumulated over several years. I could not help but reflect on our conversation when she first called me. During the course of the conversation, she added that her sixteen-year-old daughter suffered with asthma and was also seeing a dermatologist, weekly. In addition, she complained of how being a single mom, she was tired all the time. She worked all the time, just to come home and start all over again.
Upon seeing the amount of clutter that took up every inch of her floor space and counter surfaces, and the years of accumulated dust mixed in with the cat hair from her two cats, I asked myself – Why wasn’t her daughter’s needs, and her being so tired the real reason she called? Why was that just an ‘Oh by the way’ to the conversation? Why didn’t she make the connection that just being around so much clutter and disorganization is enough to make any one tired? Why didn’t she make the connection that the more than eight years of clutter and dust in her home may have been a big contributing factor to her daughter’s frequent bouts with asthma attacks and skin problems? If she did make the connection, then why was she living in eight years of clutter? Why? Why? Why?
Lena is representative of so many individuals whose immediate environment (at home and at work) is so cluttered by stuff, that it’s hard to see clearly the affect and effect that the clutter and disorganization is having on their physical, mental, and emotional state.
In my years of experience, I have found that, while most people want to clear the clutter in their lives, be it personal or professional, they are a little apprehensive about connecting to the clutter. Because, for some, to connect means tearing away layers, and answering the what’s, the why’s, the how’s, and the when’s. And for some, that is just too painful. It is easier to live in the pain, and with the pain. Why? Because it is familiar. So, they carry this pain (this cluttered life) with them, back and forth, from home to work, from work to home.
I am a firm believer that if the clutter and disorganization affects you at home it can and will affect you at work and vise verse. It can affect your focus, concentration, disposition, productivity, and yes, even goals you may have.
Look around you. Is there a lot of clutter and disorganization? Why? Do you think it is time to make the connection?
In part two I will discuss the second C of getting organized – Create Order.
January is National Get Organized Month.