We’re all pretty much on the same page with that right? The page that says it’s just a big ole’ LIE?
(Just in case you missed my last post that laid all that out for ya’!)
Before we jump in with both feet and I give you the keys to the organizing kingdom, which, rest assured, I’m gonna do, we need to dispel a few other fallacies about what an organized life actually looks like.
See, if you don’t go into this whole organizing thing with your head on straight and your eyes wide open, you’re not gonna get the lasting results for which you’ve been pining.
There are seven main myths that I see on a regular basis about organizing. Seven misconceptions. Seven lies.
Bold. Face. Lies.
Yup, Satan is spreading his dirty little lies all over the organizing world. Lies meant to steal, kill, and destroy. Lies meant to undermine and demoralize. Lies meant to distract us from our real purpose in life.
Ephesians 4:25 tells us, “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.”
We’re getting ready to put away some falsehood, y’all, and speak the truth. Big time. Because there’s absolutely no room in your life for the lies I’ve listed below:
1. You’re the only one who can’t do it and that means there’s no hope for you, and you suck.
Getting organized is a lot like learning your multiplication facts.
Some people can just do it. They don’t have to be taught. It just makes sense to them.
Some people need a little direct instruction and then they’re off running. They see the patterns. The patterns make sense.
Then there are those of us who still have to use our fingers for the high sevens and eights. I mean, we can figure it out eventually; it just ain’t pretty.
Just like multiplication facts, organization is a LEARNED skill. This means that it can be taught. To everyone. Some people can do it without even thinking. Others just need a little bit of that direct instruction. And even if you’re really, really bad at it, you can get better. It might be a struggle, but you can do it.
So no. You’re not the only one who struggles. There IS hope, and you don’t suck.
2. You have to do it by yourself. It’s your stuff. You’re the one that has to deal with it.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever cut your own bangs.
(My hand is raised high, y’all. High.)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever royally screwed up your own bangs.
(My hand is still raised high. High.)
Raise your hand if, once you finally asked your hairdresser to show you how to do it, you got better.
(Unfortunately, I have not yet reached this stage.)
If you can’t ask for help with organizing because it’s your stuff and you’re the one who has to deal with it, then why can you ask for help when cutting your hair? Why is it okay to have someone else cut your hair for you? I mean, it’s yours, right? Your hair. You’ve gotta be the one to deal with it.
Nope. You don’t have to do it by yourself. Thank goodness!
3. If you want to get organized, you have to do it all at one time. Knock it out in a day.
This is absolute and complete nonsense. 100% wrong. This lie is why you hate yourself when you try to clean out that closet or conquer your paperwork. You’ve fallen into the trap of believing you have to complete the entire task in one sitting.
Y’all. The key is to work in layers. And I’m gonna teach you how.
4. An organized home never gets messy.
This, too, is absolute and a complete lie. 100% wrong. And also why you hate yourself whenever you try to get organized and it doesn’t stay that way.
THE MESS IS GONNA HAPPEN.
I’m a professional organizer. Going on nine years now. Nine years of owning and running a legit professional organizing business. My home gets messy.
Did you hear me?
My. Home. Gets. Messy.
And your home is gonna get messy too. The key is to be able to figure out how much of a mess drives you crazy and stop it before the wheels completely come off. It’s kind of like knowing how much of a headache you can live with and taking the appropriate precautions before it goes full on buzz saw, and you have to hide in a dark room.
I’m going to teach ya’ how to do just that.
5. You only have to get organized once and then you’re done.
I don’t even really have the words for this one.
Maintenance is a part of life.
Whether you’re talking about weight management, your relationship with God, or living an organized life, it’s NEVER a once and done. NEVER.
There will never be a product or a tool that can make the need for regular maintenance disappear. Those super cute bins you picked up at Target? Those little suckers weren’t magic, were they? Those huggable hangers you grabbed off of Amazon? You were flat-out ANGRY that your clothes didn’t just jump right on ‘em, weren’t ya’?
Maintenance, regular purposeful maintenance. You can’t NOT do it and expect organizing success.
6. An organized person never loses things or gets lazy/tired/burnt out.
EVERYONE loses things.
EVERYONE gets lazy.
EVERYONE gets tired.
EVERYONE gets burnt out.
Believing anything else is simply not an option.
You are not perfect. You will never be perfect. You will fail. Many times. And that’s okay.
I plan to show you how to implement systems that work even when you’re lazy or tired or burnt out. I intend to help you put routines into place so when you DO lose something, it’s an exception instead of the rule.
7. An organized life looks the same for everyone.
Dear friend. I think this is the worst lie of all. The worst because, just like perfectionism, it leads to comparison, competition, and judgement. It leads to deep-seated feelings of failure and inadequacy.
Your life is unique. Your organizational strengths and weaknesses are unique. What works for someone else may not work for you. What works for you right now may not work for you in a year. It’s okay. As long as the system works for you and your family, it doesn’t matter if it keeps up with the Joneses.
YOUR organized life isn’t going to look identical to anyone else’s because you are not like anyone else. You’re you.
So what’s the truth about living an organized life?
Well, the truth is that life is messy. It just is.
We can plan and work and plan, but life’s still gonna be messy. We live in a fallen world. A fallen world makes for a messy life. And honestly? Denying that is just plain dangerous. If you operate under the assumption that you can somehow make life NOT messy, you’re just setting yourself up for failure time and time again.
You’ve gotta look at it like swimming in the ocean. There ARE gonna be waves. Inevitably, a wave is gonna come along. Sometimes they’ll be no problem. You can just ride those suckers at your leisure. But other times? Whew.
Organization takes the fear out of the messiness in much the same way that being a strong, confident swimmer takes the fear out of the ocean. We’re fully aware of the reality; therefore, we make intelligent decisions regarding our reactions to that reality.
My house can be messy as all heck, but it doesn’t freak me out. Not because I’m somehow immune to the messiness or have given in to it; it’s just that I have tried and true systems in place that work. Regardless of how messy my life gets, I know that those systems will keep me afloat until it calms down again. Even if I have to step out of the organizing game for a day or week or month or two. I’ll be able to pick right back up where I left off without losing every inch of ground I’ve gained.
An organized life gives us more time, space, and energy for the good stuff. It acknowledges the messiness. It respects the messiness yet doesn’t allow it to control us.
The whole point of living an organized life isn’t to live in a prison. It’s to free us up to do more of what’s important to us. To do more of what we love.
And my plan? Well, my plan is to get ya’ there. Lesson one is coming soon.