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5 Barriers to Getting Organizing

Hurdles in your organizing journey that may get you frustrated, stuck, and left in a disorganized state.

There's nothing more frustrating than being excited about something only to soon be let down by unexpected delays, hinderances, and disruptions. I've heard different versions of the same story from many people. You get a boost of motivation and you're finally ready to tackle the mounting clutter in your home once and for all.

You've gotten yourself all pumped up and maybe you've even shared your excitement with a friend or family member. But when the time comes to really get into the organizing, you get hit with one obstacle after the next that seems to drain you of all the motivation you had. We hate to see it happen don't we? 🙄 Not just with organizing your home, but with life in general. Life has a way of not always going the way we want it to right when we need it to the most. So not fair! But such is life.

When you delve into the issues that come about when trying to organize your home, those barriers actually expose the exact reasons why the task of getting organized was so delayed to begin with. What I'm saying is simply this; there's a reason or reasons why you waited so long and when you finally start you come face to face with all of those reasons at once.

It's like being in therapy. If you stay long enough to get deep into it, you'll eventually be faced with everything you avoided or weren't fully aware of prior to starting. This huge inconvenience usually comes when you're full of motivation and ready to move forward in life. 😩 It leaves you feeling frustrated, stuck, and left in a confused place if left unaddressed. I've seen this happen with both my therapy clients and organizing clients. It sucks, it's uncomfortable, but if we push through the barriers, I promise the benefits on the other side are worth it in more ways than one.

So let's get into it! Here are 5 barriers that may be getting in the way of you getting organized.

1. Not knowing where to start

You may be pumped but still not even get past the thinking stage of your project if you're already stumped about what to do or where to start. Here's one truth to hold onto: If you don't start somewhere, you're sure to never see progress. This is not to say that where you start is not important at all, but I'd rather you start somewhere than not at all.

However, I recommend you start with a space that's manageable, even if it's just one cabinet, drawer, or shelf. It may seem insignificant, but if you attempt to tackle a large project with no goal or plan, you'll end up overwhelmed and unmotivated to finish. Starting small also increases your chances of experiencing a win, which will motivate you to continue on to other spaces and rooms in your home. Here are some other things to keep in mind when considering where you should start:

The amount of time you have

If you only have a few hours on hand or one day off to set aside for organizing, you're better off starting with small areas like cabinets and drawers. Try decluttering a junk drawer or the cabinets under your bathroom sinks. Depending on the amount of clutter, you'll easily be able to accomplish these smaller tasks. If you have a few days to set aside, then take a shot at tackling one or two large projects or doing one small project each day.

The amount of clutter you have

Speaking of clutter, how much you have matters! When I'm quoting project estimates to clients, it's not just the size of the space or room that determines how long it will take and how much it will cost, it's also how much clutter is packed in that one space. So be mindful not only of the size of the space, but how much clutter you'll need to sort through and declutter in the time you have.

Your tolerance level

Know thyself! My organizing sessions are 6 hours because that's my daily threshold. As much as I love organizing and find it to be a relaxing and peaceful activity for me, after 6 hours I'm ready to do something else. So consider what your tolerance level may be, set aside time based on that, and choose a space appropriate for that timing.

Moving right along!

2. Struggling to Declutter

This one is HUGE! Decluttering is one of the skills I've made it my mission to teach my children, because if we're honest, most of us weren't really taught how to do it. And if it's not a natural skill of yours, you may need some guidance. If you need help with this one, grab my resource on decluttering. It explains what it is, why it's important, and how to properly do it. Decluttering is Step 3 of my organizing process. You can find help on the other steps on my resource page.

Decluttering can be a major barrier because we tend to feel a sense of security and safety with the stuff we own. This can be particularly true if you know what it's like to not have much. Your possessions may have a way of defining who you are or how far you've come. But remember: our possessions are just that, materials things that we possess. They should not be the primary tool we use to measure our success nor should they be security blankets for safety and comfort. It's time to replace holding onto items for security for letting go with gratitude.