Ask The Life Coach: Why Can't I Stay Organized?

Getting organized is about so much more than just arranging your physical space. It's about changing your habits and taking charge of all the little things that will help you stay on track.


Every time I organize a room, it always goes back to the same old chaos. What should I do?

For a lot of people, the problem with organization is thinking of it as "getting organized" rather than "staying organized."

When people "get organized" they often do a huge overhaul, without thinking about how they're actually going to stick to the plan.

And – no surprise – everything backslides, leaving them frustrated and ready to give up.

So, start off on the right foot: once you have the space organized, you should plan ahead for how you will stay organized. Here are some strategies to get you started.

  1. Choose a few small things you can do on a weekly basis to keep the space organized. For some people that means updating labels, putting items in their proper place, purging discards, etc. Break the tasks into action steps that are brief, so you can't use time as an excuse to avoid them.
  1. Create reminders. Consider using technology to your advantage, setting reminders on your phone or computer. But low-tech strategies like sticky notes or family calendars are great, too.
  1. Look at the habits that have kept you stuck in the past. Do you procrastinate? Do you make excuses? Do you always do fun things instead of chores (even if the chores are good for you in the long run)? Once you're clear on your self-limiting habits, identify three things that you can do differently.
  1. Schedule a time to review your system. The first attempt to organize a space usually isn't perfect, so use the "trial and adjust" approach. Once a month for the first three months, 20 minutes to look at the space and check in on the system.

Take the opportunity to fine-tune, doing more of what works and changing the things that don't. Doing so will prevent you from giving up just because one or two things don't work at first. After three months or so, you'll have a system that will work in the long run.

Those are my four favorite tips. What do you think? What works for you?

Email coachme@lionssharecoaching.com with your "ask the life coach" questions. 

Marie Wetmore

Life and Career Coach For Women



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