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Personal Organizing: The Power of Procrastination

Personal Organizing: The Power of Procrastination

Organize now

Make a Decision and get organized

Waiting, waiting, waiting for something to change. Waiting and hoping that the pile of stuff will somehow disappear and instead it continues to grow and expand. Each day unmade decisions continue to mount and the clutter does too. What started as frustration builds to embarrassment, shame and overwhelm. The longer we wait, the more the internal pressure to do something grows and yet we seem unable to take action.

What can we do? Procrastination is the fear of the future–some dreaded and imagined fear that paralyzes us from moving forward. So rather than act, we avoid, we wait, we defer, we put off until some other time. Yet that “other time” never goes away. And what increases is the pressure to do something different. I’ve had some clients who have a room they dread entering because of the piles of things that await them every time they enter the room. The piles don’t disappear just because the door is closed. Anxiety mounts as we stare at our stuff.

My job is to ascertain what is going on for the client and to support and empower them to move from fear into action. For me, all I see is a variety of stuff. It’s just things that hold no meaning or energy. That works to my advantage because I can easily approach the piles and begin handling the items and helping the client make decisions about them. I had a recent client whose home office had boxes of papers that needed sorting as well as 4 bins of clothing. So we opened one box at a time and cleared all the clothes quickly and went through the piles of mail and other papers. There were 2 large envelopes from Kaiser that she feared opening and I unzipped them and found, to her delight, were updated policy manuals that she could recycle. She imagined them to be a host of forms that she’d have to face. Again, the fear of the imagined was greater than the reality of its contents. Once opened, anxiety disappeared and she could move to the next item.

There is power in action. There is power in facing the fears, which, as I’ve said, are imagined. We’ve transferred some scary, unknown associations with our things and turned them into literal monsters. My job is to hold the client’s hand and to walk them into the dark closet, turn on the light to show the monster isn’t real. The above client felt so relieved and grateful after our time together. She could see the room from a different perspective and the items there weren’t scary to face.

As we move out of procrastination, by facing each item, each room, each cupboard, the decision making process engages and we start eliminating, keeping what we want and deciding where it should stay. Once the excess is eliminated, the items kept hold a new meaning because we’ve made a decision about them and those things have a greater value. Organizing is a process and cycling through a space one, two or three times, the once kept items may no longer feel valued and can be eliminated as the client accelerates in the process.

You don’t have to fear the fear. The stuff is only stuff. Having someone walk through the fearful places aids us in making decisions more easily and gets us to the clarity and order we so desire. Call Creative Space Organizing if you should need additional support and help at 510.501.1213. Personal organizing and interior design for home and office in Oakland, Berkeley, Marin County, SF, Walnut Creek and the Bay Area.