Why Can’t I Get Organized?

The Top 5 Obstacles in Your Way

For many people, the art of organization comes naturally. The calendar is color-coded, the kids have outfits picked out days in advance, the flow of paperwork moves seamlessly from one basket to the next as tasks are completed. Well, maybe not. But many people do have the skills to get organized. That leaves them wondering why they can’t seem to get it done! If this is you or someone you know you’re not alone. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers, one in four Americans wish they were more organized. The reasons for this are many including wanting to spend more time with family or doing hobbies, frustration in looking for items, and the cost of replacing items when you can’t find the one you already own. Here are the top five obstacles that are keeping you from getting organized.


  1. You’re Overwhelmed.  You walk into a room full of energy and motivation. After a few minutes of scanning the room you become overwhelmed and quickly formulate a huge list of other ways you could spend your afternoon instead. We get it. It’s not easy to tackle a seemingly huge project and even more challenging when you don’t know where to start. The key is to recognize and accept that the task is daunting. Own that feeling. It’s fine to feel overwhelmed. That’s when you know that you need to create a plan. You see, often the problem is that you underestimate how long the task will take. You should be able to clean out the garage in an afternoon, right? Or just get the kids to help and that bedroom will be ready for the cover of a magazine by dinnertime, yes? Not so much. In order to do the job properly accept that it will take four times as long as you think it should to complete. You will also need to break it into manageable chunks so that you can experience the small wins when you finish one area and keep your motivation dial cranked up!

  1. Lack of Time. You’re running from the office to the gym to the grocery store and then to pick up the kids before you even get to think about a meal. Then the weekend comes and you’re greeted with a lawn brushing up against the side of your car as you pull in, the myriad sporting events the kids have year round and the fact that no one can seem to plan far enough ahead to start a load of laundry until Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. when they have school pictures in the morning. Of course we all consciously understand that being organized saves us time in the long run, but when your schedule has you running through long days and short nights when do you find time to organize anything? It’s a good question and there are several ways to tackle it. Break it into chunks completing little tasks at a time. Use each small win as motivation to put another task on your list. Designate one family organizing day each month. Take that Sunday and put everyone on the same page. After all, from hockey sticks to scuba gear, you all share the same garage. Or ask for help from a Professional Organizer who can come in, quickly assess the required tasks, bring organizational supplies, and create your dream space in no time!

  1. Mental Health. Everyone knows someone dealing with a mental health issue. Whether it’s you or someone you know, it’s important to find ways to address depression, anxiety, hoarding tendencies, addiction, OCD, or a plethora of other conditions that keep a person from functioning as their best self. Any of these conditions can be self-perpetuating, meaning that the more it interferes with your ability to keep up with organization around the house, the more your home adds to your stress. Break the cycle and find help so that you can create a plan.

  1. Physical Health. We work with many people who live independently but struggle with health issues. This can be an enormous barrier to staying organized. But it’s also one of the most important reasons to have organizational strategies in place. If you are wheelchair bound, items need to be easily accessible from the seated position. For patients attached to an oxygen machine or who use a walker, aisles need to remain clear. If you suffer from the debilitating pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve conditions, back injury, or other related ailments it’s important to have automated tools (think electric can opener vs. manual one) as well as items throughout the house strategically located to avoid lifting, climbing, bending, or other activities that may increase injury. This is a great time to seek help from a caregiver, neighbor, friend, family member, or Professional Organizer!

  1. No Concept of Organization. Our brains are all wired differently. Some people see chaos and easily formulate a clear map to destination organization. Others may not have a clear vision of the end result but can get there with a little help from Pinterest. The third type of person has free-flowing, artistic thoughts that struggle to connect in any productive way to the end goal of organization. It’s similar to a person who are directionally challenged (which way is east?) or someone who can remember every movie they’ve ever seen, but struggle with remember their phone number. You’re the artists of the world and that’s great! It just means that organization might not be your thing. If that’s you, hire out. Get those organizational systems in place so you can spend more time doing the art that you love.

Lack of organization can leave you feeling like you’re drowning in your own home. It drags frustration through the door and down the hall. It costs you time, money, and energy. But you can defeat the organization struggle. Acknowledge the problem, create a workable plan broken into smaller chunks, and ask for help from a professional if you need it. Reclaim your space with help from Queen B Organizing!