Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Organizing Gene: Fact or Fiction?

Do you go about your daily activities thinking how much better things would be if you were just more organized? But then, reality hits and you say to yourself, “Who am I kidding? I just don’t have an organized bone in my body!” Do you often think that some people, maybe including you, just lack the “gene” to function in an organized state, forever doomed to live a life of clutter?

For some personalities it would seem so. But, becoming better organized is actually less about clearing clutter and knowing what to keep and where to store it. It’s more about developing the personality traits that are conducive to good organizational skills. It goes without saying, that to be more organized you have to do the obvious, like spending a few minutes each day picking up. But, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s the personality traits of organized people that make the habits stick, and luckily, contrary to what many think, with the right tools these can be learned.

But, what about those who just seem to be “born with it”? It’s more accurate that these people were just exposed to examples of these traits early on in their lives. Fortunately, for those less adept, it’s never too late to learn. In actuality, everyone with the desire has the ability to learn to be more organized.

There are many adjectives that one is reminded of when it comes to describing someone who is “organized”. Things like being self motivated, prepared, efficient and consistent are all very attainable characteristics. Oftentimes, people think of these as things that you’re either blessed with or you’re not. But it is this same thought pattern that limits our ability to learn, effectively sealing our fate to never being able to successfully make that change.

Let’s take efficiency, for example. Organized people are often thought of as being efficient, true? Well, being efficient is all about processing things, whether it’s the daily mail or the kids’ toys, in a timely and proficient manner. Imagine how much more efficient you would be if you had pre-determined systems for the belongings in your life. By this I mean that when you open the mail, you have a place for bills, a place for magazines to read later, and a place for junk mail. Likewise, if you establish consistent places for sorting and storing children’s movies, books, toys and the like, clean up time is much more efficient.

Many disorganized people chronically suffer from the effects of clutter simply because they haven’t previously taken the time to explore the how, what, where and when of storage and processing. When you make these decisions ahead of time and use them consistently, most of the future work is done for you. Congratulations, you’ve just become more efficient! This method can be applied to nearly every area of your home if you stop and think it through. It takes a little forethought, but once you’re through that process, you hardly have to think about it again.

When it comes to organization, greater success is gained when the attributes are developed first. Developing good habits and specific techniques will follow. But the biggest payoff is that the transformations brought about will more likely be long-term changes that will help you reach your organizational goals and make positive improvements in your life.

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Copyright 2007, Christine Rice

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Christine Rice, Professional Organizer and owner of Organize It Today helps people discover "organizational enlightenment" with the help of her newest book, A Life Less Cluttered: Expert Secrets to Your Own Organizing Epiphany. Visit her website at to find out more about her services and products.