Top 5 Reasons People Struggle to Get Organized

Today I thought I would share with you a few of the reasons I have seen people give for why they can’t get organized. I know I used to give a few of these myself in the past; can you see yourself in any of these? If you do, take heart! Where there is a will, there is a way!

  1. Time

    This is often one of the first excuses I will hear from people when they are asked about getting organized: “I don’t have time!”

    I’ll let you in on a secret: everyone has the time to get organized. Everyday, we make choices about how to spend our time according to our priorities. Certain obligations can’t be moved around for our convenience, things like work or getting the kids to school. However, we still have plenty of moments throughout the day where we can choose to set aside half an hour to properly put away all of our clothes instead of letting them lie on the floor or sit in laundry baskets.

    Some people have busier schedules than others, and I completely respect and appreciate that. Take a moment, however, to think about what other areas of our lives can be improved upon if we chose to set aside some time every week to work at getting organized.

    For example, if we made sure all of our paperwork was properly filed away, tax season wouldn’t be nearly as stressful! There would be no rummaging throughout the house trying to find missing receipts or paystubs because everything is neatly categorized and filed in one specific location. Another example could be taking the time to remove clothes that we longer wear or that no longer fit us from our closets and dressers. Not only would you be able to clearly see the outfits you have available to wear, but you wouldn’t be bombarded by clothes from when you were two sizes smaller or larger. It’s much easier to get dressed for the day when you don’t have to sift through piles of things that don’t fit or aren’t appropriate for your current situation!

    There are so many benefits to be enjoyed in a well-organized home. Good organization has a ripple effect; what starts out as a clean closet in your bedroom can spread throughout your home and into your personal and professional life!

    We spend our time doing things that we believe are important to us. Recognize the importance of good organization, and start making the time!

  2. Effort and Energy Required

    Along with time, this is another major reason people don’t work at getting organized. There’s a lot of work involved in getting organized, especially if it’s for multiple areas. People are already working so hard at cramming as much activity as they can into each day: work, school, family time, housework, social life, play dates for kids, extracurricular activities such as dance class or soccer practice. Multitasking, for better or worse, has become the norm, and people are getting burnt out.

    Then along comes someone like me who suggests spending some time and energy working on getting organized? Ha! What a joke, right?

    Not so fast! Getting organized has the fantastic end results of efficiency. When our homes are organized, when we have systems for storage and everything has a designated place, life gets simpler! Not only do we spend less time maintaining the upkeep in our home, we spend less energy too.

    Consider this: For me, whenever I used to clean my house, the first thing I had to do was tidy up the clutter. After all, how can you do an effective job of cleaning if you have to dust, wipe, vacuum or mop around the toys and the books and the papers?

    Nowadays, the clutter is minimal. There’s usually a few toys the kids have left out, maybe some papers needing quick filing, and a few dishes to pop in the sink. I can pull the vacuum out of the closet after five minutes or less spent tidying up compared to the half hour or longer it took before. Even while I’m vacuuming I’m expending less energy because I don’t have to stop and start every time I encounter something else that got missed in the tidying process.

    Yes, you will have to put in some effort and energy to work at getting organized, but when the result yields countless days of greater ease in house upkeep, it’s definitely worth it! I think we can all agree that when housework and other tasks take less time and energy, we can then use that time and energy for things that are far more enjoyable.

  3. Finances

    Money is the cause of so many issues for people, and it comes up in conversations about being unable to get organized too. The main issues tend to be people saying they don’t have the budget to hire a professional organizer like myself or that they don’t have the budget to buy organizing supplies.

    Let me start by saying I completely understand. Money is tight for a lot of people and families right now, and there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding the state of our economy. However, there are still plenty of things that a budget-conscious person can do to get organized!

    Clearly, I am here to promote my business; that’s the point of this website! I am here to assist people in my area of service with getting organized at a bank account-friendly price. That being said, I will always encourage people when looking for any kind of service or product to shop around and compare prices.

    Some people might think that hiring a professional organizer is only for wealthier people and that it’s a frivolous expense. Try to remember the benefits of getting organized that I discussed above; do those results sound like frivolity, or do they sound like something that improves quality of life?

    One of the purposes of hiring a professional organizer is to make sure that time you have set aside for getting organized is used to its maximum potential. We’re there to make sure that you don’t get stuck on a small trivial task, that you don’t get distracted and lose focus, and also to teach you how to stay organized once we have left.

    You might be a person who only needs a few sessions before you really feel like you’re getting the hang of things, or you might be someone who needs us every step of the way until the job is done. Every experience is different.

    In regards to being able to afford organization supplies, there are so many cost-effective solutions available, not to mention free! I shared a post detailing some of these techniques awhile ago in my post Super Simple Organizing Tips and Tricks. I plan to share more of these in the future!

    Finding more of these kinds of solutions is often just one Google search away. There are DIY blogs and websites dedicated to these kind of tips and tricks, and you can read about how they worked for real people. You can also visit your library and check out the books in their home and garden section. I’ve read numerous books about DIY and creative storage solutions, organizing on a budget, and similar topics.

    Dollar stores are a great place to find items that are perfect for small storage, things like small plastic baskets for organizing drawers and cupboards. Thrift stores can yield fantastic treasures such as small display cases, baskets, decorative boxes, and more. Many of my personal storage solutions have come from the thrift store! Thrift stores may also have things like small chests of drawers and storage totes for considerably cheaper than ones being sold at retail price. They’re a great place to look especially if you want to flex your creative, DIY muscles.

    The first step in tackling the financial obstacle when it comes to getting organized is to evaluate what is the best use of your organizing budget. Do you need to buy a closet system, or is the money better spent hiring a professional organizer to first help you downsize the belongings you are struggling to part with? These are the decisions only you can make.

    *Bonus to getting organized: certain items that are found during the organizing process and no longer wanted can be potentially sold! Buy and sell pages or consignment shops can help you make a few extra dollars before taking things to donation. Just remember to price things to sell, not to recover money spent, especially if the item has been used or is a few years old.

    **Another bonus to getting organized: there is a possibility of saving money when you are organized! How many times have you misplaced a needed item, couldn’t find it, and so bought another one only to locate the original a few weeks later? Isn’t that frustrating? When you are organized and know where your belongings are, there is less chance of this happening, and you save money. There is also a reduction in waste, if you’re a person who tends to buys groceries forgetting what you already have at home and then having too much of something.

  4. Illness

    For many of us, becoming disorganized was a result of illness, either physical or mental. If you’re being treated for any number of serious illnesses or disorders, your priorities are on your basic needs, and sometimes the upkeep and organization of your home gets placed on the back burner. Some people are lucky and have family and friends who step up and help keep things together; some people have to fight their battles on their own.

    Illness can be a serious factor when it comes to organization. People who suffer from chronic pain disorders may desperately want to get organized but find the process becomes too painful to manage. Those with mental health issues may find themselves becoming easily overwhelmed by the memories or emotions the process brings up and have to walk away to prevent a serious breakdown.

    In either scenario, a professional organizer can really help clients with these factors working against them. The professional organizer can manage the more physical aspects of the process for clients who have limited mobility or chronic pain, and they are able to provide gentle encouragement and support to clients who have mental health issues. Just remember that it’s important to be up front with a professional organizer about these issues, as they may or may not be able to provide the appropriate service.

  5. Lack of Motivation

    So the fifth reason that can prevent getting organized is a lack of motivation. Some people may have the want to do so, but not the will.

    This could be a result of mental illness such as depression, which can drain a person of their drive to accomplish even the most mundane and basic of tasks such as showering, eating, and visiting the grocery store.

    Happily, various studies have shown that improving a person’s surroundings can drastically reduce stress and symptoms of various mental health disorders. Our homes can be a reflection of the living space we believe we deserve, so for people with depression, a home that is tidy and clean and brings us joy can help to remind us of all the good things we deserve. People with ADD/ADHD can become easily overstimulated in a cluttered environment; a streamlined, organized home can help them to retain their focus and attention. OCD sufferers may see a decrease in their anxious responses in surroundings that are kept neat and tidy.

    There are also personalities that thrive in chaos, and that’s okay. However, that chaos is usually best kept to areas of creativity such as a crafting room, not our tax files or closets that cause an avalanche every time they are opened!

    Others may feel that because things are going okay for them, why should they bother doing the work to get organized? Well, I think I have provided a number of good reasons for getting organized throughout the article, such as more time, less energy spent on unpleasant tasks, more money, more comfortable surroundings, less waste, and so on.


I’d love to hear from you! Do you think you can push past the obstacles holding you back and get organized? Did I miss a reason? Let me know in the comments!


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