Organizing is action. So the best way to get unstuck is to take action.
When I was working with a client who was downsizing, she got stuck when we addressed her books. I found her standing in front of her two bookcases, with a puzzled expression. When I asked her what she was thinking, she said she didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know how to start or what steps to take to reduce the number of books she had. This feeling of not knowing what to do, stopped her from taking ANY action. So, I guided her towards action. I picked up a book and asked her what she wanted to do with it. She could keep it, donate it, recycle it, or, if the book belonged to her husband, she could ask him what he wanted to do with it. We created 4 stacks and sorted all the books from her two bookcases. By providing her with 4 categories and the direction to sort the books into one of those 4 groups, she was able to take action and become unstuck.
A similar situation arose when I was working with a client who was avoiding a room in her home that had become a catch all for stuff that her family didn’t have time to deal with or put away. She dreaded going into this room, and got depressed looking at it. Needless to say, I was surprised and proud of her, when she declared that she was ready to tackle this room. Let me clarify. She was ready to tackle this room with my guidance and help. So, once again, I guided my client towards action. I picked up a basket of things and asked her to tell me who they belonged to. That is all I wanted her to do. We had 5 piles by the time we emptied the first basket, items that belonged to her, items that belonged to her son, items that belonged to her daughter, items that belonged to the house (ie. house hold items), and items that didn’t belong to anyone (ie. give away items). As we made our way through more baskets, she marveled at how easy it was to get unstuck and take action once she realized what action to take.
I understand it is not always easy to get unstuck and figure out how to start an organizing project. So remember a good place to start is to take action, and do that by sorting items into categories.
© May 2016 Janine Cavanaugh, Certified Professional Organizer All Rights Reserved