“I never learned about organizing.”
“My mom was a packrat and so am I.”
“My father was super neat and always gave me a hard time about my mess.”
“My grandparents lived through the Depression so they keep everything.”
Have you said any of those things? If so, here’s the truth:
Your ability to be organized has nothing to do with your genes.
It may have to do with your personal history, but only if you want to stick to that story.
Sandra Felton, the founder of Messies Anonymous, says that messies can come from “cleanie” homes or messy homes or any combination thereof. Whatever your experience was, you have the capacity to become a cleanie, or at least move in that direction.
One of my clients told me that her cleanie mother tried to teach her organizing skills and she just didn’t get it. She felt hopeless and dumb. Her story brings up another aspect of being organized.
There’s not just one way to be organized.
Isn’t that great news?
Your thinking style, learning style and personality style all factor into how you organize your world. Your mother may be organized but also visual and sentimental. She crowds tabletops with family photographs. If your style is more “hider”, you won’t grow up with any clues on how to organize in drawers, cabinets or closets because you didn’t witness it. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means you haven’t learned how yet.
We are suckers for systems that lay out exactly what we should do for success, but then we blame ourselves when they don’t work. Here’s the thing: you need to hack the systems to suit you. Discover and embrace your own organizing style, based on who you are today, right now, and how you like to live.