Organizing | Getting to the Root

Organizing | Getting to the Root

Organizational expert Julie Morgenstern has seen her fair share of messes over the years, while imparting her wisdom and helping clients get their lives back on track. She writes in Organizing From the Inside Out that nearly all her clients initially attribute their environmental chaos to either A- lack of storage space or B - intrinsic personality traits, such as laziness and sloppiness. Morgenstern asserts, however, than in approximately 90% of instances, storage space is not an issue and that in all her years she has never seen one client where their disorganization was because of a hard-wired personality trait. She writes that blaming yourself is counterproductive, stating, "After all, how can you expect to be enthusiastic about getting organized if you see your environment as a sharp criticism of your very nature?"

Instead, the true culprits of a cluttered, disorganized life can be broken down into three categories:

1. Technical Errors: "This is the first category of causes to review because all messes can be attributed to at least one technical error."

2. External Realities. Sometimes, you really do just need more storage space or need to accept that you can't control a messy roommate.

3. Psychological Obstacles: "Hidden, internal forces that make you gravitate toward disorganization, no matter how much you crave control."

Morgenstern writes that a messy environment is oftentimes a combination of all three. Identifying the root cause is the first step. A proper diagnosis always precedes the necessary medicine. 

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