What does organization have to do with relationships you might ask?
Why is it that “Mr. Organized” partners with “Ms. Chaos”? Think about how often you are at odds with someone in your life because of organization issues:
- Not being able to find what your boss is looking for.
- Arguing with your child about the way their room looks.
- Being accused of throwing important things away.
- Always being asked where something is.
As professional organizers we constantly witness the stress in our clients relationships over organization styles and decisions. Too often those with the ability to organize do not understand when others cannot maintain their environment. Those that are organized need to keep in mind that our research shows only 10 – 15% of the population is naturally organized. Hence, the need to be able to communicate and get help when lack of organization gets in the way.
This barrier between those who naturally know how to organize and the other 90% who don’t is why our main focus is teaching people how. The foundation for any organizing project or communication is three simple steps outlined below.
SEE IT – take a look at where you’ve been
Begin by taking a realistic look at where a lack of organization is impacting your life and relationships. Choose just one area or issue. What’s working, what’s not and why? Keep it simple. Then look at it from both sides and try to see what is at the heart of the conflict. Often our relationships serve as mirrors to look at ourselves. Once you have clarity, why not share your truth with this person or persons and then ask for them to share.
MAP IT – make a plan for where you want to go
Now that you have each shared your truth, each person can create a simple vision for what needs to change. Try asking – what is the single most important change that needs to happen? What is one action you can take? Let this be enough. It is imperative to the relationship that each person has a chance to share their vision and what is important to them.
DO IT – take the actions to make it happen
How you choose to implement your changes or DO IT will be very specific to the relationship. Some may come up with a way to do it together, while others might call in outside help, and still others will compromise on different levels.
Some examples of this are:
- A family sets up a system for incoming mail and an active paper system together.
- A mother and child call it fun time, put on music, and make a game of putting everything back in its’ home.
- A couple decides to hire a professional organizer because they would rather enjoy their time together hiking or taking dance lessons.
- A boss and assistant set up a weekly 1 hour focused time to go through all the lists and questions.
- Two friends or buddies get excited about helping each other one weekend a month with the clutter areas – We all have them you know.