Why Your Attempts To Get Organized May Not Be Working

Oct 25


If you’ve been attempting to get organized yet don’t feel as if you’re making progress, this encouraging post is for you!

I want to first say that getting organized is about taking little steps toward the goal. Keep in mind, that end goal is fluid. It’s a moving target. Give yourself grace. It’s about improvement – not perfection!

If you’ve been trying to get organized and feel a sense of defeat, you’re not alone and there’s reasons why this may be happening. I’m here as a resource of organization help, inspiration AND encouragement! The word failure is not allowed. Not allowed on this blog. failure. There. I just crossed it out.

In my work with families I haven’t seen it all. Nope, I haven’t. And I love that. I hope there never comes a day when I say “Welp, I’ve seen it all. Time to sell my truck, hang up my label maker and close up shop!”. No, not gonna happen. But what I can say is that there are common themes I see while working with clients. They ultimately call me in because their attempts haven’t worked…or they’re exhausted and needed to call in reinforcements. True. And I can totally relate. But the fact is they want to get organized. Not looking for perfect…just hoping to improve their current situation / spend less time looking for things.

So if you’ve been struggling to get organized, here’s my non-vague, to-the-point list of why your attempts may not be working.


Our first step when working together is to put a moratorium on spending. If you’re trying to get organized, yet keep buying stuff and bringing it into the spaces we are sorting / organizing…we will never reach our goal. I want to challenge you to stop buying stuff for a period of time. Ahem, #target. Will it be difficult? Yes, but worth it because you will soon know what you own. And chances are, it’s already too much stuff or stuff you aren’t using.


We have all fallen prey to pretty containers, especially if they are on sale or depicted seamlessly in a photo. Your organization issue may not be solvable with containment. It could be structural. When I work with clients we could spend just as much on containment as we do shelving. And I’d much rather have shelving! Shelving sometimes costs less and gives you way more space.


When that urge to organize hits, it’s generally because you have hit a wall. You’re annoyed with the clutter, frustrated with the mess. So you dig in with no game plan and then fizzle out quickly, leaving behind a trail of unfinished projects and spaces. If that feeling is there, my suggestion is to focus on picking up all the trash first. That alone might make you feel better. But if you want to be successful in your attempts, organizing should be broken down into spaces, rooms, drawers or projects. Think small. Take on one space at a time.


Bottom line, some people have no interest or patience when it comes to the act of organizing. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a fact. There are plenty of topics I have no interest in, I get it! For those who really struggle because you’d rather be doing something else than organizing, my suggestion is to take really really small steps. Take one space at a time, one drawer at a time. Or call me! 🙂


Sometimes we want to get organized but can’t find it in us to make the leap. Old habits die hard. If you think the issue may be deeper, there are a professional organizers who specialize in chronic disorganization. E-mail me and I’ll connect you with a referral!


Thought this was important and timely to bring up as it’s been a discussion point lately with clients. The Holidays are coming which means you’ll receive gifts you may not love or want to keep or have a need for. It’s ok to donate gifts you don’t want or like. And it’s ok to not feel guilty about it. When I’m letting something go, I think about the person out there who would love that item and cherish it way more than I would. Suddenly, I feel zero guilt knowing it will be useful!


Number one: keep in mind that magazine articles are not 100% reality. And if they are, for example, taken in someone’s home – that is in that person’s home within their space and their budget point. Magazines are speaking to a certain part of the population, not all of us. And there’s more to the image, like how much space they are working within. Yes, you can definitely glean ideas from magazines and use bits and pieces in your home. But the truth is that many times those are photo sets. Beautiful? Yes. Functional and realistic? Not always.

I’d also caution you to keep an open mind while reading organization blogs – even mine. I love my organization blogger community, don’t get me wrong. Many of them are personal friends! Even I find myself feeling pangs of blah when I see an amazing organized space…but then realize I have a kitchen the size of a powder room so their idea won’t work. Then I get annoyed that I’m distracted from why I was searching pinterest for “small space kitchen ideas” in the first place. Ha!

Personally, I do feel my blog covers more of the reality of organizing because I’m working with clients in various homes, spaces and budget points. Not trying to pat myself on the back. Just saying, there is a definite spectrum of organization found here – grand and small. But if you’re reading a blog that focuses on their home, within their own 4 walls, remember – that is their home. And it works for that family. Maybe they have skills to DIY tons of solutions, but you don’t. Maybe they have the money to invest in big scale projects, but you don’t. You can, again, take bits and pieces that relate or could be re-created in your home, but my suggestion is to keep in mind that they are organizing for their situation.


When you think professional organizer, you may think $$$$$. Not always true. I offer in-home consultations for people that would prefer not paying me to do the work for them. And most other organizers offer the same service. If you think you might be struggling because you need a game plan, some inspiration and a push, I would definitely suggest a consult with an organizer. An hour is all you should need. It’s a fresh set of eyes – but those eyes belong to an expert that has seen many-a-disorganized space.

Hope this short list has offered some motivation to keep you on track with your efforts! I’m always here to help!

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  1. Lorenav says:

    Loved reading this as I could relate to most.
    I am always trying to organise something : the closet, kitchen cabinets, linen cabinet.. and it seems like its a job I will never get done. In the closet there seems to never be enough space, of course I continue to shop and don’t edit enough. I edit though. So now I am making efforts in editing specific areas. For example before I had over 100 pairs of shoes and now I am down to 65 and want to go down to 55. Its taken me some time but at least it finally seems like I won one 🙂

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