Occupational Hazards

Keeping your mind and body in balance at the office.

How organizing our space can organize our thoughts and life: a chronicle

How organizing can turn our life inside out, at first!

Recently I hired a professional organizer, after much hesitation and rationalization, to help me better organize my home. I did what I believe many people do to themselves before hiring outside help. I had multiple conversations with myself, over several months, prior to making the call.

 

The conversations went something like this: "I don't need a personal organizer, I can do it myself." "I'm just procrastinating, I'll make sure to tackle it next week." "I was very busy this week, that's why I didn't get to it." "I'm supposed to be very organized, after all I completed a doctoral program and started my own business." And then the "what will they think questions? popped up. "What will she think when she sees this closet of chaos, avalanche of paper madness and mayhem?"

After reflecting on my thoughts and fears, I began asking myself some pointed questions. "How honest was I being with myself around this issue?" "Was I being accepting or judgmental with myself? "Where was the focus of my thoughts, on the potential positive outcomes, or the imagined negatives of the experience?" After answering myself, which involved a bit of squirming ;-), I made the call. After a short interviewing period, I found an extraordinary professional organizer. It was the best decision I made this year, and has led to unforeseen life changes, and the learning of invaluable personal and professional skills. Perhaps most important of all was the self-acceptance I gained through the process.

It has been such an extra-ordinary experience that I decided to share the skills learned, and unanticipated benefits that I received, with my readers in several upcoming posts. Stay tuned. In the interim, I would be very happy to learn what skills and life changes others have experienced through their own process of organizing.

 

Dana Gionta, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Connecticut, where she works as an educator, clinician, and consultant in the area of health and wellness.

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