Bad at Organizing or Overachiever?

“I’m so bad at organizing.” I hear it all the time, but it usually isn’t true at all.

(Would you like free tickets to the Philadelphia Home Show in January? I’ll be on the main stage sharing strategies on kitchen and home organizing on 1/12/19. Click here and I will gladly send you tickets.  Thanks!)

Bad at Organizing...OR OVERACHIEVER_

Usually there are three main reasons that people think they are bad at organizing.

1. It’s truly not your best skill, because you are awesome at other things.

2. Life is very full for you, and there isn’t enough time to spend organizing things.

3. You just don’t care about organized sock drawers.

If number three sounds about right, you can just stop reading here. Because not caring about organizing is ok. Really, it is. Being organized doesn’t make you a better person. It doesn’t make you more valuable. It just makes you more organized. But if your lack of organization is getting in the way of good relationships with other people, then I’m here to help.

Let’s back up to the first point. If your brilliance lies elsewhere, you might actually be bad at organizing, and that’s OK, too. If feeding orphans, climbing mountain peaks, and writing the next great American novel are actually happening for you right now, by all means, skip the organizing. Some of the most interesting people I know are slobs. God made us all different, with different gifts, for a reason. It turns out that I am really bad brain surgeon, so you might be really bad at organizing. If you are awesome at other things, maybe you stink at these:

  1. Spatial relationships stump you. Small things end up in large boxes, and frustration sets in when large things don’t fit in your small boxes.
  2. You don’t even own a tape measure.
  3. Sorting things into groups is painful there are always at least three different ways to sort items.
  4. You hate limiting your options. Engineers in particular seem to have this ailment.
  5. You constantly feel like you are doing things in the wrong order. (But shouldn’t we fix the shelves before we take stuff off of them?)
  6. You hate lists. Hate. You gloss over any list with more than three items on it.

Does any of that sound like you? Go be brilliant in the way that you were made to be. If not being organized bothers you, hire a NAPO Certified Professional Organizer(R) to take that off your plate.

And that brings us to the second point. (Does it bother you that this list is out of order? I’m messing with you.)  Many people who see themselves as disorganized are really not at all. Their lives are full. They have a lot going on. They are caring for other people and things. They just literally do not have enough time in their day to get everything done on their wish list, and so they think they are bad at organizing. But a recent NY Times article, reminds us that self-criticism can take a toll on our minds and bodies. It’s time to ease up. You’re really doing just fine. You could probably use a little help now and then, especially when you get behind because of unusual circumstances or if you are trying to tackle a big project, so don’t be afraid to hire or ask for help. You probably aren’t really bad at organizing. You might be an overachiever. Cut yourself some slack.


Does this article give you a different perspective on why you aren’t as organized as you want to be?

Check out these resources to super-charge your organizing:

Clutter-free Facebook group

Organizing Your Home with SORT and Succeed book

Online organizing classes

Upcoming free organizing events

Turn Over a New Leaf GO month 2019
See all GO Months posts here.