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Organizing with Mindfulness while Coping with a Pandemic

This is such an interesting time to be living in as a Professional Organizer. Living during a crisis like a pandemic puts everyone in the exact position that everyone that has ever had an issue with clutter claims to be afraid to be unprepared for, an emergency. Coronavirus has proved more unusual than anything we have seen in 100 years, and has confined us to our homes with very little notice. Unfortunately, some of us were severely unprepared for spending long periods of time in our homes. I am not referring to the shortages of paper products and food that brought madness to grocery stores all across the country for weeks. Many people realized for the very first time that all the things they held on to “just in case of…” were crowding up their homes and there was no space left for them.

Home Improvement and organization suddenly becomes urgent when sheltering-in-place is the only thing on the calendar. Those small problem areas that were rushed past in the morning on the way to out the door to school or work are still exactly where you left them. It is not too late to do something about that clutter now. With the world at a standstill, we have been given what we all asked for (multiple times a day if we’re going to be honest)…MORE TIME! How many times have you said, “If I had more time I would…(Insert task)?” Coronavirus and its overwhelming downsides have given us the extra time to do everything we rushed past weeks ago.

Tragedy has a way of helping us gain a clearer perspective on our priorities. It can confirm your priorities and give you a boost to follow through or add energy to what you have already been working on. Tragedy can also help you see that you were going in the wrong direction and cause you to abandon your plans and completely change course. What was once “potentially essential” during an actual crisis is fuel to the real chaos we encounter living and coping with a pandemic. I believe it would serve us all during this time of high stress and fear to identify those possessions which help to restore calm and peace and rid ourselves of those possessions that do not.

Uncertainty can be a crippling feeling. It is natural to be overwhelmed about not knowing where to start. When working with clients I am always shown several problems areas and then when we get to end of the clutter tour they ask, “OK where should we start?” My response 100% of the time is, “In whichever space causes you the greatest discomfort.” Solving what you perceive to be your greatest obstacle first builds momentum that will carry you through all the projects on your list. Now before you say, “Really Joelle, start with the worst part! What kind of advice is that?” Understand that you may not get this project completed in an afternoon or even a long weekend. By implementing a routine focused on de-cluttering and organizing, you are strengthening your ability to truly conquer clutter in the long run. There must be a routine put in place where the systems you will be creating can be maintained.

Remember that old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” The same is true about removing all the clutter from your home. It is a big main event of establishing the proper storage of belongings in your home followed by the daily maintenance of returning those belongings used in a day to their homes. Take comfort in your reduced schedule and don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by the task. As long as you find the time each day to move toward your goals you will reach the finish line! You got this!

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