Monday, October 5, 2009

are you a packrat, perfectionist, or procrastinator?

Is one of your 'P' tendencies getting in the way of you getting organized? Whether you're a packrat, a perfectionist or a procrastinator, a stress-free, less chaotic, organized life is in your reach.

For the Packrat:
I’ve never heard a packrat say that they enjoy being a packrat. If you are a packrat, you probably don’t enjoy it either…but you are most likely too overwhelmed to know where to start organizing. Also, many packrats feel some sense of security when they are surrounded by all of their stuff. It sounds crazy but it is true. Unfortunately, packrats often can’t enjoy their stuff because they have so much of it that that can’t ever find or get to what then need.

The obvious negative to being a packrat is having a very clutter home and life. However, having a clutter-filled home is not safe or healthy either. Dust and other allergens will remain trapped on shelves and in carpets that can't be accessed. There's also the safety issue of having clear floors so no one trips and hurts themselves.


So what can you do?

· Challenge yourself to toss five items per day for a month. By the end of the month, you'll have lightened your load by 150 items. Sounds like a lot but you'd be amazed at how quickly you can find things to toss or donate. Everything counts and if you can find more than five things a day, all the better!

· Be very conscious of what you are bringing into your home. If you toss five things on Monday and then go out and buy 20 more of the same thing on Thursday…you have worsened your situation!

· Don't go through the decluttering process by yourself. Invite an encouraging friend or relative to help you weed out some of the stuff that's really not that meaningful and just taking up space.

If you are starting to feel overwhelmed…just sit back and imagine each item you don't use and/or love magically floating away, and visualize what a breath of fresh air it will be when your house is lighter.


For the Perfectionist:
It sounds odd that a perfectionist could be disorganized and cluttered…right? Well, believe it! I have tons of clients who are perfectionist; and their perfectionist personalities actually prevent them from getting started on an organizing project because they don’t know the “right way” to do it or they don’t want to get started unless they can finish everything in their whole house in one day. I even know perfectionist who won’t organized because they know that once they are finished, someone will mess something and things won’t stay “perfect”! If you are a perfectionist, you know exactly what I am talking about…if you are not a perfectionist; you probably think this sounds crazy!


So what can you do?

· Take baby steps! For example, you don't have to organize an entire house all at once. Do one shelf, one drawer or one closet if you get really ambitious. Every little bit counts and makes a big difference towards your eventual goal.

· Realize that there is no one, correct way to de-clutter and organize. If one way doesn't work well for you, try another approach. The only wrong way is to not start at all.

· Be realistic about your expectations. The houses you see in magazines are staged. No one lives in them. There are no kids, no pets, none of life's normal problems or the things that make staying organized a challenge. Give yourself a break.

If you feel overwhelmed…just remember that you can make a huge difference in your home with only 15 minutes a day; and doing something is better than nothing at all.


For the Procrastinator:
We often think of procrastinators as high school and college students who would rather hang out with friends than do their homework. But I’m sure you have all witnessed a time in your life when you have procrastinated. Yes we all do it, but for some, procrastination is a way of life, causing lots of stress and disorganization.


Procrastination is a huge time waster because it lulls you into a false sense of productivity. Procrastinators waste tons time completing meaningless tasks while deadlines on important tasks move closer. Procrastinators always have deadlines hanging over them which causes a lot of unneeded stress and anxiety, which in turn, make procrastination even more appealing.



So what can you do?

· Determine why you're procrastinating. Are you not even sure the task needs to be done? Are you not sure where to start? Once you know, list 5 things you need to do to overcome that obstacle, and start working on those things one by one.

· Be honest with yourself. If you keep saying that you'll do it tomorrow or next weekend, that time will never come. You will continue to have it hanging over your head causing you stress. If you're not going to do it, cross it off your To Do list. If you are going to do it, schedule it on your calendar, and work on it when that date and time rolls around.

· Find a cheering section. Let someone know about what you're trying to achieve and ask him/her to nag you a bit and cheer you on as you accomplish each mini goal. Very often, that's all it takes to get something done.

If you feel overwhelmed…buckle down and tackle your most dreaded task first. Once that task is off your plate, you will feel less stressed and probably more excited to accomplish the tasks on the rest of your list!


So what do you think...do you relate to one of the "P Tendencies" listed above? If so, make it a goal to work on that for the rest of the year, taking small steps the entire way.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Joy said...

What if I am packrat and procrastinator - oh no!!

October 5, 2009 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Andrea Dekker said...

Oh No...a packrat and a procrastinator!! Actually, it's not as uncommon as you might think!

I guess it's good that you know what your "P's" are...now you just have to make sure you are aware of this when you bring more items into your home/life.

Realize that you have a tendency to hold onto items (packrat) and also are slow to get rid of the items and take action to get organized (procrastinator).

Hint: be very selective on what you bring in!

October 5, 2009 at 8:48 PM  

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