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Kicking the Clutter: Three habitual causes for disorganization

This is the most important virtue of organizing: understanding the cause before seeking the cure ~ Ranka Burzan
Can you always find what you're looking for?

There are many reasons why someone is disorganized. Finding out your own reason for disorganization will liberate you and put you on the right path to a simple and rewarding life. You can’t fix it until you know what’s broken.

This is the most important virtue of organizing: understanding the cause before seeking the cure. After all, isn’t that how we handle all of life’s difficulties?

If you have stomach pain, you go to your doctor and describe the symptoms. He or she will not prescribe pain relievers before asking more questions and running diagnostic tests. The same is true of organizing. You need to identify the cause before seeking the solution. 

Today we are going to expose three major reasons for your disorganization.

Your items are homeless

The reason your belongings are scattered all over the place is likely because you never assigned a permanent home for them. You may have accumulated items but overlooked creating a proper place to store them. 

You want to put things away, but you just don’t know where. You’re cautious of shoving things into drawers that are already full for fear of losing them. So, you leave items out and about, always in a different place, and you can never find what you need.

The solution: Evaluate what you have and what you need, and assign each item a single, consistent home.

Inconvenient storage

In this situation, you don’t put things away because the storage you have is not easily accessible. Maybe you store things far away from where you actually use them, requiring a big trip to put things away. Perhaps, access to your storage is obstructed in some way; maybe the drawers stick, the cabinets are broken, the closets are blocked by boxes and furniture or your shelves are too high to reach. The bottom line is, if it’s too hard to put something away, you simply won’t do it, not because you’re lazy, but because you have more important things to do with your time.

The solution: Assess your storage situation and make it more convenient for you and members of your family.

More stuff than storage space

If your drawers and closets are full and you have additional stuff piled on the floor, tables, dressers and window sills, it’s a safe bet that you have more possessions than a space to store them.

The solution: Reduce the amount of your stuff by getting rid of things you don’t use, like or need. Another possible solution is to go vertical and install shelves and hooks on your walls to create more storage for your belongings. And the third and more sensible solution is to stop impulsive shopping, stop bringing things into your home because they are a bargain or free. If you shop until you drop, clutter is the price you will pay.

I hope these tips will motivate you to start organizing your home to create the life you desire.

Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in Powell River and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to