A few weeks ago, Tasha made a video about 10 habits of Organized People. That got me wondering: what are the habits of unorganized people?
If you prefer videos, click here to watch my video about 10 Surprising Habits of Unorganized People.
My purpose in sharing these 10 habits is NOT to make you feel bad about yourself if you are not perfectly organized or if you do some of these things. In fact, most of these habits are things I do from time to time. It just helps to be aware of them and work on them.
Also, I hesitated to even use the term “unorganized people.” Really, how organized our lives and homes are (or aren't) does NOT make us inherently “organized” or “unorganized.” Every single human has some natural tendencies that affect the order and structure of our lives, but that does not define us. So please know that this is not meant to label anyone or make anyone feel badly but to help you think.
Even the most organized people do some of these things sometimes.
Without further adieu, let's dive in:
Habit 1: Work Hard
Many unorganized people work hard. Some people might assume that mess and disorder comes from laziness, but, in my experience, that is usually not the case. Some of the hardest working people I know wouldn't be considered all that organized (or are organized in their own way). When your spaces aren't very organized, you actually have to work harder to get things done.
Also, when we are working super hard and are super focused on a task, it's easy to overlook other small things that need to be done like tidying up. There's no magic solution for this, but just being aware can help. Also, creating routines so you have a specific time to take care of mundane daily tasks.
Habit 2: Say “Yes” Too Much
Many unorganized people say “yes” too much. This is one that I struggle with a lot. I just hate saying “no” to anybody or anything. I want to do everything! Then my schedule is crammed so full that it's hard to fit in the day to day life and home management tasks.
To help with this, start paying attention to when you say “yes” automatically, and practice more careful consideration before saying yes or no.
Habit 3: Perfectionists
Many unorganized people are perfectionists. You might assume that perfectionists live in perfectly tidy homes with perfect routines. However, perfectionism is often the enemy of getting things done. There are a few things that you really, truly need to do the absolute best of your abilities every single time, but cleaning and organizing is not one of those things.
When you try to clean your bathroom to absolute perfection, it's hard and it takes 3 times as long as a quick cleaning. Then you begin to associate cleaning your bathroom with an hour long, miserable task. Instead, try telling yourself when you begin: “I'm going to get this bathroom 70% clean.” That's been a game changer for me.
When you improve things by 70% or get them done at a 70% level, it usually takes 1/3 of the time as 100% would, and it's more enjoyable and less stressful.
Habit 4: Indecisive
Many unorganized people are indecisive. Clutter or a bunch of stuff that's not put away is far more likely to be the result of indecision than laziness. Really, clutter is just a bunch of postponed decisions. Learning to be more decisive and making decisions more quickly (especially the less important ones) will help you be way more organized.
When you pick something up, don't set it somewhere “for now” because you can't decide on a permanent home. Instead, decide where it needs to live permanently.
Habit 5: Have Too Many Lists
Many unorganized people have too many lists. You might think the more lists you have, the more organized you would be, but that's not the case. It's hard to stay organized when you are constantly starting new lists and have them everywhere – on your phone, on your computer, on sticky notes, in your planner, in various notebooks. It's hard to find them and even harder to actually complete them.
Focus instead on creating fewer lists in one central place that you refer to regularly.
Habit 6: Speak Harshly to Themselves
Many unorganized people speak harshly to themselves. Pay attention to your self talk. When you see a mess do you say to yourself, “Well, I'm just a slob. Too bad.”? If you do that, you'll begin to believe that disorganization is just a part of who you are and can't be changed.
Instead, talk to yourself like you would a friend. If you walked into your friend's house and saw a mess, you probably wouldn't say “Well, friend, you're just a slob. Too bad for you.” Instead, you'd say “You've been busy doing so many good things that you haven't had much time to clean. Let me help you.”
Really pay attention to how you talk to yourself and re-frame all your negatives into positives. Our thoughts often become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Habit 7: Clutter Blind
Many unorganized people are clutter blind. We become so accustomed to the clutter around us that we literally stop noticing that it's even there. Try clearing off a cluttered surface, and see how much better you feel!
Habit 8: View Habits, Routines & Plans as Restrictive
Many disorganized people view habits, routines, and plans as restrictive rather than freeing. Many daily tasks required to be organized are rather mundane and somewhat boring. Committing to doing these things daily sounds restrictive. However, it's actually quite the opposite.
Having set times to get the necessary things done frees up the rest of the time for you to enjoy other things guilt free. Also, if you maintain your space regularly, skipping one day won't actually be noticeable.
Habit 9: Don't Enjoy Process of Getting Organized
Many disorganized people don't enjoy the process of getting organized. Don't we all wish we could wave a magic wand and suddenly have a perfectly organized and tidy home? However, even if that were possible, it wouldn't be that helpful. Because the long process of decluttering and organizing actually helps engrain habits that keep our spaces that way. The more we're able to fall in love with the process, the better. Try listening to podcasts or audiobooks while you work. If you can't truly enjoy it, at least you can learn to appreciate it.
Habit 10: Are Organized in their Own Way
Many disorganized people really are organized in their own way. Just because your closets don't look like they belong on Instagram or Pinterest, doesn't mean you aren't organized. Sometimes, the problem is just that we expect every space in our house to look like it came out of the Container Store magazine. If you know where everything is and can find what you need, you are organized. I talk more about this in this video about the ONE question you should ask BEFORE you start organizing.
I hope this has helped you become a little more organized and feel a little better about yourself!1