We are all a little disorganized in some aspects of our life but for some of you being disorganized affects your day-to-day living. Lets begin with defining what chronic disorganization is (also known as “challenging disorganization”).
Being chronically disorganized is defined as being disorganized for a long period of time during which you have not responded to attempts at self-help. It has a negative impact on the quality of your life and can also affect your relationship with others.
It’s normal to feel a little disorganized when certain life events happen, like a death in the family, when you move or even something as simple as having a house full of visitors over for an evening.
You may recover from these events quite quickly but if you are chronically disorganized these events just add to your current challenges. If you are chronically disorganized it’s important to remember that it is a condition, and not a flaw in your character.
There are many signs that point to being chronically disorganized. Lets look at 5 of them.
1. Unable To Find Things
I frequently have trouble finding things myself, especially when I’m in a rush. Sometimes another family member has put something away in a spot totally different to where I keep it. For me and most people, it only happens once in a while and does not impact my life.
If you are chronically disorganized you’re always looking for something that you need and often you’ve left it to the last minute so panic now sets in and chaos ensues. This can lead to missed appointments, being late in making payments (leading to late fees or a bad mark on the credit rating) and can even have an adverse effect on your health with higher blood pressure and anxiety.
2. Cluttered Living Area
A very visible sign of being chronically disorganized is the condition of your living area. If you have small children in your home I’ll bet you feel that your home is always disorganized with toys and baby accessories seemingly everywhere. Do you have a husband who maybe forgets to pick up after himself? No need to worry, we all go through this.
If you are chronically disorganized you live in a cluttered state that affects you to the point where you perhaps cannot find most things and may even have to clear things out of the way just to find a place to sit. In extreme cases this can lead to a safety issue with trip hazards on the floor or the room becoming a fire hazard.
3. Off Site Storage Is Required For Possessions
This happens more than you would think. We all love our possessions or “stuff” as George Carlin used to say, but you may acquire an over attachment to belongings for sentimental or other reasons. It may be that you find items that are too good to pass on, whether somebody is getting rid of something they feel has value or when shopping a sale is too good to pass. Your thinking may be “why spend more on an item later” when you can get it on sale now. What a deal, right? Before you know it you have more than you can keep track of and you forget where everything is so you buy more, and the cycle continues.
Typically a lot of these items will spoil or become contaminated thus turning into a health hazard. Of course there is the cost of outside storage to keep in mind, a cost that is probably really not needed.
4. Missed Deadlines
At home missing deadlines can lead to late payments causing financial penalties. Failure to get your financial information to your bank on time can lead to not taking advantage of a low mortgage rate. Your children could be missing out on something fun at school because you failed to get a document back to school on time. Deadlines are important and missing them affects just more than you.
5. Work Evaluations Focus On Improving Organizational Skills
Has your boss ever “suggested” that you improve your organizational skills? If you are chronically disorganized, it is not likely to be just affecting your home. It’s part of your life such that you may be disorganized at work as well. Are you busy at work and juggling a few projects at the same time? Not being organized will have an impact on your reviews and thus your salary increases. In extreme cases jobs could be lost thereby losing your sole source of income.
These are just 5 signs of a chronically disorganized person. There are many more. Chronic disorganization is a condition that can be changed. It takes time, patience and an organizational system designed specifically for you, to learn what you need, what is cherished, to set caps on categories of items and to learn how to make the system work for you.