Organizing From the Inside Out, part 2

Tonight I started to think more deeply about my clutter and why it’s so hard for me to get organized and stay that way. I had a feeling I’d be in store for some introspection as I started thinking about not only the “Technical Errors,” as Julie Morgenstern calls them, but about the deeper underlying psychological issues at play.

Chapter 2 is titled “What’s Holding You Back,” and I was both eager and afraid to ask that question & hear my own answer.

Morgenstern asks us to evaluate the causes of our clutter on three levels: “Technical Errors,” “External Realities,” and “Psychological Obstacles.” Reading through each of the sub-issues under those headings, I found it easy to recognize my own problems at play.

It was easy for me to connect with two technical errors, “Items Have No Home” and “More Stuff Than Storage Space.” I’m always a little worried that when I read diagnostics like this, I’ll identify with each problem, like a hypochondriac reading a medical text. It was nice to read some of the other errors and realize that they don’t quite connect with me and my issues.

I didn’t feel as much connection with the external realities, aside from “Limited Space.” I hit up against that all the time. My apartment is 381 square feet, and I have something on the order of 2000 books in it. Obviously, it gets a little cramped.

The final category is “Psychological Obstacles,” and that one is really what I’m here for. I’m going to devote a second post to that topic as I continue to reflect on the obstacles I face and how I can get past them in the effort to have a home that is comfortable for me on a daily basis and is comfortable for guests when I’d like to entertain.


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