Organizing one's self if a big task that takes time and effort. Managing one's space is a big chore that takes time and effort. I don't know which is more straightforward, less frustrating, or more valuable. I am pretty sure the inner and outer processes go hand in hand. I always say, "the outer is a reflection of the inner ." It is no mystery to me when I walk into a home or work environment or a friend's car piled up with papers, trash, and stuff that there is probably something going on mentally, physically, or emotionally inside that person. It does not take a "rocket scientist" to know something is happening, creating the"cyclone" effect. I know all too well from my own environmental hurricane effects that my own "Disorganized Self" (D.S.) can create chaos and get in the way of my "Organized Self" (O.S.). I will start accumulating piles of papers, collections of unnecessary items, wild and crazy clothing options start piling up on bedroom furniture, duplicates of the same item stock up, and a sense of hopelessness and wonderment when looking at it all. My distress comes from thinking about when I will have time to sort everything and organize it. My amazement comes from the wondering, "how did it happen"? As I recall, I decluttered the week before, so it should still be clean, correct?? I know something is going on with me for the emotional chaos to perpetuate weekly, losing my abilities and techniques for ongoing organization and order.
I realize that "Outer Disorganization" (O.D.) is due to something with the inner-self being off kilter. I know I create O.D. when my lifestyle choices grow old and mundane, and I get stuck, frustrated, and impatient in developing and implementing new goals and dreams. I create the O.D. to focus on the mess, papers, confusion, and my tropical storm path instead of on my life's major issues, like making real-life changes and resolving challenges. I realize that change and facing difficult life situations, going forward with new changes, and working through life with new approaches, can be like hitting a blizzard with a bikini on....cold and practically life-threatening.
Knowing who I am, what I want, and where I want to go can be daunting, with thoughts twirling around and around like the Merry-Go-Round of my past. Knowing how to slow it down, so there is calm and focus and sorting through ideas, wants, desires, and dreams can be confusing and scary. At the same time, the new path through tunnels and bridges I must go through to get to the new me and the unique lifestyle is an opportunity for growth and fulfillment.
The first stage of reckoning with one's D.S. is formulating an idea of your "ideal lifestyle ." Whatever you would love your life to look like, smell like, taste like, and be like. Whatever that means to you. This idea will begin to create your individual life picture. By cutting out all the images, words, and symbols from magazines that represent your inner self, creating a dream board and gluing them onto big cardboard can start you off. Making a list of your dreams and goals may help clarify your lifestyle image. Writing out a journal of ideas, thoughts, dreams, and wishes will help you formulate your "ideal lifestyle ."That is the first step to Self & Space Organization.
After 17 years of sitting in the "therapist chair," I was glad to get moving again. My background as a former Social Worker, counseling thousands of people, has led me to understand human nature. I love working closely with people and helping them learn to understand and love themselves better so they can be freed up in every way possible before starting a decluttering project. Being a former psychotherapist has its advantages, don't get me wrong. I worked with the most extraordinary people, families, groups, and colleagues imaginable. I worked with seniors, children, families, and individuals with debilitating challenges. I had a contract to see the Military Personnel from Camp Pendleton and create interventions for PTSD and severe mental health challenges. I developed a Medication/ Treatment Alliance Program and still write articles about serious mental health challenges. My focus now is on assisting people to become the best they can be and to get organized for good.
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Marla is known as the Declutter Your Strategy™ expert. Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of