a woman on the phone with text that reads, I was always organized, what happened?

“I Have Always Been Organized, What Happened?”

Have you heard the term “Situational Disorganization”? What is it and how does it happen?

Situational Disorganization is when an event occurs that we cannot control and we are not prepared for, causing our organizational systems to fall apart.

The cause can be as simple as coming home from vacation to find that there is a flood in the basement. Everything needs to be moved or thrown out.  The room needs to be repaired, and workers are coming in and out. In the meantime, everything gets out of control. Sometimes a second crisis will come up, an illness, an elderly parent gets sick or needs to move, something that needs your immediate and ongoing attention.

It becomes more than people can handle.

Priorities need to be assessed and action taken on those priorities. Sometimes, your organization falls to the bottom of the priority list.

This is called Situational Disorganization.

People blame themselves for feeling that they should be able to maintain their systems. Since it is situational, it’s important to realize it’s temporary. When the issue is resolved you can then gather your resources and get reorganized.

I have experienced this so many times personally and with my clients…for starters, when my mother-in-law downsized at the same time I was moving. I ended up with a 20×17’ room full of furniture, I could have opened a store. It took a couple of months to sort through and decide what we were going to keep, sell, donate and locate places for what we were keeping. Situational Disorganization.

When I broke my wrist and I had limited use of my right hand and could not put things away. I would put things on a table and as my mobility improved I could put things away. This went on for about 3 weeks, there was a lot to put away. Situational Disorganization.

Some causes of Situational Disorganization that I have seen are:

  • A client was being treated for cancer while in the middle of a home renovation at the same time
  • People blending households because of marriage or life change
  • A business takes off and the owners weren’t prepared for the growth or how it would impact their home life
  • A caretaker for a parent makes the parent’s health the priority, resulting in the accumulation of bags and bags of paper
  • A divorce that resulted in depression and an inability to manage the home
  • An accident that has left people physically unable to deal with day to day activities for a period of time
  • A family member died and a lot of their belongings ended up in a client’s house

This may be you! If it is, know and plan that when you get through the crisis that has led you here,  you will get back to your familiar organized world.