It’s amazing how often we passively allow not-so-great excuses to prevent us from making changes in our lives. We let the excuses guide our behavior. We believe that real change happens to other people. What does that sound like in real life?


“Maybe one day I’ll finally get organized, but not anytime soon!”

The person who believes this excuse expects that one (magical) day in the distance future will the exact right time to be organized. Everything will just line up perfectly to make it happen. The problem with that is not realizing that today is the right time. There will never be a better time or a perfect time. Just right now, messy and all.


“I’m not organized because it’s not my talent!”

Maybe organizing is not a natural or intuitive talent, but it is a skill that can be learned! And the good news is that there is not just one way to be organized. Organizing skills can be learned by anyone who has a desire to learn new habits and new routines. Then repeat as necessary!


“I’m not organized because I’m just too busy!”

The great thing about getting organized is that you don’t waste so much time looking for lost and misplaced items. You schedule things that need done at efficient times rather than haphazardly dashing everywhere. You take the time to evaluate what activities match up to your goals. You give yourself permission to say “no.” You free up time for doing what is most important to you. And maybe you won’t be a slave to “busy.”


“I’m not organized because I have children—which means constant chaos!”

Actually, children thrive with routines, limits, and order. The structure helps them to deal with the realities of life. I still have the stack of index cards I used with my three children with suggested activities, such as story time, snack time, game time, movie time, or exercise time, that helped us move through the day with some sense of direction. Reducing the amount of toys and putting them in open bins with clear labels makes it easier for children to find them and to put them away. Likewise, establishing a consistent night time routine helps end the day with a sense of peace. Everyone slows down and knows what to expect.


“I’m not organized because it is too hard to put everything away!”

It is hard to put things away when you don’t know where to put anything. Or when there is no space for the clean clothes in the stuffed closet or overflowing drawers. Or when there is no rhyme or reason as to where things belong. That’s why reducing the amount of stuff in your home is one of the nicest things you can do for yourself. Almost everyone has more than we really need and use. Almost everyone has too much stuff. When you have less stuff, you will have more room to easily put things away. And when you consistently put things away in logical places (“homes”), you will quickly find them when you need them. Which is why we are keeping them in the first place!


“I’m not organized because I can’t afford all those expensive containers!”

The good news is you don’t need expensive containers! What you need is less stuff! Often times you can use containers, bins, and baskets that you already have on hand. You can repurpose and recycle things from different parts of your home. I currently have an 11 drawer bedroom dresser in my office that is just right for files and supplies. The long top gives me extra project space. I originally purchased it in 1985! Sometimes it takes a while using a particular space to see what container will work best. Don’t overlook the colorful variety of options at the dollar store. Maybe you will upgrade some containers, but there certainly isn’t a need to start with the most expensive ones.


“I’m not organized because I just like to keep everything!”

No, you really don’t want to do that! Eventually that strategy won’t work. You will run out of space! More often than not, people who insist on keeping everything are really just delaying making a decision. Sometimes people hesitate because they don’t want to make the wrong decision. But the reality is that stuff comes into our lives, we use it, and then we need to pass it on by selling it, donating it, recycling it, or trashing it. Somewhere down the road, someone will need to make the decision about the china, the sports equipment, the books, the toys, the craft supplies, the travel souvenirs, and everything else that just piles up in every corner of our homes, basements, garages, and attics. And if you get stuck being responsible for a whole house clean out, you won’t be a happy camper by the time the task is completed.



“I’m not organized because clutter doesn’t really bother me!”

Allow me to share a secret with you! Every item in your home, whether junk or genuine treasure, comes with an invisible price tag. It may cost you physical space. It may cost you physical energy to care for it. It may cost you mental energy to figure out when and how to use it. It may cost you time when you get distracted by it.  It may cost you emotional energy when tied to an emotional event. And let’s not forget the original financial cost. Stuff and clutter takes something from you all the time. So it probably does bother you in some way every day whether you realize it or not. You instantly do yourself a favor when you decide to discover the uncluttered side of life.


Now that you know why these excuses just don’t work, you are ready to “go get organized” this year.
Let me help you to decide, organize, and enjoy your life!

I’m curious to know which excuse distracts you—please leave your comment below!



This post first appeared on January 31, 2018 on

Olive Wagar

Author Olive Wagar

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Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Rebecca Spencer says:

    My excuse is fear of regret… if I get rid of the object, I’ll regret it someday. In reality, very seldom has this happened, yet it’s still a fear!
    Great article!

    • Olive says:

      That is a very real feeling, Rebecca! You might try taking a photo of you with the object. Only you can decide whether you want the space or the item. Eventually you will run out of physical space and emotional energy if you try to keep it all. So keep just the best!
      The things that truly capture the essence of the memory.

  • Mev says:

    The one about having children. I remind them time and time again: “Put your clothes away–neatly.” “Take your dirty dishes to the sink.” “Put the books back on the shelf.” But it seems to be a losing battle. It feels like my six-year-old should be able to remember those things! I guess I have to remember she is only six and these skills aren’t inborn–they have to be learned!

    • Olive says:

      I wonder if perhaps a cute incentive chart would help. List the actions or post a picture of what you usually request during the day along with a supply of stickers. Make it just a little bit more fun to do the things that need to be done. 🙂

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