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Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
3 ways to empower yourself to get organized

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Lorie MarreroAugust’s theme here at Connections for Women is POWER. What we see often in our Clutter Diet member message boards is women feeling a lack of empowerment about accomplishing their organizing goals (along with other goals in their lives). You see, my belief is that organizing your “stuff” is not terribly difficult in most cases as far as the skills and concepts involved—what is difficult is staying motivated to actually get it done. When we do not feel empowered in our lives it’s very difficult to accomplish our goals.

In my opinion, the following are the missing pieces of the empowerment puzzle in many cases.

Clarity: What are you trying to do, exactly? And more importantly, WHY are you doing it? You really must have a compelling reason to push you through the difficulties. Clarity will make it easier to persist and get it done. If you just have a vague sense of “wanting to get organized,” you will be more successful if you get specific. You may realize that, for example, you want to organize your home office so you can improve your credit rating and get the IRS off your back!

Constructive language: The language you use to describe yourself and your problems is very predictive of how successful you will be. If you think to yourself or say to other people things like, “I will never get organized!” or “I’m not a very organized person,” well… guess what? You’re right! Change cannot happen if these are the primary thoughts in your mind. Consider this, one of my favorite quotes (author unknown):

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny

Empower yourself by changing negative, permanent and defeatist messages to constructive, changeable, positive ones. Here are some examples:

Instead of this: Positively phrase it this way instead:
Never Sometimes, rarely, seldom, barely, hardly
Always Sometimes, usually, frequently, typically, often
"I'm not a very organized person." "I am working on my organizing skills."
"I'll never get the hang of this"   "I am frustrated! How can I get help?"
"I never remember to pay my bills." "I'll sometimes forget to pay my bills. What can I do to help myself remember?"


Coaching: When you are stuck, instead of giving up or suffering in frustration, empower yourself to get the help you need. You can ask a friend for her opinion, put your problem out there to the world to help you solve it on Twitter or Facebook, or even join our membership program where you get unlimited message board access to our organizing experts. We love to help people get unstuck and keep going forward!  The smartest, most powerful businesswomen I know all get lots of coaching and consulting in areas where they feel they have less strength. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

In my book and our tutorials on the website, I talk about how Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz always had the Clutter Dietpower to get home herself, and she didn’t even know it until the end of the movie. Many people look to books and experts like me because they think that an external authority is going to give them the power to take the action that is required. Books and experts are extremely helpful, but your own internal authority is where the real power lies. It’s all about making personal change in yourself and recognizing that the power to do that resides within you right now!

Enjoy more articles from Lorie Marrero

Certified Professional Organizer® Lorie Marrero is the author of The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life. She is also the creator of ClutterDiet.com, an innovative program allowing anyone to get expert help at an affordable price. Her organizing books and products are sold online and in stores nationwide. Lorie has been a spokesperson for Brother label makers and FedEx Office, and she is a sought-after expert for national media such as CNBC, Family Circle, WGN News and Woman's Day.

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