HomeInternal ObstaclesWhy Can’t I Get Organized? Part 3: Internal Obstacles

Why Can’t I Get Organized? Part 3: Internal Obstacles

One of the unique aspects of my team of professional organizers is that we diagnose the cause of each individual client’s disorganization. We have learned from our most successful clients’ experiences that when we can get to the root of the challenge, we can build upon those opportunities as we create personalized organizing systems that work for each individual client we work with.Cant Get Organized

In two earlier posts I outlined the first two of the three most common reasons people are disorganized, Practical MisstepsTM and Situational ChallengesTM.. To end this series, I will explain the third category: Internal ObstaclesTM.

You may already be wondering – what’s an Internal Obstacle? We define Internal Obstacles as a wide array of emotional and psychological barriers that can often be the most difficult to identify. However, once an internal blockage is uncovered and subsequently removed, I’ve seen the most miraculous transformations occur in my clients’ lives.

Internal Obstacles most often stem from past experiences, relationships or traumas. These experiences may lead you straight into chaos, almost like a gravitational pull. These psychological barriers have a hidden purpose ultimately affecting your environment. In this case, a disorganized space is not about the ‘stuff’. Instead, it’s the conscious or subconscious ‘holding on’ to a past experience,  a need for distraction or abundance, sentimental attachments, perfectionism, fear of success or failure, or one of the many other psychological obstacles that create resistance in your life.

Working with a professional organizer can be an uncomfortable process for people who have struggled with getting or staying organized. If the irritation you experience when trying to get organized is severe, or if the reason for your irritation remains a mystery to you, you are very likely facing some long-standing Internal Obstacles stemming from past experiences, relationships or traumas. Any one of countless psychological snags can manifest as a difficulty in creating or maintaining order in your home or work life.

As organizers, we can work on the physical aspect of your clutter and resolve most of the Practical Missteps and provide guidance with most of the Situational Challenges. However, to begin the process to break down Internal Obstacles we recommend you enlist the help of appropriate support professionals. Recognizing the emotional response behind the accumulated clutter that has perpetuated a state of chaos in your home or work life may be a complicated process. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion. As you begin the physical part of the organization with a professional organizer you will start to uncover numerous emotions, both positive and some adverse. This is one thing you should not take on alone. Having the courage to shine a light on those behavioral patterns can have healing aftereffects in every aspect of your life, including your organizational prowess.

So, if you have labeled yourself as a slob or resigned yourself to being a disorganized person, we hope you’ll reconsider!  Many of us, myself included, can benefit greatly from a little pointed introspection and perhaps a professionally guided look into the possible root of your not-so-innate traits of sustained disorder. Such patterns may not be in your nature at all, but rather learned behaviors you developed as a defense in life. Recognizing that is the first step to initiating change. You must identify what it is that you do not want and begin to ask yourself what it is that you do want. Once you change the conversation you have with yourself, you begin the shift of telling your new story.

We know that with dedication, guidance and hard work, existing poor habits and living with a lack of systems can be altered. Blockages begin to fall away, you increase your energy, your spirit is uplifted, you begin to elevate your relationships and life begins to go well for you. I know, that’s powerful stuff right?  It’s a fact that when you deal with your Internal Obstacles you become more organized  which will have dramatic ramifications in every aspect of your life. Freeing yourself from the confines of ingrained thought patterns can allow you to take control of your time, your environment and your relationships in ways you may not have imagined.

If you think you may be experiencing a deep-seated resistance to getting organized, feel free to be bold and share your thoughts in the comments below. If you prefer to send me a direct email, I’m here to listen. What specific obstacles have you been able to identify and where do you still feel stuck? We are here to help.

Read Part 2 – Situational Challenges

Read Part 1 – Practical Missteps


Written by

Certified Professional Organizer®, Scott Roewer is founder of The Organizing Agency, a professional organization and productivity company devoted to teaching residential and business clients how to increase productivity, save money, and how to live a more organized and abundant life.

An award winning company, in 2013, The Organizing Agency was once again awarded the Angie’s List Super Service award, in 2012 the National Association of Professional Organizers recognized Scott with its top honor, the Founders’ Award, and later the same year, the U.S. Air Force commended his volunteerism, naming him Joint Base Andrews “Hometown Hero.” For more information on Scott’s team and how they can help you, contact the office online or call us directly at 202-249-8330.



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