A Tale of Two Life Transitions – and How to Get Organized Again

Life Transition #1:

Marie’s husband left her. Then she was hospitalized, repeatedly, for major depression. Then she spent months getting the home she and her husband had shared for 20 years ready to be sold. Now, she is faced with the prospect of having to get a full-time job to support herself.

It’s easy to understand how life events like those Marie experienced would throw anyone for a loop. But even “positive” life transitions – a new baby, a marriage, retirement, or moving to your dream home – can have negative effects on whatever systems of organization you had in the past. For example, prior to your life transition you might have opened your mail every day and paid all your bills on-time. Afterwards, however, the unopened mail sits in bags and piles and you begin to receive turn-off notices from the electric company.

How Can I Get Organized Again?

  1. Give yourself a break! Understand that disorganization is normal when you’ve gone through a life transition.
  2. Accept your new situation. Whether your life transition was a desired one or not, some of your old routines will need to be changed to adapt to your life as it is now.
  3. Make a list of your new roles, responsibilities, and priorities. I call these your “time buckets.” These are the big, umbrella categories of your new life.
  4. Over the course of a week, schedule at least some time on each of these time buckets. This will help you develop new habits and routines that fit with your new life.
  5. Schedule a little bit of time each week to work on the backlog of things – like those bags of unopened mail.
  6. Get some help. You’ve gone through a lot. Working with a trusted friend or a professional organizer will help you establish a “new normal.”

Life Transition #2:

I want to share my personal life transition with you, my dear clients and readers. I am now (happily) living in the Atlanta, Georgia area, where I speak to groups and offer classes to help people lead more organized lives. I also work one-to-one with clients who need financial and personal administrative organizing assistance. You can reach me at 770-733-1957.

It was my great honor to serve my Maryland clients for the past 18 years. I’m delighted to let you know that you will continue to be in good, organized hands going forward. Cindy Bernstein, owner of Aim 4 Order, and her staff will continue to provide you with professional organizing services. The phone number remains the same: 410-329-3300. I encourage you Marylanders to call Cindy for all your organizing needs.

Katherine Trezise is president of Absolutely Organized, LLC

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