Home De-Cluttering Office Organizing Move Management Downsizing Space Redsign Insights

Overtaken By Events

OTE- Overtaken By Events or When Life Happens…

We are all jugglers. We struggle to keep all the balls in the air: work, home, exercise, health care, family responsibilities, community participation, and relationship maintenance, not to mention walking the dog (or cat).

We have days/months/years when we are able to keep up with all our responsibilities. Then something unexpected happens: an accident, a sudden illness or family member’s illness, death, relocation, job change. Suddenly, we begin to drop one ball, then another.

A friend told me of a stamp she once used on a project that never was completed: OTE - Overtaken By Events. When a crisis occurs or multiple changes take place, we may need assistance to help put life back in order. The amount and type of help you need often depends on where you started on the “clutter continuum.”


Clutter Continuum - Where Do You Fit?

Overwhelmed by the paper, unable to manage the stuff and unable to maintain the systems that once helped us to function, you may find yourself at a different point along the “clutter continuum” depending on how organized you were before being overtaken by events.

If you usually are able to keep the clutter under control, have a variety of systems in place, and are willing to ask for help, you might just need a “de-cluttering tune up.” Once the crisis subsides, you will re-evaluate and eventually return to your place on the organized/de-cluttered end of the continuum. It may take some time and extra effort, but you will once again be in control. You may choose to have help for a short period of time and for specific projects.

Midway along the Clutter Continuum are those who have less systems in place and may be more emotionally exhausted by an unexpected life event. The physical clutter can be a visual manifestation of the chaos in which you now live on a day-to-day basis. You may find yourself sliding towards the chronically disorganized end of the continuum. You may choose to have help for a longer period of time and include both an evaluation of the systems that need to be developed to help manage the clutter as well as emotional support during and after the crisis.

At the far end of the Clutter Continuum live the chronically disorganized persons or those who may suffer from depression, ADD, ADHD, OCD, or on-going anxiety. An unexpected event might cause the “juggler” to give in to the clutter completely.

If you are chronically disorganized, you MAY need professional assistance for the emotional or psychological aspects of being disorganized, as well as physical assistance in the de-cluttering process. Consistent de-cluttering coaching and implementation of practical approaches could help you weather the crisis and develop some new ”juggling skills.”

No matter where you land on the “clutter continuum” know there are others just like you who may have dropped the ball on de-cluttering their lives. But like juggling, all it takes is a little more practice to be able to keep all of life’s balls in the air.