A month ago I was ecstatic, my craft room was going to get a closet system installed. Oh the anticipation! For the week before the date, I kept talking about it, the joy of having a system and the organization I would set up. I was excited, at least until the system actually was installed. Then something happened. I became overwhelmed with feeling daunted by the effort and process of setting the closet system up. It confused me in many ways too.

I love organizing. I don’t do this for a living without a reason; I am passionate about organizing. In fact, if I am feeling a bit down about something, I will tackle an organizing project and immediately start feeling better. Can you begin to see how puzzling it was for me to feeling overwhelmed? Maybe you can, yet you might be asking yourself – “what does this have to do with ME?”

How often have you gotten overwhelmed at the thought of tackling a project? Although I did not take pictures of the piles of my stuff meant for the closet – the boxes filled up 3 ½ rooms here. Since it is my craft room, many of the items are smaller. It was going to be a process to go through it all and get it organized. It’s easy to feel like there is just so much to be done. Where do I start? I don’t have time to delve into this project.

Interestingly, this is exactly how I felt. This is how my clients often talk about feeling with their own stuff. I joke that this is why my profession exists – help in getting started and having some direction during the process. I know all this. I knew what I needed to do. Nevertheless I was still dreading it.

My point – we’re all human. We can each feel overwhelmed and reluctant to jump into a project. It doesn’t even need to be a big project, like my walk-in closet. Papers are a common area that causes significant dread among people. They tend to be tedious and time consuming. I have a lot of scrapbooking paper – possibly the easiest papers to organize and it still took me over 3 hours to organize the 12×12 loose sheets.

Another point – all it takes is jumping in. You don’t need to set aside a huge amount of time to get started. I didn’t organize those loose scrapbook papers first. I did find an “easy” place to start – in this case it was the completed photo and scrapbook albums. I already had at least part of a vision for the closet. Then I grabbed the next box. I won’t say that my feeling of overwhelm went away just because I got started. If only it was that simple. Sometimes it is, not always.

Sometimes it also means stepping back for a break. As I was going through things, I found items I spent money on and knew I would never use. I felt sad and frustrated. Even that feeling got overwhelming at times. When I saw this happening, I would try to finish the immediate stuff and then take a break and do something else entirely. Other times, I just moved the stuff off to the side and stopped anyway. This also provides a way to gain perspective – all this stuff was personal to me – ideas and plans I’d had at some point or another. Yet, I needed to let some of it go. Stepping back can be just as important as jumping in and getting started.

I’ll admit I have been a bit ashamed of feeling overwhelmed by my craft room closet. I mean I am an organizer, how can I of all people be overwhelmed by an organizing project? Yet, it also means I can relate to other people feeling overwhelmed. It also means that I will bite the bullet and jump in. You’re not alone if you too are feeling overwhelmed by an organizing task – just remember you are human like the rest of us and to just get started, somewhere or anywhere.

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