Organizational Change, The De-cluttering Kind

There’s a great deal written on Organizational Change, Organizational Design and Change Management in the corporate world. You can hear experts opine on the subject on all types of media.  If you have ever been part of an organization where there was planning of, putting into action and living with outcome of organizational change, you may know it works best if you understand there will be pain.   And then there is hope things will be better on the other side.  It’s like cleaning your basement (or your closet, or kitchen cupboards or on and on).  At least it is for me.  

One of my New Years Resolutions was to de-clutter, organize, recycle and reduce things around our home.   In some small way, preparing and doing this resembles the Transtheoritical Model of Decision Making.  What I take it to mean in this is case is thinking about it, planning and pondering organizing at home, enlisting the support of others under this roof and tackling one bit at a time.  

Perhaps you are organized.  I have one dear friend who tells how they clean and purge throughout their home every spring.  They are my heroes.  We are not of the same ilk, however the Transtheoretical Model holds hope that once through this stage we will able to forever change.  

We are far from finished however based one case study of one (us), here are some “truths” about trying to become more organized:

  1. It takes a long time.  Longer than you expect.
  2. There are many decisions to make.  Having some options of where things might go (recycle, donate, sell, keep but organize) before you start helps.  For example in our city you can post items you want to give away on Ottawa Freecycle.  Another great service is the local Shred It company that, on certain days, will shred smaller amounts (compared to business needs) of personal shredding for a donation to the Regional Cancer Foundation.
  3. She or he who leads the reorganization will not always be in favour (just like in the corporate world). 
  4. It takes perseverance and leads to you talking to yourself.  Out loud.  A mantra helps.  Mine is “keeping chipping away” and I mix it up with “You’re doing a good job, Barb.  Keep at it”.  
  5. Tears of exasperation, cursing and throwing up your hands in despair is not helpful.  I’ve tested them all.  
  6. You know it’s time to ease up when you find family members looking for alternate accommodation.
  7. There must be a physics theory that parallels the experience of organizing and reducing the stuff we accumulate in our society that owns so much.  Perhaps it is a subset of the Theory of Chaos.  It plays out in this way:
  • Stuff is sitting in its disorganized state.
  • You start to sort through stuff.
  • Things get worse, much worse than before
  • You question your sanity.
  • Things get better.
  • You vow to keep organized, to do it routinely, from now on.

Do you have experience and advice on becoming more organized?  Perhaps we could join forces and start a support group.

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10 Responses to Organizational Change, The De-cluttering Kind

  1. Denis Belanger says:

    You made me laugh aloud in my office Barb.. thanks for that.. I needed it a lot.

    Looking forward to Friday. Cheers, Denis

  2. Steve Allen says:

    Hello Barb, I like the “Transtheoreitical Model”. Whatever that means it sounds good. Like you know what you are doing! I have found decluttering comes naturally when you move countries. In the process now and the priorities have gone something like this:
    1) get horse on the plane ahead of time so he will be rested and ready for you arrival a week or two later. Never know what he’ll be called upon for. Good for up to 5 cu metre load.
    2) get a quote for 5 cu metres ( don’t fit its out)
    3) pack suitcase (23 kgs is the magic number these days) Don’t fit its out, saddle is 20 kgs its in)
    4) take laptop in shoulder bag (its free and besides all the photo’s are in it or on the cloud)
    Declutter done. I will not do clutter again. Now that I think on the load though, what have I got that is so important it makes up 5 cu metres? Might have to declutter again….

    • Now you sound as if you are a pro at the whole de-clutter thing. Perhaps you could turn it into a new line of business. The moving countries as a method of lightening your load is certainly a unique bit of advice. Not all of us would be willing to go that far although leaving town has crossed my mind on occasion.

  3. Cheryl says:

    I find I am always fighting the physics principle of entropy (definition: Lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder)! Good for you for fighting back!

  4. Changing countries certainly forces decluttering even when you weren’t cluttered. On the transition stuff, I have been through several strategic planning and reorganization processes. The basic work that needs doing never changes, but the imposed processes just make it more difficult.

  5. Clarence & Kerry Finkas says:

    This is amazing – I’m trying to houseclean – but it takes longer and longer and I dno’t accomplish much – just can’t throw stuff away ‘ I might need it someday’. Love Kerry

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