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.