Your life is full of different chapters. As you move through these chapters, priorities change, as does your mind-set about your belongings and your schedule and activities. When this shift happens, it`s time to reorganize.
People call these “chapters” by different names:
- “big changes”
- “life events”
- “life’s crises”
- “next phase”
- “second act”
Whatever your name might be, your life is in transition.
It’s not enough to make it through the big event – whether it’s a divorce, empty nest, or welcoming a new energy into your home (grandchildren, children, puppy, or parent).
While the event or the change is difficult, the transition is harder and longer, but it can also be an adventure, a fresh start, a new phase you get to design.
It’s that place in between the old chapter and the new chapter`the before and the after, leaving the big change behind but not knowing what is next. It`s a place of limbo where you`re not through the changes and you`re not quite into your new chapter.
Reorganizing gives you a fresh start. Naturally, we think about ‘weeding out’ our things which we don’t need to bring forward with us into this new chapter. And that’s hard enough. But we also need to consider how to use our time in new ways.
For example, your children are off to college or on their own with families. Your primary role, how you thought of yourself, your identity – was tied up with taking care of them and then teaching them to become independent adults. Now what?
Or your parent recently passed away, after you’d been a caregiver and then a visitor to his or her new home. All that time spent together – and now what do you fill your days with?
Your small business is doing great – so well that you’re ready for a new chapter. And that changes your role which affects how you use your time.
Reorganizing is so helpful in dealing with life`s big events.
It`s not simply a `nice to have``it`s an essential practice.
- Organizing is cathartic. It helps you process your emotions. As you go through your things and your calendar, you`re not only thinking about whether to keep or let go, you`re thinking about the transition itself, the emotions, what you`ll do next, and how you`re managing.
- Organizing gives you a sense of control, which, in the context of a life transition, is at a shortage, or may not even exist at some points.
- Organization means allows you to focus your energy on the transition and the emotions. Organizing gets you moving and makes you an agent of positive change in your home. You are no longer a passive bystander to your big life change.
- Organizing focuses you on what`s truly important as you move into the transition, rest in it, and as you move out and into your next chapter of life. You gain clarity.
I coach my clients that organizing is part of your support system, whether you`re clearing the clutter, reorganizing, or changing how you use your time. Organization is a means to an end, not the end.
And in the words of coaching and organizing clients, reorganizing your stuff, time, and/or space . . .
`” Helps clear the fog.
`” Helps you put your life back together.
`” Helps put your new life together.
`” Helps you let go more easily when you know what`s important to keep.
`” Helps you visualize the new place you`re headed more easily.
So think about it: what’s one small step you could take, to help clear a bit of that fog? What’s one step forward? One small thing you could take on to have your surroundings or your time reflect the person you are becoming?
My book, Organize for a Fresh Start: Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life is about just this topic.