Organized vs UnOrganized: What Makes the Difference?

I came to the realization after a few years of being a professional organizer that there is one main difference between people who are organized and people who aren’t. This isn’t a psychological look at differences in brain waves or nerve endings. It’s not even a very scientific approach to a complicated problem. It’s just a simple thing I’ve noticed. If more disorganized souls would do this one little thing, there would be less need for organizing books, classes, and tutorials. On the downside, I may also not have a job.

So what is this one amazing trick that can change people’s lives (said in a made-for-television-only voice)?


Do all 10 steps of a 10 step task. Do all 19 steps of a 19 step task. The closer to finishing all the steps, the closer to being organized.

Picture this. You walk into the kitchen. Your partner has left a hammer and nails on the counter. You are torn because, yes, those framed pictures from your vacation to Cancun are finally hanging, but why WHY do you always have to finish the project? Why do you have to remove the tool kit from under the sink and return the hammer and extra nails? Why? Why? Why? Because your partner is a little disorganized, I’m sorry to tell you.

But what if the hammer and nails came out but the picture hasn’t been hung yet? A little less organized.

But what if the hammer and nails didn’t come out because no one knows where the hammer went after the tribute poster to Eddie Van Halen was hung? Really less organized.

See how it works? The closer to the beginning of the list of steps, the less organized. The closer to the end of the list of steps, the more organized.

If a person can immediately walk to the cupboard, take out the hammer and nails, leveler, pencil to mark the wall and whatever else is needed, hang the picture, and put the hammer and extra nails back where they came from, they are ORGANIZED!

Follow through is the difference between being organized and being disorganized. 

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