Posted by: Ellen Hankes | December 5, 2010

What Are the Benefits of Being Disorganized?

Hundreds of books and blogs have been written about the benefits of organization. The authors build a valid case for being organized. And yet millions of people continue to suffer from disorganization in their personal and work lives.

What are the benefits of being DISORGANIZED? There must be great reasons for a person to remain disorganized. Huh? Maybe you never thought about why clutter reigns year after year in your home or workplace, even though you profess to not like the way the chaos works for you.

Here are some possible benefits for staying disorganized:

  • Change is hard work. Other than a change of hair color, most change is downright difficult. Getting organized requires a willing spirit, a reframed mindset and new habits. Keeping the status quo and not changing anything may be more comfortable.
  • Support systems are not in place. It helps to have others accompany you on a Get Organized Journey. Family and friends can help keep you accountable, motivated and energized. While it is possible to get organized without effective support systems, it is much easier to have your personal organizing cheerleading team.
  • Scary things lurk among the chaos. If you were to attack the clutter, you just might find those unpaid bills, unfulfilled meant-to’s (way overdue library books or photos intended for those now-dusty albums) and yet-to-be-made decisions about life. It is overwhelming to even think about getting organized, so it must be even more overwhelming to actually attack the mile-high piles.
  • Failure might be the result. The organizing might get started but, for some reason, break down before your goal is accomplished. It is hard to accept yet another self-defined failure, so you may not want to start making changes.

When I start to work with an organizing client, I often warn them that they may feel like they are peeling an onion. As we work through their stuff, there are frequently layers of emotions that they also find hanging around personal belongings. Memories and mementos get all mixed up with dust bunnies and expired coupons.

What are the benefits of  your disorganization? I would like to hear from you.



  1. Not to mention the fact that for some persons, their “disorganization” is their organization 🙂
    Excellent post!

  2. Thanks, for your comment and compliment, Jaskaran. Organization/disorganization is highly personal, and I appreciate your observation!

  3. — Slaying the dragon of delay is no sport for the short-winded. ~Sandra Day O’Connor
    — Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.
    — Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation. ~Roger Staubach
    — Laziness may appear attractive but work gives satisfaction. ~Ann Frank
    — The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph! ~Marvin Phillips
    — You find that you have peace of mind and can enjoy yourself, and get more sleep, when you know that it was a one-hundred percent effort that you gave – win or lose. ~Gordie Howe

    It helps me to reflect on some common differences between procrastinators and non-procrastinators:
    P’s see their own intentions as more of a wish, and often see their failures as being out of their control.
    NP’s see their intentions as responsibilities; they take charge of their life, and feel successful by living up to the responsibilities that they have made for themselves.
    P’s tend to let their moods dictate their actions.
    NP’s begin tasks, even when they are not in the mood to.
    P’s have a false sense of security that entices them to tempt fate by putting tasks off until right before they are due.
    NP’s realize that things don’t always go according to plan; they begin tasks well in advance of when they are due so they don’t have to worry about interruptions or unforseen obstacles.
    P’s think they must wait until they have a sizeable amount of time to tackle a big project, which can give them an excuse to put it off indefinitely.
    NP’s put time-lines on their long-term goals, stick to an action plan, and progress towards completion with “do-able” apportioned efforts.
    P’s tend to be easily discouraged by their own negative self-talk, like “I don’t know how to do this” or “I dread doing that” or “I should do this”.
    NP’s encourage themselves with affirming self-talk, like “I can figure out how to do this” or “I can’t wait to get started on that” or “I want to do this”; then, they apply their problem-solving skills to the task, and persist at it.

  4. Recalling Bible verses can be a great inspiration. It’s nice to have a helper, like a friend or a professional organizer, but it’s also good to know that there is an awesome helper more readily available.
    -The Lord is with me; he is my helper. Psalm 118:7
    -You will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Jer. 29:12

    Your difficulties are not too unimportant for God. He is able to care for everyone without limitation.
    -You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts. Psalm 139:2

    Organization is a godly quality.
    – God is not a God of disorder, but of peace. 1 Cor. 14:33

    Even if I can’t see how it will all work out, I can keep working faithfully, trusting God to guide me and to be with me until the task is finished.
    -He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” Phil. 1:6
    -God is able to do way more than we can imagine and his power is at work in us. Eph. 3:20
    -God is able to make all grace abound in you so you’ll always have all you need to abound in every good work. 2 Cor. 9:8

    How can I say I am overwhelmed, when God is anxious to give me all the patience that I need to complete my task? All I need to do is pray and ask him for help.
    -The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, … self-control…. Gal. 5:22
    -The Lord is near to all who truly pray to him. Psalm 145:18

    One good solution is to ask a friend for help or to hire someone to help, because we can’t always handle our struggles alone, but we should always give it our full effort, either way.
    -Carry each others burdens (Gal. 6:2),… but each one should carry his own “load” (Gal. 6:5)

  5. This should have been the first post

    The benefits of my disorganization:
    1) avoiding boredom (going through miles of piles can get boring!)
    2) and, as you hinted, facing that stuff that I should have done can make me feel guilty.
    3) getting organized flies in the face of my motto… “When there’s something to be avoided, procrastination is not the problem, it’s the solution.”

    Here are some more funny quotes I found at www .fuel-my-motivation. com :
    — Procrastination gives you something to look forward to. ~ Joan Konner
    — Hard work has a future payoff. Laziness pays off NOW.
    — I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.
    — The best part about procrastination is that you are never bored, because you have all kinds of things that you should be doing.

    Honestly, these quotes are so true (for me)! However, I do realize that I can’t always trust my first nature, so every morning I read a little sign that I hung up on my desk:

    Do your work so you’ll have something to share.
    Work with eager hands
    and you can laugh at the days to come.
    See that what you do is profitable
    and it will follow that you will have
    no guilty fear for your household.
    Do not eat the bread of idleness, but
    speak with wisdom and faithful instruction,
    and in the course of time, your children will call you blessed,
    and your husband will praise you also.
    (my take on Eph. 4:28 & Proverbs 31)

    I loved your article.

  6. Thank you, Brenda, for adding to the inspiration and motivation! And I’m glad you loved the article!

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