Power of Why

Bridge over Happiness Place

Many people wonder how to get organized. Yet, it is the why you want to be organized that is the most powerful question. The answer will set you on the path to achieve your goals.

When clients call seeking organizing help, I probe deeply into their desire about why they feel it necessary to get organized right now. It is the why that creates the catalyst to accomplish the task of getting organized, and it is the why that keeps my clients managing to stay organized. If you can pinpoint the why, then the how will grow out of it. The secret is in the direction you want to go. Let me show you how it works.

Brenda called my office in hopes of learning how to organize her bedroom. By asking a few questions, I discovered that her clothes were scattered everywhere—on the bed, on a chair, on top of the dresser, on the floor and hanging off hooks on the closet door. There was a bookcase overflowing with books and she didn’t even read in the bedroom. The window air conditioner was still in place. She usually put it on the floor of her closet during off season but that area was crammed with shoes. Her many attempts to get organized had left her discouraged.

The next question I asked was, “Why do you want to clear up the clutter now?” Her response was, “I want to be more comfortable sleeping in my bed.”

“Is that all?” I asked. “No,” she replied. “I am late to work because I can’t find what I need to get ready in the mornings. My bedroom is cold because the window is not shut tight. And, I am depressed when I come home from work and look into that room.”

Now we have something to work with—the why. With a little help, she was able to establish goals to work towards.

1. An inviting comfortable bed and room that is conducive to a good night’s sleep

2. Clothes hanging neatly in the closet separated by use

3. Grooming supplies on a dresser tray with a mirror over the dresser

4. A/C in the hall closet and window shut tight

5. Bookcase and books moved to another room

6. New window curtains and a matching comforter on the bed

7. Adequate lighting

Once Brenda had her list of goals, it was easy to break down each one into bite-size tasks to be accomplished within the next few weeks. By articulating the compelling reasons why she needed to get organized, the direction became clear to Brenda. So, the next time you decide you want to get organized, determine the why and let that guide you to a list of achievable goals. The how happens because the why provides a clear direction.