Are You Being Bossed Around?

Are you being bossed around?

Recently I had a conversation with a mom about the state of her home.  She said she loved being organized as she finds piles and clutter distracting. 

She said going from room to room and seeing all the stuff is stifling.  She is tired of not being able to get it together. 

Knowing where to start is the first hurdle that plagued her. The second was time. "Where do you find the time to get this house in order?" she inquired. 

She finally closed out the conversation with the declaration that she was ready to let it all go, and oh yea they were short on space.


Time and again, we spend weekends and weeknights sorting and purging our stuff.  We shuffle it around, we take it out, we make the decisions.  But yet we feel like we aren't getting anywhere.

What is the problem? we ask ourselves as we stare into our closet wondering why it doesn't feel any different. 

The three hurdles that I see over and over in front of my clients are these. 

1. Where do I start? 
2. What do I do with the stuff I don't want? 
3. Where am I going to find the time to get it all done? 

But the sneaky hurdle is the speed bump that is the same color as the road, where all the yellow lines have been worn off and you don't know it's there until you run over it and you're sure you lost an axle back there somewhere because"well there's a speed bump there!" 

It's the decision making.  

The over and over Q&A dialogue with yourself of "do I want this? yes or no?"

Scientifically speaking, the decision making process is so exhausting because you are using brain power and glucose to decide over and over about your stuff.  If you are thorough and go through everything, then you will peter out around three to four hours. 

Long enough to sort and declutter a small closet on your own. 

Good heavens alrighty, this is going to take forever! and you give up on your dream of an organized, serene space once more. 


Our home is the CEO, it is the big boss in the corner office pecking away on his iPhone and yelling into the speaker during conference calls. It calls the shots.

Each room is the Vice President of different departments. Clothing. Seasonal storage. Cooking. Relaxing, Sleeping.
It is our direct supervisor. The one who looks over our work and manages our time. Depending on the day, some are bossier than others.

So where are we getting bossed around?

The obvious first is our home. We can only keep what our home will allow.

The second is our room or closet. We can only keep what that space will hold. We can get creative and use the space more efficiently but each will have it's own set of parameters and rules.

But the third (and often silent) boss is our mind. It's our tired old stories that we keep replaying over and over about our stuff.

"That belonged to my grandmaw".
"I spent good money on that".
"I can't let that arm brace go because it is bad omen, for sure I will break my arm next week!".
"I'll keep this just in case we need it in the future."
"That was expensive".

"Who do I know who might want these dresses?"

And on and on the story plays. We start out with gusto as we deal with the first three hurdles. We find some pockets of time, we start in the garage, and we haul a carload to the nearest charity dropoff.

Yet that sneaky speed bump starts to get higher and higher the further we move through our home until eventually we are worn out from our decisions and our stories and our loud, demanding bosses.

And we quit.

We ditch the project all together throwing our hands up declaring it is hopeless.

For the past nine years I have held the trash bags open for clients who are ready to ditch their old excuses and old stories, in exchange for space and freedom from clutter.

I require a commitment from clients to work together for a six month period because I know the speed bump and the bosses get loudest around month three. The commitment is to themselves (& me as their coach), but also to their home and their family. They are promising themselves that organizing is a top priority and they will not quit on themselves when the going gets tough.

No longer will they be bossed around by their home and their circumstances, they demand!

If you are currently in the stuck phase and can't seem to get it in gear, then let's chat.

Jennifer Burnham