having a goal in mind . . .


Liz Jenkins


I met with a woman recently who wanted me to look at her office to give her an idea of what it would take to get it “organized”. It was a lot of the usual stuff I see – boxes of papers, overflowing desk, drawers full of unused items, etc. She said she felt overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do with all of the things that came in, or where to put them. She had plenty of room – and more filing cabinets than one person could ever use. All of them were full of things other than files.

I didn’t end up working with her. It took me a bit to figure it out, but my conclusion was that she really wasn’t ready for a change. Our initial meeting was pleasant but no matter how much I tried, she could not articulate what she wanted to accomplish or even figure out a goal. I was met with excuses and rationalizations. While I am extremely familiar with these – and plenty guilty of them myself – I can’t force a change on someone.

As a professional organizer, I have to recognize that there is only so far I can go. And I have to recognize when to let it go . . . and not take it personally. If someone is really ready for change, they have to embrace it and work with it. My job is to help my client make the changes but if they are not open to them, my hands are tied. It’s like swimming upstream, fighting the uphill battle, herding cats and so on. It’s not worth their financial investment and wasteful of both my and their time.

So the lesson here is – wait until you are ready to make that change before you pull in the experts. While we are all about helping you reach your goals, if you don’t have one – it’s kind of hard to get there.