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A Guide to Practicing Self-Love for People Affected by Chronic Disorganization

February 6, 2022

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Hello, I'm Jen
As a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization® (CPO-CD®), I am uniquely qualified with the knowledge and experience to help you with ADHD issues, hoarding, chronic disorganization, and aging. 


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In honor of February, the month of love, we’re focusing on the importance of self-love and how to put it into practice.
Out of all the relationships you have in your life, the most meaningful one is the one you have with yourself. It’s essential to put yourself first, so you get one step closer to living the organized life of your dreams.
Practicing self-love is the most impactful way to get to the bottom of chronic disorganization. But it also happens to be the most overlooked part of the journey.
Chronic disorganization is not an issue with the things you have but the relationship you have with yourself.
Today’s blog discusses how self-love plays a role in chronic disorganization and how to practice self-love to get organized and stay organized.
Let’s dive in.

Why is self-love an essential piece of the chronic disorganization journey?

Self-love is the act of accepting, loving, and encouraging yourself to do what’s best for you.
When you practice self-love, you feel (1):

  • Less anxious
  • Less stressed
  • Less self-critical
  • More compassionate
  • More worthy

The benefits of self-love are immense, but unfortunately, self-love isn’t taught. You are often taught to put others first and help them when you can. But just like in a plane accident, you have to put your oxygen mask on before helping others around you. Self-love is taking care of your needs first before you can help others.
If you don’t practice self-love and have low self-esteem, you can show signs of (2):

Perfectionism — spending more time and doing more than necessary to make things perfect

Procrastination — leaving things undone until the very last minute

Fear of judgment — being scared of making a mistake or being judged by others

Creating false beliefs — using statements that begin with “I have always been,” or “I always will be,” i.e.., “I’ve always been disorganized.”

According to the Institute of Chronic Disorganization, many chronically disorganized exhibit one or more of these signs (3).
By practicing self-love and increasing your self-esteem, you can begin to uncover the true reasons why you’re chronically disorganized and address the situation as a whole rather than just tackling the symptoms — the “stuff”.

Meaningful Ways to Practice Self-Love

Practicing self-love looks different for everyone. Whether you’re the president of a company or a teenager, self-love is essential, and the list below will show you different ways to practice self-love no matter what stage you are in life.

1. Create a proud journal

Keep a journal of all the things you’re proud of. From the smallest tasks, you’ve accomplished huge wins, journal your successes and remind yourself of them often. It’s a powerful way for you to highlight your progress and witness your accomplishments. Have your proudest moments all in one place when you need a confidence boost.
Here are a few examples to get you started:

  1. I’m proud of myself for discarding 10 items I no longer needed. It felt great because I made the commitment, and I followed through!
  2. I am so proud of myself today for getting promoted at my dream company. I’ve worked long and hard for them, and I am thrilled to land my dream position.

Quick Tip: If you’re always on the go, you can also create a list on your phone so you can continue adding on to it throughout the day.

2. Take yourself out on a date

Nothing says “I love you” like treating yourself to a well-deserved date. Whether you go out for a walk, go to the movies, or eat a delicious meal, take yourself out (or stay in) for a date. Take a moment to love and appreciate yourself for all the hard work you’ve accomplished.
Here are some date ideas:

  1. Sign up for a cooking class to learn a new dish
  2. Spend a day at the library devouring books from your favorite author
  3. Treat yourself to a night in and have a movie night with your favorite snacks

3. Sleep enough

Sleep is essential for your well-being and mental health. Sleep deprivation has the power to make you more sensitive when you experience stressful events and makes it difficult to deal with the everyday stress of life (4). Poor sleep quality can also lead you to experience more negative emotions (5). While good quality sleep allows your brain to process your feelings and thoughts.
Grab your comfiest pillow and get enough sleep. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on any stress that can come your way.

4. Reduce social media consumption

Reducing social media use is a great way to practice self-love. Constantly seeing people’s highlight reels and comparing them to your lowest moments takes a huge toll on your mental health. Lessening the amount of time you spend on social media can help you focus on yourself and not your “friends” (6).
Quick Tip: Grab your phone and set time-limits on your social media apps to reduce screen time.

5. Organize your space

Being chronically disorganized makes this a lot easier said than done, but it is possible. Your space has the power to influence how you feel about yourself.
You deserve a livable space that puts your mind and body at ease. When you’re crowded by clutter, your brain feels uncomfortable and cluttered too. A livable space makes you feel put together and calm (7).

6. Notice negative self-talk

The person who talks to you the most during the day is you! Too much negative self-talk can lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and stress. Notice when you talk to yourself negatively and question why you are talking that way.
A good rule of thumb: if it’s something you’d tell your best friend, it’s likely nice enough to say to yourself. If not, take a moment to reframe your thoughts. It might be negative self-talk.

7. Practice Compassionate Curiosity

Get curious about your feelings. When you feel anxious or worried, take a moment to experience your emotion and ask yourself where the feelings are coming from. Being compassionate and curious allows you to dive deeper into your emotions without judging yourself for having them.

8. Forgive Yourself

You’ve beaten yourself up a million times about a mistake you made years ago. Sometimes, it gets so bad the mistakes keep you up at night. Those mistakes are in the past now. You made the best choice you could make at the time. Forgive yourself and confidently move forward with the knowledge you have now from your previous experience.

9. Give Yourself Permission

Give yourself the permission to make mistakes, learn, grow, and feel your emotions. Being affected by chronic disorganization is difficult. During this process of improving your space, give yourself permission to progress as you get closer to creating your ideal livable space.
If getting more help is something you need, give yourself the permission to do so. Getting help is an excellent step towards creating a better version of yourself.

Self-Love Allows You to Get More Organized

Through the continuous practice of self-love, getting organized gets easier. Organization is a skill that isn’t taught, but you’re somehow expected to know how to do it. The pressure to organize perfectly and stay organized is brutal. It can be debilitating for those who don’t know where to start but want to do it right the first time. In addition to facing this pressure, you may find it difficult to celebrate your wins, big or small, with people who don’t understand what you’re going through.
Being affected by chronic disorganization is tough, especially when you go through it alone. You’ve tried too many times before. But each time you’ve tried to get organized, it hasn’t worked.
Through practicing self-love, you can become more confident in your choices to remove items that don’t serve you anymore and explore an organization system that works for you.
Now, there’s pressure to become magically organized overnight like in the show Hoarders, but that’s not realistic. What you see is months of work shrunken down to a 1 hour-long episode.
Practicing self-love allows you to understand organization is a journey, and it takes time. No matter how big or small, each step you take will get you to exactly where you want to be.

Getting Help is a Form of Self-Love Too

Self-love is also allowing yourself to get help. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. If you’ve found getting organized feels nearly impossible, I can help you.
When we work together, my primary goal isn’t to get rid of your stuff, organize, and then leave. My focus is to organize with you and help you gain confidence on your organization journey.
Through the SHiFT™ method, we organize all aspects of your life to see meaningful and lasting benefits organization has to your day-to-day life.
If you’re ready to get help and turn your life around, the best time to do it is now.

To get started and get organized, schedule a judgment-free consultation call today.

Warmly, Jen

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/being-your-best-self/202103/why-practicing-self-love-isnt-optional-necessary
  2. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/self-esteem
  3. https://www.challengingdisorganization.org/assets/ICDPublications/FactSheets/ICD%20fs004%20Factors%20Associated%20with%20Disorganization%202019.pdf
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7181893/#b7
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20137989/
  6. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201711/the-comparison-trap
  7. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/high-octane-women/201203/why-mess-causes-stress-8-reasons-8-remedies

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