The 5 Dirty Words of Organizing

dirty words

Growing up my brother loved the movie, “Christmas Story”.  For most of December and all day on Christmas, that movie was blaring from our TV.  So it’s no wonder I remember clearly the part of the movie where Ralphie had to sit with soap in his mouth for using a dirty word (obviously a common occurrence by his rundown of soap tastes).  And it wasn’t just any dirty word, but *THE* dirty word!

If you’re like me,  you probably remember getting in trouble for using “bad” language when you were younger; interestingly, that punishment didn’t affect us too much as some of us still continue to have a colorful vocabulary! But I’ve discovered that dirty words aren’t limited to just cuss words that require bleeping sounds.

After years of helping people get organized, I’ve learned that there are several dirty words that really hurt my ears to hear.  While I don’t advocate the use of this objectionable language, I think people need to be aware that these words are out there.  Most of all, we need to encourage others from saying them, especially in front of the children!

Want to know what they are?

The 5 Dirty Words of Organizing

Here, in no particular order,  are what I consider the most offensive and foul words in the realm of organizing:

  1. Someday.  People are always saying, “I’m going to get organized…someday” – but rarely does someday ever come.  That’s because Someday isn’t a day of the week! Stop waiting on someday and start acting now.
  2. Later.  We often say, “I’ll do that later” but later we find something else better to do. So that pile of laundry that needs to be folded, that stack of papers that need to be filed, or those clothes that need to be hung up never gets done and clutter accumulates.  Later is not your friend.
  3. Just in case.  When we hold on to things, “just in case”, we’re allowing fear to dictate our decisions and keep us enslaved to our clutter.  None of us knows what tomorrow brings, so keeping stuff just in case won’t necessarily help us in that moment.
  4. I don’t know.  Uncertainty and postponed decisions breeds clutter.  When we aren’t sure if we should keep a piece of paper or are uncertain of where to store it,  we allow clutter to creep in.  Don’t let a lack of knowledge keep you bogged down in chaos! Read books, browse blogs, or watch YouTube videos and learn how to get organized.  If nothing else, just Google it!
  5. I can’t.  Saying “I can’t” is not a true statement.  We can all do something, even if it’s a little thing.  What we really mean when we say “I can’t” is that we don’t want to.  We don’t want to put in the time, effort or energy it will require for us to get organized.  And if that’s truly how you feel, that’s okay.  But don’t say you can’t because you can do anything you put your mind to!

So there you have it, the 5 dirty words of getting organized. Perhaps you didn’t realize you were using such foul language – that’s okay, we all make mistakes! The important thing is that you’re aware of your vocabulary and make every effort to stop using these 5 dirty words today.

Your home and your mouth will thank you for it!

Have any of these 5 dirty words ever crossed your lips? What steps can you take to stop using them?

Can you think of any others I might need to add to the list?

Leave a comment and let me know!

18 responses on “The 5 Dirty Words of Organizing

  1. Hazel Thornton

    Love this, Liana! Related to 1, 2, and 5 is this dirty word: Busy. Too busy to make time for things you claim you desperately want to do? So busy you can’t schedule time to take care of your home, family, and self? “Busy”, like “can’t”, really means “don’t really want to”. Own it!

  2. Seana Turner

    You nailed it, Liana. I hear these all the time, including periodically coming out of my own mouth. They are each powerful for different reasons… pulling at us. I agree with Hazel on “busy”… a valid and yet self-damaging excuse. I also add “Just For Now”… as in, “I will put it here just for now and come back to it later.” Which you never do.

  3. Jill Robson

    I am with Hazel, i hear “i don’t have time” time is the same for all of us, usually it is because they are feeling #2, they will have time another day.

  4. Sabrina Quairoli

    Great post, Liana! I find that I got “Later, I am too busy” often. But, are the really busy or are they not making organizing a priority? Thanks for bringing this to readers attention.

  5. Diane Quintana

    Me, too! I love this post. I talk about these words all the time with my clients. I usually create a joke out of them .. to get my clients at least thinking about reframing their statement.

  6. Linda Samuels

    Ahhh….The “dirty” words in the organizing industry! These are definitely the words and phrases that can sabotage our efforts. It’s great to be aware of them (for ourselves and clients) and then delve a bit deeper (maybe sans soap )without letting them just pass unnoticed. Only then can real change begin.

  7. Crystal Barton

    Exactly! These words are all too familiar in most people’s vocabulary. I have to admit, I have my moments of being guilty of using these dirty words.

  8. Liana George Post author

    You’re not alone Crystal! But sometimes awareness is all we need to change things around. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. Liana George Post author

    I couldn’t agree more Linda! Although I do have a few clients/people that I know who could benefit from some soap 😉

  10. Liana George Post author

    Absolutely Diana! Our words have the power to help us or hurt us….we need to be aware of what we’re saying and how it is affecting us and our efforts to get organized!

  11. Liana George Post author

    Thanks, Sabrina! I think you are right…is it busyness or a lack of priority? Hopefully, these things will help others see how their words are affecting them.

  12. Liana George Post author

    Yes, I think we are all probably guilty of using one, or more, of these words at some point Janet 🙂

  13. Liana George Post author

    Thanks, Jill for sharing! Yes, we all think there’s plenty of time, but we find very quickly that time can get away from us before we know it! We have to be wise with our words and our time 🙂

  14. Liana George Post author

    Thanks, Seana! And yes, busy and just for now are probably 2 more we should add to the list that can be dangerous and dirty to our organizing efforts!

  15. Liana George Post author

    Absolutely, Hazel – busy is a killer word to our organizing efforts. Own it, for sure!

  16. Ellen Delap

    Love this post! It’s all the ways we sabotage our best efforts to organize. It’s good to get these words out front, as we start to organize, to address what’s holding us back. I love the similarity to “dirty” words!

  17. Liana George Post author

    You’re exactly right Ellen! These words absolutely sabotage our organizing efforts and we definitely need to get them out of our vocabulary so we can find the organizing success we long for. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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