This story comes to us from one of our readers. She wanted to share her “sticking point” – the moment she realized that her attempts at organizing were actually hurting her more than helping.

“Everyone has one, you just may not know it yet. I discovered my sticking point the other day while organizing my filing system. I had finally sat down to tackle the sea of papers that had overtaken my desk and had started sorting papers into piles and labeling folders and recycling lots of unnecessary papers that I still had ( I did not realize that most of them were still around!).

I also found lost cheques, order forms and projects making me realize how important it was that I get my desk organized “once and for all.” I routinely do a “that’s it, I can’t take it anymore” clean up of my desk and had considered myself a pretty organized person (at least the rest of my apartment was).

I still think I’m a fairly organized person, but it requires a little more discipline and self-awareness than I originally thought. There I was, on the floor, sorting the last few papers into their folders. I had two big piles of papers I was uncertain what to do with and the rest of my papers tucked into their labeled files. I felt satisfaction at the major effort I had put in and was pleased with the sight of my desktop. And then I decide that was enough work for the night.

I left the piles of papers and folders on my bedroom floor and went to watch TV. The next morning proved that being ‘organized’ was getting in my way just as much as being disorganized was, as I leaned over the piles into the closet to retrieve clothes for the day. But, boy was that desk looking sharp. At the end of the day it was too much of a chore to get into the closet again to put away the clothes, so they went on the floor. The next day the clothes were in my way to get to my desk so papers got piled on top of my newly ‘organized’ workspace.

I had reached my sticking point.

I realized that this was my bad little habit. That all my major clean-ups had a sticking point where the surfaces of the room were cleared and all that was left to put away were those few piles of items that were difficult to find a place for. So, they got left until they were dusty and in the way and then they were shoved into a box and stashed away to be avoided at the next tidy-up. But, this time I refused to be stuck!

I sat myself down and found a home for all of those miscellaneous papers and filed away my folders. Now, I could really say that my desk was organized. I realized that it only makes me more disorganized in the long run to only do half the job.

These unfinished tidy jobs and unlabelled boxes of mixed up papers were keeping me stuck in a state of pseudo-organization misleading me to think I was on top of everything. So, next time you sit down to “finally” get organized be aware of where your sticking point is and make a promise to really get organized this time.”

Do you know what your sticking point is? Identifying it can help you push through your organizing woes and find a system that works for you.

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© 2011 Colette Robicheau
The Organizing Professional
Organize Anything
Phone: (902) 233-1577

Author's Bio: 

Colette Robicheau, President of Organize Anything, is a consultant, coach, and speaker who helps people set priorities, stay focused, manage time, and transitions so they can achieve their goals, grow their business and be more successful. Contact her at and sign up for her newsletter of useful tips at