4 Reasons You May Feel Shame About Being Disorganized

Susan Stewart  |  July 9, 2024

Messy room and bookshelf

Many of my clients feel a great deal of shame when they hire a professional organizer and have strong messages that they should be able to do better, be better, or get themselves organized. These internal messages are often old beliefs that negatively affect mood, motivation, and peace of mind. Here are some common reasons people might feel shame.

Gender Roles

Many of us are influenced by the gender roles we learned in childhood, shaping our beliefs about ourselves and the skills we “should” excel in. This affected me with cooking. For years, I felt like a “bad wife” because I didn’t enjoy cooking. Despite my efforts, my feelings and skills didn’t change. I eventually accepted that while I can follow recipes and prepare meals, I’ll never invent recipes and I don’t enjoy cooking. I prefer organizing a kitchen (or almost anything else) to cooking. You know what? That doesn’t make me a bad wife. It means I have other strengths, and I deeply appreciate those who love cooking. What a gift! Maybe you can relate to this. Have you ever felt you “should” be able to organize things yourself? I give you permission to let go of that idea.

Childhood messages

Another influence is the messages we received in childhood. Perhaps you were told, directly or indirectly, that you were stupid, lazy, or incompetent. As children, we often accept these messages unquestioningly, and they can persist into adulthood. Your struggle with organization might stem from a childhood belief that isn’t true. The good news is, identifying and challenging these old messages can lead to significant change. As you make changes in your life, pay attention to those old voices in your head and be ready to challenge them.

Mental Health Challenges

Many of our clients face challenges like ADHD, anxiety, or other mental health issues that hinder organization. For example, ADHD can cause difficulty in completing tasks due to distractions, but this is not a character flaw—it’s a result of how your brain processes information! Personally, I’ve found organizing systems immensely helpful in managing my ADHD. Just ask my husband what happens to me on vacation when I’m out of my routine and away from my systems!

Social media

On social media, we tend not to share our struggles. No one posts pictures of their messy home with the caption “I’m drowning.” Seeing everyone else’s seemingly perfect homes and lives can make us feel isolated. I hear it often from our clients during consultations: “Am I the worst you’ve ever seen? What’s wrong with me that I can’t keep up?” Please, be kind to yourself. Moms today have more responsibilities than ever. If you were alone in your struggle, I wouldn’t have a company that helps people get organized. No one has it all together and does it alone. Let us teach you systems that you can delegate, so managing your home and family becomes a team effort. You don’t have to be a superhero!

If you live in St. Louis and are ready to hire a professional organizer, contact us today!


Photo by JF Martin on Unsplash