Marilyn Paul, PhD

Transitions are the Point of Power!!


I came into the house yesterday with so many items in my arms that they threatened to spray over onto the floor as I walked into the house. My son’s sweatshirt, two water bottles, a snack bag, a frozen lunch container, a bag of purchases, my keys, my wireless headset, the newspaper, a magazine, an IPad and my jacket. Before I did anything else, I put everything down, then hung up the jacket, found homes for keys, headset, shoes, and everything else. There was nothing left behind.

That was a critical moment of the day.  It seems small.  It is small.  But messy transitions add up fast.

That was the moment when I either added to the mess and chaos or reduced it. If I put everything away, I don’t leave a track of clutter in my wake. That moment determines if I can find my keys and headset again, or if they land in a random place.

Want to get more organized in 2015? Try “complete” transitions.

It’s still hard for me to stop and create order. I want to dump the lot and get onto the next thing. But that is where all the unsorted piles and clutter comes from.

But putting things away before I move on makes a huge difference in the quality of my life.

It is hard. Why? I like being in motion. I don’t like slowing down. I don’t have much patience for putting things away. Sometimes I’m not sure where an item belongs.

When I first started to get organized, people would say, “Just put things back when you are done with them.” That sounds easy, “But where is ‘back’” I would think to myself, “and how can I be sure I am done with them?”

A complete transition contributes to peace and order. Leave a little more time to get from here to there, make sure to put things “away,” and consciously refocus your attention on what is next. And, if you don’t have a clear place to put things, spend the few minutes to figure it out. My wireless headset wandered until I settled on a specific home. I just had to name it. Now I can find it.

Transitioning completely is a powerful habit. Build this habit and you will find yourself more organized, calmer and happier with the greater spaciousness you create.

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