Ms. Morgenstern has a theory that people with disorganization issues may have developed those habits as emotional responses to particular experiences in their lives. She coaches her clients to identify those experiences and those responses, to allow her clients to “repurpose” the responses more productively. She believes there is often positive value, core truths about the person who uses the habits, in the emotions underlying the habits. This idea may not be exactly true for those people whose disorganization is organic – people with ADD or brain injuries, for example. But this theory can also help people with inborn or physical challenges examine the additional emotional responses they have developed to their circumstances as they have lived cluttered or chaotic lives because of their disability.
She articulates her process in her book SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life. It is simultaneously a tool for designing incentives to get organized, a structure for organizing, support against backsliding, and a mechanism for making the fullest possible use of your improved space. SHED is designed to allow its users to redesign their physical and virtual spaces, including time management. And as always, Ms. Morgenstern writes with warmth and humor. This is the second book I recommend to my clients.
With all the current media roar over organizing, I’m finding myself drawn to the classics, so I thought I’d mention them.