Decision making – would you rather leave it to someone else?

women with hands at temple looking worried wearing a white shirt

One of the biggest roadblocks in getting organized can be decision-making.  It can be hard to decide where to store things, what to keep and what to let go of, what type of storage you need, where to donate items. where to start. You might not have thought of getting organized in this way.  Is making a decision difficult for you? 

Is it fear that makes decision making difficult

In an article by Hellen Bittigieg, she talks about: Steps to eliminate your fears and conquer the clutter

  1. As you sort through your items notice the thoughts that come up and begin to acknowledge them, say okay now you’ve got my attention.
  2. Notice where you feel the fear in your body, stomach, chest headache?
  3. Analyze the fear and try to understand where it’s coming from then thank it and move on
  4. Replace fear with trust
  5. What if I need it someday replace it with all my needs are abundantly supplied
  6. I’ll keep it just in case – replace it with what are the odds I’ll ever need to replace it?
  7. I can’t give that away it was a gift – replace it with my real friends always love and support me
  8. I can’t decide so I’ll just keep it – replace it with I’ll make a decision and trust that everything will be okay
  9. What if it’s worth something someday – replace it with it will never be more valuable than joy, health, friendships etc

Do you need practice making decisions?

You make decisions all the time.  What are you going to eat for breakfast, what are you going to wear today, when are you going to exercise? These are easy decisions because you make them all the time.  They are not life-impacting decisions whether you choose cereal or eggs, shirt or sweater, exercise at 6 am or after work.  The important thing is to see yourself as a decision-maker.  It is a skill you have and do well.  Appy that skill to deciding what to do with your possessions so you can get organized. 

What if I make the wrong decision?

You can put too much pressure on yourself to be 100% certain about your decisions.  There are very few decisions where you have a crystal ball and can see exactly what decision is perfect for the future.  Make the decision that is right for you now. Keep the possessions that help you to become the person you want to be.  Let go of the possessions that hold you back.  Some things are meant to be in your life for a while and then move on to help someone else. 

I don’t want to be responsible 

It might be easy for you to make decisions that no one notices.  When it comes time to make changes people will notice the decisions you are making.  You might decide to have less stuff in your home, to spend money on experiences, not things, use your time to build relationships, not shop.  Set goals about the changes you want to make in your life.  When you are being intentional about change, it is easy to take responsibility and explain your decisions to others because you are the one making the choices to make your life better.   

See yourself as a brave, wise decision-maker who intentionally chooses the best choice at the time to make your life better. 

If you need help growing into this person join my 9-week coaching program From Clutter to Freedom

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, in person and virtually. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of physical activity to reduce clutter, in your home and office. She guides and supports you to manage your time. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

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12 thoughts on “Decision making – would you rather leave it to someone else?”

  1. These are fabulous tips for a person (me!) who hates making decisions! I think I resonated with the not wanting to make the wrong decision. I over analyze everything, but I realize that sometimes you just need to go! Thank you so much for the article and I will keep these things in mind as I’m starting to coach others.

  2. Great article coming from someone who does not love making decisions! I think I suffer from decision fatigue lately lol – having to make so many decisions for my large family (big and small)! 🙂

    1. Decision fatigue is a very good point. There are some things in life that you can minimize the need to make decisions and that will help to reduce decision fatigue. For me, I have a uniform for working with clients and a uniform for meeting with clients and networking events. It is nice not to have to decide what to wear. I also set up recording shows from my TV so when i watch I look at what is recorded. Netflicks with all the options drives me crazy.

  3. I can totally relate to “I can’t decide so I’ll just keep it” – those are the items that I only see when I’m going through my stuff again. Eventually I catch on and let it go!

    1. I can’t decide may come from decision fatigue like Laura commented. It may signal that you are done for the day and it is time to stop. I like that you point out after seeing the items for a while and never making a decision you start to realize what you’re doing and then you’re ready to let it go.

    1. If those people realized that no decision is a decision would they be stressed that they made a decision? Hopefully, when they are ready they will be able to decide on a course of action. Perhaps the term ” make a decision ” is stressful. What would happen if they were asked, ” What course of action should we take?” I am going to try that sometime.

  4. I love that mantra…”I am a brave, wise-decision maker!” It’s empowering. And it’s true that so often we can lack confidence to make choices. When that happens, it’s great to work with someone to build that decision-making muscle. The other thing I’ve observed when working with clients (and it happens to me too,) is the challenge of decision-fatigue. When too many choices are happening, it can become exhausting to make more. So one of the things I look for is the quality of the decisions being made. And when my clients are getting tired, I know it’s time for a break.

    1. I find that once clients start making decisions it gets easier and easier for them. Perhaps it is because I am there to help support and encourage their abilities. Decision fatigue is all around us, what to wear, what to watch on TV, what to do to stay healthy and safe, what to eat. It is very easy when you’re looking at all your stuff to get fatiqued. WHen the decision process starts to slow down that is when it is time to stop working with them for that day.

  5. Yes, this resonates! I often talk about clutter as a mass of deferred decisions and I witness the difficulty clients have with both making and implenting decisions. I love the rallying call in your conclusion – so motivating!

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