Inside the mind of a professional organizer: Fall into new habits

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Organization is about mindset. Either you think it, or you don’t.

The action of living an organized lifestyle ties into our ongoing, daily thought process.

Here’s the beauty: Organization is a learned skill. A huge component is wanting to incorporate organization into our daily routine to improve our life experience. Acknowledging our desire allows us to improve our mindset to make things happen.

Organization can be personalized to fit individual needs, wants and goals.

Everyone is unique. Our past, present and future are simple ways to summarize our overall understanding of who we are today and how we envision our household and surrounding environment for years to come.

In a way, overall mindset is passed along each generation, much like the family china, photos, furniture and various collections we inherit.

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is among my favorite expressions and can relate to our exposure and understanding of organization. On the flip side, we have the power to break unhealthy habits, such as disorganization or borderline hoarding.

Our present is simple. Stand in your space(s) and do a 360-degree spin. Do you like what you see? You are in control. Take action. Make the effort, and create the future you want.

If envisioning your space is something you struggle with, a professional organizer can assist you with the process.

Think about your possessions

• Are things at one location, or do you have off-site storage?

• How many of these things did you buy?

• How many of these things were given to you?

• How many of these things were left to you?

• Has your stuff, regardless of how you’ve acquired it, created a roadblock for you?

This is an easy way to sum up our possessions. How we manage our possessions is where our mindset of life organization plays in. I speak of life organization and managing your possessions, your documents and your legacy.

• Our mindset is our starting point.

• Recognize your needs and wants.

• Acknowledge what is used and what isn’t.

We know that stuff comes with a lot of emotional baggage

Challenges to overcome while identifying our needs and wants include facing guilt, fear and uncertainty.

For decades, we’ve been programmed to think we need stuff to be happy, to display our status, fill our forgotten rooms or plan for the unknown in excessive ways.

“I want that” vs. “I need that” are emotions we feel daily, with little or no thought given.

When we change our mindset, we can talk ourselves through obtaining, rotating and managing our possessions, as well as, how we spend money.

Shopping to fill a void or pass time is common and can divert our success

We are in control of what comes into and leaves our property.

This pertains to no-cost, low-cost, gifts and purchases.

For example, be mindful of how many black shirts you own and how adding yet another black shirt will impact your storage space, or even, add to existing piles or stacks.

Many individuals already struggle to find “homes” for existing items, so why are we adding to the chaos? Evaluate your mindset and enforce positive habits, starting today.

As humans, it should not be our mission to change the past, but learn from it.

Past purchases do not guarantee a financial return. This is a lesson of how to invest in things. Embrace your present, and more importantly, the value of your time.

Spending days, months or even years dealing with a $10 item has no value if it’s removed you from enjoying life and those around you.

Cultivate the future you envision for yourself and loved ones.

Don’t let possessions be the only thing you see along your path.

Improve your mindset and improve your lifestyle.

Fall into new habits, and enjoy a simplified outlook.

Jessi Bushman is a professional organizer, member of the Iowa Professional Organizers Association and owner of Organizer Jessi in Dubuque. Visit her at or on Facebook at OrganizerJessi. You also can email her at

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