You’ve heard of the five stages of grief probably in the context of death and dying (Elisabeth Kubler Ross). It’s a useful model, one of several to give yourself a framework, to understand various life changes which throw us into a transition process.
That’s the difficult part, after the change has actually happened. It’s the longer process to move on and get to wherever it is that you’re supposed to be next. It’s what I often call “limbo land.” And you’re not in charge.
Examples of these transitions:
- becoming an “empty nester,”
- going through a divorce or separation,
- becoming a widow,
- changing jobs,
- changing careers entirely,
- experiencing significant growth in your business,
- parental caregiving,
- downsizing for a move,
- and learning to live with a physical or mental health diagnosis.
The change doesn’t have to be a negative one.
When you think about the changes in your life, ANY change is difficult and any change takes you through these stages doesn’t it?
Because as you attempt to create your next chapter, you are giving up most or all of the last chapter — a grieving process.
The stages of grief: Think about them and the change you’re going through: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing and acceptance.
You can’t move ahead quickly enough, but you can’t push yourself any harder than you are as you process the emotions.
Many of my clients call me for organizing/coaching support at the Testing or Acceptance stage of their transition.
These are reasons clients look to organizing during a transition.
Maybe one or more of these will propel you just a bit faster through your transition, or help you identify where you’re stuck.
- Downsizing her own things so that mom could move in. Give mom the space she needed and deserved.
- Moving on from a divorce. Reclaiming the house as her own home, with her choices for furniture, decor, and which belongings would move her forward and not keep her in the past.
- Claiming a space of her own: recreating her son’s room as a guest room plus her own space for knitting, sewing, quilting
- Therapist suggested it. The “stuff” was affecting their marriage.
- Retirement is ahead. Reorganizing her schedule/time and her home for fun and new activities in this new chapter.
- Moving on after divorce. Going back to school so we created a study space and discussed time/schedules to allow for fun and school/study time.
- Freelance writer takes a part time job and needs systems to support both careers.
- Baby, new house & marriage all in one year
- Moving. Not settled in. Time to move in and move on from her sibling’s death.
- Children growing up. Time for her creativity and to explore her spirituality.
- Managing life and household on your own, single for the first time in a long time.
Why organizing to support yourself?
The physical organizing process can be cathartic, supporting you through that one last turn around the final corner of your transition.
Organizing allows you have to have some level of control, when so much else is not in your control, at least for now.
Surrounding yourself with the belongings and activities you now love is one of many supports to get you through these changes.
Organizing points the way ahead with new systems for your next chapter.
Organizing with coaching assists you in identifying what is next, what’s important to you and what values are key now as this changing person wades through a transition process.