What are the Causes of Disorganization?


Disorganization can cause havoc in a person's life. There are multiple reasons that a person can have a disorganized life. In some cases a disruptive life event is to blame for disorganization. Events like a relocation, a new baby, or even a loss can all affect the organization of one's environment. Other times an emotional or mental disorder is contributing to the disorganization. Disorganization can also be brought on by something as diminutive as a change in mindset.

Depression and Disorganization

  • There are many medical conditions that can contribute to a disorganized and chaotic life. The most common is depression. A depressed person is usually apathetic, lethargic, disinterested, and this can lead to disorganization. Other mental problems such as bipolar disorder, dementia, and schizophrenia are all included under the mental umbrella that can cause a chaotic life. Besides depression and mental disorders, grief and pain can also lead to mounds of clutter.

Emotional Clutter and Disorganization

  • Another reason why people suffer from disorganization is because their emotional and social lives are cluttered. The psychological feeling of being overwhelmed can lead to a disorganized life. In these cases time management and acknowledging priorities are two possible cures for eliminating disorganization.

ADD and Disorganization

  • Attention deficit disorder plays a huge factor in a person's ability to get organized. The book "ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life" states that people who have problems with organization and planning should be checked for ADD disorder. Organization and planning are two of the biggest challenges for those suffering from attention deficit disorder. Unfortunately, standard organizing practices normally don't work for those with ADD and specialized strategies must be developed so that a person can get their life in order.
    One of the book's recommendations is that those who have problems with clutter and disorganization should work with their mood. Working against the mood when scheduling tasks can lead to self defeat and more clutter.


  • Most people attempt to solve disorganization by purchasing products and tools, but the Institute of Living, located in Hartford, Conn., says this may not work. According to the Institute of Living, disorganization is commonly not a house problem that can be solved with buying bins, organizers, hangers and other household accessories, but rather a personal problem that can only be solved when the individual fundamentally changes his behavior.


  • According to the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization, a person who finds herself continuously surrounded by mess and chaos should seek help and work with a professional organizer who is knowledgeable about disorganization issues. A person who is able to get organized can experience better mental and physical health. Organization places a person in a more productive environment that is conducive to enhancing his quality of life.

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