The Shame That Binds You

Maristella Bertram
4 min readDec 1, 2022

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Many people, especially women, feel ashamed about being unable to keep up with a tidy home or an organized life. Is that the shame that binds you?

Harmful Beliefs

Society has perpetuated three beliefs that are particularly harmful to women:

  1. It is a woman’s job to organize the home, her life, and the lives of everyone in the household while even working outside the home.
  2. This female job comes from the fact that a woman’s capacity to organize, plan, and manage comes inherently to the female gender.
  3. A woman should be capable of doing all that naturally, effortlessly, and excellently.

But planning, organizing, and managing require engaging the brain’s executive function. And whether it is due to an accident, illness, a brain condition, or genetics, the ability to plan, organize, and manage takes work and requires learning for a large part of the population. The truth is that most people do not excel at those activities, even less enjoy them.

An Outsourcing Economy

And that should not be a problem. Our societal arrangement provides for outsourcing services and products we cannot make ourselves due to the lack of skills and time.

We defer the making of products and provision of services we need to groups or individuals that are experts at what they do because engaging our time in or learning all the skills required to produce our products and services is not cost-efficient.

And there is no shame in that.

For example, we go to a salon to get a great haircut. Of course, we could cut our hair, but that does not mean we should, would want to, or be successful at it (I know, I’ve been there! LOL).

Or we go to a store or tailor to get clothes instead of sewing our own. Although many people excel at sewing, that is not most of us.

And even those good at sewing would only make some of their clothes. Making their whole wardrobe from scratch is not an efficient use of their time. So even they outsource their clothes acquisition.

Why The Shame?

So, why the shame around organizing, managing, and planning?

Is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company embarrassed to engage a business coach or a team efficiency expert? No! It is even expected from a person in such a position.

The shame of being unable to keep a tidy home and an organized life comes from thinking we are inherently capable of achieving this. And if we can’t accomplish that, something must be wrong with us. Furthermore, if those skills are innate, they are expendable at some level.

A Compounded Problem

We are dealing with a double fallacy that compounds that shame.

Believing a person is inherently capable of planning, organizing, and managing negates the possibility of needing to learn these skills, as is the case for so many.

Consequently, someone without those skills might feel ashamed and even less open to acquiring the skills by learning.

How about focusing on what we excel at and what makes us joyful? It is easier to feel happier, accomplished, and fulfilled in life this way instead of pounding ourselves with guilt every step.

Here’s The Solution

And for things that involve knowledge we don’t have, skills we were not born with, and time we don’t want to spend (like organizing, planning, and managing, for example), the Professional Organizer comes to the rescue!

A Professional Organizer is skilled and, in many cases, instructed in organizing, planning, and managing physical spaces, time, people, systems, and ideas.

A Professional Organizer Can Help

Professional Organizers can help by

  1. Doing the organizing and planning, you do not have time to do
  2. Doing the organizing and planning you do not want to do
  3. Developing systems that make your life and home more efficient
  4. Using their knowledge, experience, and skills to build systems to make your life and home more efficient
  5. Teaching you the fundamentals of their work, should you be interested in learning to maintain your systems

A Professional Organizer sets household members up for daily success and long-term goal achievement, plus a home that operates like a well-oiled machine. Who would not like to have that?

A Matter of Perspective

Look at it from the perspective of that Fortune 500 Executive that engages a coach to crush their short- and long-term goals while learning to work smarter, not harder. After all, you ARE the CEO of your home.

So, stop the guilt if that is what’s holding you back. Instead, give a Professional Organizer a chance to show you how easier life can be! You might be surprised. Your only regret might be not making that decision sooner.

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Maristella Bertram

Maristella Bertram, MBA, CPO, owner of My Space Reclaimed, LLC, is a Board-Certified Professional Organizer, Redesigner and Stager.