Resources: Chronic Disorganization

The Basics

"Chronic disorganization is the result of the bad fit between people who organize unconventionally and the very conventional organizing methods which exist for them to use", states Judith Kolberg in her book Conquering Chronic Disorganization. Once people hear the term chronic disorganization (CD), they often say "oh, that's me!" In reality, Kolberg states that a person with CD must answer "yes" to all three of the following questions:

  • Has getting organized been a challenge for you most of your adult life?
  • Does being disorganized negatively affect your quality of life in some way every day?
  • Have you been unable to sustain organization?

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) is an association of professional organizers and related professionals who are specifically trained to work with people who experience the unique challenges of CD. As stated on their website, Our mission is to provide education, research and strategies to benefit people challenged by chronic disorganization. The website has many Fact Sheets with information the public will find helpful.

CPO-CD®, Master Trainer, and ICD member Denslow Brown notes, "Chronic Disorganization isn't a diagnosis. It's a description or definition of a life situation. Our ICD definition describes chronic disorganization as a life-long problem with getting and staying organized to such an extent that it negatively impacts a person's quality of life. Many people with and without diagnosable conditions are chronically disorganized -- and they are CD for a wide variety of reasons." 


Conquering Chronic DisorganizationAmong other topics, Conquering Chronic Disorganization addresses emotional organizing, wholistic organizing, and learning & organizing styles. Judith Kolberg provides organizing suggestions that depart from traditional techniques in an effort to address some of the unique characteristics of those who are chronically disorganized.

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