Guest Guru: Lisa Montanaro – DECIDE™ to Be Organized: An Empowering Process for Change

DECIDE™ to Be Organized: An Empowering Process for Change

By Lisa Montanaro, Principal of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC, a professional services firm LLC ( and

“There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.” ~ Psychologist William James

In my years of experience working with clients to improve their organizing systems, I have noticed a trend. Disorganized people and organizations often have difficulty making decisions. Indeed, these people and organizations get stuck in decision-making mode, causing delay and stress, which in turn leads to physical and mental clutter.

We are bombarded with decisions on a daily basis — some vital, some trivial. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid decision-making if we want to function in today’s busy world. What we can control is our ability to make decisions in a manner that ultimately frees us from all of the clutter.

Organized people and organizations are great decision-makers. By great, I do not mean that they make all decisions well. Instead, they make decisions quickly, efficiently, and in a manner that avoids undue stress and delay. To be fair, many organized people and organizations make poor decisions, otherwise known as mistakes. The difference is that they learn from these mistakes, and then are able to move on. They are, therefore, able to free themselves of the constant fretting and worrying that often accompanies decision-making in the minds of disorganized people and organizations. This behavioral shift makes a world of difference.

Webster’s Dictionary defines the term decide as “to arrive at a solution that ends uncertainty; to induce to come to a choice; to make a choice.” Thus, to decide embodies an active process of change. The end result is freedom from the mental clutter caused by over-thinking too many decisions, as well as the physical clutter that results. When a person or organization is unclear as to goals and priorities, the person or organization invariably keeps too many physical items. How often do you utter the following phrases or hear these phrases from those around you? “I might need that someday,” “We may use that down the road for a new business project,” “I’m not sure if I want that; I’ll just hold onto it for now.” The culmination of these delayed decisions causes the physical and mental clutter.

DECIDE™ is an empowering process that leads to change. It will assist you in achieving results at home, at work, and in life in general. While the process guides a person or organization in making decisions that lead to a more organized state, it is itself a decision; a decision to take control. Therefore, in order for it to be effective, you must decide to DECIDE™ — exercise the power that you have to move forward, and make changes.

So how does the process work?

D = Discover what you have and want at home, at work, and in life
E = Eliminate what is unnecessary and does not further your goals
C = Categorize what remains
I = Implement a system designed to match your needs, habits, work and lifestyle
D = Dedicate yourself to maintaining your effective new system and integrating it into your life
E = Enjoy the freedom and positive results that being organized brings

So I challenge you to take the DECIDE™ journey. Through DECIDE™, you will get better organized, take control, and make positive changes. While you may never be “perfectly organized” (can anyone, really?), you can use the DECIDE process to make your home, work, and life function smoother. This will enable you, in turn, to achieve the bigger, more meaningful goals you are reaching for. What will be your reward for getting organized? Figure out what it is that you want to enjoy, and then get ready for new opportunities and experiences to enter your life.

Copyright © 2009 Lisa Montanaro, LM Organizing Solutions, LLC

About the Author
Lisa Montanaro, “The Solutions Expert,” is Principal of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC, a professional services firm created in 2002 that offers professional organizing, business and life coaching, and motivational speaking to individuals and organizations. Lisa publishes the monthly “DECIDE™ to be Organized” e-zine for the general public, and “Next Level Business Success” e-zine for entrepreneurs. Subscribe today at Through LMOS, Lisa helps people deal with the issues that block personal and professional change and growth. To explore how LMOS can improve your home or work environment, or help take your business to the next level, contact Lisa at (845) 988-0183 or by e-mail at