New Series: Intentional Organizing

Jan 2

Photographer Abby Murphy wearing Madewell overalls

I’m starting a new blog series for 2020 all about intentional organizing! Intentional organizing is organizing your life in a flexible, freeing way. It’s about letting go of perfectionism and embracing experimentation. It’s about creating systems structures that feel good for you and don’t leave you even more stressed and anxious. It’s about designing your days to find the most flow and ease so you can feel the most you.

While I do love the organizing hacks splashed all over Pinterest, I’m tackling organization from a holistic, health and wellness perspective. Whether you’re a perfectionist Type A personality like me or someone that could use more organization in their life, keep reading. I can’t wait to bring more of this content to you throughout the year!  

My Organizing Story

I have been a Type A person as far back as I can remember. I was a star student, loved planning out my bedroom décor, and loved keeping my things clean and tidy. Now, I am always making lists, keeping the house in order, and planning for everything. If you were to ask me how my friends would describe me, the first word I’d tell you would be organized. It’s always been my badge of honor.

When I went full time in my business in 2018, I felt excited, free, and confident. But within 5 or 6 months of going full time, I started feeling increasingly anxious and fearful. I was booking clients consistently, building a solid brand, and generally feeling excited about where I was headed. Despite this, fears around money, my abilities, and the future plagued me. I felt these things as I was building my business part-time, but now that I was all-in, they were showing up consistently.

Around the same time I started feeling more anxious about running my business, I met my now friend and coach Chelsea Connors. Chelsea is a life coach for millennials and works with people on the anxiety, fear, and unknowns around young adulthood. Meeting her at this time in my life was a perfect match. After Chelsea and I met at a networking event and quickly decided we wanted to work together. I started shooting photos for Chelsea and she met me weekly for coaching calls.

My work with Chelsea is how I came to think about organizing in a more intentional way. She helped me recognize how my driven, detail-oriented, ambitious, organized personality worked against me in both life and business. When I didn’t live up to my own organization queen standards, I was too hard on myself. I’ve learned to embrace the mess, but it certainly was not always like this, especially as a new full-time business owner.  

When Organization Worked Against Me

Becoming a full-time entrepreneur came with a lot of unknowns and risk-taking. If you’ve ever worked for yourself, you’ll likely relate to some of the things I thought and felt:

  • Everything comes down to me and my skillset. I wear all of the hats.
  • Selling myself feels extremely personal and off-putting
  • Feeling like a fraud or that I’m not experienced enough for certain client jobs
  • Working at home blends my personal and work lives together in ways I didn’t expect
  • There is no validation or direction from anyone else but myself
  • My self-motivation keeps my brain active and always thinking about accomplishing the next thing. There is always something to do or improve
  • Will this last? Will all of my clients disappear one day? When is the next time I’ll get paid?
Photographer Abby Murphy on her journey with intentional organizing

As I continued working with Chelsea, she helped me recognize that I was often using organization to distract myself from truly experiencing my feelings. If I was feeling particularly anxious or fearful, I’d go into organization and planning mode. This would only cause me more anxiety because I never let myself fully relax and let go. I was over-compensating and trying to fix and control everything. 

Since working through these thoughts and fears with Chelsea, I’ve made so many changes to how I approach this Type A side to my personality. I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t. I’ve experimented, adopted new habits, and established routines. When my perfectionistic tendencies do show up in a negative way, I can approach them in a more easeful, intentional way.

Sharing Intentional Organizing With You

As I began planning my 2020, I thought, if I’m experiencing this, I know others are too. I’ve been asking myself how I can share my experience and be of service to others feeling the same way. One thing that came to mind immediately was this topic of intentional organizing. 

I truly love being organized and finding ways to implement organization into different areas of my life. I’ve learned that being organized does not mean I have to be pragmatic, “on” all the time, or plan everything. I can be organized in a flexible, heartful, life-giving way. It can be an incredible tool for designing your ideal life. 

Organization touches literally every category of my life and to be honest, it is a daily practice of letting go and working with my less helpful tendencies when they pop up. My goal is to share what works for me and learn from you.

Whether you’re a type A person like me or someone that is more go with the flow and can use more organization in their life, I hope my stories will help. I’m not sure exactly where it will lead, but I want to talk about it because it feels essential. It’s something I am very much always working on and would love to work on alongside you. Creating content around this topic has already kept me accountable, and I can’t wait to share more. 

Talk To Me!

If you relate, or have any questions or thoughts, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email me at abbymurphyphoto@gmail.com. Talk soon! 

comments +

  1. Paige Smythe says:

    Love this!!!

  2. Emily says:

    This is so me! Thanks for sharing.

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