Discovering Cycles & Seasons of Organizing

by Lisa Woodruff

May 8, 2020 | Episode 334 | 37:54

The Organize 365 Story – Part 2

This is part 2 of a series sharing the Organize 365 Story. This week, I want to share the cycles and seasons you will experience along your transformational journey to an organized life. This podcast and our new glossary will help the Organize 365 community to have a shared vocabulary and foundational language.

No matter when you begin your transformational journey (or when you need to reset or restart), this information will be here as a reference for you. Listen in as I teach you about the cycles and seasons that influence your organizing journey and that are at the core of everything I teach and how I approach organizing.

Ages & Generations

We all use our homes to help take care of our basic needs. We sleep, eat, dress, get ready to go out in the world, and sometimes even work from home. However, the way we use our home is influenced by our age, the number of people in the home, and the area of the world we live in.

In addition to our actual ages, we are influenced by our generation. Each generation is defined by life experiences that influence their thoughts for the rest of their life. Behaviors and ways of seeing the world are impacted by things like the Kennedy assassination, the Challenger explosion, or the 2020 Coronavirus shelter at home experience. The coming of age experiences, economic conditions, and mood in the US all shape the personality of a generation. As we live through these events, their impact reverberates through the lifetime of those who experience them.

Listen in to the podcast as I share how both age and generation impact how we think about physical items, how we decide what to purchase, how attached we are to keeping or discarding, how we place a value on the things we have, and what the items mean to us.

Life Phases


As a professional organizer, I observed that women generally progress through four different life phases. No matter if you have children or not, we all progress through these at roughly similar times. Sometimes these phases do vary by a few years depending on individual circumstances. In the podcast, I share the details of childhood, accumulation, survival, and downsizing and how your phase of life affects your organizing needs. Each phase of life requires you to learn and develop new skills to be organized in your home and life.

Podcast Episode 78 has more depth on life phases.

The Mindset of Organization is my book from 2016 that has more of this information too.

Stages of Organization


In each phase of life, in order to achieve an organized life and to have the capacity to pursue your unique purpose, you must work through each of the three stages of organization. In the podcast, I share the focus and skills needed to declutter, organize, and increase productivity.

Declutter – removing things you no longer need or want

Organize – putting like things together and into a designated space or container

Increase productivity – getting more done in less time by identifying tools and techniques like planning, task stacking, and task batching

Golden Windows

Golden windows is a phrase I created to help articulate different times that are optimal for getting started on your transformational journey to organizing. Golden windows open at certain times when organizing energy can be higher than normal and can lead to making big progress towards organization. Occasionally, multiple golden windows align and the energy overlaps and you can make incredible progress towards organization. In the podcast, I detail some of the golden windows – each calendar year has three natural times to get organized. Additionally, changing life phases, life changing events (new baby, new home, new job), and other golden windows are explained and identified. For even more information on opportunities to make progress on your organization, check out Podcast Episode 242.