CORA, CHRONICALLY DISORGANIZED: My mind was just filled with clutter of what was going on in my house. Constantly, when I would go out, when I'd stay here, I was always thinking about it, as I am right now.
ANNOUNCER: Clutter had taken over Cora's life.
CORA, CHRONICALLY DISORGANIZED: My son or my daughter would come periodically and organize. Or put things in order. And it was in disarray within three or four weeks.
PATRICIA DIESEL, PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER: Chronic disorganization is really just a couple pockets deeper than someone who's just temporarily disorganized. There is a history to it and it really does affect the quality of life. It is a true stress factor, because, when you walk into a room that is filled with chaos and clutter, automatically, your energy is going to be drained.
ANNOUNCER: Many people like Cora struggle with chronic disorganization, according to professional organizer Patricia Diesel.
PATRICIA DIESEL, PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER: The big myth here is that, you know, organization is supposed to be very, very easy and it's not for a lot of people. Chronic disorganization does not discriminate. It doesn't matter our financial background or educational background, where we live.
ANNOUNCER: The first step towards getting organized is recognizing what's under the clutter.
PATRICIA DIESEL, PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER: Sometimes it's unfinished business. Sometimes it's too painful to go back to the piles because there's something in there that's going to reveal about themselves that they need to complete and they're not ready to do that. Or sometimes it's because there's no systems in place and the systems that they think are working for them really don't work for them.
ANNOUNCER: Cora decided she needed professional help to end her chronic disorganization.
CORA, CHRONICALLY DISORGANIZED: It's slow. But I feel better. It's important. It's an investment. And when you make an investment, you work towards a goal and that's what I'm doing.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on today's Once Daily.