The recent Nor’easters plunged many New Englanders into the dark. The lights went out, along with the heat and hot water, the Internet, and phone service. We were left powerless.

Downed wires and fallen tress across roadways and on rooftops made for dangerous conditions and added to the prolonged toil of digging out in the hopes of getting back to normal quickly. The days stretched on endlessly for some, and promises of flipping the switch were only a dream away. We were at the mercy of utility workers, who no doubt were working feverishly around the clock, to identify the causes of the damage and restore the simple and everyday amenities we have come to take for granted.  Many a conversation began with, “Did you lose power?” Just about everyone had a story to tell - how cold it was in their homes without heat, how disconcerting it was not to have TV available, regrets of not owning a generator, and how long it took for the power to be restored.

So often, I hear people use the word ‘overwhelming’ when referring to their cluttered homes and disorganized offices. In other words, they feel powerless.

Being without power as a result of severe weather conditions was a temporary situation, and being prepared with charged devices, flashlights and batteries, candles and the matches to light them, helped make the situation bearable, feeling a bit like an adventure. The constant state of feeling powerless to clutter and disorganization, however, feels like anything but an adventure. In fact, studies and research have shown that clutter is a direct source of stress.

Just as it’s always a good idea to prepare for the possible eventualities before a storm threatens, there’s no need to wait to get your home organized. Prepare it to use just the way you wish, knowing where to find things at a moment’s notice – especially when the lights go out.

Be powerful.