Updated: May 26, 2021
I think we can all agree that the past 18 months have been rough. I don't know about you, but my family will remember 2020-21 as a period of time when everything was just a lot harder than it probably needed to be. I have been really busy in this business, despite (or maybe because of) all of this: I have received a lot of people needing my help because their clutter is getting to them. Sometimes it's theirs, sometimes it's another family member's clutter, they are just done. One of the common comments I hear is "I'm kind of a hoarder" or "my ____ (husband, son/daughter, mother/father) is such a hoarder." It breaks my heart when I get a call from a client who feels this way ….Why? Because it’s become a catch word for people who struggle with their environment and feel like they have too much stuff! Hoarding—real hoarding—is a difficult thing to overcome and usually needs professional help. Hoarding is a SYMPTOM, not a problem.
Having trouble getting loose of items you’ve held onto isn’t a medical disorder. My job is to help them (you?) by gently giving you permission to offload some of that extra stuff and bless someone else with it, or be ok with letting it go. Organizing is pretty 3 step easy: Sort, purge, and organize what’s left. The first two steps are the hardest, the last is actually freeing….
So here’s a little encouragement to help you out:
1) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Grab a buddy! Do your space, then trade and do theirs. Don’t have someone who you can call? Then its ok to call a professional. Professional organizers like myself are here to HELP you. Not judge you. A sympathetic ear and an extra set of hands make the task a lot easier! We often know tips to streamline the process.
2) Pick one space (room, closet, drawer, whatever) and start there. Once you get that space done, you feel so much better, it’s easier to move on.
3) Start with the positive! Ask yourself: what do I LIKE about this space? Every space has something positive about it—focus on that first and move toward that! Great lighting in your living room? Love the floor in your bathroom? Laundry room handy because it’s right off the kitchen? Find something positive about the space first. Then build from that.
4) When you are purging (getting rid of extra items), use BLACK TRASH BAGS. Once the item goes in, it’s not staring at you through the sides of the bag encouraging you to yank it back out “just in case”
5) Be honest with yourself (this is where the buddy comes in)—do you NEED service of china for 12? If you do entertain, how often do you need fine china for 12? Do you really need 4 blue sweaters? How often have you worn them? Doing a Costco run and coming home with 6 bottles of shampoo? How dirty IS your hair exactly?
6) Be ok with BLESSING OTHERS with your extra goods, products, etc. Be grateful that you are at a point in your life where you don’t need or use some of the extra items, or wear those 4 blue sweaters, or are ok with having 12 guests for a BBQ instead of a sit down formal dinner for 12. Ask yourself “who can I bless with this_______?”. Then bless them.
7) As with all tasks, start small, breathe, appreciate your progress, and be blessed with the outcome.
Remember, It’s not about the stuff…..