Most people baulk at paying for the services of a professional organizer. They know they can do what’s required to clear clutter. They are just not doing it. Knowing you can do something and actually doing it are two very different processes. So, in this post I’m going to explain how I help a client clear clutter.
I recently worked with a client to clear her computer room that served a dual purpose as a repository of her daughter’s school papers and school supplies. This is the clutter that greeted us. It was so overwhelming to my client that she’d put off doing the job for months and months.
How did I help her?
- My presence helped her focus on the project. After all, she was paying for my time, so she made time to get the work done. And, just having someone by her side when she face the clutter helped her lower her anxiety. Anxiety about the size of the challenge and not knowing how to address it had probably been blocking her from getting started.
- I figured out where to get started so we could see feel immediate results. I asked her to clear books from the overflowing bookshelf while I began restoring order in the rest of the room.
- I kept the clutter clearing project moving by periodically taking stock of our progress and making decisions about the order in which to tackle different areas of the room.
- I kept track of time and prioritized the work to get the most done in the allotted two hours.
- I helped her make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of when she was uncertain.
- I urged her to let go of many of the books. When she hesitated to get rid of books because they belonged to her daughter, I reminded her that her daughter had outgrown many of the books and that her daughter is not a saver (I knew that because I’d cleared clutter with her daughter in the past).
- I sorted multiple bins of school supplies while she worked on the bookshelf, something that would have been hard for her to do because she doesn’t naturally think in categories, and she would likely have gotten overwhelmed by the quantity and variety of supplies.
- I directed her to where to work next when she finished one project and was uncertain where to go next for the most benefit.
- I helped her clear the little stuff one of desks, something that was overwhelming to her.
- I came up with a storage plan for all the school supplies. I then moved the supplies to their new homes, making sure they were all easily visible and in locations that provided easy access to the supplies that would be used most often.
- I helped her finish up the project by moving boxes of items to donate out of the room and straightening up the space.
Could my client have made this kind of progress working on her own? Could she have done it in two hours? No way! She didn’t even know where to start clearing, much less how to think about what should be kept and what she could let go of.
Working together as a team with me directing the work made all the difference. When we were done she was sighing with relief and had a big smile on her face. Working with a professional organizer cost money, but it also helped her get the clearing done!