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A tale from the trenches

With my client's permission, I'm sharing her organizing story... 

Last week, as part of my training program client practicum, a team of new professional organizers and I worked with a client of mine to declutter and organize her home office. This was not the first time.

Sometimes, it takes repeated work to find what is truly going on with someone’s clutter and disorganization and for the client to be READY for change. As was the case with this client. After an in-depth discussion I discovered what was going on.  Whenever my client came across an item she didn’t know what to do with (mostly gifts people gave her that she felt guilty about not keeping) she moved it upstairs to her home office and placed it on the floor in front of her library shelves, saying to herself, “I’ll decide later.”  That behavior—postponing decisions and moving items she doesn’t know what to do with to a space designated for a different purpose—is what needed to change.  It’s not the decluttering. It’s not the organizing. It’s the BEHAVIOR. 

The client, my team, and I decluttered and organized the space in six hours.  But this time, we did a few things differently.

(1) We placed a decorative cylinder basket by her door (near her recycling) for her to place items she no longer wants, or never wanted. Once the basket is full she will take the items to her favorite donation center.  Why by the door? Because the items need to go out of her home, not to her office upstairs.  She was walking items upstairs to her office, only to discover she needed to walk them back down the stairs and out the door!

(2) We placed her yoga mat and exercise aids on the floor in front of her library shelves as a VISUAL REMINDER to take care of herself and not clutter the floor.

(3) I’m returning once a month for three consecutive months for ACCOUNTABILITY and to cement the new behaviors of making immediate decisions and releasing anything that is not beautiful or useful from her home.

Read her testimonial and see her pictures on my training business Facebook page (February 19 Practicum)—while you are there, feel free to “like” my page. 

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