I Want to Get Organized!
You may not be one of them, but many people need help when trying to get organized and resist getting that help. The reason may surprise you. People often ask me about hoarders and how people see them. They usually get around to saying something like, “I want some help, but I don’t want to be criticized and ordered around.”
No kidding! In my experience that kind of bullying “assistance” doesn’t help anyway. All it does is make people shut down.
Understanding the need…
The first thing I need to know is, “What is bothering you about this?”
It might seem like a strange question if every horizontal surface is a foot deep in clutter and every available wall is piled with items with only narrow paths for walking. But the important thing is, “What is bothering you?” Because it’s not my project.
I mean whose project is it, anyway?
Bernice (not her real name) was frustrated that she couldn’t find anything. She could barely walk, so she needed everything that she used on a regular basis right within reach of her favorite spot on the sofa. Her coffee table was command central, but with everything heaped there, she couldn’t find anything at all. She was so overwhelmed by the piles of paper, leftover food containers and clutter that she had just given up.
Making matters more challenging was that Bernice was still deeply grieving the loss of her late husband. As we helped her, every time we found something he had used, she felt his loss all over again. She couldn’t bear to throw away even old scribbled grocery lists that he had written. So of course we saved them; making a few special boxes just for those things and put them aside as we went along.
We worked together very slowly, just a few hours at a time, because that was the rate that she wanted to go. As we made more progress, Bernice felt more comfortable letting go of things; she relaxed and felt safe, and in control. In the end, we were able to help her remove all the clutter from the floors, cleared off the furniture so that you could use each for its intended purpose, and turned a formerly inaccessible bedroom into an office.
The key was doing it her way, her pace, with her goals. Because whose project was it? It was hers.
I’m interested to hear about other people’s experiences with professional organizers. Did they listen to your goals and respect your decisions?
Contact Moving Forward for your next organizing project.
You don’t have to make a commitment to go forward.
We would just like to share how we can help you.