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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are you ready to get organized?

Last year I got a call from a woman who told me she was frustrated with the condition of her home. A stay at home mom, married to busy guy, a couple of young children in school and a large suburban home. I made an appointment to do an evaluation and formulate a plan.

I found the house in dire need of a complete makeover. Every room was filled with clutter of every kind. Not hoarding clutter, just day to day stuff that had piled up - clothes and toys strewn about, garbage overflowing, papers and books everywhere... Nothing in the house seemed to have a specific place. I called this "the no one knows where to put anything" house. We had a real heart of heart session because one thing was plainly clear to me by the condition of the master bedroom - this marriage was in trouble.

I came home and spent a considerable amount of time writing up a plan and emailed it to her. And I never heard from her again.

It's not the first time that someone has disappeared after an organizing evaluation and I know it won't be the last, because going into someone's home can reveal things that are so deeply sensitive and so very scary to face, that they simply can't "go there" - perhaps they will sometime later, perhaps never. I like to think that she took the plan and implemented it herself, I'll probably never know.

I have an organizing client right now who keeps telling me at every session "wow, I didn't know it would be like this, I didn't know I would feel this way about my stuff, I didn't know this would be so hard, I didn't know this would be so emotional..."

Yes, organizing can be an amazing tool for self discovery. Most of us go through life in a state of "unconsciousness". Just going from one life event to another and dragging our stuff along with us. We bring things into the house one thing at time and some years later we look over our shoulders to ask "where did all this stuff come from?"

So, here's my question - what is your relationship to your stuff? Most people don't have the faintest idea what I mean when we start the process...but they sure do when we finish!

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