I am working with a client who has a lot of things. He knows he has a lot of things and is bothered by the clutter it causes. He was reluctant to work with an organizer because he struggles to let go of things. The fear of being forced to discard something, or of needing to validate his own feelings, kept him from starting the project.
I want people to know that organizing does not have to include getting rid of things. I do think that life and organization is easier when you have less things, and that if you keep the same amount of things in the same space it will probably still be crowded, but there is a lot we can do to bring more order to a cluttered home – even if everything is kept.
Things like clothes, books, CDs, DVDs, memorabilia, jewelry, photographs, dish collections, antiques, home décor, makeup, technology gadgets, etc. can be fun to collect. When a lot accumulates, however, it can be difficult to know what one has. As the collection grows, organizing and tracking it can become overwhelming so things end up stacked on top of each other.
With my current client, we are sorting his belongings by type. Once we’ve done that, he can ‘shop’ his own collection deciding what he wants the most access to. Those things will stay in primary spaces. Other things will be put in bins and sent to secondary spaces (basement/attic/storage units). Maybe, in 6 months, or 6 years, he will decide he no longer wants these things. He might get tired of having space taken up his collections. Or he might not. And that is ok.
I don’t want my clients to ever feel worried about organizing for fear that they will not be able to keep what they want. And I never want a client to regret something that we did during a session. I have another client who directs me to be tough because she wants to downsize – and that works too. When a job is done, clients should not feel stressed by the amount of stuff in their space, nor should they be anxious over having parted with something that they were not ready to part with. I want all my clients to be able to sleep peacefully with a sense of accomplishment in a home that fits their preferences!