My very first client told me “I would put my things away, if only I knew where that was…” That was a pretty telling statement. Now, this woman who was in her 40s was very accomplished and worked at a very technical and responsible job. She was living in a great building, complete with a doorman.
Teaching herself new crafts was her passion. There was a great curiosity about how things worked. The burden of her possessions was growing and she felt more overwhelmed each day.
She called me for help. We met over lunch to see if we were a good fit and set our first appointment.
It wasn’t until I arrived at her home and went to turn the knob to open the door that the truth came out. The rooms in her apartment were overflowing. Her tears flowed. She cried and cried, feeling hopeless. Books lined every wall, towering over 10 feet high. I could not even access some rooms. They were completely filled.
There were tons of books she had purchased to teach herself whatever she wanted to learn. She would go far enough to grasp the basics and then would move on to the next thing. There were new books and supplies to buy, and her home grew filled to the brim. Progress was slow but steady. We helped her understand what to keep and why. The desire to change and the need to be with her family in her home spurred her on.
She had already taken the hardest step. She’d asked for help. So, we got to work. To address the reason she called… to stop feeling overwhelmed and start really living her life. She wanted to have her family visit, and not feel ashamed of her condo, or herself.
Over the next several weeks, we made countless decisions and assigned all her items a home. We got rid of the excess through recycling, donating, selling and trashing the things she could not salvage.
I cannot recall another client who worked as hard as she did to work through all the reasons for her clutter. Her transformation was inspiring. She learned where “away” was, and for the first time in her adult life, she knew where to look for and find things. She felt at ease putting things away and where to put them when she was finished with them. Can you imagine her joy as she slept in an actual adult bed for the first time? Not only could she walk into her kitchen, she could make dinner for her family. Did I mention she was an amazing cook?
We turned that clutter into order and her chaos into peace. Her vision had come to life!