I worked with this client for several months on decluttering, paperwork management/productivity, and a dash of decorating.
Kind words from Alice:
“Working with Celia on clearing my space was faster and easier than I imagined. Her calm, supportive and focused presence helped me continue the process. On my own I would have gotten overwhelmed and distracted. Instead, I have a great space that works for me!”
We dove right in the first day and tackled this desk and surrounding papers. My client was focused and determined to go through her paperwork piece by piece with my assistance. We updated her paperwork system: folders with current projects got filed upright on top of the desk, and the hanging folder storage in the bottom desk drawer now stores less used, but still important, paperwork.The nightstand was cleaned and tidied. Everyday items and current books on the top, books to be read soon on the bottom.This client hired me mainly to help unpack and sort twelve boxes (pictured below) that she had from emptying a storage unit. A lot of the boxes contained memorabilia, but we’ll get to that later! In order to make storage room for the items in the boxes, it was neccessary to start organizing the master closet first. Above you can see the before shot along with a progress photo. We started by sorting through the items on the floor and in the two boxes.Master Closet After. The floor is clear and there is space on the shelf below the clothes to add more storage boxes when needed.Closet FloorThis lone shelf was put to good use for holding boxes with smaller items.It took us several sessions to finish these boxes and it felt so good to break down the last one! We unpacked these boxes according to contents: ones containing memorabilia were saved for last. What are memorabilia? Memorabilia are objects kept because they are associated with past people or events. These items are the hardest for me (and most others) to let go of. I suggest organizing these items last. I believe if you’ve been organizing and letting go of other non sentimental items, by the time you get to the memorabilia you will be in the correct mindset to more easily part with items that at first seemed impossible to say goodbye to.Mid memorabilia sorting! We kept piles of similar items to be stored back in the bedroom closet. The plastic boxes on the couch got filled with family photos and items from favorite past trips.
Clutter under the bed can weigh on your mind. My client donated many books, and her favorites were stored in containers to easily fit under the bed.Kitchen Drawer After. I forgot to take a before picture of the kitchen junk drawer but trust me it did not look anything like this! It was stuffed to the brim and you definitely couldn’t see the bottom. I knew this drawer had been weighing on my clients mind from the first time I pulled it open. I could sense hesitation, so I didn’t suggest going through it at all during our first sessions. As it turns out, I didn’t have to suggest it! One of the boxes we sorted through contained contents from her previous kitchen junk drawer. She ended up getting rid of almost everything in that box, and as soon as we finished she said, “let’s go do the kitchen drawer!” Seeing how easy it was to sort through the boxed junk drawer contents gave her the drive to tackle the current one.
Trying to organize objects when they are in the place you’ve been storing them does not work well. The items (and you) become attached to them being there. I work with clients to empty the place we are organizing of all contents to clean and reset the space. As you bring items back into the space, while deciding which ones no longer need to be there, the attachment will subside. This will allow you to see how the space is ok, better even, without some of the items it had before. This method is (part of) how I worked with my client, and is the reason she will be able to successfully continue organizing her items after our time together.