Decluttering client story: Shift the needle on the clutterJun 23, 2020
I started working with Shannon* towards the end of 2019. She contacted me after seeing one of my social media posts shared in a Facebook group, and decided we were a great fit to work together after my site visit. It’s one of the reasons that meeting in person before we kick off is important – I’m Energetic! (with a capital ‘E’ and an ! at the end) and that type of energy and enthusiasm isn’t for everyone. We did a couple of one-off sessions, then at the beginning of the year Shannon signed onto one of my project packages, which gave her 20 hours to spend with me in various spots around her home.
It’s important to note here that Shannon is not a hoarder. In fact, none of my clients are hoarders – they are simply busy women who have begun to feel overwhelmed by the things in their homes and have decided that it’s the right time to start shedding some of those things. Often, it isn’t all their own stuff – sometimes they’ve inherited parents’ belongings, sometimes they’ve been entrusted to mind precious things when their kids leave home. I think there comes a time in many women’s’ lives where they naturally start to think along the lines of “what about me?” and “when do I get to use my home for my own stuff?” They’re fed up with being the family storage unit; however, that accumulation doesn’t happen in one weekend, and so neither should we expect the decumulation to be a fast process. It is physically and emotionally tiring work, which is why enlisting help from a pro is such a great way to shift the needle on decluttering projects.
We set about clearing the physical space, and in the process Shannon regained precious headspace. I helped Shannon make decisions, without judgement, without pressure or bullying, and steadily we worked away at the accumulated “stuff”. At the end of each session, I’d take away all of the unwanted items immediately – this is one of the greatest ways in which I can help my clients. It prevents them from second-guessing their decisions (also known as declutterer’s remorse!) and gives the instant and obvious gratification of more space. Working together on a project package meant that Shannon had the ultimate in flexibility – our sessions could last 3 hours, or if her energy was low or she had other priorities, we could crank through a 1 hour session and STILL be moving the needle on the project. (Note: project packages are the only way to work with me on a 1 hour basis, one-off sessions are a minimum of 3 hours.)
We are heading towards the end of our project package now and the progress has been phenomenal. Not only has space been created in Shannon’s home for her to re-imagine the possibilities of how she might like to use it, but her decluttering muscle is so much stronger. I’ve seen a few things kicking around since our first session that weren’t quite ready to be released, that are now heading off with me in the van when I leave. We’ve also found some interesting items for disposal that can’t just go in the bin (for example, mercury thermometers). They’re now my problem to dispose of, not hers. This is another way in which I serve my clients; I take tricky items off their hands and off the to-do list, and therefore out of their physical and headspace.
We’ve worked hard, as a team, to get this far. And it’s been fun! I genuinely look forward to our sessions together and I think Shannon does too – we share stories and laughs, all the while working away, shifting the needle. I keep things moving along when Shannon needs a coffee or water break – it gives me a huge amount of pleasure to say “Take a load off, I’ll keep going”, knowing that we’re still working towards her ultimate goal without setting a brutal pace that would be unsustainable and unenjoyable.
Do you want to make an ongoing project of decluttering your home? It doesn’t have to be wham-bam-thank-you Ma’am – we can work towards your personal goals over weeks or months, depending on your energy and availability. I offer payment plans for all project packages; the first thing to do is book your clutter-busting mini-consult so we can get the ball rolling. Then we’ll be shifting the needle on YOUR clutter, before you know it.
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