Professional Organizing Tips and Resources.
At one of our local chapter meetings of Professional Organizers in Canada, we had a wonderful psychology student come by to talk to us about her research into hoarding. It certainly was one of our better attended meetings, which was no surprise to us as we know that more and more people are identifying with some of the traits this condition is known for.
It was was very interesting to learn about the perspectives and various traits people exhibit that have tendencies to hoard, and also what some mistake as hoarding yet are only really either untidiness, collecting or even just a difficulty in making decisions. Since I am no expert on the disorders that lead to hoarding, I won't go into this topic to deeply.
The big 'take away' of this meeting...
Our speaker, Kristie, explained some of the major challenges people with this newly defined disorder suffer from. Clearly the ability to make decisions about things, and being able to trust they are in the drivers seat to make the hard choices of letting go is key.
One big thing to remember when helping someone through the process of making decisions and letting go is that trust can be damaged in a heartbeat. When someone, trying to help, starts throwing things away without letting the individual be part of the decision, there can be no progress in the long run.
As an organizer, no matter who I am working with, the choice is not mine to tell a client what they should or shouldn't keep. What I can do is help them to define their own goals, set some criteria in which things can stay or go, and help them get the work done.
In case you were wondering why is it so hard for some to part with things, try imagining this for a moment...
If you can imagine this I am sure that you can also imagine how hard it would be to come to any conclusions about what to toss, let alone what categories things will be sorted into so you can organize your space.
Sure, it's going to take longer to sort and purge and get organized when working with someone experiencing these challenges, yet unless they are the one making the choice for themselves the skill it takes to maintain a level of organization it not going to be theirs.
The client needs to be the driver.
It is the client that must decide the rules by with decisions to keep or toss are made. They must be the ones then making the choice and parting with the items.
We as organizers will assist. We will help them come to those choices by asking questions, by empowering them, by supporting them through the process, by reminding them of the benefits they told us they want to enjoy as a result, and by assisting when needed with the physical work that may be too much for them.
Need help organizing? Michelle serves the Carleton Place, Lanark County and Ottawa areas.