When I started my business three years ago August 28, 2013 (wow where did the time go!!), I never imagined the roller coaster journey that I would be on. It has been such a worthwhile and never-ending learning experience. I’m happy to share some of what I’ve learned along the way. Below are the Top Ten Things I’ve Discovered on this Three Year Journey:
1. People having an excessive amount of empty organizing products (bins, containers, bags, or anything else that is used to hold things) causing clutter. While most people buy these with the intent of using them to get organized, when these products are laying around not being used, then they are just part of the problem. I always tell my clients to first and then purchase your organizing products. This way you will know exactly what you need and you will be able to put the organizing products to good use as soon as you get them home.
2. People like to use the word “hoarder” or “hoarding”, not realizing the psychological harm it can do to an individual. Just because someone might have a lot of clutter or might be disorganized doesn’t make them a “Hoarder”. Clutter happens to most of us, usually because we have very busy lifestyles. Clutter can also be the result of situational disorganization or happen when someone is chronically disorganized. I help clients with clutter all the time; I can help you bring order to any disorganized space. I bring no judgement with me when I come.
The definition of Hoarding/Hoarder is: the compulsive purchasing, acquiring, searching, and saving of items that have little or no value. The behavior usually has serious effects—emotional, physical, social, financial, and even legal. A hoarder has persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions such as trash, newspapers, magazines, paper and plastic bags, and cardboard boxes. Is suspicious of other people touching possessions. Has obsessive thoughts about possessions: - Fear of running out of an item and needing it later. - Checks the garbage to see if an item was accidentally discarded. Also he or she may have - Loss of living space inside the home (no place to eat, sleep, or cook)
3. Online buying and wholesale stores can lead to excessive buying which can lead to an individual becoming disorganized and cluttered. I tell my clients to think “LESS IS MORE.”
4. Busy lives, no routines, and a disorganized home = stressed out children, which can result in your children having multiple meltdowns, giving you back-talk, showing disrespect, and misbehaving. I help my clients get order and routine back in their lives and they definitely experience more ease and comfort as a result. Everyone in a home benefits from living in a comfy and organized environment.
5. Many people are afraid or too embarrassed to ask for help. Clutter = stress, loneliness, depression, loss of time and loss of money. HELP = success, happiness, extra time, and a sense of freedom that we all deserve!
6. It’s not as bad as one would think. Many people describe their clutter worse than it really is when speaking with me on the phone. As a Professional Organizer, I always provide patience, compassion and experience to get my clients through the process. We can tackle disorganization one pile or one small corner at a time. It is always a wonderful and rewarding experience. Don’t let fear and overwhelm get in the way of your progress.
7. Everything needs a home. Before you decide to buy more things decide where the items you already have will go. Put systems in place to help maintain organized spaces.
8. Time management = success in staying organized. Take 5-10 minutes every day to keep things organized. Take 30 minutes a week to see if there are things that can be eliminated/tossed away. Take 1 hour a month to organize a different room in your house/office/garage.
9. Do Not Throw Out Anyone Else Stuff Without Asking! This is especially true for a hoarder. You might think you’re helping but you are actually causing mistrust and resentment.
10. My work is joyful as I love to help my clients grow. Over the last 3 years I have met so many fabulous and wonderful people. I am thankful to have amazing and appreciative clients, and to receive referrals from friends and family of my clients! I love to watch my clients grow. I truly enjoy the process of helping people learn to enjoy their home and office as we clear and organize their space.
Thank You for Life Simplified for Three Amazing Years! I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years bring!
Annie Kilbride is the CEO of Life Simplified, LLC a professional organizing business.