Not too long ago I was contacted by a client who was in desperate need of help organizing some spaces in her home. She explained to me that the clutter and stuff had gotten so bad that she hated coming home. That she didn't feel comfortable inviting her family and friends over for dinner. It had come to the point where she was completely overwhelmed. Clutter brings chaos to our lives. It has a way of piling up and piling up until we feel it closing in on us. The tough part is once it gets so bad most people don't know how to begin the process of purging. I set off to help my client organize her family room, dining room and her daughter's bedroom.
When I arrived at my client's home, I had no clue how bad it really was. As I started to look around her home it came to me that there was an underlying issue here. Besides the fact that the clutter had just gotten out of hand, there was something else going on. As she and I begin the process of organizing and purging we also began to talk. I asked her questions and I listened as she answered them. Her home was full of stuff for a couple of reasons. One was that she had trouble letting things go as most people with hoarding issues do. The second reason was that she couldn't resist shopping for her two daughters. If she saw something on sale she bought it no questions asked. Because of this there were clothes and toys everywhere. She and I joked about how many clothes really can a child wear in one season? We begin to talk more and I wanted to get down to why she felt the need to hold on to so many things and buy so much stuff. This was not your typical case of "confessions of a shopaholic." She explained to me that when she was younger that her mother never bought her toys or nice things. She said she wasn't sure if her mother didn't know how to raise a little girl since she had sons also, but she never bought her toys or nice things. Could you imagine growing up with no toys? I know I couldn't. Well her way of making up for this was to buy her daughter's toys and clothes whenever she had the chance. She wanted to go out of her way to give them what she didn't have. Don't most of us do that as parents? The toys and clothes made up most of the clutter in her home. Now of course she had the normal clutter of papers, books and all the things that most of us accumulate over time.
I asked my client for her permission to allow me to help her in any way that I could. She said she was willing but that it was going to be hard. I told her that we would take it one step at a time and that I was not there to judge but to help her. As we begin to sort and purge we were able to discuss items that had a sentimental value to her. A wise woman (Barb Schwarz) taught me that it is our job as professionals to ALWAYS honor our client's belongings. Step by step we begin to purge more and more of my client's things and I made sure to honor her things and her memories as she shared them with me. When this project was completed I was so proud of the progress my client made. It was not easy for her and there were times when she was almost overcome with tears. In the end she did such a great job even donating so much of the items she purged to charity. We purged, cleaned and organized and now she has a place that she is proud of.
I am sure that you can understand how touched I am when you read the thank you letter that she sent to me. This is the reason why I love this business. Having the opportunity to help people is such a blessing from God. It is a blessing that I don't take lightly and I will always honor my clients and their things. This experience helped remind me that you should never judge someone because you never know what they have been through. Please see the beautiful thank you that my client sent to me!
I just wanted to sit down and write you a thank you note!
I know it was pretty small for you but I just wanted to know that my life has changed more than words can explain. I knew that I needed help but didn't know how to go about doing it, you know the action part was killing me. I know God places people in your life for a reason and I'm so thankful for it. My heart is so overwhelmed everyday with Joy because of a simple change. My life & days were so scattered and unorganized; I was loosing my mind and a sense of being.
From the bottom of my heart, I really do THANK YOU! I appreciate your time and words of encouragement. I hear your voice every time I'm in the stores overbuying things, "do I need this or is this a want?" And I don't want to go back to the place where I was out! I have a sense of relief everyday especially when I'm in the dining room. I believe the girls room is the icing on the cake which I love the whole organization of things; I always wanted a pretty girls room.
Okay, I'm tearing up so I'm cutting it short!
Again thank you sooooooooooo much! You are GREAT at what you do and I'm looking forward to seeing you on HGTV or somewhere!
P.S. I know I'm not where I want to be....BUT thank GOD I'm not where I use to be!