Are you so embarrassed by the state of your home that:
You no longer invite friends round?
You don’t let the kids have friends over to play?
You won’t let workmen in to carry out repairs and jobs around the house?
You live in fear that your guilty secret will be discovered?
You are fearful of being judged?
You are even too embarrassed to ask for professional help?
Your house has become an obstacle course - impossible to keep clean. You may not be a hoarder (like those poor people you see on the TV), but you know you have difficulty letting things go (just in case you may need them some day). Your home has become your prison. If any of this resonates with you then you are probably feeling overwhelmed, consumed with inertia, and most likely fairly depressed.
Perhaps you have allowed one or two ‘Helpful Friends’ in on your dilemma and of course, being good friends they naturally thought they knew how to help sort out the mess: wanting to simply scoop everything up and send it to charity or the tip, put away your precious bits and pieces, then ‘job done’.
Perhaps you are almost ready to ask for help from a Professional Organiser but those helpful friends strongly warn you against unnecessarily wasting money on something that can be easily sorted. But you know they simply don’t understand that it just isn’t that simple, and your stress levels seem to escalate at the idea.
It takes courage to make initial contact with a professional – someone you have never met, but this can actually be an advantage as it is often much easier sharing our stories with someone who doesn’t know us and who can be totally impartial. So many people say to me that they are extremely embarrassed to show me around their home and have I ever seen anything as bad as this before? The answer is almost always; ‘yes’; and I have probably seen much worse! I have worked in tiny homes in areas of social housing to stately homes with over 20 rooms (and everything in between). Often crammed to the brim and sometimes with rooms piled almost to the ceilings, with doors that will barely open. Everyone is different and every job is different. Most of my clients are ‘normal people’, (if such a person exists) who seem somehow to have allowed life circumstances to overwhelm them, causing loss of self esteem, lethargy and distress. All of this has a knock on effect with relationships, the general functioning of the household and family life.
Many have complex health issues often contributing to their clutter; Debilitating Illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, Stroke, ME, and Cancer, often accompanied by mental health issues including depression. Some suffer from Hoarding Disorder or have hoarding tendencies and emotional attachment issues. Others are what I would term 'chronically disorganised', seemingly unable to see the chaos they create, and requiring help to get systems in place, plus ongoing periodic support to keep things in order.
Working in a holistic way, I don’t just looking at the clutter. Clutter is an outer manifestation of our inner emotional turmoil, so I work gently to uncover blocks to letting go and check in with my clients regularly on their stress levels and how they feel they are doing. If something gets really difficult, painful or distressing we may leave that particular item or area for the day, and move to something different. Tears sometimes flow, but that is good as it is all part of the cleansing and letting go process. I never 'make' anyone throw anything away, or do anything that they are not comfortable with. What’s kept and what’s not is entirely your decision. My job is to help guide you towards the goals you set for yourself. I am hands on and we work together at your pace, clearing, tidying, cleaning, organising, and if required I also take away charity items for distribution You can of course do this yourself, but many people like to get discarded items off the premises immediately so there no temptation to revisit the bags after I leave!
You can find an organiser in your area through the APDO website (The Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers) www.apdo-uk.co.uk, and then check out the links to their website as this will give you a flavour of what each does. We are all very different and have our individual styles and methods of working, but all are generally drawn to this work by a passion to help others. You will probably feel drawn to some more than others, so go with your intuition on this as it is usually right, and definitely check out the testimonials.
Finally, please be assured you can definitely get your house back on track.