Something a little different for a change – I received this wonderful email from a client recently and would love to share it with you. She described the decluttering process as it was for her. It was a great assignment with a great outcome.
“I moved into my ‘dream house’ about a year after my husband passed away. It had been a very difficult year, filled with the stress of trying to sell the family home in a very depressed market and the emotions of packing and moving the collective ‘stuff’ and paperwork which a family accumulates over the years. Some of it, a lot of it really, went into a big skip bin and out of my life in one massive hit. The things I didn’t want to deal with right away and which could wait, went into a storage unit, along with furniture that doesn’t fit into my new home, but which ‘the children might want one day’! We’ll come back to that later.
The mass of paperwork which was always looked after by my husband, but which I now had to learn to deal with, was shoved into the little study off the lounge room in my new house. Mounds of files and loose papers were stacked on the shelves, boxes of books and ‘who knows what’ were scattered on the floor, under the desk, on the desk, on the chair, everywhere!
I closed the door to the study and tried not to go in there!
In the meantime, I found myself needing a project to fill my time and give me a purpose. I started a small business and set up my computer on the kitchen bench, because there was really no room in the study. Pretty soon the kitchen had become my pseudo office and the clutter had begun to take over. That was the point when I realised that something drastic needed to be done to get my life, and my house, in order. I also knew that I was not going to be able to do it alone, the task seemed to be just totally overwhelming.
I had been introduced to Helen by a mutual friend a number of years earlier, and I remembered that her business was to help people in exactly the position I now found myself in. I gave Helen a call and we made a time for an initial chat. At that meeting, we identified the scope of the job we had ahead of us and Helen gave me an idea of how long it would take to tackle it. We made a plan.
Helen turned up on the first day and set up a work station outside the study. With her guidance we gradually worked through every single thing in that room, and when we came across something which was difficult for me to cope with emotionally, Helen talked it through with me until I could make a decision about what to do with it. Her calm and sympathetic approach propped me up and helped me to continue with the task, which I would certainly have abandoned had I embarked upon it alone.
It took several sessions, with Helen systematically marking files for the important papers to go into and finding innovative ways of storing the little bits and pieces which were too useful to throw out. At one point, Helen remarked that most of the furnishings in the study and adjoining lounge room were very much related to my late husband, and I didn’t feel as though the study was ‘my space’. With a little bit of shuffling and a couple of new pieces of furniture, the study suddenly became a beautiful, warm, cozy haven. The shelves were filled with some of my own books which we found in one of the boxes and a lot of small mementos which were very personal to me. The transformation was amazing!
We moved the computer off my kitchen bench and onto the, now empty, desk in the study. I now spend many, many happy hours in my beautiful room, where I sit, right now, writing this.
While we were giving new life to the study (and my kitchen), Helen noticed a small room off the kitchen, which I called my ‘scullery’ and which was also full of things ‘that didn’t go anywhere else’. With a bit of the furniture we took out of the study and a clear out of the cupboards, the scullery was re designated as a storage and display room for my new business, blending herbal teas. This room is also now a pleasure to enter. Feel free to check out the website: www.bodybloomtea.com.au
Since then, Helen has helped me to reorganise my garden shed, leaving enough room to eventually move the things I have been keeping in the storage unit which is costing me several hundred dollars a month. That will be our next project!
Making the decision to actually do something about the clutter in your life is a defining moment. It probably happens when you feel at your lowest and you know it will only drag you further down if you don’t do something about it. When you reach that decisive, defining moment, I can only recommend that you harness the energy, invite Helen to join you and brave the emotional storm. You will come out the other side feeling lighter, freer, and happier.”
All the best,
0410 649 481
PS – please feel free to share the ‘Inspiration to Declutter’ with others. It may be just what they’re looking for. Thank you!
PSS – I welcome your feedback – firstname.lastname@example.org
PSS – Notice the wine storage unit in the photo, fitting neatly into the empty space to the left of the shelves…just in case you thought we drank the wine on the job! xx