There are times when it seems as if the clutter will never, ever end. I spent Saturday morning working with a young widow to continue organizing just one floor of her home. A massive amount of clutter has already been removed from her home. Ten truck loads to be exact which included over 800 books, a treadmill, a 50 gallon salt water fish tank (and all the accessories), tools, clothes, miscellaneous stuff and simply junk that was not needed any more. She knew that their hobbies which included ceramics, crafts, “gaming”, sewing and reading books had taken over their home and it was always their intention to get organized. Really, it was! The plan was to work through it all together and eliminate clutter and donate items that they weren’t using any longer. They just hadn’t gotten around to it. And, they found out that this was just not to be.
Several years ago, her husband became very sick and within six months she became a widow. Not only did face the reality of losing her best friend of 25 years, she was left alone with absolutely no family and very few friends – but that she was going to have to handle all of this clutter by herself. Until we met!
While it has been a slow process (believe me, anything that could have gone wrong has gone wrong), I continue to be amazed with her change in mindset and attitude that is a major contributor to the results that we are experiencing. Let’s see, there was an incompetent contractor involved (which cost an enormous amount of money and time) along with a water pipe that burst which again put projects our organizing on hold until it could be resolved. Throughout it all though, she has been patient and continued to manage to keep a positive attitude toward everything. She has an amazing contractor now who has fixed, painted, and has installed shelving to hold the massive amount of “gaming” materials that she has accumulated over the last 25 years. Places have been designated for holiday items, crafting materials, books, ceramics and we are making amazing progress.
It is with her permission that I am sharing her story with you. She is a prime example of being realistic with your goals of de-cluttering your space. The accumulation of items didn’t happen overnight, it developed over 25 years of marriage. The reality is that it would not get organized, uncluttered and sorted in a short period of time. Thousands of dollars have been donated to our local Goodwill Store and we aren’t quite done yet. It has been a great tax write-off for her. (Of course, everything has been documented for tax purposes).
When you are dealing with decades of clutter, it is important to be realistic. There are a multitude of emotions involved, sadness, depression, good memories and some not so good that may affect the level of your progress. Be realistic in your expectations and strive to continue moving forward. I can already see the smile in her eyes – the reality of being able to have new friends over to craft and play games in a space that she will love again. This is my dream for you too.