As a professional organizer I get to meet a lot of kind, creative, fun people. One of my clients, Tia, is the epitome of these qualities. She has come so far in her decluttering journey- getting rid of her excess possessions and taking control of her home and her life. It occurred to me in the shower one day (where all great ideas happen) that she would be such an inspiration to others who are struggling with “too much stuff.” So I asked if I could interview her for a blog post. Of course she said yes because she’s so great. In her words, here is why she declared war on her stuff and how the process of working with a professional organizer (me!!) has changed her life.
1. What happened to get you to the point where you felt you had too many items in your home?
Backstory: During college I met the man who is now my husband. I never moved back home, as we moved into together and combined our items. Over the years we bought stuff “together” and still had our “own” things. Then when we got married we accumulated a lot more household items than we actually needed, including tons of kitchen items and entertaining pieces.
As if that wasn’t enough, my family moved and I also lost a grandparent so all my childhood items moved back to my possession and were stored in our garage. Every childhood item (my baby clothes, yearbooks etc) came into my small home.
Every room started to “feel full” and I wasn’t enjoying some of the special items I loved. These items were packed away and it wasn’t convenient to get them. I also started closing doors to rooms that looked cluttered. I felt like I didn’t want to have people over because my house wasn’t “clean”. Well it was clean it was just cluttered and never looked the way I wanted it to.
Stuff really becomes “just stuff” when it’s boxed or shoved away and you don’t enjoy it! It also became clutter to my emotional well being. I didn’t realize that until I purged. I use to feel like I needed to be cleaning something but now I can relax without feeling like “I have to be cleaning something!”
2. How did having too much “stuff” feel?
I never realized how much weight and stress I was carrying from the clutter. It’s like a snowball and one day, you just want your house to be a peaceful place of calm and relaxation! And I really wanted to enjoy some of my favorite things!
After the first day of purging I felt SO excited and couldn’t wait to do more! It was exhausting but so so relieving! I didn’t get rid of memories or mementos- I got rid of extra clutter we had accumulated! I now use and display special items now that bring me amazing memories! It’s actually the opposite of what I expected!
3. What made you decide that you needed to declutter some of your possessions?
So many reasons..,
Not feeling rested or peaceful at home on days I needed and wanted to rest.
Not being able to find things. I was tired of searching through cabinets and closets. Now everything has a place and if it doesn’t, I find a place for it or I don’t need it.
Less martial spats over “stuff” – if we are looking for a once a year item like a thanksgiving platter for the turkey, I know exactly where it is!
4. Why did you decide to hire a professional organizer to help with the decluttering process?
After living in our home 10 years, it was obvious I wasn’t able to do it myself.
Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting with a professional organizer but I got way more than I expected! I thought it was just something expensive and that rich people did to arrange million dollar closets! Ha! Was I wrong! My tiny home feels so much more beautiful because it’s organized now!
A professional organizer also comes with a therapy component that I didn’t realize! I can now process my emotions and also place boundaries around STUFF! You notice I keep calling it stuff- that’s all it is!
I also didn’t want to have martial fights with my husband over what to keep and what to purge. With an organizer, we had a neutral party who would ask us “how often do you use this? Need this? Where can we put this?” And if he wasn’t around I just made a pile for us to discuss if needed.
5. How did you feel after the decluttering/organization sessions?
Absolutely excited – after every session I can’t wait to do the next project! And because I now have a resource and a plan, I can actually relax at home again!
6. Has your life changed at all since working with me? If so, how?
I feel like my organizer is a part of the family! The family member that we all dream of, the one that can come over ready to work, help clean and not judge! She knows all the “whys” and excuses for why my house became so cluttered and genuinely loves and accepts me for who I am! She’s kinda like a cheerleader too! She checks in on me and tells me how proud she is, of how far I’ve come!!!
Oh man- I just love that I took a leap of faith and hired an organizer!
7. Is there anything you’d like to tell others who may be struggling with having too many items in their home?
If you are struggling with having too many items, or can’t find or use things you love- ask for help!
If you are buying things when you KNOW you have it at home- ask for help!!
I’d also ask yourself – how much are you willing to pay for peace of mind and relaxation in your own home? If you spend money on Starbucks, manicures, massages, facials etc- you can afford a few hours with an organizer!
Last thing- It actually makes decorating your home more fun! I know exactly what I have and can easily change up my decorations based on time of year, special occasions etc! It’s super fun and easy! Everything has a place and goes right back when the season is over.
I'm so excited you stopped by my blog! I'm passionate about helping others achieve peaceful lives through organization. I want to help you have less stress and more time for the things you love! Let's get started!