When my friends send me pictures and text messages showing themselves de-cluttering their space and getting organized, it just makes me so happy. *squeals* But I also find it funny when they try to hide their purse clutter from me or say things like, "I can't let you see my closet." Who do they think I am? The organizing police? Even though I'm an organized person, I don't judge because I'm not perfect but what sets me a part is that I can quickly implement systems and take action. I now recognize that many people struggle with that part which is totally fine and it's the reason that Professional Organizers like myself and others exist. It's a gift, a talent that I'm very proud of because it has allowed me to make a difference in the lives of my clients who can now walk into their closet and pick out their favorite shirt to wear or fill lighter and less stressed when working out of their home office. Educating, empowering, encouraging and helping others get organized is my gift to the world.
Now with the recent release of "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo" on Netflix it seems like everyone is in the mood to take a closer look at their items to determine what "sparks joy." And I love that! Now more than ever, I believe people are really starting to understand that, "being organized is a lifestyle and not a chore," and that when you're not organized it can leave a negative impact on you, your space and loved ones. If you watched the series then you may have witnessed some small hiccups in a few episodes where one person desired order and structure while the other person appeared to struggle when it came time to depart with their items and grasp the concept that all items must be stored in a specific place. This is 'organizing 101' which is what I teach the clients that I work with, that everything must have a specific storage space. If an item belongs in the bathroom then it should be stored inside of the bathroom and not in the living room. I also feel that people believe organizing is all about matching hangers, pretty labeled baskets and high-end products and yes, organizing can include those aspects but for me it's about implementing systems. You can utilize all the pretty baskets you may like but if there is not a solid system or foundation put into place then that pretty basket becomes susceptible to clutter or another item that's just taking up space. As Nonnahs, from GetOrganizedAlready stated and I agree with her - every space is not going to be considered worthy for the 'gram (Instagram that is) with pretty products but what it will have is a functional system in place to prevent clutter from taking over.
People are raving about the show on the internet and social media - so I decided to share my perspective from a professional organizer viewpoint.
Here's What I Would Have Loved To See
I enjoyed watching the show and engaging with my audience via social media and via the 'Soleful Sunday Newsletter' which you can subscribe to here. And I can't deny that the show definitely created a lot of buzz so here are some things that I would have loved to witness on the show:
Marie Organizing: I would have enjoyed witnessing Marie organize the spaces as opposed to the clients organizing. Personally, when I work with clients, I will assist them with the de-cluttering process because what I have encountered is that clients enjoy having someone by their side hold them accountable. However, when it comes to actually organizing the space, that's where my expertise comes into play. I come up with the organizing plan and design layout based off of the needs of the client. So, maybe for television purposes, production was unable to capture that or maybe wanted to show how clients can actually organize their space on their own. But for me, it would have been great to see Marie in action.
Long Project Times: In the docuseries, the clients were assigned homework, and I have suggested that clients begin their de-cluttering process before the start of the project by separating items into categories: keep, donate or discard - which helps to prepare the client for the day of the project. The other reason for suggesting this is that many clients that I have encountered are just ready to get it over with and want their space in order because they're tired of looking at the 'mess.' Therefore, to witness the long project times that lasted for 20-30 days did make me a little anxious because I kept thinking what if they give up or revert back to their old ways. Why? Because let's be honest, getting organized is not an easy feat, especially if you watched the show and saw that it requires hard work and determination just like becoming healthy or financially sustainable which requires the same efforts. You also need a strong mindset which I have talked about here to guide you through the process because there may be times where you want to quit. So, when clients were left alone, it made me nervous because typically, I'm present to re-assure my clients that they will reach their end goal. However, I had to remind myself that for television purposes, maybe there was a reason to film the show in the format in which they did. At the end of the day, I was happy to see how much progress had been made from all of the clients.
Here's What I Liked About The Show
Now there are a few things that I really liked about the series and enjoyed watching. I appreciated Marie's non-judgmental spirit when working with the clients and challenging the clients in a very thought-provoking way that many of the clients came to make decisions on their own. Marie was very gentle but she showed her commitment and strength to tidy up the spaces because she was not intimidated by the cluttered.
Greeting the Space: I am all about setting intentions, being intentional and conscious - whatever you want to call it. So, it really resonated with me when Marie took the time to greet each home along with the residents and take a few moments to appreciate the space. For me, I believe by doing this, you are setting the intention to transform your space into the organized haven that it's destined to be. To add, everything is also about energy. Have you ever walked into a space and just felt the good vibes oozing out of the walls which made you feel at peace? Or what about a moment where you entered into a space and the energy was off and you could just feel it? That's why it's so important to make your home feel inviting and create good energy within the space and not fill up it with just "things" just for the sake of doing so. I have had friends come over to my apartment and tell me that my space feels so serene and that makes me happy to hear. It means that the pieces that I selected to bring into my home were intentional and did exactly what I wanted them to do - make my space feel warm and inviting.
Expressing Gratitude: I liked that Marie took the time to instruct the individuals to thank their items for serving a purpose before parting ways with them. By expressing gratitude you're being intentional that the item no longer has a purpose with you but you send it on it's way with good energy so that someone else may find it beneficial. I'm a huge fan of donating items to charitable organizations and causes because too many people are in need of so much. It's really a win for everyone involved because your space is being cleared and you're helping someone else in the process. So, what may not "spark joy" for you anymore may "spark joy" for another grateful human being.
Getting Children Involved: We have all heard the saying, "teach them while they're young" and if you start them early by teaching them the importance of cleaning up after themselves then it's something that they should be able to easily reference throughout life. When I was younger, my mother always told me to return items back to their initial storage place. Why? Because this helps with being able to locate that item when needed instead of asking where it is or struggling to locate it. I liked that Marie encouraged the parents to involve the children to de-clutter and tidy-up. It's very common for children to mimic what they see being done, so if the parent is organized or is organizing then the child may very well pick that up. In one episode, Marie shared that her daughter neatly folds her clothes because she sees Marie doing this.
In one episode, there was a brother and sister who shared a space and the siblings mentioned that they felt bad for having to disturb their mother when it came time to find items they needed. So, I was very pleased that they were eager and proactive to tidy up their shared space. I also feel that it speaks to their character that they were able to articulate that their mother does a lot and that they have a lot of respect for her because they don't want to add to her stress and being tidy can definitely minimize stress. By getting organized and de-cluttering, it can bring the whole family together and even be considered a fun task because everyone plays an important role by contributing to make the space feel like a home.
Overall, I'm just thrilled about the show highlighting the importance of investing in a professional organizer. We may have different approaches and techniques but the end goal is to ensure that the space is organized and the client is satisfied. There are some key takeaways that I liked and am considering incorporating into my line of work such as taking a deep breath before getting started and reminding the client that the intention is to dwell in space that is clutter-free and envision the space being organized. If you were skeptical about the gift that a professional organizer possesses then I hope your skepticism has disappeared. We are definitely needed and we are changing spaces and lives one day at a time. If you are struggling to get organized then be sure to email me and let's work together on restoring the order within your space.
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