Decluttering for better mental health.
This is a story of a young woman we will call ‘Jane’. How decluttering helped her mental health and wellbeing.
We all know how serious mental health issues can be and how they can take over our daily life. How someone appears on the outside may not necessarily be what is hiding on the inside. I often work with clients that have mental health issues but this client was different. For privacy reasons we will call her Jane.
A chaotic mind…
Jane’s apartment was in desperate need of help. Not only was it cluttered and unsanitary for everyone that entered her space (including her) but it was also a form of chaos in her mind. Jane had been offered assistance many times in the past. However, they were either not allowed into her space or they were ‘kicked out’ just as quickly as they entered the doorway due to personality conflicts, her mood or other unknown reasons we may never understand. Out of all the assistance that she was offered over the years I was the only one she would let into her space longer than a few minutes to see her vulnerability, her shame, her weakness. For this young woman to let me into her space to assist her with the decluttering process was such a massive first step for her that I felt honored to be the one to tag along with her on this new journey, way of life and chapter.
Jane and I hit it off immediately! During each session we worked hard. I taught and guided her on how to maintain what we were trying to achieve. The best part was that we laughed and had fun! We would find silly things throughout her apartment which would trigger a memory that would make her giggle! All these giggles provided momentum to keep going to find the next trigger and the next giggle! Seeing and focusing on the results we had already achieved most certainly played a big roll as well. When you can see results it automatically helps you to be motivated. It’s just like a diet…we lose weight, we want to keep going!
Her thoughts were changing everyday…
Every step of the way I would check in on Jane (even though she was right beside me!) just to see how she was feeling and what she was thinking. This young woman was seriously strong. She knew how she got here but most importantly she knew she was ready to make changes to her lifestyle. As we worked and I ‘checked in’ on her, her feelings went from despair to encouraged. Her thoughts were changing everyday, whether I was there of not. My observation was as though she was like a dimmer switch. She was slowly (and steadily) making small improvements for a lifetime of changes and a very bright future! She would take the initiative to do a task before I had to suggest it. That is improvement! That is change!
Every session she would smile more, share more, be more present. As time went on she would do additional work because she was now self motivated and serious about making changes.
I find that my clients don’t mind the process of de-cluttering at all. They just need someone to help them get started and guide them because they are just so overwhelmed. Sometimes we just need someone to hold our hand to make things happen, keep us motivated, to keep us giggling. To some, I’m kind of like a security blanket and that’s okay by me!
The road to recovery may not be short and easy. It is however always an option with help from a professional.
I am a Secret Keeper, Stress Reliever, Security Blanket, Motivator, and Energetic (aka Sparky)!
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Until next time!
Sparky is signing out!
Kathleen Hayden – @TheFUNOrganizer
Trained Professional Organizer, Certified Stager & Re-Designer
Winner of the Hamilton Spectator Diamond Readers’ Choice Awards
Professional Organizer covering Hamilton, Niagara, Burlington, Brantford, Oakville, Mississauga, Etobicoke and surrounding areas.
Hamilton Professional Organizer, Hamilton Home Organizer, @TheFUNOrganizer