I just read that the brain produces dopamine when you do something for someone else. And this is both health producing and pleasure producing for the person. I guess this is the scientific reason why I feel so happy when I contributed to people’s well being when I help them get organized.
Here are some of the jobs I did just in the past two weeks which I enjoyed thoroughly.
I have spent about 60 hours at one of my organizing job over the past three months. We are still not complete with the job, but it is at a point where the downstairs part of her home is very beautiful.
I thought that I would not enjoy helping someone do the final tiny perfecting touches to de-cluttering, for I enjoy so much taking what looks like an overwhelming mess to a place where there is order and accessibility.
But when my client wanted me to help fine tune the living room, I found myself drawn to little places that were still magnets for clutter, and which just plain old didn’t feel right.
We worked together to make it very beautiful and organized. It was rather amusing, for when we got done with the living room/kitchen area, the office area was still a little chaotic as we worked on it.
She would come into the office and feel overwhelmed and tired. Then she would go into the living room and be happy and exhilarated. She couldn’t stop raving about how wonderful it looked and felt. Then she would come into the office and feel down and overwhelmed.
I think that some people are more sensitive than others–but we are all affected by our environment.
A transformed garage
I love working in garages and storage units. There is something about taking a place where you can hardly walk and making it into a place where you can walk around and find things.
I got the pleasure of doing this in a client’s garage recently. As is usually the case, at one point she had been organized. There were lots of plastic bins and even wall to wall shelves. But things had gotten out of hand, and it was hard for her to get motivated to do anything there.
Fortunately, there was another place to take extra items. I did my usual walk through, where my client told me in general what she wanted, where things could be put and specific needs–like being able to park her car in the garage in the freezing weather.
I didn’t really think I could get it all done in the seven hours that were available. But I just jumped in and kept moving. From time to time my client and I would work together, and I would get more insight as to what I needed to do. I did most of the work myself, checking in periodically when I had a number of questions saved up. She was working inside getting ready for a family gathering, and my job was to make space so she could put clutter into the garage until she had time to deal with it.
At the end of seven hours, I surprised her and me by getting the whole garage to a place where she could find things, it looked orderly, and she could park her car! I was even able to sweep the floor and clear out a very cluttered sink.
I loved the way that her husband seemed as happy as she was that she could have an well-organized garage. Because she hadn’t seen the final touches of my work, and had no idea I was making the progress I made–when I showed her the results it was similar to watching my kids open presents at Christmas!
Getting ready for the holidays
I was happy that I had lots of work before the holidays. I really enjoyed listening to people talk about how they were going to spend the holidays and how cleaning up was going to nurture their family. The great thing is that my clients wanted to make a nice environment for their family–but the clients got to enjoy the benefits as well
One client wanted to give her husband the gift of clearing some of her clutter that was in his way. This took a lot of work because there were hundreds of small objects that needed to be sorted. We spread various small containers and boxes all over the living room and proceeded to sort everything into categories.
She wanted this to be the last time we sorted, and she wanted to save everything. So we sorted everything from rubber bands to paper clips to make up items to toiletries.
We had cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer in the morning, which was really fun-seriously! There is something about two people doing a challenging job that makes it so much easier and enjoyable. When we got to the de-cluttering for her husband job, we didn’t have that much time.
We were in the middle of it when I had to leave to go to a Christmas performance where my daughter and son were sharing their talents of music and dance. Usually I am pretty flexible and can stay well into the night if necessary.
But my client understood, and she thought she could get it all finished. I said I would drive the two hours back to her house the next day, and she was thrilled. I was really glad that I did, because it took us another 7 hours to finish. We did a great job! I felt happy because I had helped my client contribute to her husband’s well being, which I am sure helped enrich their relationship.
I really appreciate working with all my clients. We always work as a team, and one of the things I enjoy most is team work.