My biggest organizing job yet–get some tips here!

I was blessed to get an out of town organizing job which is a very large house piled with papers and clutter. I started the job yesterday and I thought I would share my experience. I think just about any one could do a huge job with a little bit of guidance. It really is not rocket science! This job will definitely motivate me to write my ebook about organizing fast because I am using all the ideas I wrote about and they are working fabulously even on the biggest job I have ever done on my own. These principles I have learned through thousands of hours of experience is showing me that I am ready to share them with others. There is such a need for these skills to be learned.
My client, who I will call Barbara, found me because she did a search on line for Christian organizers. I have changed everyone’s names to offer confidentiality as I do with all my jobs.
She found my website http://www.simplifiedliving.info and after reading it felt inspired to call me. We spoke only fifteen minutes or so and she was ready to hire me to drive 4 hours, stay in her house, and do a three-day organizing job. Now that is that I call trust–on both of our parts! After one day on the job and a great time, I am so happy to have this opportunity to serve. I hope that this description of what I have done will give you some ideas on how you might be able to tackle a little or big job.
I am especially happy to do this job because we can move quickly since there are four of us, sometimes five–working together harmoniously. Here is how it happened.
Step one: Barbara and I visit and get to know each other on the phone—how I work and what I charge.

Step two:We started by having a brief over view with Barbara about what she needed. Her mother refuses to let my client de-clutter the house. Most of the stuff is Barbara’s father’s stuff. Father has given permission to client to do whatever Barbara wants with stuff. Mother is angry, resentful, blaming. After I absorbed all this information, we talked to Barbara’s mom.

My intention was to do my best to create a trusting relationship with Barbara’s mom who I will call Mrs. Jones. I wanted her to feel comfortable with me working in her house. Barbara has rights to the whole house because of financial challenges with Mrs. Jones–so Barbara has been deeded the house. But Barbara does not want to force her rights and cause conflict. My job was to inspire Mrs. Jones to give the okay. I listened to the mom for about half hour about all the reasons she has for not wanting daughter or me to do the work.

Client’s mom first expressed anger, fear, hurt. I gently explained that we would not get rid of any of her stuff and only get rid of the father’s stuff (which is the main problem anyway. After I compassionately listened a little more, Mrs. Jones finally agreed to let us do the job. I used my skills of non-violent communication skills practiced over the last 20 years plus I really want the best for this person and so was able to be present in love.
Step 3: doing the actual job. Barbara and I looked at the situation and got a simple plan. Quickly organize the garage as a staging area and then start tackling the house. It is always essential to have a place to put the stuff before we start de-cluttering.
Step 4: Call for help. Barbara has two loyal and trusted employees that she called. I’ll call them Bob and Helen. While we waited for them, Barbara and I started doing the obvious thing–getting papers consolidated and placing them in one area. As we dug through papers we found other stuff that we place in general categories. We only had about 6 categories to keep it really simple. There were a few items that were numerous, like clothes, car stuff, and papers. We will do lots of sorting later. There just isn’t room to make a lot of categories-and there isn’t time as well. We only have four hours before Mrs. Jones comes home and we want to make a big dent. Even though we have her permission, she doesn’t want to be present.

The main thing is to get the garage ready to receive more stuff to sort. Making rough categories to sort later saves tons of time and gives a feeling of immediate accomplishment

The main thing is to get the garage ready to receive more stuff to sort. Making rough categories to sort later saves tons of time and gives a feeling of immediate accomplishment

Step 5: Actual organizing. After about 1 hour in the garage, we tackled the main area–the kitchen and dining room. Barbara yearned for this area to be more nurturing and for a beautiful antique table to be uncovered. The categories were:

1. Papers
2. misc small stuff
3. Client’s mom stuff–we weren’t to touch
4. Shoes
5. Coins
6. Misc. larger stuff

Having a lot of boxes was essential. We all worked to put the things in categories, and it was easy since the categories were so broad. Helen worked mostly on the coins since Barbara’s father collected them and there were a ton of little boxes to be taken out and consolidated.

Bob was so handy because he would take the boxes we packed and put them in the proper categories in the garage. Barbara’s husband helped as well with other minor stuff. Everyone was so great about pitching in. I loved the feeling of camaraderie that was created in having one goal.

Once we uncovered the table, Helen went to work cleaning it. As Barbara and I uncovered counters and tables and floor, Helen did the cleaning.

Within three hours we transformed the dining room/kitchen area and even part of the den (next project) into a place where it actually looked like a normal home! We spent about one hour getting the staging area set up.

When Barbara’s mother came home, she was not happy with our work, but she also did not complain. She asked about a few objects and we easily found them. She is adjusting to her newly cleaned house and we hope that eventually she will be happy. She seems to have a need to blame everyone because this job was not done sooner—when her husband started piling up the papers. . She blames her husband for the mess–but now that she has help she wants everyone to feel guilty because this was not done sooner.

Barbara’s mother definitely has some problems–but her family is doing their best to accept the mother and encourage her. I hope and pray her attitude can be of gratitude.

It is fun to go out of town and spend the night with new friends. There is a bonding that happens when we tackle a big job together. They found some vegetarian food for me to eat for dinner, too! These folks take care of their parents and I find this very beautiful. I feel grateful for this adventure and look forward to another day of transforming space fast. The clients are extremely happy and the word is going out to all the relatives that the impossible is being done.

Wow! I feel so honored to be part of this process. I feel so glad that I can use the gifts that God gave me to help people.

You can read more about the happy ending in the blogs that I wrote after this. But just in case you want to know–Barbara’s mom ended up being very happy about what we did. Barbara and Mom had a wonderful reconciliation and I feel so grateful that I was a part of this.

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