“I’m surprising myself with how much I want to let go of.” This is what my most recent client who I will call Jeff said when he was going through all of his clothes. I feel overjoyed to report that my second organizing job in San Diego is one of my most satisfying ever. One big reason is that I am supporting Jeff’s girlfriend, who I will call Meg, in helping Jeff. She didn’t want to tackle the job of getting Jeff’s room de-cluttered by herself, but with my support her dreams are coming true.
Team organizing is a term I coined to describe how I can help other people get involved with an organizing project. Often, relatives and friends don’t have the distance or the skill to facilitate a successful job. So when I can support the people who love my client in helping, I feel very satisfied. Meg made it easy for Jeff to let go of things because she was light-hearted but firm. When she had some problems, she came to me for a little advice. It was just a little bump in the road–they had a conflict about how best to sort the things immediately. When I sided with Meg, explaining to Jeff that she was on the right track, he trusted my judgment and they were able to proceed harmoniously.
Jeff was tired, and so he was able to lay comfortably in his bed while Meg held up, one by one, the various articles of clothing. While they worked on this project, I sorted out a whole living room of items which we removed from the closet. It is astonishing to me how much can be fit into one small space! I got the things into categories so it was easy for Jeff to make decisions. I jokingly said he could have a break from sorting clothes and come out and sort things in the living room. To my amazement, he took me up on the offer. While Meg prepared some lunch, Jeff came in and did a great job of letting a bunch of stuff go.
Since there are a number of housemates in the home, it was fun to interact with them and hear such comments as, “miracles never cease,” or “This is going to be really good for Jeff.” People were celebrating that at last Jeff could have a room with clear energy and a place for healing since he is going to have an operation soon. I felt touched by their compassion and love for their housemate.
We ended the evening with a dinner with Jeff, Meg and a housemate. The mood was lighthearted and joyous. We talked about one of the challenges of the household–sharing refrigerator and freezer space. Laughter was abundant as we joked about the problem, and I even pulled out the guitar and sang a little ditty, “I like refrigerators yes I do…because they are…” and people sang along and filled in the blanks.
Letting go of clutter and unneeded stuff actually is liberating. We felt the effects of that freedom when we shared a meal, experienced love and laughter, and acknowledged each other for the good job each had done. I could not have done this in such a short amount of time without Meg’s help. The results would not be so dramatic, Jeff’s energy would not be so steady, and I would have been a lot more tired. Even the encouragement of the household gave us emotional support.
As always, I feel grateful to be so lovingly involved in people’s lives in a way that helps them. Getting to know Jeff, Meg, and the other housemates in the context of de-cluttering, downsizing, and organizing has been truly satisfying. I look forward to completion with the foundation of team work we have built.