Yes, I love sorting, purging, clearing clutter, finding better ways to store things, finding better ways to do things, discovering time-saving tips, saving money and effort.
Yes, I love running my own business, networking with other business owners and learning from them, writing articles, myj e-newsletter and blog.
But what I love most about being a Professional Organiser is meeting wonderful people and making a difference in their lives. I am blessed.
The following is a testimonial written by one such wonderful client. Not only does she say great things about me (thanks Glynis!), she speaks from her heart and her very personal experience about her own decluttering journey.
I can remember being aghast when my psychologist suggested I contact a declutterer. Huh? That’s a profession? I can actually PAY someone to get me out of my mess and organise me?
After an extensive internet search, I made phone calls to the three on my short list. My criteria for selection was a combination of what the website offered and how those I called would answer the question “Have you had experience working with people with OCD?”
First call: “OCD? I’m not sure what that is, but we help people get order into their lives”. (Failed). Second call: “Our company sells boxes and storage systems, we can help you sort things” (Failed). Third call: (and gentle Angela answered the phone) “Yes, I’ve worked with quite a few people who have OCD. There are many reasons for hoarding and I’m not saying it will be easy, but I can help”. Not just music to my ears, but a majestic symphony.
We scheduled three successive days. When I opened the door to welcome Angela, there was an immediate rapport and I knew she knew all about what I needed her to know. Three days later, after smiles and many tears, I had actually cleared a huge amount of clutter, something I had not been able to do on my own. The technique itself was gentle persuasion; all decisions were actually made by me, but guided by a consummate professional. Without giving too much away (because hoarding and clutter is a very personal and private affair, and everyone who suffers the condition is quite different) I’ll tell you about my bags. Lots and lots of them – big, small, glittery, zippered, flapped, clipped, purple, black, strapped, over the shoulder, on the back, by the side, each with its own loving history and far too difficult to part with, well, so I thought. Angela saw the emotional struggle I was having trying to determine which could be given away to an op-shop, which to keep. She saw my feelings of being overwhelmed by so many things in my life. She gently let me go through the suffering of being unable to let things go (in this case, bags) and when the sorrow subsided, confidently and calmly suggested that I could keep whichever bags I wanted, as long as they comfortably fitted on a particular shelf we then set aside in the cupboard. If something didn’t fit, then it would have to go. The decision-making was left to me, but it was driven by the designated space available. Cruel, you may think, especially as I had to reduce the collection by at least half, but it is something of which I am still proud. Even today when I see a tempting new bag to buy, I can still buy it, but when it comes home, one I already love must go so the new one can take its place. And this was just the bags!
To those reading this who are obsessive-compulsive, I truly hope you are actively seeking the right type of support to help you. Hoarding and depression are just two manifestations of this disorder. OCD is too burdensome an affliction to manage on your own, and there really IS help out there. Your local gp can give you a referral to a psychologist (psychotherapy option) or a psychiatrist (psychotherapy and/or medication option). And now there is also a whole heap of literature available you can read, so if nothing else, you will realise you are not on your own.
If your personality type has led you down the path of being a clutter-bunny, and you really want to make change, but can’t make change on your own, then I recommend Angela Esnouf, Professional Organiser, from Creating Order from Chaos. Angela understands that everyone has obsessive-compulsive personality traits, but for some it is far greater than others. Working one-on-one, within your mess and clutter, over an agreed time, Angela will guide you step-by-step to accomplish well-organised surrounds. Angela is gracious, sensitive, compassionate and has an amazing insight into OCD. You will suddenly become satisfied with your surroundings, seeing your living environment as something that can be managed, and will be everso surprised that order can be created from the chaos!
Glynis Ramsay, Murrumbeena