To be honest, I started coaching my organizing clients because I was bored. Not a ringing endorsement, I realize. I love organizing. I love spaces and all their possibilities. All the dreams I ever remember having are ones in which I am moving through, lost in, inspired or terrified by some form of home structure. I love showing others the potential of the space in which they live, work, love, and grow. But I had started to feel ambivalent about showing up to client’s homes to help them clean out their closets for the 3rd and 4th times. Feeling ambivalence about organizing was disturbing for the person who happily spends at least 40% of her daily mental capacity trying to figure out things like how to get 1.5 inches worth of space in a kitchen cupboard so that the new serving tray her mother-in-law gifted her won’t have to sit on the kitchen counter.
I was aware that this feeling of “meh” was no fault of my clients. My clients were happy to have a clean closet for 3 months at a time, but if I was having to show up at their homes to re-do the same job that often, I was the one missing something in the process.
I started to study why I loved being organized so much. I began to notice that my outer environment was a direct reflection of my inner environment. I could track, with great precision, what was going on in my head and heart by what I saw happening in my home. I became aware that my relationships inside my home were reflected in how we functioned, moved and lived in our space. Most importantly, I discovered that I was happiest when my home supported the way I like to do things. Perform tasks. After all, 80% of the time we spend in our homes, work environments, hell, in our heads, is about performing a task.
This whole time period coincided, not coincidentally, with practicing a lot of self-coaching to help me live more authentically on a daily basis. I was using tools that helped me identify which thoughts in my head were truly my voice and which might be too-oft repeated phrases from others that I had come to believe were my own. Dismantling the thoughts that weren’t actually mine was really powerful, freeing and lead to a place of more frequent peace.
Free. Peaceful. That’s how I wanted my clients to feel. I didn’t want their space/stuff to cause them pain. Stuff should not have the power to cause pain. But what if the real pain was on the inside and we were just seeing the reflection of it on the outside? No amount of tossing, donating, cleaning or stuffing into new containers was going to get at that pain. My mission changed. Clean the inside first. Clear out all the old, ill-fitting, moth-eaten and endlessly recycled detritus in the head, open the heart to an innate way of doing and help build a lasting and supportive method of living with stuff.
That is why I am an Organizing Coach. Let’s clean out your closet 1 time.
Stay tidy, my friends.
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