Decluttering, and should you call a home organiser?

A little bit of chaos in our homes is normal; that’s life. But when we get to the point of hoarding, a coach can help you feel better in your own home.

Why do we hold on to everything?

We all have our (good or bad) excuses for justifying the accumulation:

  • “It was a gift that was given to me… I can’t throw it out”
  • “This was my oldest child’s first artwork… I want to keep it for sentimental value”
  • “I just don’t have time to sort through everything” (time or interest?)
  • “I hope, one day, to fit into these jeans again” (hope springs eternal)
  • “I think this could still come in handy” (so says your gran)
  • “It’s a pretty item that’s worth a lot, so I’ll keep it” (even when your shelves are already covered in trinkets)
  • “Oh that’s my collection… we can’t touch that” (said by a snowglobe collector).

And that’s how hundreds of items end up in our homes. Sometimes it reaches a pathological level, with its peak being Diogenes syndrome.

Is it treatable?

Holding on to too much is called hoarding, the mania of compulsive accumulation. It’s not an illness, but rather a mania.

The steps for treatment are the same as for stopping any bad habit:

  1. Awareness. The moment when you say to yourself, “Okay, I really have to do something about this!”
  2. The desire to change. Starting to see the benefits.
  3. The motivation to change.

After reflection comes the transition to action. There aren’t 36 ways to treat yourself:

  • Take matters into your own hands. It’s possible. There are plenty of solutions available in books (and not just by Marie Kondo), tutorials, websites, conferences, etc.
  • Ask a home organiser for help.

Home organisers: your “house coach”

Is home organiser a new job? Not really. It came about more than 20 years ago in the States. Well, well… would our American friends happen to have a problem with overconsumption? The recent craze surrounding Marie Kondo’s book (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) has given this profession a major boost.

Its (summarised) objective: help you to organise. Because, from the point of view of your coach, tidying up means decluttering and not just moving items around. Your sorting project will start with you learning how to trash, donate or sell your items. Why? So that both your interior and inner self feel better.

Because, it seems as though clutter could be the tip of an iceberg, hiding something else, such as: depression, boredom, excessive attachment to the past, a too busy schedule or… repetition of a behavior inherited from your family circle. A house coach often transforms into a life coach: after completion, the client finds themselves in a new home and a new life.

Misconceptions about home organisers

Some unjustified fears that can hold back from calling a home organiser:

  • A coach will make me become a minimalist;
  • He or she will have the same old way of doing things;
  • He or she will make me feel guilty for letting my home get to this state.

Unfounded fears, as coaching isn’t meant to force you to live with 3 spoons and 2 pairs of pants. A coach will look for what suits you, so that the results of his or her stay last.

Discover the various approaches of different coaches to find the one that suits you best. Our Usitoo team has been lucky enough to cross paths with several coaches:  Elizabeth Escobar Puerta (Wellbeingorganized), Nathalie Crahay (Range ta vie) and Patricia Vanham (Ouste).

Change perspectives: simplify and buy less

Can cleaning be therapeutic? It’s similar, since it’s about saying goodbye to the past, letting go, simplifying your life… The philosopher Henri Bergson justly said, “Man should put as much effort into simplifying life as he does in complicating it.”

To declutter and avoid trashing things, why don’t we start by buying less? We simplify our life, our interior space and… we rent items we need, when we need them.

Usitoo loves when you clean up. And is especially interested in the equipment lying around that you’ve only used once or twice. For example: your appliances,  camping and sports equipment. Which you can deposit at Usitoo either as a donation or in exchange for Usi-points (if you become a cooperator).

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