When I got the call to help a client with relocating from a brick and mortar to a home location office I was so excited! My very first home organization project was going to help someone that was being directly impacted as a result of COVID. My new small business would be helping another small business. My first project could not have been more perfect!
So let’s be honest the office space was a challenge, it was cluttered and it was inefficient in the current state of affairs. In our initial walk around I could feel the sense of overwhelm, frustration and, anxiety in starting this big project for the client but they were ready. That is when my ‘Hello Darlene Love’ kicked in and I was able to express to my client that it was going to be okay, that this was something we could accomplish together and the result would be beautiful. I was there to help with guidance, the second set of hands they needed and, to be there when they got stuck with decision making.
“My husband and I have a shared office space that just got out of control after I moved my work home this past spring. I was taking a course at the time and had to work at the dining room table as I could not concentrate amidst the clutter. We were both so busy running our businesses and transitioning to home that the thought of one more thing on our plate was just too overwhelming.”
“Thankfully, it didn’t scare Darlene. She simply saw it as a challenge.”
Where to begin?
We always start with taking pictures of the space before starting a project. It is so critical for so many reasons. It is also important to have a goal in mind for the result. How do you want the room to function, what are the current obstacles, what is the vibe that you are wanting for your space? How you want the room to feel is so important as that is what helps everyone involved to focus on the reward at the end when the process gets tough. I always include their wishes and dreams about their space when preparing an organizing plan for them and then it is helpful to remind them of those wishes as we are working through the process together.
“Thanks to Darlene we have a newly refreshed and inspiring office space that I love to spend time in.”
So then we get cracking on all the sorting, decluttering, donating of items and, working through paperwork. We muddle our way through all of the emotional baggage that sometimes goes along with all our stuff. In this case, relocating to a home office permanently meant that there was no longer a need to keep things that had once been used in a studio space the same way. Yet they are still a struggle to let go because we always find a way to think of how we can utilize these items in a new way. This client is also very environmentally conscious and wanted to be thoughtful about how they let go of their possessions. Just one of her wonderful qualities.
What is often harder for clients to understand at the beginning of a project is just how long it will take to complete. Often, it is hard for them to visualize why it will take so long. Not for us organizers that see the piles of paper or wall full of books and know right away where the time will go in an appointment in a hurry. Next thing you know four hours have passed and I am leaving my client with just as much mess as we started as that middle part of the organizing is always tricky when you are fitting it into your schedule.
What I loved about this client is that I would assign homework and she would get it done so that for our next appointment there was some improvement to their space. Bingo, that is the accountability piece that we provide to our clients. Sometimes that did not happen and that is okay, this is a process that clients have to go through and, sometimes it can be emotionally draining and frustrating. The mess and clutter that remain in your house while you are working through the process in between life and work.
“Through Darlene’s never-ending patience and guidance we have a beautiful, functional and, organized space that inspires creativity. She not only walked us through letting go of unnecessary ‘stuff’ that was cluttering our office and our minds, but she also gave us new ways of organizing things that are important to us. Darlene has assisted us in creating new systems that will keep things running smoothly.”
It is a journey to declutter a space!
It is important to recognize that when a space is cluttered or disorganized it did not happen overnight. It took months and sometimes years to get that way and so it does not magically become resolved immediately. We work alongside the client during their organizing to teach them new systems and strategies that will be more successful for them going forward. My years of experience coaching can be very helpful when working with others in their organizing journey. Not the same system works for everyone, we are all unique. I am very empathetic to clients as this is not what they want in their home, life just took over and it happened.
“Darlene fully recognizes that purging is an emotional journey and was very sensitive in helping us go through the process at our own pace.”
Only sharing some of this journey with this lovely couple and recognizing that between sessions they were working on decorating, purchasing new furniture, painting and, all those fun things along the way. Each time I came back to help I could feel the difference in how they felt. The room was taking shape and the systems were beginning to make sense. Sometimes a system does not work and you have to come up with a backup plan and that is okay as that is part of the process as well. Finding a system that works for you is so important.
Grateful and humbled that this client they felt comfortable having me help them with their space and creating something wonderful.
“If you are looking at taking this journey for yourself and feel that you need a helping hand, I highly recommend Darlene at Hello Darlene. She is worth her weight in gold!”