Looking In a Different Place

Sometimes what we think needs to be clutter busted is not the source of the clutter issue. When I walk into a space, I can sometimes tell what the real source is.

Yesterday's client hired me to help her clutter bust her office. She wanted to start there, of course, but I was intrigued by a door that led to another room. There was a bookcase in the corner of the room that was filled with plastic containers and stacks of papers. She didn't know what they were about.

I asked her if we could start in this other room instead. She was worried that we wouldn't be able to get to her office, and I told her that often the source of the piles in one place can stem from a problem in another place. She agreed, and we started to examine the papers filling the plastic bins.

To her surprise, the papers were from her mom's estate. Her mother had passed away seven years ago and my client had collected them from her mom's home and put them on the bookcase without looking at them. My client ended up finding deeds and addresses to property that her mother owned. She'd been wondering where these were for years. She also found hundreds of dollars in bonds and cash. My client was stunned that just ten feet from her office were these deeds she'd been looking for, and a surprising bonus of extra money.

Once we'd finished that room, we moved on to the office. The paper clutter in the office went quickly. She was amazed.

Sometimes clients will get stuck in an area and try to do something about it and get nowhere. Or they'll be so intimidated and avoid the space altogether. I encourage people to look around and see what else is going on in their home and life. There are more than one entrances to a solution.