Even though she had hired me, a recent client was definitely quite reluctant to work with me. She indicated that she:
- wanted to get organized.
- didn’t want to have to do the sorting and organizing.
- just wanted to “maintain the system.”
This presented an interesting dilemma. My organizing and productivity model integrates an Executive Function approach, which is a fancy way to say I help people think and act effectively. Each of my clients gets a strategy that works especially for how they think. That strategy covers:
- getting over the hurdle of starting
- figuring out what and how to get things done, and
- keeping it how a client would like it with the least time and effort.
And so while I obviously wanted this client to be happy with my services and not have her feel that her time had been wasted, I needed for her to understand that if I organized her things without her input, the system would most likely fail. But, I was willing to give it a try as she was adamant that it would work and so I started organizing her closet. Sounds simple? Within 30 minutes of taking everything out, organizing groups of like items into categories, she took one look at the neatly folded stacks of T-shirts (they had originally been bundled into balls on various shelves and in drawers) and said, “Oh, I like to see the pictures on the T-shirts. I don’t like them folded, but I don’t know what else to do.” I then asked her if she would like to hang the T-shirts on hangers and her face lit up and she said, “Now why didn’t I think of that? That would be great!”
There was, however, an additional roadblock: not enough hanging space in the closet. My solution: turn large cubbies into hanging space by adding sturdy spring-loaded curtain rods.
This client appointment reinforced again my organizing and productivity model of integrating an Executive Function approach. Successful and sustainable organization is created by:
- analyzing systems
- evaluating the systems and identifying how they meet your goals and where they fail to meet your goals
- making changes and adjustments to streamline systems
- reevaluating the systems on an ongoing basis
It is a process of creating a state of balance between continuing processes that are affected by internal and external influences: your relationships with others, your environment, societal factors, personal roadblocks and belief systems.
So when you see an organized closet, know that a lot of understanding has gone into the process of setting it up.
© Image by Paula Berman Organizing