Clutter Control question

Discussion in 'For the Ladies' started by Mish, Sep 2, 2018.

  1. Mish

    Mish Well-Known Member

    Hi All! I have a question...

    Does anyone know if there are companies or people (for hire) that will clear-out clutter and organize rooms for someone who is physically unable to:

    • Move items from one place to another
    • Drag out items from under beds/closet shelves
    • Accomplish the physical aspects of organizing (restoring) the rooms

    Example: a craft room where clutter has taken over; the homeowner can write down that they need the supplies organized by...

    • Wood crafts
    • Paper goods
    • Scrapbooking supplies
    • Gift wrap/ mailing supplies
    • Paints and brushes
    • Stationery/greeting cards, etc.
    The shelving is there, the storage containers and so forth. But the person can’t physically do it themselves.

    Does anyone know if or how one can hire an “organizer” to do the physical work without the homeowner being fully or partially involved from start to finish?

    Reason for asking: my bff has pages of medical problems! Her children are now adults (no longer live in the area) and let’s just say her dh seems ‘unaware’ that she is physically unable to get the house uncluttered, even though the clutter is the direct result of the health problems...

    I’m hoping y’all might know of a company that provides this type of more specialized service‼️ The standard “professional organizer” does not appear to be the right fit because I have been unable to “google” any that address clients who cannot actively participate in the physical aspect of the organization/cleaning needed..
    I think/know this is causing a LOT of stress for her and I’m at a loss for how to fix this issue due to the physical limitations involved! ANY IDEAS⁉️ PS- sadly, my Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome impact MY ability to physically help her as well.
    Círeth, caligal, ShilohRose and 2 others like this.
  2. Tall Timbers

    Tall Timbers Imperfect but forgiven

    Seems to me like something an industrious teenager with some time could do.
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  3. Brother Albert R.

    Brother Albert R. Well-Known Member

    The first thing that comes to my mind is "The Church".
    I have assisted, with others at our church, when some one needed help to move their belongings from one house to another. I know you are asking for something different, but perhaps if you presented this situation at your church, as a means of ministering to others, you might find the help you're seeking.
    That is one benefit that belonging to a larger church might have that maybe a smaller church would not be so prepared.
    The second thing that comes to mind is hiring a local maid service for a couple of days.
    I hope this has helped,
    God bless,
    Brother AL
    PS I never go into this section of the forum because it says that it is for the ladies:unsure...but when I noticed Tall Timbers :super had responded, I felt better about it.:)
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
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  4. Mish

    Mish Well-Known Member

    Thanks all! The church would normally be a great idea, but I think there might be an embarrassment aspect involved. Considering this came about due to physical/medical issues, I don’t think she should feel embarrassed... but she does.

    TT- the teenager for hire is a good possibility. -just not sure how to find someone who would be up for something like that. I’m guessing, but this is something that would take months if done on a few days a week, vice full time.

    Círeth, caligal and ShilohRose like this.
  5. ShilohRose

    ShilohRose Well-Known Member

    Where are you located? I have a very organized 20 year old daughter who could help.
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  6. Mish

    Mish Well-Known Member

    Outside Montgomery ❣️
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  7. caligal

    caligal Well-Known Member

    Mac and I are getting there......or more like arrived. It is embarrassing, and we hate it, so I know how she feels,plus we have 8 cats!:confused: If you find an answer maybe I could use the info too.

    Praying for you.:hug
    Círeth, Mish and ShilohRose like this.
  8. Kerbluey

    Kerbluey Well-Known Member

    Have you called these organization companies to explain her situation? They may in fact have the option you’re looking for. The thing I’ve learned about clutter is decluttering is only half the problem. STAYING that way is far more challenging for me. I’ve decluttered a million times.

    Having said that, I agree hiring a teen or college student is what I’d look into after reading The Life changing Magic of Tidying Up. There’s also a Reddit forum dedicated to this book/technique. I’m currently using this, and I truly think it’s the answer to staying decluttered.
    Círeth, Mish, caligal and 1 other person like this.
  9. ShilohRose

    ShilohRose Well-Known Member

    Alabama? We're close to Virginia Beach -- a little too far, I think.

    I have read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and found it quite interesting. I have not, however, implemented any of it at this point. The problem at my house is that some people are expert at throwing stuff away and keeping things tidy and others hang on to every scrap of paper or anything else they've ever been given. lol My parents are having this problem, and they are both in their 80s.
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  10. Kerbluey

    Kerbluey Well-Known Member

    Fortunately my husband is neat. I’m the messy. :D
    Círeth, Mish and ShilohRose like this.
  11. athenasius

    athenasius Well-Known Member

    Marla Cilley wrote a good book, and has a very good website. FlyLady it's called. The causes for clutteritis are varied. Some get there from extreme loss and feel they need to hang on to everything, others thru ill health. Starting small is what Flylady is all about and gradual change that you can keep up.

    Some people with clutter problems arrive there due to being very distractable, and consequently disorganized. That was Marla's case. She is very sympathetic and her baby steps are very kind and easy for people to start.

    There are many of her followers who have extreme health problems and her emphasis on starting small and clearing spaces little by little are designed for people with problems who couldn't otherwise do a huge project.

    Another good YouTube is done by one of Flylady's graduates, who now coaches beginners, and her site is Flylady Kat I think. Just do a You Tube search for FlyLady Kat. Marla (aka Flylady) doesn't do many YouTubes, her site and her books and articles are where her strength lies.

    Whatever happens, the emphasis on being kind to oneself, and not beating oneself up over it is excellent and so is the gentle reminders to keep it simple, and follow the baby steps. It didn't get there overnight as Flylady is prone to say, and so you can't expect it to get sorted out in a day either. Taking it slow and gentle, build on success.

    Hope that helps.

    Oh and I've done her program or bits of it at times and it's quite helpful to get things under control again when things went sideways due to death, disaster or general decay of modern civilization. :D

    She used to have a really good article on getting ready for a move. I've used some (not all) of her tips on moving and it's quite good.

    The strengths are in the way all her followers give advice, write in tips, talk about their own situations and in Marla's emphasis on keeping it simple and baby stepping to success.
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  12. athenasius

    athenasius Well-Known Member

    Mish, I was thinking about this last night.

    I don't know if this is her problem, but the problem with clutter for most people is that it's there for a reason, and sometimes even when it's killing someone, they can't let go yet.

    For Christians it helps (or at least it does for me) to remember that God is our source of supply and letting go of things that others can use benefits them and me.

    A lot of people who suffered great losses try to hang onto things to keep from being in need again. The stuff is a tranquilizer, a reassurance that if we keep it around, and we need it someday, we have it there. The way thru that is to focus on God who is always ready and able to meet our needs as we ask.

    For people whose health and energy level is so low that even decision making is hard, that clutter means delayed decisions. They may be so weary they cannot cope with making the decision to let it go or to give up on a hobby they once enjoyed. The delays pile up into piles of laundry that needs putting away, or books that are just still too hard to let go of, or a yarn collection that no longer gives joy but the person still wants to be a knitter. Just not right now. So it piles up.

    People struggling with depression can get into these patterns too. Same thing.

    It's just hard to watch people replace God and His comfort with possessions. But just like salvation, they have to understand the problem first (that we are sinners in need of salvation or that we are holding onto possessions because we aren't trusting God). Then we can consciously ask God to intervene and take over that area.

    If it's defining who we are (books for me fit that category), then it's helpful to ask God to define who we are as He sees us. Not as the keeper of knowledge (thinking if I let go that book, will I find that specific information again) or she who knits/sews/crafts like a Dorcas. We need to be less Martha and more Mary. Less defined by what we do, and more defined by the fact that we are loved by God.

    Till she is ready to let go of the stuff, and reach out to God for help, any help you offer may not be lasting and could make her feel even more vulnerable.

    Just loving her as she is, being there for her at the other end of the phone, praying with her, gently challenging her might be the thing she needs even more than getting organized.

    HUGS hon, you are being Jesus with skin on for her as that saying goes.
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  13. Mish

    Mish Well-Known Member

    athenasius‼️, you just hit the nail on the head‼️‼️‼️
    That perfectly describes the situation, especially regarding making decisions; it’s all too much because of the health issues!!

    I’m stunned; when I read your post, I said (out loud) “Ahhhh, that’s it— that is exactly what has happened‼️“ Wow I could not have described the situation any better if I tried forever‼️ Simply amazing❣️✝️
  14. Mish

    Mish Well-Known Member

    Thank-y’all for the great book and website info; I’ll send her the links tomorrow❣️:thankyou:hug:thankyou Thanks again, Kerbluey, ShiloRose, athenasius and all my other brothers and sisters in Christ✝️. I’m so blessed by y’all and thank God for the love and light that shines so brightly in each of you❣️

    ShilohRose, Kem, Círeth and 2 others like this.
  15. Kerbluey

    Kerbluey Well-Known Member

    Decisions can be exhausting. I’m currently purging all kinds of decor stuff that I’ve never figured out how to use but hauled around for YEARS. I was resting on the bed yesterday feeling overwhelmed and saying to myself “Well, Kerbluey, can you at least do that shoebox of stuff?” (Kind of a Flylady technique. I love Flylady.) This stuff represents a dream, and getting rid of it can seem like the end of that dream. Add in fatigue, and it’s a long trudge uphill. Yet clutter is such a burden!
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  16. athenasius

    athenasius Well-Known Member

    It surely is.

    That's what gets me too. For me it's books and the panicky feeling I get when I know I had a book on that somewhere, and I'm tunneling into my library, frantically hoping to find it, forgetting that I'm not the chief librarian and keeper of all the knowledge of Western Civilization, and the world will still wag if I can't find that particular book anymore. GOD has all the knowledge, so I don't need to hang onto every last bit in case somebody might fall into Calvinism just cause I don't happen to have Hudson Smelley's good book on why you don't want to be a Calvinist. God is able to keep them, and if I happen to find the book and can tell them about the relevant bits, great, but if I declutter it God is still able to teach them.

    Do I get this understanding deep in my soul? Nah, I'm such a work in progress. In fact I've got Hudson on my Kindle library which doesn't collect dust, and doesn't take up shelf space, but giving that panic over to God when I can't find something is a regular work.

    Then there is that embarrassed feeling when someone says, I'd like to know just where you got THAT from, and I know it was in my books, probably in this one or that, and I can't find it right away and by the time I do, everyone else has lost interest.

    I gave up on my knitting (the daughter and daughter in law do that now so I gave them the stash and the needles) ditto my sewing. I used to like it, then for a long time it was a chore, and now it's gone I haven't looked back.

    But we better not look at the homeschooling books I accumulated during those years with dd and ds. That thunderous horde of reading is stashed at dd's place, but I still twitch when I want to explain something specific (--dd is homeschooling her tribe, soon to be 5 and I don't know why I worry that if I can't show her that passage in the Moores book or Ruth Beechick that she'll give up homeschooling with a sigh.

    It's more about letting go the fact that once I was a homeschooler, and that defined me for some very happy special years but now I'm a grandmother who needs to remember that her daughter is doing fine, doing it her way and God is in control.

    Then there is the cost factor. It cost us GOOD MONEY, and I remember saving up for it, and now we don't use it or need it but I feel like I'm tossing cash out the window to let go. Or what I thought would be such a good purchase is a real dud, but I beat myself up over it. I try to remember that God isn't offended by me letting it go, and that the Salvation Army or the Downtown Mission can sell it for cash to use in wonderful ways.

    That money was already spent long ago, now it can bless someone else once again.

    And health. When I feel dreadful, nothing much happens. When the fatigue lifts enough for me to look around, I get ahead and I have the energy to look at something and remember it's not a litter of kittens, it's a thing, and finding the "perfect" home is a perfect waste of my time.

    I have ZERO energy to deal with reselling stuff, I prefer to delegate that to the Salvation Army, but sometimes the fact that if I was more energetic about it, I could recoup some of the cost, puts MORE guilt on me. And makes me tireder.

    So I just fling it out either into the dumpster in front of our apartment (such a handy spot for a dumpster, but not so great to look at) or I dump it into my giveaway basket on the floor of my closet, and when it's full I chase around the house with black garbage bags for even more stuff to toss.

    I am blessed that George now supports me in these moments, and drives the van down to the Sally Ann for the dropoffs without question. He wasn't always this way so I have sympathy for those whose husbands or family questions the letting go of THAT! You can't possibly give that away, don't you know how much it cost?

    As if I hadn't been singing that song in my head already.

    There, that is a horrifying look into my clutter and my brain.

    And why I have the greatest sympathy for others who struggle with health issues, clutter etc.
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  17. Kem

    Kem Citizen

    I have been doing this more and more the last 10 years or so and find it very freeing and makes things such as dusting and vacuuming so much easier. The thought often occurs to me that we seem to spend the first half of our lives acquiring things and the last half getting rid of things. A minimal amount of "things" including decor in my house is relaxing and calming.
    Mish, Momma D, Kerbluey and 4 others like this.
  18. TimeWarpWife

    TimeWarpWife Well-Known Member

    I haven't read through all of the posts, so I don't know if these books that helped me get organized and simplify have been mentioned, but they are Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James and Sidetracked Home Executives by Peggy Jones and Pam Young (affectionately calling themselves the Slob Sisters, however, the sisters have since retired from their organizing business). I've read Marie Kondo's book, but honestly she's a little too "odd" for me - thanking your wallet and socks for their service is a little too weird for me. :hehee I would suggest googling "organizing professionals" for your area or going to Home Advisor to see who's available and you'll also get ratings for the work they've done from verified users.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
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  19. athenasius

    athenasius Well-Known Member

    LOL yup, that was my thought. Especially my socks. If they achieve sentience and have the capability to understand my thanks, then I've let the laundry cycle go a LITTLE TOO LONG!!!!!
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  20. Kerbluey

    Kerbluey Well-Known Member

    Lol!!! It may be horrifying, but it was like reading my own struggles! So, I join you on the crazy train. :D I’m STILL working on my decluttering project. I can at least see my floor now and have a third car load to take to the animal rescue thrift store (I love helping them). While I get physically tired, it’s the mental strain that shuts me down. The memories, the money, the guilt, the waste, the dreams, etc. It’s not just a vase or whatever when there’s that much connected to it. I’ve watched a couple of Hoarder episodes and found them far too stressful, not because I thought they were weirdos, but because I TOTALLY GET THEM.

    By the way, I don’t thank my things, lol. I do use her technique of physically picking up an item and asking myself if it sparks joy. That’s a huge help, although I’m currently wrestling with letting go of some pumpkins that don’t spark joy. I’m not sure why I can let them go. I had big plans to paint them white and use every autumn on my mantle.

    We are having a big flea problem, and the nuking we are about to give the house has motivated me to forge onward. The floors and under the furniture have to be clear so we can spray otherwise you people will see me on some tv show surrounded by my cats, my junk, and my fleas.
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