Taking Photos of Visual Clutter

There is an interesting phenomenon that occurs with my organizing clients when I take "before" photos of their space.   When we look at the photos of the cluttered spaces they live in day-to-day, they are often shocked by just how cluttered the space appears.  It's as though they have become desensitized to this visual clutter and no longer notice it.  But a photograph offers them an "outsider's view" of the space and helps the client acknowledge the real scope of the project.

Some people have a very high tolerance for visual clutter and are quite comfortable living and working in spaces in which all flat spaces are covered with stuff.  With these clients, I tend to focus more on the functionality of the space rather than the way a space looks (not that you can't do both, but the emphasis on appearance is minimized). 

Other folks have a very low tolerance for visual clutter and become anxious and unfocused trying to function in a busy-looking, cluttered space.  With these clients, I focus more on storage solutions than I may with the clutter-tolerant people. 

The real challenge is when a clutter-tolerant person lives with a clutter-intolerant person.  In those situations, I work with both people to create compromises so that they can both be more comfortable and functional in their space. 

If you are clutter-intolerant and you're living with a clutter-tolerant person, consider taking photos of the space of concern.  Then try having a calm, constructive conversation with the clutter-tolerant person where you show them the photos and explain how the clutter affects you.  Seeing the clutter from the outsider's perspective offered by a photo may help them see things with new eyes prompting positive change.

Come see me Saturday, February 26 at Finders Keepers Furnishings

Join me this Saturday morning, February 26th at 9:30 a.m. as I wrap up the Finders Keepers free "Get Organized" lecture series.  This two month series has featured several members of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Georgia Chapter.

Saturday's presentation entitled "Making Room for Purpose and Passion" covers ways to make room, literally and figuratively, for more fun, creativity, purpose and passion in your life.  We will discuss everything from cutting clutter to dumping toxic relationships to reclaiming what YOU want more of in your space and in your day-to-day life. 

This workshop will begin at 9:30 a.m. sharp (we organizers like to respect your time) at Finders Keepers Furnishings.  Seats are first come, first serve, and there is also plenty of standing room available for overflow.  When I spoke in January we had a standing-room-only crowd! 

For questions, please call Finders Keepers at (404) 377-1944 or go to http://www.fkconsign.com/Finders-Keepers-Furnishings.html

I hope to see you there!!

Is Your Home Your Sanctuary?

When you walk into your home after a hard day's work, do you breathe a sigh of relief as you settle into your cozy space, or do you cringe at the clutter that faces you on the other side of your front door?

For many of us, clutter is more than just a nuisance.  Instead, it is a problem that can rob us of our sense of calm and well being.  Your home should be your sanctuary, the place where you come to relax and restore your spirit.  If you feel stress in your home because of chaos and clutter, one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is to reign in this clutter, reclaim your space, and embrace a sense of calm.

The first step is to pick one room that you will deem your sanctuary.  This may be your bedroom, your study, a man-cave in the basement, or a nook for an artist's studio.  Once the space is decided upon, take a box or clothes hamper and remove everything from the space that needs to live elsewhere in the house. 

Then take a look at what is left and decide whether you REALLY need to keep everything or if maybe some of the items have outlived their welcome.  Assign homes to the items that are left and put them away.  Once you have only the essentials in the room, it is easier to organize what's left in a way that is visually pleasing either with shelves, boxes, bins or cabinets.   

Finally, make sure that you monitor the upkeep of this sacred sanctuary space so that you have at least one place in your home where you can regularly retreat to relax, read, meditate or whatever else helps you unwind and recharge your battery.