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.


Anonymous said...

I like your blog, I can always use tips for organizing. My room looks like something out of hoarders right now...(exaggerating of course).