L – Laugh
While overwhelming clutter is no reason to laugh, you have to have a sense of humor to deal with it! I’ve had many an organizing session that started with tears and ended with laughter. While most people don’t find organizing fun, or even remotely amusing, I do! This is partly why I do what I do and what I try to bring to the organizing experience with clients.
Picture it: We are sitting on your floor going through a box of random stuff. Tedious, right? Not necessarily. Inevitably, there’s something unexpected in the box. Sometimes it’s finger puppets, sometimes it’s brass knuckles, and sometimes it’s a rubber ducky. Regardless of the item, it always illicit a “where’d this come from?” remark from the client, followed closely by a laugh.
Many people approach organizing with a lot of anxiety, especially if they’ve never done it before. That’s natural. Organizing and going through things that you haven’t seen in a long time, is anxiety-producing by nature. All sorts of unresolved insecurities and memories associated with your stuff tend to come up. Since you haven’t been successful at dealing with the clutter, you’re not sure how a stranger could help you. While we can’t (and shouldn’t) just laugh those away, using humor to mitigate some of those issues can ease the anxiety of the entire process. A good Professional Organizer bring many skills to the job, and a great Organizer gets you laughing in the process!
I had a client, early on, who would get very easily distracted. To lighten the mood we decided to call it ‘seeing a chicken’. I’m not sure why a chicken, but it worked. Every time she would drift off from the task at hand, I would yell “CHICKEN!” which always made both of us laugh and brought the attention back to where it needed to be. While you might not think that organizing can be fun (like I do), it’s definitely doesn’t have to be painful.
I’ve recently acquired a plastic microphone that plays “Let It Go” from frozen, just in case someone needs a little extra motivation (and laugh) to part with clutter.