From Hoarding to Hope

Are your emotions tucked under a pile of possessions?


“Before you came, I felt so tired, and I thought it was my health problems. But since you’ve been here, I have a new excitement–I have energy again!”

I’ve put these words under a magnifying glass and I’m analyzing them from every angle. It’s not the first time I’ve heard them. What is the explanation for this phenomenon? It isn’t the first time nor the last that we’ve explored the connection between emotions and organization in this blog, and it certainly won’t be the last. This time, all I have to offer are random thoughts that I’m going to attempt to sort and file in their proper places.

Clutter accumulates for a number of reasons. Often, due to the American Dream and the accompanying lifestyle, time is the main factor. However, many times our emotions and past experiences dictate our habits. For instance, often I find that those who have lived thru the depression or who had very little growing up are reluctant to subtract anything from their homes– after all, what if they need it some day? Or perhaps, possessions have been kept due a loss where one attempts to hang on to a person or time period. This leads to a situation where nothing is ever parted with. And, as with anything, you really can have too much of a good thing. What people thought would make them feel happy and secure is the very reason they tell me they now feel burdened down.

Other times, an individual or family was fairly tidy until tragedy struck or some major life changed occurred, and things simply kept piling up. It may be a combination of all of the above.

And that’s my cue to enter the scene. Sure, it’s possible for people to do this on their own. But it turns out that’s another issue. On your own. Alone. Life is, in general, better shared with others. It makes the road smoother and the load lighter. This is where my meandering thoughts finally land. As clutter often comes out of difficult or stressful circumstances, the relief experienced in tidying up with an organizer is twofold. First, there is the obvious that one can move and breathe freely in a space again (and find their belongings!). But also, and maybe more importantly, is the fact that someone joined alongside and helped make life look doable once more. This sentiment, perhaps, is what makes organizing for others so gratifying, and I’m thankful to all those to walk my road with me as well.

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