Yep, I hired a professional organizer. This isn’t something I’ve done in the past but it’s something I’ve wanted to do. And you’re thinking: “isn’t your place already perfectly organized?” The short answer is no. I’m generally organized and tidy. But even an organized person needs a refresh once in a while.
So, after living in our place for about 14 months, I decided it was time. I was itching to do some version of spring cleaning. So I figured– why don’t I treat myself to what I offer others day in and day out. It was time to reevaluate the things we brought into our home to determine if we still use or need them.
And here’s what I learned:
- We all have too much stuff and we’re not using a lot of it. I already knew this, but now, I really know this. In my house, we found far too many hair care products, body lotions, sunscreens and cosmetics expiring under my bathroom sink. We also rediscovered a slew of at-home COVID workout equipment: a water weight and free weights, exercise bands and booty bands, a pilates ring and jump ropes. And quite a few specialty spices we haven’t cooked with since moving in.
- We are drawn to the things we like and feel good in, including cosmetics. I threw out lotions that made my face feel tacky and serums with a scent I found unappealing. It was liberating to let go of the feeling that “I should be using these things” just because I spent money on them. It’s also empowering to know what cosmetics or [fill in the blank] I like and I stick to them. And jeans. Years ago I may have wrestled my way into a pair of jeans that looked good but surely didn’t feel good. But after two years of living in PJs, I now want my jeans to feel as close to yoga pants as possible. Comfort is key.
If I’m not using it, it’s not really useful or valuable to my life.
- Even as a professional who helps others do this everyday, I found it difficult to get rid of things that I perceive as valuable or useful (even if I wasn’t using them). So I tried to remind myself: if I’m not using it, it’s not really useful or valuable to my life. There’s someone else out there that might find value in what I have. And then it’s up to me to decide: should I donate or sell? I listed a few things on the spot (like the entire set of workout equipment above). I donated everything else. A tip: If you’re going to sell something, set a limit on how long you’re willing to hang on to said item before you donate it. Ask yourself what’s more important: the money or the space. For me, creating space in our 900 square foot bungalow is more important than making money off my unused stuff. So if I don’t sell the stuff within a week, I’ll donate it or list it on my local Buy Nothing Facebook group.
- It was invaluable having someone there keeping me accountable. This was the most insightful part of the experience. Even though I’ve decluttered and organized my own home before (without external help) and I do this daily for other people, it was much more efficient to have someone there. She kept me on track and asked the right questions to get me to take action. Remember humans are hardwired to resist change. It’s easier and more comfortable to stay the same than to change. Having an accountability partner can be all we need to create the space or become the person we desire.
Anyway, I just wanted to share this experience to give you perspective. We all need help sometimes.