Client Spotlight: Colleen

Today's blog features my first client spotlight!  This Q&A with my incredible client Colleen will shed even more light on my process that I work through with my clients.  Colleen and I spent much of the fall together working intensively through her home.  During this time I got to know a beautiful soul and I was so incredibly proud of all the work Colleen accomplished.  Read about it in Colleen's words and enjoy some of the before and after pictures in the slideshow below.

Why did you hire a professional organizer?

I had been thinking of having an organizer come for a few years because the clutter in my house had just gotten so out of hand there was no way I felt I could handle it on my own. Every time I would start, I’d give up because I felt overwhelmed. I also knew there were psychological reasons for why I was hanging on to the clutter along with why I so badly wanted to be free of it. I had read "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up," by Marie Kondo, and it really resonated with me. So when I saw that Jes incorporated aspects of that method into her work I knew it was a match.

What were your concerns and your expectations going into this work together?

My first concern was embarrassment over the state of my house. I would generally clean for hours before having anyone over so just letting Jes in was on my mind a lot. But I deliberately didn’t clean a bit because the whole point was for her to see what I was dealing with.

My other main concern was worry over being forced to let things go because I knew how psychologically attached I get to many of my possessions.

As far as expectations, I just knew I’d have improvement and help getting there. And that was such a relief to know that even before we started.

What was the hardest part of the process for you?

The hardest part of the process for my was the psychological aspect. Working through WHY you are holding on to things can get pretty emotional. And I went through a full gamut of emotions, sometimes within a single day. I’d be excited Jes was over, then we’d hit upon items and memories or issues would hit that we’d talk through, sometimes things that had never occurred to me or I’d long forgotten.

Were you surprised by anything during the process?

I was surprised to see my shopping habits change; to observe now myself thinking through a purchase rather than just buying. I was also surprised to see how much I started getting rid of and how easily I began donating or throwing away things that weren’t bringing me joy that I know I would have otherwise kept. But I think what I’ve been most surprised by is how I do not miss the things I was hanging on to.

Has your life changed since going through the process?

My days are simpler. Routine things are easier because I can find what I need quickly and easily, whether it’s getting dressed for work, or packing the kids’ lunches… I also feel I can have guests over without needing a lot of notice. I can clean up my living room in fifteen minutes instead of a day. It makes life much more relaxing and gives more time for family.

Jes had also mentioned in the process that I may notice life changes I didn’t expect when I went through this process. I had a new job opportunity arise and I’m in a position I now love. I don’t feel it’s a coincidence because I do think the energy you surround yourself with draws like energy and I’m surrounded by a lot more positivity now.

I’ve stopped buying as much and I’m a much more thoughtful shopper now. I’m able to identify what really brings me joy, and that was a question I couldn’t answer when I first started working with Jes.

What words of advice or thoughts do you have for someone who is thinking of hiring Jes?

I would say absolutely do it! It is a life changing experience and can only make your life better. Don’t be embarrassed by the state of your house or how daunting and overwhelming the task seems. It does take time, possibly a lot of time, but it’s so worth it in ways you won’t even know until you go through the experience. I would also say don’t fear that Jes will “make you” get rid of things. She has never forced me to do so, only talked through why I’m holding on to things and encouraged and supported me to let go when it felt appropriate to me.

Any final thoughts or comments?

Decluttering can be a long and slow process, and I’m not done by any means. There are possessions I’m still attached to that I know I should let go, and it does take maintenance and practice until it becomes second nature. But with Jes’ support I’m getting there, and the positive benefits of this process are immeasurable.

The decluttering process is a marathon, not a sprint.  Colleen has learned new skills to maintain a decluttered home and embraced new habits to support her new skillset.  One basic skill Colleen has put into practice is that of categorizing the stuff in her home and storing her items by category.  When she is ready to tackle memorabilia it is all gathered up together, ready to be sorted! 

Colleen did a tremendous amount of work this fall and I couldn't be more excited that she agreed to share her story with us as the first Client Spotlight.  Thank you, Colleen!

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