Alix knew that she needed some help with organizing her student apartment, and with establishing some new habits to keep her ahead of clutter. How? An Internet search for a professional organizer led her to De-clutter Me! She called early on a Friday night, quickly apologizing for calling after 5.00 pm. Luckily, a cancellation for the next afternoon provided an opportunity to help out, and fast.
How best to use our time together? After a tour, as is typical with new clients, I asked what was bugging her most. After a bit of thought, she mentioned her desk, which she couldn’t use. We went to that area. Before clearing it, we straightened up her bureau top. Below it, drawers were open. I suggested that she might roll her t-shirts, so that she could see their varied colors easier, and also to save space.
Next, the desk. Her musician boyfriend Roy’s mother had given her a vintage Smith-Corona typewriter in excellent condition. She wanted to showcase it. We put other items away, including books into the bookcase next to the desk.
When we spoke on the phone, Alix said that she sometimes cleans for about six hours, then doesn’t do anything for a month. As we worked in the bathroom, I suggested that she use disinfecting wipes around the sink and commode every day, to keep ahead of those tasks. It takes almost no time at all, and makes bigger cleaning jobs less daunting.
With our remaining time, we moved into the kitchen. I suggested shelf extenders to “buy” unused, wasted space in the cupboards. We shifted some items around, like grouping baking supplies together, and placing big cereal boxes on their sides on top of the cupboards. Rarely used appliances and big platters went into the cupboard above the fridge. We agreed that some items, like flour and various grains, would stay fresh longer if stored in plastic containers, which also might use cupboard space better.
When our three-hour session ended, Alix was pleased. We’d conquered some clutter. She had some suggestions about how to stay ahead of it, and some new habits to add to her busy routine. Success!