This is my 16th year in business as a Professional Organizer. That’s a lot of closets, garages, and filed papers! It is safe to say I am confident and experienced in planning, purging, and executing a project.
Flash forward to today, and after 30 years in our home, we are expanding and renovating our kitchen and garage – two inspiring projects. I am finally getting an eat-in kitchen and an island! As I write this, our garage has been demolished and is being rebuilt. Next week the contractor is breaking down the wall of the old kitchen to begin expanding and rebuilding the new one.
Since we’ve lived in our home for 30 years, we’ve had many opportunities to acquire stuff. I’ve never met a vase or antique pitcher I didn’t love, and my husband has a propensity for the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets. Every shelf, drawer, and cabinet is jam-packed, albeit BEAUTIFULLY ORGANIZED, but full.
I started packing a few weeks ago by taking my own advice and breaking down a big project into manageable baby steps. Each night I’d aim to fill 1 to 2 boxes. I noticed that my husband not only wasn’t helping but was adamant that we should hire help.
Jocelyn: “Hire help? Adam, you know I help clients pack all the time. People pay me to do this! I’m a pro -.”
Adam: “I am overwhelmed! I need someone to help me, so I want to hire someone.”
Jocelyn: “I’m that someone!”
Adam: “I need my own organizer to work with…someone who isn’t you.”
I love my husband, but this was infuriating and perplexing! Without dragging you into an Esther Perel marriage counseling session, I will tell you that I eventually understood that to launch and move forward, Adam needed a body double/ accountability partner….and her name wasn’t Jocelyn.
Last week my organizing colleague Erin showed up to help. She was cheerful, helpful, and patient. Erin worked with Adam (and me!) for 5 hours to help empty and pack up these two rooms. We accomplished a great deal, and Adam was so happy and productive.
Much to my surprise, I experienced many emotions that I know my clients experience all the time – vulnerability, nervousness, frustration, embarrassment, etc. I was exhausted after Erin left – I felt decision fatigue and physical fatigue. Being the client was much more draining and anxiety-provoking than being the organizer.
So, to my current and former clients who are reading this, I get it!! Thank you for trusting me to guide you through purging, packing, organizing, etc. I recognize your bravery, and I am honored to help you. It has always been a joy and privilege to help others with their organizing projects, and I’m so grateful Erin was here to motivate and help us.
Jocelyn, it was my pleasure and thank you for trusting me to come into your home and work along side you. You and Adam actually work well together as you are each respectful of where the other is coming from. Keep the end game in mind whenever the trials of living through a renovation get to you!
When you walked into our home, you said your tote was your Mary Poppins bag. Well, you made this challenging task fun and achievable… “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap; the job’s a game,” – Mary Poppins.
Thank you, Erin, for being our Mary Poppins and helping us to find the fun!
WOW Jocelyn, you hit the bulls-eye with this one. It is eye-opening and HARD to be a client, and paraphrasing Dr/Sir William Osler, “treating” ourselves is not so effective either. Good for you and Adam!!
I learned a great deal by stepping into the shoes of the client. Thank you so much for your cheers and support!