Over the years I have been impressed by the motivation and dedication of my clients as they move toward their goals of living a clutter-free life. Also, every space affects every other space and any person who gets organized within a household will affect the others that live in the same space.

This story about one of my teenage clients and her mom is an affirmation that everything you organize in one area affects other areas and other people who share that space every single time!  In this case, the teenage daughter had also decided to get her room organized after watching the progress we were making in her mom’s room. 

After a few months of watching piles grow and cover every surface in her room, she decided to go for it and create space on her own. She persevered, made hard choices and kept the vision until she finished. She did a fantastic job!

Because we had already developed a basic structure of what should ‘live’ where and how much of each item was appropriate, it was probably easier for her to get back to “normal” and create a comfortable space where everything, once again, had a home and every drawer was able to close without effort.

This is why she said that she made the decision to get organized once again:

“My life in all aspects was starting to feel cluttered. I wanted to clear space so I decided to start with my room. It took me eleven hours but the relief that I felt and the burden that was lifted was well worth the time and sweat. I am so excited to walk in my room now!”

This case study proves the point that once you have a well thought out and structured system in place, it is fairly easy to get it back to ‘normal’. Organizing is always an ongoing project.

Since the clutter in this room had been building during a super busy school year, it took a bit longer to de-clutter. The good news is that the more often we get our space back to ‘normal’, the less time it takes to make it perfect. This client now has the skills and knowledge to maintain a clutter free dorm room which will be a handy trick in a year or two! Good job to ‘Miss Organized’ and her parents, all of you should be very proud!

Next check out the transcription of an interview that I had with the mother part way through our organizing process. This was recorded during a shining moment when her teenage daughter had also decided to get help getting her room organized after watching the progress we were making in her mom’s closet. I always say, “be the change you want to see” and this time it caused the ripple effect even before we were done with mom’s project. This conversation took place as we were standing in her daughter’s room and enjoying our accomplishments! 

Client: The reason I called you in the beginning was because I just basically lost hope about this room and about every finding a way to create some kind of a system for my teenager.  It was just always so unpleasant every time we would get in here. It was about more than the clutter, and it was about much more than what to keep and what to get rid of and how to organize it.

And so I think we started avoiding it. What finally made the difference was beginning to work with you and begin to do it for myself. I was learning how to create systems and how to find organization and order for my life and my things. My daughter must have been watching that and wanting to do it to because she one day just began after watching me. And it was the most amazing journey for me to see that my modeling of that helped her to want to do that for herself.

Kathi: She totally wanted it, she’s like, “I want to sort my clothes by colors like Mom,”….

Client: Yeah…and then she got so excited. She got into it after that because it was joyful rather than feeling oppressive and not fun. It used to be like OK, we’re going to do this and then it would always be, “And we’re going to do it all in 8 hours! We’re going to do it in one day!” And it never worked. It never stayed because it wasn’t from a place of carefully weighing and understanding why you were keeping this thing, and getting rid of that thing.

And I think it has to be the strategy you taught us for it to work, it has to be an outgrowth of who you are and who you want to be in the world.

Kathi: That’s nice.

Client: That’s my truth.

Kathi: And so now I think she can make these decisions easier, and if you ever can’t make a decision, then you just call me and I’ll get you unstuck. And it won’t take much….

Client: No but you have been amazing, and how I think you’ve helped most is every time we would hold something up and say, “But I can’t get rid of this!” you would say, “But it’s the memory that you have, you don’t need the thing anymore, or take a picture of it or do something but let go of the thing,” and also the idea that you’re moving it forward for somebody else who can use it and probably needs it….very powerful.

Kathi: I love that.

Client: I do too.

Kathi: Pass on your good. Move it forward, out into the world. Well, thank you.

Client: It’s been a joy to work with you.

Kathi: And you too. Ditto, we’re fans.

Client: We are. Fans of each other!

Or listen to what she had to say below:

Kathi Burns
Kathi Burns

Would like to feel more organized? If so, Kathi is here to help you.

Kathi’s expert advice has been featured in national media outlets including Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart Living and Better Homes and Gardens, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more.

As the author of 2 books, Kathi has also developed several online courses to help clients get better organized and energized in all areas of their home, life, and business.

Check out all of the systems you can use here

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