Client 1, Part 1
So I’m gonna tell you about a particular client that I worked with recently who had a mammoth organizing/sorting job.
This person is a bachelor. Well actually not really a bachelor, but someone who had gone through a divorce and so was living alone.
This person had had several strikes against him over the last 10 years. The marriage he was in had ended in a very emotionally traumatic divorce which left him destroyed and emotionally incapacitated.
After the divorce another situation became clear which was that his aging parents needed his full-time care. Instead of putting them into a nursing facility, he took on 100 % of their care alone. He had siblings but they did not choose to participate in the care of their parents and so the entire load fell to him.
Both of the parents were very sick and they were both in the same house. Their declined lasted for seven years, during which time the guy took care of both of them. Toward the end of their days he moved them from their house into his house so that he could be with them 24/7.
The combination of the full-time caregiving following on the heels of the devastating divorce basically did this guy in. He let the house go and just did not care about how it looked or about anything.
The first time I saw the house it was pretty overwhelming.
Oh, I should mention that the result also of his life situation was that he then succumbed to depression. I don’t know the full extent of the depression but when I saw the house, it was obvious that that had come into play.
So as I said the first time I walked in, it was pretty impressive and overwhelming.
The house was all dark. All of the windows had curtains drawn across them and there was virtually no natural light in the house and only dim electrical light.
Every surface was covered with piles of stuff. There were mounds of clothes all over everywhere and I assumed that they were mostly dirty. There was a pile of clothes on the bed and I did learn that those were clean. There were piles and piles of paperwork literally covering the floor and the countertops.
This person obviously either had money or at one point had had money because It was a nice house with granite countertops, tall wood cabinets, Crown molding, track lighting, high-quality appliances , etc. There were giant screen TVs, multiple screens and monitors, tons of hi end electronics, lots of musical instruments, etc.
There was a 1000-square-foot finished garage that was equally stuffed with boxes overflowing with paperwork, books, boxes of cables and electronics, shelves and shelves of who knew what, boxes of medical equipment, boxes of dental supplies, tools, products, pills, etc., etc.
This was the job that I faced as I stepped in to help him reclaim his house and his garage and ultimately his life.
It was hard to even know where to start because he also was not a person that wanted to throw anything away. So the challenge of the job was to clear out space when there was no other empty space to move anything into.
I picked one room to start with and that was the bedroom. I picked that room because to me, the bedroom is the sanctuary where you retreat to sleep, and if your sleeping environment is chaotic, it will impact your quality of rest.
So that’s where we started. I instructed him to get a box and put all of the paperwork that was on the floor into the box. He said that paperwork had been there on the floor for several years. I folded and hung up all of the clothes that were on the bed. Those two actions drastically transformed the room. We started there and then we picked up the other stuff that was on the floor. Some of it was dirty clothes, some of it was empty boxes.
By the end we were both amazed at how it looked. It gave us momentum for the next task.