Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Organizing for Others

I've recently been doing some organizing for others.
We have a local online resource 
where folks can post all types of things.
I placed an ad on there for my specific neighborhood
to offer my services for organizing.
One of my sweet neighbors called me
and we have worked on a couple of projects together.
It felt good to be of service,
but even more meaningful,
was that I was using the talents God gave me to help someone else.
Whether you are working with a stranger
or a family member, it's important to see the exercise from their perspective.

Here are a few considerations when you are helping others get organized:

*First and foremost,
clarify the intention for the space.
Have the client name what the space will be used for,
how they want to feel in the space,
and what they hope to accomplish there.
If they can articulate the vision,
it will make it easier to purge
so that they can see their ideas come to fruition. 

*Keep in mind the person's age or health condition.
Someone who is older or has physical limitations
may not be able to work at the same pace as you.
Use breaks as needed,
or consider dividing the job up into several visits.
This is also relevant for young kids,
or those with trouble focusing on one task for any length of time.
This will ensure that the experience is a rewarding one,
with small improvements easily being identified. 

*Decipher the client's storage style.
Does it make more sense to them to have their things hidden away,
or do they want to be able to see what they have at a glance?
 This would help in the decision to use open or closed shelving,
cabinets or baskets.
It may depend on the room itself as well.
In the bathroom (or any smaller room),
items which are left out may make the room feel even smaller or cluttered.
In a craft or sewing room, a garage or playroom,
it might be more efficient to be able to see your materials.

*Bring everything you'll need with you to the job.
Clients can supply bags or boxes
in which to place items when sorting,
but be ready to contribute them if necessary.
Storage bins should be provided by the client,
and I try to reuse what they already have.
Once the purging is complete,
many times the bins they already have can be reused
for the new categories.

*Labeling needs may vary.
I adore our label maker
and use it on a variety of items.
It helps things get put back where they belong
because you don't have to guess where they go.
Sometimes though, the size of the font won't be big enough.
The client may have vision issues,
or the items may be stored up high,
so labels would be more difficult to read.
In this case,
I simply use masking tape (or even pieces of paper) and a marker
and write as big and bold as is needed.

*When finishing up the sorting,
offer resources for picking up purged items.
Many thrift stores and charities will collect items
right at the front door,
so there is no need to deliver them.
This makes it that much easier for folks to donate,
and they can feel good about purging what they don't need.

I can't tell you how good it feels to help others
get their lives more organized.
Knowing that I am aiding them in reaching their goals
makes me feel like I am part of the bigger picture.
I am so grateful that I can be of service
doing something I truly love to do.

With spring around the corner,
it's a great time to get organized!

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