Believe it or not, it has taken me over three years to convince someone who is very near and dear to let me help get her closet in order? And, she has recommended me to many of her friends and family. Go figure? Let me elaborate.
For the past three years, I have continually heard:
“I am so frustrated with getting dressed in the morning!”
“I can’t seem to get out of the house on-time!”
“I just don’t know what to wear!”
“I never used to have this issue. It was never a problem for me putting outfits together.”
My response was always, “Why don’t I come over and help you?” Her reply was always, “No, you’ll make me get rid of too many things I really like!”
Nothing could be further from the truth. No worthwhile professional organizer should have an aggressive, ‘It’s my way or the highway attitude.’ Coming into anyone’s home like a steamroller is contrary to the nature of our profession. Working with those who need some organizational strategies is a delicate process. All that’s required is motivation, trust, transparency, an open mind to change, and a friend to help.
Recently, this same person had been invited to a wedding. What she asked of me was the opportunity I was looking for. She wanted me to help her choose an outfit, from her wardrobe for the occasion. Together, we chose the dress, jewels, purse, and shoes. She thanked me graciously and told me she had so many clothes it was stressful getting dressed each morning. I suggested the both of us go through everything she had on hand and do some ‘Spring Wardrobe Cleaning.’ She was so excited and blurted out, “Can we start now? First, I asked her to go through her closet and remove any items that have not been worn in the last 6 months to a year. We accumulated a pile of about fifteen, which we put aside for donation. Then I suggested she try on each item that was left, while keeping in mind style, comfort and flattering fit. Moving on, we remove all items that were not in season. This, in and of itself freed a lot of space in her closet. Lastly, I coordinated numerous outfits for her which consisted of multiple tops to be worn with her selection of slacks or skirts. I moved the coordinated outfits to one side of her closet and categorized what was left by item and color on the other side.
Her only negative concern was the clothes to be donated. That quickly dissipated as I explained that I would handle dropping them off. She was extremely grateful for the gentle nudge especially after I explained how rewarding it is to donate to those less fortunate. The sense of relief she felt was obvious and palpable. We still have to conquer the bureau drawers and fall closet, but I’m not a bit concerned. With the success of the ‘initial purge,’ from here on it’s just a matter of baby steps.