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Endings and Beginnings: Making Room for New Possibilities

The end of the year is a fitting time to reflect on who you are and who you want to be. An important part of your year-end review is making sure your surroundings support the life you want to live. At the December meeting of the Houston Clutter Coaching Meetup Group, Gayle Goddard, professional organizer and owner of The Clutter Fairy in Houston, Texas, talks about clearing out the stuff that no longer serves you to make room for new possibilities in the new year.

Uncluttered Home for the Holidays: Organizing Tips for a Peaceful Season

Halloween is right around the corner, and before you can say “Boo!,” it’ll be time for the annual sprint from Thanksgiving to New Year. The October meeting of the Houston Clutter Coaching Meetup Group focused on streamlining the holiday season for you and your loved ones. Gayle Goddard, professional organizer and owner of The Clutter Fairy in Houston, Texas, offered tips for simpler, less stressful, less cluttered solutions to holiday decorating, entertaining, and gift-giving.

Clutter Hacks: Tiny Tricks that Can Make a Big Difference

At our September 2014 meeting of the Houston Clutter Coaching Meetup, Gayle Goddard, professional organizer and owner of The Clutter Fairy in Houston, Texas, turns her attention to practical techniques for reducing clutter. She offers a baker’s dozen easy, five-minute tricks to move you toward a clutter-free life. Try all 13 as a one-hour-a-week clutter-prevention plan, or pick the ones that will make the biggest difference for you!

Your Personal Space of Shame: Organizing the Final Frontier

Most of us have a place that becomes our last refuge for clutter. You know the space we’re talking about—the closet where things go in but never come out, the unusable spare room, the junk drawer you can’t close (or dare not open), the impenetrable garage. At the August 2014 meeting of the Houston Clutter Coaching Meetup, Gayle Goddard, professional organizer and owner of The Clutter Fairy in Houston, Texas, discusses these trouble spots and offers tips for reclaiming your “personal space of shame” as a usable part of your home.

Your Personal Space of Shame: Organizing the Final Frontier (Meetup)

Junk drawer

What clutter trouble spot is your personal space of shame?

Photo credit: Liz West, used under terms
of Creative Commons Public License.

Houston Clutter Coaching August 2014 Meetup

Thursday, August 21, 2014
7:00–8:30 p.m.
FREE

Professional organizer Gayle Goddard facilitates the meeting of the Houston Clutter Coaching Meetup Group.

Henshaw House (Nature Discovery Center)
Russ Pitman Park
7112 Newcastle St.
Bellaire, TX 77401
713-667-6550

…[Read more]

Maintenance: How to Keep Your Decluttering Machine Running Smoothly

Whether you’re confronting a long-term clutter problem or starting anew in a pristine space, a critical part of creating an organized life is maintenance. Well-designed maintenance routines can stop a bad situation from getting worse and can keep an organized space functioning smoothly. And you might find that establishing good maintenance habits gives you a fresh outlook on your old clutter. Our July 2014 meetup explored the hows and whys of powerful maintenance routines for avoiding clutter.

Love and Stuff: Dealing with the Things Left Behind

The wonderful short film below came to me via a professional association just as I was writing material for the June meeting of the Houston Clutter Coaching Meetup Group on the topic of clutter and aging. The film by Judith Helfand tells the story of dealing with the stuff left behind after her mother died. The story is a perfect example of the situation that arises when the family is left to dismantle a lifetime of stuff after a loved one passes away.

Watch the film and tell me in the comments how you relate to it. (I’m sure that you will.)

Many thanks to Judith Helfand for sharing her story and her mother’s.

Love and Stuff by Judith Helfand

I talked about Ms. Helfand’s film in the June 2014 meetup because it expertly illustrated so many of the points I wanted to cover in the talk. You can view that talk here:

We’re Not Getting Any Younger: Clutter and Aging

We’re Not Getting Any Younger: Clutter and Aging (Meetup)

art floral grunge background pattern

Our clutter problems becoming more complicated as we age.

Houston Clutter Coaching June 2014 Meetup

Thursday, June 26, 2014
7:00–8:30 p.m.
FREE

Professional organizer Gayle Goddard facilitates the meeting of the Houston Clutter Coaching Meetup Group.

Henshaw House (Nature Discovery Center)
Russ Pitman Park
7112 Newcastle St.
Bellaire, TX 77401
713-667-6550

…[Read more]

Psychology of Clutter and Hoarding and the IOCDF Clutter Image Rating Scale

NAPO 2014 Conference Badge

A NAPO Conference 2014 Report

by Gayle Goddard
Professional organizer and owner of The Clutter Fairy

I recently attended the National Association of Professional Organizers 2014 Annual Conference and Organizing Expo in Scottsdale, Arizona. The conference is a great four days of new products, great education, and lots of fun with colleagues.

I attended a fabulous session entitled “Distracted & Obsessed: Helping ADHD and/or OCD Clients” presented by Dr. Roberto Olivardia, a clinical psychologist and instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He’s an ADHD/OCD specialist who has ADD himself. He gave a great discussion on the differences between OCD and ADD and how those differences affect one’s ability to organize. Both disorders affect executive function—the set of mental processes that allow us to perform activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space—but in completely different ways, and both can lead to hoarding behaviors.

Another organizer in the session shared a helpful resource that visually represents levels of clutter or hoarding. Check out the Clutter Image Rating Scale from the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF). This PDF guide shows photos of several sample rooms that range from completely clean (photo #1) to a hoarding situation (photo #9). The document is designed to help people get an accurate sense of the seriousness of a clutter problem.