I once worked with a client who owned two black garbage bags of mismatched socks. She had moved from one house to another with these two bags of socks, and refused to part with them. “It could easily take us a couple of hours to sort through all of these socks to try to find the mates for them,” I told her, “What if we just tossed these two bags of socks and you treated yourself to some new socks?” But the client thought that would be throwing away money and resources (“What if we accidentally throw out a matching pair of socks? That would be wasteful!” she said.) So she and I sorted through the socks, using an empty bedroom to line them up in rows, searching for mates.
This task took us two hours. We found three pairs of matching socks. For that time and effort and those three pairs of socks, the client paid $130 in labor.
That was 7 years ago. Now, I make a big effort to explain to clients that if they want to save time and money on my professional organizing services, the SMARTEST, FASTEST and CHEAPEST thing they can do is LET GO of at least 50 percent of their possessions. Fifty percent sound too unrealistic? Even if they can let go of 30 or 20 percent of what they own, they will save time, money and energy. This is because the high cost of organizing comes from these three steps of the organizing process:
- Sorting and making decisions about hundreds of individual items.
- Next, finding homes for hundreds of items.
- Finally, buying organizing products to store those hundreds of items.
The organization process can easily stretch on for months, if not a couple of years if the client has decades worth of stuff in their home and will not part with most of it.
So let’s make this process easier on you. Commit to living with less, and be open to the letting-go process. Rarely, rarely do clients ever regret letting go of anything. Always they are glad to have more open space and less stuff to manage in their lives.
Let go of a large percentage of your things, and save yourself time, money and energy in the process.
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