Regina Lark is the founder and president of A Clear Path: Professional Organizing and Productivity. As a Board Certified Professional Organizer, she specializes in working with people with chronic disorganization, ADHD, and hoarding disorders, as well as folks who have way too much stuff.
In a recent interview, Regina talked about clutter, the Clear Path team, and how we do the work of clearing the path to whatever is unique to you.
Why do people have clutter?
The amount of clutter in people’s homes and offices has a lot to do with their relationship to that clutter. I see people holding on to stuff they think they may need one day. “One day” is rarely defined and yet people are afraid that if they don’t have something they may need someday that something bad will happen if they don’t have that item. The same is true for holding on to that which once was, such as a card or memento, something from an event of the past… not letting it go makes me think that a person doesn’t have faith that good times, good memories, etc. will ever come again!
Those two perspectives – fear and a lack of faith in the future- means that many folks are letting the past and the future be more important than their level of comfort in the present.
Is that the only reason people have clutter?
Fear and lack of faith in the future?
Not at all! Clutter shows up in people’s lives for a variety of reasons. I’ve met many people who have clutter because of a major life transition – marriage, new babies, aging parents, empty nest, divorce, death… we each experience these transitions differently. A new mom may have felt pretty organized before the birth of her first child, then all of a sudden… BAM! No sleep! BAM! Ten times more work! BAM! More trips to the grocery store! And wow! Look at all the new stuff coming in to accommodate the new baby!
The Clear Path team helps our clients untangle from situational clutter by finding space in their place, create order out of disorder, hmake decisions about storage, rotating toys, clothes, etc. Once situational clutter is under control, people who were once organized can usually maintain their newly de-cluttered space.
More often than not, however, we see people with chronic disorganization and that’s not quite as quick a fix as situational clutter.
What is Chronic Disorganization?
According to Judith Kolberg, who coined the term chronically disorganized, people can’t remember a time when clutter didn’t rule their world. No matter what they do to help themselves get organized – bins, labels, books, storage – they never seem to reach their de-clutter goals. They have every de-clutter book imaginable, and yet the quality of their life feels impaired, uncomfortable, or too crowded.
People with ADD/ADHD, and right brain creative types, tend toward chronic disorganization. People who hoard are also chronically disorganized but on a scale and scope much different from right brain creatives or people with neuro-behavioral conditions.
So… how does this whole de-clutter and organize thing work
(are you going to make me throw away all my stuff?)
Our goals are your goals. Your stuff is not our stuff. What we do is create the PATH: Purpose, Action, Transform, Harmonize. We set goals, develop the action plan, transform your space and create harmony where it didn’t exist before.
One Organizer or four, for 2 days or 5 days, or once a week for a year, the Clear Path team works side-by-side with you to meet your goals. We help you make decisions about team size and duration based on these criteria: scope of project (clear a room or two, or the whole house?), timeline to completion, budget, and maintenance plan.
Regina, are you ever part of the team?
Sometimes. I love doing the work of hands-on organizing, and I’ve never met a garage I didn’t like! I get to work with a team of strong, kind, and compassionate Organizers. We have access to tremendous resources, an Ebay expert, and “body doubles.”
Since I started my organizing business I’ve been committed to furthering my education in the areas of ADHD, and chronic disorganization including hoarding disorders. I’m shifting some of my hands-on time to work with clients in other ways: phone and on-site coaching, developing time management skills, changing habits and modifying behaviors to maintain de-cluttered spaces.
Is there anything else you want to tell us?
Yes, one other thing. There is no shame in reaching out for us to help you! Being organized takes skills that a majority of people simply haven’t learned yet. Let us teach you those skills and guide you on YOUR Clear Path.
For more information or to arrange a media interview contact Regina directly at 818.400.9592 and Regina@AClearPath.net