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My Typical Declutter Client - 20th May 2016
There are still people around who just don't understand the need for a service such as mine. 'How can they let it get so bad?' I'm asked by individuals who just can't imagine ever having clutter issues.
So, who are my clients? What are they like?
My clients are men and women of all ages, although predominantly women. Some are employed, others run their own business. Some are retired, and some are stay at home mums.
In some ways it's impossible to identify a 'typical' client but I can identify some common traits.
Creative people - and small business owners
These clients have homes full of equipment and materials which can be hard to organise. Being tidy and organised is almost a hindrance to being in the creative flow, so rooms often end up in a chaotic state.
Entrepreneurs are by their nature creative people and it's quite likely they will lack a flair for organisation. They may well consider it boring, but often they just don't know how to go about it.
Creative clients get in touch when they realise they need some balance. They want to embrace their creativity but they understand that the muddle is having a negative impact on their life in some way. For instance at home they may be embarrassed to invite people round. Maybe there are issues with other family members regarding shared space?
Business owners get to a point where they appreciate the need to keep records in an orderly way. There's probably been an awkward moment with a customer or supplier where it's become apparent that key information has been mislaid.
If the business is home based there will be additional organisational challenges and shared space with family members is a common theme.
Business owners with a creative business can find this a double-whammy!
Anxiety, depression and life events
These clients are stuck in a chicken-and-egg situation. Their illness means that the last thing they feel like doing is decluttering. However, because they spend long hours at home it's likely their environment has a negative impact on mood and is part of a vicious circle.
I don't make any claims to be an expert on either depression or anxiety and would always recommend trusted professionals such as Judith Hanson, a hypnotherapist who specialises in women with anxiety.
However, I can work in conjunction with any treatment. When a person feels ready to take some action regarding their clutter I make sure we work at a manageable pace dictated by the client. Often after a slow start clients become more energised and enthusiastic regarding decluttering. Especially when they can see the positive health benefits.
Emotional state definitely impacts on clutter. There are many other reasons why someone might go from being organised and clutter free to cluttered. Life events such as divorce, bereavement, empty-nest and redundancy all pack an emotional punch and can tip that delicate balance from feeling good and in control to feeling dreadful and overwhelmed. Anyone can be affected.
Some people contact me when they feel overwhelmed. Their frantic schedule means that they just never find time to declutter or get organised. For people in this situation it's important to establish systems that can be easily adopted as part of a routine.
I guess if I were to come up with one common attribute for all my clients it's that they've all come to a point where they've had enough of the status quo. They're ready for change, even when it feels scary. Ultimately they are all brave people.
Please share this blog with anyone you know who might be interested.
Keywords: anxiety, depression, life events, creative people