Hey!!! Genevieve Here! I'm SO excited to start sharing some of the Before & After's from our Decluttering In-Home Sessions with you!
Currently, our Decluttering In-Home Sessions can be booked in 2 Hour Increments. You can book as many hours as you want at once and then they are scheduled by 2-4 Hours // Day. You can learn more about our Decluttering In-Home Sessions HERE>>
Today I'm sharing Lauren's In-Home session with you! Her session is special, because she received a Free 2 Hours by signing up to host a Learning Party with us! If you're interested in receiving 2 Free Hours - learn more about hosting your own Learning Party HERE>>
Our In-Home Session started in Lauren's office. She has a lot of new and exciting goals she's tackling for her business and wanted to create a clean & clear space for focus.
At the beginning of every session, we go over what your goals are, what kind of home you want to create, why you're interested in the process and what areas of your home are your main pain points. Then from there, we use your answers to create an outline for how we'll start.
Lauren actually didn't have a lot in the space to begin with, so we easily tackled this space in the allotted 2 hours.
The closet in her office had started to become a catch-all for random things that either didn't have a place or needed to have some decisions made about them.
We always begin by emptying everything out on the floor - that way we can see what we're working with and can begin to categorize and group like things.
A lot of clutter happens because we simply don't know what we have and then when we need a particular item and can't find it, we go out and buy duplicates.
Putting everything out in one space, no matter how messy it looks, can help solve this issue.
My Role in the Process
I love this work because it feels SO good once it's done - and during [most of the time] as well! I never ever ever force anyone to get rid of anything. I'm not showing up to throw your stuff away. That's no good. If I did that - you'd just go out and replace it or make your space even more cluttered than before we started.
My role is to help with the purging process. I do "force" you to question each and every item and by "force" I mean, I pick up every single thing, hold it up and ask what you want to do with it. If you know without a doubt that it's 'keep' or 'get rid of' - I put it in the pile it needs to go in, no questions asked. If you're struggling to answer, that's when coaching starts to play a role in the process.
We talk about what feelings, thoughts or memories are coming up for you that are causing you to be indecisive about that particular item. Nine times out of ten, it's something that needs to go but we're questioning ourselves because we spent money on it or there's some kind of guilt associated with it, like it's your kid's artwork or your mom gave it to you.
We work through whatever feeling or doubts you're experiencing and then ultimately decide what to do with the item, whether that be keep, donate, dispose of responsibly or put in a Maybe Box. The Maybe box // drawer is one of my favorite tools because it alleviates the discomfort of having to make a decision right then in the moment and gives you a grace period of time to think it over.
If too many things are winding up in the 'keep' or 'maybe drawer' pile, then we'll go back through and make sure those items are truly in the right place. I suggest revisiting the maybe items in no longer than 30 days so you can clear it out and it doesn't start to become part of the clutter again.
While we're sorting and categorizing, I go over whether something that you've decided to "throw away" is recyclable or compostable. My mission during the decluttering process is not to just hurry up and get it over with and out of your house - my mission is to get you aligned with WHY you bought these items or have held onto these items to begin with.
If our reasons aren't in alignment with our values & goals or what we want out of life, then coming face to face with them will help us to break those patterns and help us to remember the next time we're out shopping.
I'm also passionate about educating on the proper ways to dispose of things we no longer want or need by either composting it, recycling it curbside or taking // mailing it to a recycling center. When we learn about everything that goes into properly disposing of something, it can encourage us to find alternatives that are less waste-producing, making it better for ourselves and the planet.
Finally, once we've gone through everything and have put your space back together, I take everything you've decided to let go of with me to be taken to donation centers and // or recycled or composted.
Then I send you the information on where your stuff ended up and how much we diverted from the landfill. It's very important that we fully embrace every aspect of the process so that we don't need to continuously go through this process on this scale.
Dealing with clutter is an on-going process, but undergoing large scale decluttering sessions should really only happen a couple of times, and what I mean by that is, once you've done one pass, you might realize there's more for you to declutter, so you do it again. You might even do this 3-4 times. That's perfectly ok and totally normal for the process.
What we want to prevent from happening is going through a large scale decluttering process and then NEEDING to do it again because you've accumulated more and more stuff. If that's happening, I would advise working with a trained Psychologist to uncover why you're doing this, so they can help break you from these habits.
I really wish I had remembered to take pictures of her desk drawers BEFORE, because we cleared out quite a bit! Because we dumped everything out, we were able to see duplicates and find things that she wanted to keep, but were just in the wrong space in the house.
The closet was the largest transformation! During the process we came across a blender that had been sitting in the box for months that Lauren had kind of forgotten about. We were about to donate it when she remembered that the one in her kitchen hadn't been working very well - so we stopped what we were doing and made the swap so that the right blender would be where it needed to be - and because I was questioning every single item, she was able to recycle the many booklets that came with the blender, that would have just ended up in a drawer someplace.
We also moved some wall art pieces to another room for her to test out if she wanted to use them in that space, put the vacuum cleaner where it goes and donated pretty much everything else besides her printer, some workout equipment and some files - all of which are waiting for the file / printer stand she is planning on getting for the space.
Ta-Da! Here's everything I took with me! The blender box and pink striped bag were both completely filled with recyclables!
When I walked into Lauren's office in the beginning, it really didn't look like there was much stuff in there, so I was shocked to see how much left with me - and that's not including all of the things we put back in other areas of the house!
Lauren really powered through! She got A LOT done in two hours!
Where Did Lauren's Stuff Go?
- 9.8 lbs Curbside Recycling
- .7 lbs Compost [Pieces of paper smaller than your hand]
- 5.2 lbs Drop-Off Recycling [Metal and Appliances]
- 32 lbs Donations [Classroom Central & The FreeStore]
Which means a total of...
47.7 lbs were diverted from the landfill! That's AWESOME!
Why should you care about diverting from the landfills? Well, did you know that the average American produces 4.5 lbs of trash A DAY?! Yeah - it's crazy! Recycling is good, but it's not the solution because a lot of things can only be down-cycled, which means they are made into a lower quality material that then can't be recycled again.
Also - our landfills are getting FULL and our recycling centers can't handle how much is coming their way! Did you know that the US's 6th largest export to China is trash? Yeah - when we don't have the facilities to deal with it - we ship it off to other countries to deal with it, namely China.
BUT. China passed a ban on foreign garbage on January 1st which has most of the Western world scrambling trying to come up with solutions for dealing with their trash that they didn't give any thought to because they could just ship it off before.
Hiding our clutter and waste issues is only going to make our situations worse. Dealing with them head-on, however embarrassing, ugly or overwhelming they may be, is the only way we can come up with solutions to responsibly dispose of the trash & recyclables we already have while simultaneously coming up with solutions for making things out of more sustainable, higher quality materials.
Every little bit of plastic and styrofoam we can avoid HELPS! Every decision we make to not buy that item just because it's cute or on sale HELPS!
With only one room in the house - we were able to divert 47.7 lbs of trash to the landfill. All of it was excess or things that Lauren didn't want or need any longer and ALL of it got taken care of as responsibly as it could have been, given our current recycling systems.
It was truly such a great experience getting to work with Lauren on clearing out the clutter and making her office space a clean and clear space for her to focus on her work - but don't take my word for it, see what Lauren had to say below!
Like I said, I LOVE doing this work! I LOVE the freedom it brings people while also doing our part to steward the planet and our resources - it's all interconnected!
Still here? Thank you for reading about Lauren's In-Home Session!
Interested in learning more about how you can reduce your waste? I offer Zero-Waste Consulting as well as Minimalism Mentoring packages HERE>>
Whatever your goals - I'd love to partner with you to clear out the clutter and the waste so you can live lighter & free!