Does clutter bother or overwhelm you and you don’t know what to do about it? Have you ever thought about joining a clutter support group? I am here to reassure you that almost everyone has some form of clutter in their lives from time to time.
I am a professional organizer and even I have times during the year when one part or another of my home is full of clutter. Take the holidays, for instance. My family room, leading up to the holidays, can get cluttered with gifts, wrapping paper, ribbon, cards and holiday decorations. But I know where everything belongs, and my habit is to put things away as I am finished using them. During tax season my office can get messy as I sort through my paperwork in advance of filing my taxes.
I’m talking about this because I want to let you know that clutter support groups are available to guide you. Whether you are a person who has always had problems with clutter or if the clutter in your home is temporary. Read on to find out how a clutter support group operates, who it is for, and the benefits of participating.
Clutter support groups are not just for people with hoarding-like behaviors
There are many different kinds of clutter. There’s the clutter that is stuff that a person brings home and puts down because they don’t know where to put it. Most likely they didn’t think about where the stuff would live once they got it home. So just for now it’s stacked somewhere.
There’s the clutter that exists because the person isn’t in the habit of putting things away even if the items have a place to go. Maybe this person likes to see their things because in their mind if they can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. So, almost everything is not put away but in reality, they can’t see what they have because it’s just a jumble of stuff.
There’s cluttered up thoughts because the person has so many projects they want to work on but they don’t know what to do first, so they do nothing. Perhaps there are many projects in various stages of completion.
Some people have clutter in only one spot in their home like the office, the kitchen counters, or their closets. Some people have clutter everywhere.
Who is the group for?
Clutter support groups are for anyone who wants to work on their space by themselves but needs support and accountability. The people who join a clutter support group don’t want someone like a professional organizer to work side by side with them in their home, but they do need guidance, suggestions (what to do with the things they don’t want for example) and support.
Clutter support groups are also helpful for someone who might enjoy having a professional organizer help them one-on-one but does not have enough money in their budget right now. The support group will help them move forward without breaking the bank.
Finally a clutter support group is also be for someone who is struggling with hoarding-like behaviors and wants to learn how to let go of the excess and how to organize the things they are keeping, one area at a time.
Where do they take place?
In years past these groups were sometimes held in person at libraries or in restaurants. There was and still is usually a nominal fee to join. Some groups have a particular topic they address each month, and some let each person decide what they want to be their focus for the month or the series of sessions.
Technology and the ease with which people now meet online has resulted in the many clutter support groups scheduling their meetings using Facetime, Skype, or Zoom platforms.
Meeting online is easy because there’s no traveling involved. People from different states and time zones can easily participate. You don’t have to allow time to find a parking space or feel obligated to purchase food if you’re at a restaurant. Since you’re using the camera on your computer you can show as much or as little of your background as you want. And you don’t even have to show your face. The only thing you need is a reliable internet connection.
What are the benefits of participating?
Joining a clutter support group gives a person the sense that they are not alone. They hear the other participants in the group talk about their struggles or challenges with clutter. The group leader (either a professional organizer or a therapist) will offer strategies specific to one person’s situation which they can tweak or modify to suit other people in the group.
The obvious benefits from participating in a clutter support group include gaining space in your home by removing things you don’t need, saving time and saving money. When you only have the things in your home which support the life you want to live, you don’t waste time hunting for certain belongings. Likewise, when you remove clutter, you don’t go out and buy replacements for things you think you have but cannot find. Less obvious benefits are the support and encouragement from the other participants as well as feeling empowered by having control over your environment.
Clutter support groups are a wonderful option for anyone who wants to be more organized. Some people participate in a clutter support group for a short period of time to accomplish a specific project because they realize they need the support and accountability. Other people join a clutter support group and participate more long term because they want guidance, support, and accountability across many areas in their home and life.
If clutter in your space bothers you but are not sure where to start, joining a clutter support group can be a way of testing the waters. You can see if this type of support helps you. You would not be signing up for a long-term investment in time and money. So if it doesn’t work for you, you know not to sign up again. The clutter support group that I co-moderate with Jonda Beattie has monthly sessions. Click here to read more about our clutter support group.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane and Jonda Beattie are the best-selling authors of: Filled Up and Overflowing.