I usually see a person apologizing for their mess.
They have already apologized during our initial phone assessment for letting things become a mess. They meet me at the door and apologize again. They often mention how embarrassed they are showing me their mess. They ask me if this is the worst I’ve ever seen and if other people have a mess like they do.
I always tell them there is no need to apologize because I never judge. In fact, I’ve already told them not to feel like they have to clean up before I come. I’ve told them it actually helps me design a better solution for them by seeing everything as it normally is. And, no, it’s not the worst I’ve seen because I’ve never truly seen a ‘mess’. I see the potential for calm and the opportunity for improvement. Most of all, I see a very brave but very overwhelmed person.
I see people who are primary caregivers for ill loved ones, clients who are battling their own illnesses, people who are coping with loss, people raising families, people who are working hard at demanding jobs or running a business. Many of the people I see are checking more than one box on this list.
I see people who have internalized the messages that we are supposed to buck up and do it ‘all’, be ‘all’ that and have it ‘all’ but have become overwhelmed when the weight of ‘all’ is too much to carry for any one person.
I see people who are incredibly brave, who do brave things everyday and were brave enough to call a professional organizer. I know how hard it is to ask for help. Especially when we are taught to shoulder our burdens and work harder and not complain. And, thus, the expectations we put on ourselves are often as weighty as the physical stuff we find ourselves burdened by.
I see people who have reached their breaking point and managed to march beyond.
I see people who are brave and who have committed to moving forward.
I see people who need to unload their burdens – physical and mental.
But, I never, ever see a mess.