Last night, I attended our monthly chapter meeting of NAPO-GA, the National Association of Professional Organizers. Each month, we have a different educational program on a topic that helps me better help you. This month, we were joined by Anne Keeton, a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and owner of Grief to Relief in Norcross, GA. Anne really helped us to understand the many myths of grief, the different sources of grief, and how to identify indicators of unresolved grief.
But what does this have to do with organizing, you ask? Almost everything.
Many, many clients call me to help them declutter, without really thinking about how the clutter came into being. There can be a whole lot of emotion stuffed into those boxes – pictures of your ex-husband (unresolved grief surrounding your divorce), a decade-old holiday card from your mom (now deceased), a box of infant clothing and crib décor from a baby (who passed away or was stillborn). Or you’re moving, which can be a source of grief by itself. Compounded by the fact that you’re moving because you’ve gotten a divorce, lost your job, and now have radically different finances? That’s FOUR types of grief in one fell swoop.
I’ve yet to meet an organizer who has never had a client break into tears during an organizing session. There are sometimes very painful reasons you’ve held off from going through those boxes, and that’s okay! Know that good professional organizers have received training on how to respond to those emotional moments, help you acknowledge the feelings, and help to move the process forward. We work every day with clients who are grieving and we are here to help.