As a Professional Organizer I am always surprised when I get a call from someone who says they want help with Organizing, only to walk into their home and find it overly organized and almost sterile. The client, although, seemingly "organized" is so focused on organizing and cleaning and dusting everything that they can't function in the rest of their life. They can never truly relax in their space. Chances are the client may suffer from either OCD(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) or OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder). OCD (clean type) as I call it, drives a person to obsess so heavily on cleaning they become compulsive about finding every germ, peice of dust and cobweb. I heard one lady scrubbed her bathtub so hard with abrasives she scrubbed the enamel off. That is overdoing it. I also heard about a guy who vacumns daily spending close to 4 hours a day with the tool. He values being with friends and being an enterpreneur, but his obsession with cleanliness and order has taken over. This is a very serious mental health challenge and the person may seriously want to seek professional help.
OCPD as described in a previous blog is the over consideration of a project, so much so that you lose the point of the task. The person has difficulty delgating tasks to others and holds on to everything, even if rendered useless. Clients with those traits will have a relatively organized space, but with something or some room just never really completed, and filled with stuff they do not use, want or need.
With clients that have these overly obsessed and compulsive behaviors it is a big step to allow a Professional Organizer in. Remember part of being obsessed and overly focused on something is the control. Allowing someone else to come in a delegate the movement, change and removal of your stuff is brave, daring and risky. Come on, it's your stuff.
It reminds me of George Carlton's skit on "stuff" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvgN5gCuLac
Please watch and entertain yourself.
Work on balancing your life, your stuff, how clean, how dirty, how organized and how happy you really are. Put things into perspective. Ask yourself what you truly value and what you really want to accomplish in life. If you value family time, and travel. Ask yourself if polishing your stove 3 times a week will get you more family time and travel, and if the answer is no, lighten up on the polishing.
So feel the dirt and grime and chaos and relax anyway!!
Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of I-Deal-Lifestyle, a Self and Space Organization Service.