Hoarding challenges better stated as over-collecting, over-accumulation and churning behaviors create unsafe, unlivable, and often deadly environments for people to live in. It is in the extreme cases that Professional Organizer, that use the I-Deal-Lifestyle Methods, are the best possible avenue for having a safe and sound environment occur.
The beginning I-Deal-Lifestyle methods, for severe, chronic or mild cases are the same. The first I-Deal-Lifestyle methods involve, clearing the entire contents out of the existing space, then organizing all belongings into categories. Every single object in the home ends up with like objects. Yet in severe cases where there is significant attachment to objects, and strife, and where extreme anxiety would occur, there is NO editing involved.
Editing or going through items, with people who have very little insight and who have no intention of parting with items is NOT a good idea, and will cause harm.
Marla Stone creator of the I-Deal-Method of organizing, explains "the next step for people with high attachment is to keep their categorized items in clear plastic bins by category, out of walk ways, off the furniture, preferably on shelving that can go anywhere a shelf can go". The idea behind that is "when people can see their belongings, clearly, it cuts way back on the churning behaviors, giving that person a break from wondering where everything is, and they are less likely to collect more. The plus is they can keep every little scrap they own, yet it is out of their pathways, they can sit on their couch, entertain and sleep in their beds. It is a safer and more 'normal' lifestyle. Marla realized "it is not our place to tell people what they can and can't keep in their space".
The process of categorizing the entire contents of a space is labor intensive and involves a team of organizers, but when the owners see the beauty of categorizing all their belongings, they "get it". It is not rocket science to get someone organized when there is a great plan, and some muscle. Having people stay organized long-term is where it gets tricky. Marla has linked staying organized with changing your language.
Marla also discovered that just clearing the space, organizing the home, having it cleaned and then having items containerized by category is "as far as some folks can go". She explains, "the trend now is to live with extreme organization and minimal stuff that brings you "joy", but the majority of people, in the world, still will not part with their stuff even if it is not loved, sentimental, purposeful and or useful". So to accommodate her clients she goes with what makes them comfortable, yet safe and protected.
Marla Stone, owner of I-Deal-Lifestyle, has developed a method involving changing your language, understanding a criteria for what stays near and far in our space, and an understanding of what a person will or won't do after the organizers have completed the project. Marla explains "the first step is changing your language to eliminate the word need in conjunction with objects, knowing whether the objects are used, purposeful, sentimental and or loved, and then assessing whether the person has the desire, will or determination to keep up the organized space". She calls her method the
I-Deal-Lifestyle tm Method. This method has helped 1000's of people get and remain organized long-term.
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.