MEET GERALIN THOMAS
Geralin Thomas is a home organizing consultant located in Cary, NC. Since 2002 she has been helping men and women declutter their homes + heads. She’s passionate about reducing stress + all the stuff that self-sabotages.
IN THIS PODCAST
- When should you call in a professional organizer?
- Useful expectations to have with your professional organizer
- Setting up a timeline for decluttering
- How to handle the physical memories
- Take the necessary time to process
WHEN SHOULD YOU CALL A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER
Once you have decided that you would like some help, it is useful to know what you would need help with. It might be packing and moving, general decluttering, or focussing on one room. There are personal organizers who are specialized and can, therefore, assist you in various ways, such as organizing paperwork, clothing, and even emotionally taxing tasks such as organizing photos after the divorce.
USEFUL EXPECTATIONS TO HAVE WITH YOUR PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER
Make some time to conduct an interview with them beforehand to figure out whether you two are compatible working partners. Some questions to consider:
- Are they insured?
- How long have they been in business?
- If they have had experience working with grief and loss before
- If they could provide you with some references from people they have worked with in the past
As most professional organizers work closely with you, your personal belongings, and memories, it is a good start in your transition to find someone who is a good fit for you socially, emotionally, and with mutual professionalism.
SETTING UP A TIMELINE FOR DECLUTTERING
Laying out a timeline between yourself and your professional organizer will help make the process flow more easily, and will break down a seemingly monumental task into manageable pieces.
Often, there may be an external deadline present apart from your personal goals, such as the house being sold. Your professional organizer can assist you in managing the vital tasks and arranging the process alongside the desires of the family in order to create and maintain a stable transition during these uncertain moments.
It may also be recommended to you by your professional organizer to initially consult a therapist before you begin the changes so that everyone on board is ready to make waves.
HOW TO HANDLE THE PHYSICAL MEMORIES
“She told me that she got some therapy, had moved on with her life and now just kind of thought of this as a chapter in her life, not the whole book.”
To give yourself some space to deal with the grief, the use of a ‘time capsule’ comes highly recommended:
- Placing objects and photos with intimate memories attached to them into a shoebox or small trunk, and leaving it alone for some time while you work on stabilizing your life will help to remove a potentially painful process for the time being.
- Giving yourself this window period to overcome some of the grief will assist you in better dealing with the intimate memories when, after a year or two, you open the box to revisit them, allowing for a process to unfold over time.
TAKE THE NECESSARY TIME TO PROCESS
It might not always be bitter nor always a relief; it is a complicated time to move through and may take longer than you anticipated. There is a chance that it may not feel final for a long time. It does take time to reframe how we speak and think about past events and people that came and went out of our lives. Give yourself permission and allow yourself the space to breathe.
On the other side of the coin, try not to procrastinate. The issue might become scarier in your mind the longer you put it off than how it is in reality. Allowing yourself the relief of letting go, although it may be frightening, can be liberating and enables you to make the transition with more ease and peace.