Organizer can help you keep your home and head in harmony

Meghan Hill is a professional organizer who moved here in 2011.

Meghan Hill is a professional organizer who moved here in 2011. Photo by Donna Lasater.

Advertisement

Does your home look like an episode of “Extreme Clutter?” Do you have too much stuff, or stuff all over the place?

If you have to tunnel through disarray in your home, and you don’t like it, organizer Meghan Hill can help.

Get in touch

To contact Meghan Hill, call 509-607-2903 or email her at

makingroomforyou@gmail.com.

Hill, who authored the book “Making Room For You: A Practical Guide to Organizing Your Home,” does consultations and can assist in a client’s organizing project.

Personal issues are often at the root of disorganization in the home, Hill said. Sometimes there’s a need to hide emotions away, she said. Fear, losses, grief and memories can manifest themselves as a pile of items on your counter or all through your home. Piling up belongings in your home is a way to hide your light until you regain control of your emotions.

The organizing process gets you to a place to deal with the emotional and spiritual issues around “your stuff.”

Hill, who has a kind, nurturing healer’s approach to her clients, is sensitive to the array of factors that contribute to clutter and disorganization.

“I’m a third party, I’m neutral. I never threaten them if they want to keep something I think is unnecessary,” she said. “It’s satisfying to work with clients; it’s wonderful to see a dawning when they become newly energized,” Hill said.

The best way to get started “depends on the person — everybody thinks differently,” she said. But what is important right from the start is the organizing process.

“Make it as enjoyable as possible,” she said. “Have a friend help, someone who’s honest, someone you trust. Listen to music, get water, coffee or tea. It can be a really soothing experience. People talk about it as a war zone and it doesn’t have to be.”

The 33-year-old Hill, originally from Seattle, arrived in the Valley by way of Los Angeles in the fall of 2011. She felt she had learned everything she had gone to learn in California. She wanted to be closer to friends and family in the Northwest and live in a more peaceful place.

“I decided L.A. was overwhelming,” she said.

It was in Los Angeles that Hill undertook the self-development that was part of her spiritual journey to discover her purpose in life. Once inspired that organizing was her true calling, she began working with an organizer in L.A. to get first-hand experience. Helping her parents move allowed her to gain first-hand experience with organizing and letting go of “stuff.”

“I was so tired of waiting tables,” she said. “I wanted to look for work that I would enjoy and that I was good at.”

Hill can relate to those who just seem to collect and accumulate things. “I’m a total pack rat,” she said. She decided to pare down to keep only what she uses.

“It’s not necessarily OCD,” she said. “I’ve always found myself organizing things.”

There’s no single way for everyone to organize. A person just has to find what works for them, Hill said. “It’s so personality-based.”

The system needs to be individual, manageable and not harsh or nit-picky. And it doesn’t have to take forever.

“Set a timer — 10 minutes, five minutes, whatever you choose,” she said.

She begins with an assessment of the area.

“Do a visual scan of the room. What is noisy to the eye? The book shelf comes to mind: books every whichway, tissues and pens everywhere,” she said.

She advises placing items with like items. Get the pens in one area. Pile up everything that goes upstairs, then take it upstairs. Pull out one overwhelming drawer, take it into another room and sit down and sort it out.

“Receipts accumulate like crazy. Get a box and put them in there,” she suggests.

Hill said there is a place for memorabilia. You don’t have to throw it all out. “There’s a time to reminisce,” she said.

But if you want to get rid of something, do it right away. “If you know it can go, get it out of the house immediately. If you have things for Goodwill and you can’t get there right away, at least take loads out to the car,” she said.

“Take a weekend to organize your place. It can save you a huge amount of time in the long run, time spent searching for items that are always misplaced.”

This can help save money also. You don’t have to repurchase items you simply can’t find.

“Once you do the big purge, set aside five to 10 minute maintenance every day or every other day, or 15 minutes a week. Organizing is great, but you need a system you can maintain. Make it a habit and keep it easy,” she said.

Hill suggests that people should “go through your purse once a week, so you don’t have to dig through things.”

Getting organized is the easy part, she said. What isn’t so easy to overcome — and what likely contributed to the clutter in the first place — are your feelings.

“Objects are so endowed with emotional energy,” she said. The more intense or difficult the emotion is, the more difficult it may be to deal with the object.

“Any action you can take is empowering,” she said. “What’s challenging is being discerning and honest about what you want to keep.”

Hill advises that if an item makes you upset, get rid of it. If you got a gift and you feel obligated to keep it or feel guilty about it, but never use it, consider letting it go. Some people save things in case of a loss.

“In some cases that can attract that very thing,” she said. “Sometimes we hold onto things for protection.”

But everyone has favorite things. And if they bring you joy, keep them.

“I’m a book lover, I’m really lenient about books. And memorabilia — keeping old love letters and those sort of things. But birthday cards from 20 years ago where they just signed their names, no. And parents have a hard time about school work. The photocopied math sheets don’t show your child’s creativity.”

Once you get control of your emotions and your possessions, you gain more control over your whole life. And it’s all part of the process.

“People fear losing track of things, their life, experiences, forgetting things. Forgetting things that are significant to you. Your own release or expression is finding ways to get in touch with a sense of timelessness, process and output emotions rather than through objects.”

It’s important to have a sense that change and healing are all right and that you’re safe doing something new.

“People get panicky,” she said. “But ultimately they’re safe. Our emotions create these goblins overshadowing us. It’s OK to cry and move through emotions. You have to go through things to be through with them.”

Sometimes more fear comes up when you realize you’re letting go, said Hill. Fear is often a response to rapid change. Hill’s other book, “Your Power: Affirmations for Transformation,” provides positives to add while you’re letting go of the things you’ve outgrown.

Since determining her purpose, Hill is at a new level in her life, both personally and professionally. “Organizing is meditative for me,” she said.

Karlene Ponti can be reached at 509-526-8324 or karleneponti@wwub.com.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment