Clutter Coach Newsletter: Before and After Pictures


Back in December I wrote about the “pile-free zone.” Below is a photo of one of my clients’s desktop DMZs.

Here’s what she said about it:

“I thought that it was a good idea and I was going to do it but I really didn’t realize how effective it was and how creative it was for you to think of that as working for ME. We got some paper and taped it onto the table to mark the area I had designed to keep free. Seeing the paper on this table, I decide that is my DMZ and I’m going to clear it off every night. I have been doing that for probably a month and a half now.


“It’s quite unusual for me to maintain a habit that’s difficult for that long. When I go to my office in the morning and look at it, I just feel very peaceful knowing that’s a cleared area ready for me to work on. Thank you, Claire!”


If you’ve held off getting organizing help because of the potential cost and time it will take, I can tailor the project to fit your budget. A few in person sessions along with phone and email coaching can give you the tools and guidance to do a lot of the work yourself. It’s also possible to spread the work out over many months and spread out the cost.


I like to take before and after photos for my clients. Of course, I do it for myself too, so I can show potential clients exactly how fantastic their homes can look. It’s important for my clients to see them too, though.


Too often, clients discount the progress we’ve made. If we do something easy (and getting organized with an organizer is definitely easier!), we look back and say, oh, that wasn’t such a big deal. Actually, it was kind of fun!


Here are two reasons to take before and after pictures.


Photos have great documentary value. They help us be objective because they show us what our eye naturally edits out. Clutter accumulates slowly and like the proverbial lobsters in the pot, we don’t always notice how the clutter is growing until it’s getting out of control.


The second reason is to give yourself a model to refer back to when things start getting disorganized. When you organize a space the way you like it, take a photo. You’ll have proof that you did this wonderful thing!


No space stays organized forever. You are using it, so you’ll get things out. Your day doesn’t go quite the way you hoped, so things will stay out. Your photo document is your template for how things should look. Use it to easily get things back to where they belong instead of relying on memory.


Got some some before and after photos you’re particularly proud of? I’d be happy to post them on my blog or Facebook page, anonymously if you wish.

~ Claire ~