Clearing Clutter Support Group – Week 2

group picWeek 2 will tell us which participants are really committed to the group.  We had one person drop out and another did not call or show up.  However, we had two new people as well.  One a previous group member and the other is the mother of one of the participants.   So, in total we had 7 participants on this day (and two facilitators).

As we went around the room for check in, people talked about their challenges and how their week went.  Most of the participants attempted to work on their challenge and if they didn’t they were certainly aware that it was there.  One individual passed on the check in and it turned out that he had chosen something that was just too big.   We helped him at the end of the session to pick something that is more realistic for him.

The homework from Week 1 was to pay attention to what you acquired over the week and notice what you brought home or if you resisted and did not bring anything home what was the level of anxiety you felt.   The object of this exercise is not to avoid shopping or the temptation but to actually put yourself  (or find yourself) in a situation where you need to exert some discretion and decision making around your choices.  If individuals have challenges with acquiring this is usually an area that they can get a handle on very quickly.  They become aware of their acquiring behaviours and are able to make the necessary changes. We can’t avoid shopping altogether.   We talked about the challenges with grocery shopping, two for one sales (think potato chips, ugh!!), advertising that draw us in and makes us feel that there is a time limit so we need to act fast and other shiny things that we think we want or need.  Participants often talk of loneliness and wanting to be at places like Talize or Value Village where there are friendly faces to chat with.  There also can be this need to purchase something to make the salesperson happy and to help the economy.  One gentleman in the group had never heard the term “retail therapy” and he said he was kind of confused as it sounded like a good thing.  There is always such great discussion.

This session we really start to look at our own “Clutter Model”.  We use information from the Compulsive Hoarding and Acquiring workbook and therapist guides.  This really helps individuals to see why they struggle with these issues and can help them to start to challenge some of these patterns and behaviours.  We look at Vulnerability Factors, Problems Processing Information and Thinking Styles.

Check Out and everyone picked a new challenge to work on over the week and homework again is to pay attention to what is acquired.  A card was included that could be cut out and attached to a debit or credit card.  It includes questions to ask about the need for the item and also some blank spaces to write down some personal goals.  See next blog post.

Oh yeah and how did I do on my challenge?  Honestly, I really wanted to continue to procrastinate on it but I knew that I had to do it as I had put it out there.  I got things off of my dresser that belonging in other places and was able to gather together some old jewellery to donate to the Micro Enterprise Program at my work place where they make new jewellery and other items to sell.   It took me at least an hour and a half to clean off my dresser.   I did it on the evening before the group and I found myself distracted a few times and was off doing other things.  But I did it and here is a pic of my dresser cleaned off.   Sorry, there is no before pic.

Dresser

Now, for this weeks challenge which will again need to happen on Thursday evening, the night before the group.  I am planning to take down a very dusty curio cabinet full of tiny perfumes.  I think it will be easy to get this cupboard down but what to do with all the cute perfume bottles?

Stay tuned to hear about Week 3.

Thank you for following along and please add any comments below.

 

About Kimberley

I am a Case Manager at My Sisters’ Place which is a program of the Canadian Mental Health Association London Middlesex. My Sisters’ Place is a program for vulnerable women. I love my job and all the wonderful women I work with. I am very honored to do this work with women who have been through so much and are so open in sharing their stories.
I initiated and designed a Clearing Clutter Support Group which I have been facilitating since 2007 with a co-worker. I love running this group and learn so much from the participants. We offer this eight week program three or four times a year.
I started my business Space For You in 2010 and work with individuals in their homes as well as offer some workshops in the community. I am available to speak to groups on “De-Cluttering Your Life”, “The Magic of De-Cluttering”, “Space Clearing” or really anything to do with clutter and hoarding.

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9 Responses to Clearing Clutter Support Group – Week 2

  1. Reading this made me think of a woman I helped several years ago. She lived alone but had tons of paper products (paper towels, toilet tissue, etc.) She really didn’t have room to store it, but she said she always stocked up when it was on sale so she didn’t have to pay full price. That sounds sensible, especially for someone with a low income, but there should be a happy medium, shouldn’t there?

    • Kimberley says:

      Haha, I think we have worked with this same client. I guess this is a common thing, however, when you really don’t have the space and it is interfering with your activities of daily living because you don’t have room to store it or you are tripping over it…..then…… and really do you think it might be on sale again sometime??

  2. Janet you bring up a good point. I think it has a lot to do with your space. If you are acquiring stuff just to bring it home even if you will eventually need it, but you still have no space to put it, something its wrong. You must still be getting some kind of gratification from bringing it home. Because if you have so many paper products you can’t walk then yea, that’s an issue. Great idea about the card that can be attached to a credit card Kimberley. 🙂

    • Kimberley says:

      Thank you Jill and Autumn – yes, I am going to post this great tool that is really handy for all of us – It is called a Non-Acquiring Card and I found it in the Buried in Treasures Book.

  3. Jill Robson says:

    I love where you have them make cards for their credit card, a great reminder of when they go to use it.

  4. Laurel Bern says:

    Hi Kimberley, I found this so interesting. People erroneously equate what I do, interior design with being organized. haha! COMPLETELY different skill set. That doesn’t mean that some ID don’t have it. Some do, but I’m not one of them.

    Uphill battle. And what makes it so tough is that it’s a business with lots of samples and papers, and what not. Especially the what not.

    Fortunately, I’m not a shopper much when it comes to myself. Nor is my home a showplace. It’s nice, but there’s always room for improvement!

    • Kimberley says:

      Thanks so much Laurel. I actually wish I was better at designing lol The thing with clutter is that everyone can relate to it in some way.

  5. Nancy says:

    Hi Kim
    Just a suggestion, for your perfume bottles – maybe you could get a shadow box – no more dusting.
    Another idea is to arrange them however you want and take a picture, then you can frame it and then hang the pic on your wall.

    • Kimberley says:

      Thanks Nancy, Not sure if you noticed them in the bathroom when you were at my house but they are down now and I have written a short blog post about them which I will post soon. Thanks for reading xoxo

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