A Boston Personal Assistant’s Story: Clutter Control

Today, my travels took me to Brookline Village in the town of Brookline where I started assisting a lovely woman with limited mobility due to a recent hip fracture. It was an unfortunate situation for this highly independent, career-driven woman who always had things under control.

The tasks I was asked to help her with included walking her pug, doing the laundry, loading the dishwasher, organizing the kitchen counter, and cleaning out the refrigerator among others.

Family and senior careIn between replacing the cat litter and mopping the kitchen floor, I came face-to-face with my newest challenge: clutter. In this busy Boston household of two, there was a lot of it. Extreme clothes clutter to be more specific. Taming the clothes monster became my mission of the day.

I am not talking about a mound of clothing sitting on the bathroom floor that somehow missed the laundry basket.

I observed mounds of clean clothing and bed sheets all balled up on the bedroom floor, crumpled up in numerous plastic bins, and forgotten for who knows how long. The floor was so jammed with clothes that one of the dressers was completely unreachable. As clothing got picked up off the floor and I started folding each piece, not surprisingly the majority were heavily wrinkled and in dire need of ironing to soften the creases. The photo on the left is an example of a lovely but deeply wrinkled blouse.

Family and senior care 2As I created systems for organizing my client’s clothing, I was amazed by the sheer volume of what was found: over 50 different types of scarves, over 80 different kinds of sweaters, over 40 pairs of pajamas and loungewear, nearly 25 swimsuits, more than 20 pairs of jeans, and more.

While emptying out the contents of the dresser drawers, I discovered a collection of summer clothing that should have been replaced with warmer winter wear last season. With the help of Space Saver bags, the t-shirts and shorts found a new temporary home where they will stay until the hot weather arrives. Every dresser drawer can now house one type of clothing: one drawer for undershirts, one drawer for light sweaters, one drawer for socks, etc. The photo below shows a completely reachable dresser after the clothes clutter got picked up.

67cAlthough the closet was filled to capacity on both ends with enough evening gowns and dress suits to last a lifetime, there was extra shelving on the top and it was underutilized. This area was the best spot for the client’s extensive sweater collection, in particular the bulky sweaters.

As the clothes clutter became more manageable and the client realized how much she really had, it was agreed that the next step would be to go through her entire clothes collection, remove anything unworn, and donate them. I couldn’t agree with her more.

Family and senior care are just two of the many personal concierge services offered by Boston Personal Concierge.  If you live in the Boston area and need help with the clutter in your life, contact us at 617.209.9311.

Images credit:  Susan Ho