I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what being comfortable means and how it can mean so many different things to our disorganized clients. Two days before Christmas I decided to move a big storage armoire out of my office to use in the basement. My friend and I took everything out and set it on a utility table in front of my desk. My desk faces the french doors of my office so I can look into our living room. Except lately I can’t see due to the pile on the table in front of my desk.
This mess was really bothering me by two days later, aka Christmas. I was uncomfortable. However, I knew I didn’t have time to mess with it so I let it go. Which led me to think that has to be what our disorganized clients do sometimes, let it go, we will get to it later.
I thought I may have had time to at least purge and toss some of the stuff I didn’t need before New Year’s Day but that didn’t happen. Then I noticed the pile wasn’t bothering me quite as much and it was actually becoming sort of comforting sitting at my computer behind my pile.
Which led me to think this is what our disorganized clients must feel sometimes, I’m comfortable hiding behind my piles.
Now today is January 5th, my pile (as I have begun calling it) is still there. My friend came over for lunch and I invited her to sit in the office with me while I did a little work. The first thing she said was, “What’s with this? I thought you were Mrs. Organized?” I said, “I know but I kind of like it now. It’s not hurting anyone and it’s kind of comforting.” Which led me to think that has to be what our disorganized clients say sometimes, “My piles aren’t hurting anyone and I find them comforting.”
I know this is only a taste or a glimpse of what some of our more chronically disorganized clients do, say, and feel. But I get it. Everyone has a different comfort level. The trick is finding how to help them while making them comfortable with a safer environment, a more appropriate way to live, all without making them feel like they’ve lost their hiding place. Because everyone does need a safe comforting place to go sometimes.