There is more to organizing or decluttering a room than simply throwing things away.
Laura Coufal, owner of Clean and Clutter Free, has been offering cleaning services since 2005 and professional organizing and design services for the past year-and-a-half. Coufal, whose background is in psychology, said she’s always been creative and loved doing her own organizing.
When it comes to keeping a house clean and free of clutter, Coufal said there are two basic issues at play.
The first, she said, is many people have developed habits that encourage clutter to build up in their lives. With a busy life, they get in the habit of dumping items in certain places as they go. Coufal said in addition to addressing the clutter, she works with clients to reach the deeper issue – teaching new habits one step at a time. Practicing those habits until they become a natural part of a busy routine helps people stay clutter-free long term.
The second issue she sees in some people’s inability to live clutter-free is that some people keep too much, they cannot part with anything. Coufal said she works with those clients to determine what triggers the need to hold onto almost everything.
“Overall my goal is to help others reduce the amount of stress in their lives by simplifying their homes and their schedules,” she said. “When you hold onto everything – basically the thing you’re holding onto is your past.
"When we have so many things we’re holding onto they kind of weigh us down," Coufal added. "I try to help people more embrace their future and clear out what they have so that they can make room for new possibilities and new inspiration in the future.”
A member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, as well as the Faithful Organizers, Coufal said she her skills allow her to help clients clean, organize and declutter. For those clients of hers that are moving, she is able to help them declutter before their move and also design an organized space for when they arrive in their new home.
Coufal said with ever-increasing time constraints, many people find just getting started is the hardest part of organizing or decluttering. But taking the first step is worth it.
“Once they’re started, people get excited,” she said. “It’s a great feeling of accomplishment to have finished a project and have that room be clean and clear and organized. It’s a feeling of calmness and peace as opposed to chaos.”