hoarding disorder, housecleaning - general, illness, medical conditions, organization

Organizing for Special Needs Clients

Disability concept. Person with disabilities in wheelchair. Idea of disabled people. Blind or deaf, broken arm or leg. Set of colorful icons. Isolated flat vector illustration

Some of my experience with organizing comes from assisting the special needs community here in Austin. I have worked with amazing families, the hardest working parents I’ve met. However, their priorities are with their children, and so housekeeping and organizing duties fall by the wayside.

The societal pressure to maintain a “clean” and “organized” household is strong. I placed those words in quotes because none of us can truly define what is considered a clean and organized house.

A wonderful blogger I follow, Rob Gorski, is a father of three boys with autism. He is honest about life caring for his sons and his ill wife. I tip my hat off to him – he’s doing an amazing job.

Rob had a short but amazing article several years ago about the condition of his house. It was a mess, but he was OK with that. Caring for his sons was a priority, and if the dishes weren’t washed right away, it was not a big deal.

We all have our shortcomings (I love dark chocolate), but to feel pressured by others to do things that we cannot due to time constraints is wrong. But what can be done is to create shortcuts for the challenges special needs families face.

So, my gentle reader, here is the shortcut I offer to you. I would like to introduce Carolyn Dalgliesh. She has combined her research of sensory issues and organization experience to create an incredible system that can benefit everyone. Her book, The Sensory Child Gets Organized, has given me the tools to successfully assist some of my clients.

I hope this helps. As always, send any comments to AbilityHousehold@gmail.com . Thank you.

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hoarding disorder

Pics of My Clutter Project

Several years ago, I was given the opportunity to help an older couple clear out their 2,400 square foot home in Austin, Texas. This house was constructed in the late 1960’s, and was at the end of a cul-de-sac in a quiet suburban neighborhood.

From the outside, there were no apparent issues with the home.

But every single room in the house, including the garage, was filled with items. Three bedrooms, two baths, a living room, kitchen, kitchen dining area, formal dining area, and den had clutter. Clothes, toys, books, mementos, photo albums, and other household items filled the home, including the hallway (photos edited and adjusted for privacy)

The project took several months. All items were either donated, placed in storage, recycled, or disposed of. Very few items were disposed of – the house was air conditioned and there were no perishable items.

Slowly but surely, I made progress daily. There was some gentle persuasion to let go of most of the items, since the new home was smaller.

Eventually, the project was finished, and a complete remodel began. The couple is now in a less cluttered home.

If you are overwhelmed with clutter, contact me for a free estimate in the Austin area. I’m here to help.