One Hackney Case Study De-Cluttering Intervention Programme

With Making Room E, we filled 19 bags recycling, 1 bag refuse and donated 20+ books ...in 8 hours

Introduction

E is a 62 year old woman and private home owner. Her psychotherapist, who had researched the condition online, referred her to Making Room. E had been making complaints to her psychotherapist for a long period of time about the state of her home.

E was a literature teacher and has depression for many years. She leaves the curtains closed constantly for fear of the clutter being seen from the outside. She has isolated herself from the world.

Assessment

On assessment E’s property was disordered throughout. However, the main problem was in the living room where a large number of boxes and piles of books have cluttered in the middle scoring a rating of 5 on the clutter image rating. E talked about feelings of being overwhelmed about the amount of work that needed to be done. E spoke about her dyspraxia and depression, both reasons why, in her opinion, she doesn't seem to be able to organize her surroundings very well.

We agreed to 1 member of staff to work with E for two hours over four sessions.

Client Goals

During our first session E talked about friendships and she said that she had friends that had tried to help her in the past, but that eventually everybody was too busy and the clutter got worse and that now she is quite isolated. When asked what she wants to get out of this program, E said that her main goal was to be able to bring people home.

Something else E wants to get out of the de-cluttering is to start writing again. E writes fiction and poetry and she was hoping that a clear desk and living room would help to clear her mind.

Working Together

In the beginning E was anxious when showing Making Room her home but she relaxed quickly and her engagement and commitment was excellent throughout the whole program.

E had moments when she felt overwhelmed and said it was “like facing your life” but her pace and attitude changed gradually as she was seeing the results after each session. She also started to do some work on her own time in other rooms, showing Making Room the results at the beginning of the session.

Outcome – client’s goals achieved

E started writing again, one of the things that she wanted to achieve, and she is having conversations with an artist who might illustrate her poetry. They had a meeting in her house. It's the first time that she had somebody over to her house in a long time.

E said that she had called her brother, who hasn’t seen in a long time, to help her build some pieces of furniture that have been in the boxes since she bought them years ago. 'Now he would have the space to work' she said.

At the end of the last session E opened the curtains and said that she didn't remember the last time she had done that, because she was ashamed of the clutter being seen from the outside but also because of her depression, 'a way of hiding yourself from the world'. E said that it has really made a difference and she had learned a lesson - that sometimes you can do much more than you think.