Professionals organize clutter in the home
Written by Karissa Lindsay
Edited by Brett Bechtol
Posted on April 24, 2008
As Jennifer Nelson and her husband prepared to move into a new home, excessive clutter and disorder stalled their packing efforts. Like many people, the Nelsons, natives of Columbia, turned to the help of professionals after a friend recommended the hauling company 1-800-GOT-JUNK.
"We called and had them come out that same day; it was just more convenient than moving it on our own," Nelson said.
Chris Petersen owns a franchise of the junk removal company and said he will haul anything and everything someone would need to move, though the company states it won't haul toxic items such as paint and oil drums.
Petersen and his wife do all of the labor from packing up the unwanted stuff to hauling it away. They schedule junk removal sessions in two-hour time slots and charge depending on how much junk is removed.
The Nelson said the price was reasonable and she recently recommended the hauling service to a friend.
Petersen said the most common items people want hauled are computers and old Christmas decorations.
"The way some people live is just crazy," he said.
Petersen once worked with a homeowner who hadn't touched anything in his attic in 20 years. The room was filled with everything from furniture to eight-track tapes, a music recording format popular until the 1980s. Everything was covered in a thick layer of dust.
On his biggest job he hauled 26 truckloads from an elderly woman's home. The Petersens worked with a larger crew then but the job still took almost a week to complete.
"She would just buy things to buy them," Petersen said. "There was all sorts of stuff: sets of china from Belk, still unopened, clothes from home shopping channels; she had everything."
Purchasing more than we need isn't necessarily bad but it isn't best for the environment said Madilyn Fletcher, director of the School of the Environment at the University of South Carolina.
Each American household spends $46,409 a year on average on consumer products, such as electronics, food and apparel according to a 2005 survey by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"The type of consumerism we have now is not sustainable," Madilyn Fletcher said.
She says consumers should invest in other ways that can help the environment. Recycling items you don't need can form the balance between excessive buying and creating a sustainable environment, Fletcher said.
Throwing away junk isn't the only option. Adriel McIntyre is the owner of Orderly Manor in Greenville, S.C. She says her goal is to create a functional, organized space that her clients feel comfortable with.
"People usually call me when they get married, get a promotion, things that change their routine, and you don't know how to keep up with what they have," she said.
McIntyre began organizing professionally in 2001 and has seen an increase in business partly because of popular organizing television shows such as The Learning Channel's "Clean Sweep." She usually attempts to get to the real reason her clients have a hard time staying organized. The first thing she tells them is not to panic because there almost always is a solution.
"I do the same things they do on those shows, only I'm not there to make you cry," she said.