• Laurie Bell

What Works Best for You?


In current times we have a proliferation of books, television shows, on-line advice and “experts” on everything from de-cluttering to organizing and decorating to staging.  I have to say that I am sometimes a bit underwhelmed.  In a past leadership role I was always on the look-out for knowledgeable, international authors and speakers and I became reluctantly convinced that an expert was anyone who said that they were.  To be really honest, I haven’t seen much lately to make me change my mind. 

We are living in an age of specialization though and this has led us to believe that we don’t really possess enough knowledge to do many things without expert direction and that we absolutely must seek guidance in each and every decision pertaining to our homes.

I have worked with clients and frankly a few organizers who live in constant fear of doing something that might not be endorsed by the guru of the day. I’m an avid reader who is committed to a process of life-long learning but I’m admittedly a bit cynical about dazzling transformations and maintenance systems that work for only a few weeks after the expert has left, creating an on-going need for repeat visits and continued interventions.

My own approach is a little different.  I am confident enough to know that there is more than one way to do things.  I believe that if I am invited back into a situation that does not require an additional transition, then I haven’t adequately tailored my project planning to suit my clients’ needs.  In short, I haven’t listened well enough to what will work best for them.

I firmly believe that each person, family and situation is different from the one I worked with yesterday.  Needs, priorities, values and challenges are going to be uniquely theirs and both my approach and my recommended courses of action will be somewhat different for each client that I serve.

At times we are dealing with one person and at times more than one.  There might be an aging parent as well as a spouse or a family member who is living in the home.  There might be physical or mental health issues that impact communications as well as the decision making processes. 

There might also be adult children who play an active role from a distance.  They may not be comfortable with the status quo with Mom or Dad and their communication styles with one another can sometimes revert back to the days when they were ten and their sibling was twelve.

I haven’t even addressed the situations where in-laws and blended family members can actually add to the stresses involved instead of contributing to the successful completion of the project or the move.

Navigating this kind of terrain is not for the faint of heart.  Preserving relationships and preventing disputes requires expertise that not everyone possesses.  With experience in project management, mental health support, crisis intervention and dispute resolution, I can help things to go smoothly in a way that works best for you and your situation.  

I can also usually adapt to your priorities and preferred style of organization.  Where my preference is to complete one room or zone at a time, I have also successfully worked with clients who chose to take a more holistic approach to the entire space, essentially circling and re-circling the rooms until the project is completed.

I am sometimes a coach, sometimes a mediator, and sometimes an advocate for the older adult.  At other times I bring specific expertise, experience and an objective opinion to the situation at hand.  I am a resource for other trusted professionals and trades people. 

I see my role as providing what you need to successfully reach your specific organizing, downsizing and/or move preparation goals.  What works best for you?



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