Client Case Studies
Client Story – Eva
The client’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.
Eva is a self-managed NDIS participant living with ADHD, PTSD and bipolar disorder. Eva loves writing and reading and is a Bryce Courtney fan. Eva was experiencing disorganisation within the home, including her paperwork and digital content. When I first met Eva, we talked about the organisational challenges she was living with, such as
- Clutter blocking pathways
- An excessive amount of stuff and no systems for organising it
- A large amount of paperwork with no structure in place for managing it
- Digital files spread over multiple devices such as old computers and even 3.5 floppy disks
Eva was overwhelmed with the disorganisation in her home and life and desperately wanted to create order. While Eva gravely wanted to get organised, she found that process overwhelming and struggled with knowing where to start and how to do this task. An everyday challenge for many of my clients living with the mental health challenges faced by Eva. My work with Eva would do more than give her an organised space; it would provide Eva with the clarity and room to help her achieve her long-term goals of
- Moving from her unsafe social housing complex to a safer accommodation
- Recommencing her passion for writing
- Seeking employment
Working with Eva
While Eva expressed that she wanted to declutter and get organised, she didn’t want to be a minimalist as she finds comfort in her possessions. This information was critical in ensuring that Eva and I were on the same page with the end result. Once I understood Eva’s challenges, needs, and goals, I commenced working with Eva to organise her space. I would ultimately work with Eva to declutter and organise her home, paperwork, and digital files; some of the work I did with Eva was
- Break down the organising projects into manageable tasks and steps
- Adopt a combination of both logical and emotional decluttering and organising strategies
- Create flow in her home to make it easier for her to navigate around her space
- Create personalised organisational and labelling systems to ensure Eva can find what she needs
- Support Eva with two home relocations
- Establishing maintenance systems to keep Eva organised
My key focus when working with Eva was to ensure that we were working towards her goals and needs. And more importantly, implement systems that factored in Eva’s neurodiversity and creativity, as this would help to ensure that Eva maintains the organising systems.
Eva has kindly agreed to write about her experience working with me.
What Eva Has to Say
When I first met with Joey, my goal was to create a writing space in my cluttered and disorganised home. I had struggled with mental health difficulties for years, and my home became a mess. I couldn’t find things when I needed them, bought stuff I didn’t need or already had, and couldn’t complete tasks.
I became isolated and embarrassed about my home. It’s hard to let someone in and trust them in your personal space with all your piles of belongings. Joey made me feel comfortable from the beginning – he was respectful and understanding. I never felt judged; I felt validated when he explained how other neurodiverse people experience the same challenges. I felt relieved that I wasn’t the only one!
Throughout our first few sessions, I could talk through all the different ways I struggled daily. Joey listened. That sounds almost too simple to mention – but having someone truly listen and respond with great solutions is amazing and rare!
Joey also made it fun, something I never thought organising could be! There has even been a lot of laughter in our sessions. I remember when we were creating my writing space, I had pens, pencils and highlighters sprawled everywhere around my desk and living room. Joey asked, “Do you have these in other rooms?” I replied, “Of course! Everywhere! I might get a writing idea and need to write it down immediately!” Joey asked me to collect every pen from around my home. We put them all out on the desk and counted them – 586! In a respectful tone, Joey asked me, “Do you need 586 pens?” I burst out laughing!
We then worked on a system to donate the pens I didn’t need, and we got a large pencil case to fit the remaining ones. Joey labelled it ‘The Pen Shop’, and we created a rule that if I needed pens, I go to my pen shop – instead of buying more I didn’t need. It was a great creative solution to my pen addiction and works to this very day!
That’s just one example of the organising solutions Joey has helped me with. We have used this process in just about every area of my home:
- Digital systems
- Paperwork piles
You name it; it’s been organised!
The organising systems I have implemented with Joey encourage me to maintain them easily. For example: whenever I’m drawn to the stationary aisle (always!), there’s a little voice in my head saying, “Pen Shop is full at home!”
Working with Joey has genuinely transformed my space and helped me get back to what matters; writing and having time to live instead of constantly searching for things and buying stuff I don’t need! Joey’s style of professional organising works for me because
- It’s a personalised approach, tailormade to my specific challenges
- The solutions are creative and fun
- Maintaining the organisation is part of the process
- I’m respected and validated
- Joey really listens and understands
- I move closer to my life goals