Sunday, February 11, 2007

Clutter and Oprah

Earlier this week, Wednesday, February 7th to be exact, Peter Walsh of TLC's Clean Sweep appeared on the Oprah show. On Friday, I was able to watch a recording of the show with five other experienced professional organizers.

In the hour long show Peter Walsh was able to transform a young family's home from chaos to something that looked like the Pottery Barn catalog. However, I worry that the general public was given an unrealistic view of how organizers really work with clients.

First of all, I felt that Oprah and at times, Peter Walsh, were insensitive to the negative feelings that the family (particularly the mother) had surrounding their clutter. As an organizing consultant, it is not my job to judge clients nor their clutter. Peter Walsh went so far at one point to basically tell the woman that she was a bad mother because her house was cluttered. I felt that this was unnecessary and demeaning.

The other complaint that I have with the Oprah show--and basically all television organizing shows--is that it all happens so quickly with so much additional consumption of bins, boxes, etc. The mother of the cluttered family on the show actually worked at The Container Store, which is proof that containers do not organize people, but rather good habits organize people.

On a positive note, Peter Walsh was right on when he said that clutter "robs you psychologically" and one cannot be a peace while living with clutter. I find that once my clients can get rid of the clutter, their lives are opened up to many more blessings.


  1. Thanks for the realism. My house is moderately messy because I'm a packrat and neither my wife nor I cares much to clean the mess, but we're getting better at it. I have found a schedule to be an important component since time is one of the biggest challenges I face on a regular basis. See my blog entry on cleaning up.

  2. I hope the new schedule works for you, Jim. It all sounds rather complicated to me based on your blog description, but if it works, it works!

    I find that small daily habits really help my clients (and myself) keep on top of clutter. Simple is always best! Best of luck!