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Beyond the Chaos: Navigating Clutter through the Virtual Support Group

By December 17, 2023May 25th, 202412 Comments
support group

When you think about a clutter support group what image comes to your mind? I had a conversation with a friend about this the other day. She told me that she pictures a meeting run similarly to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. I’ve never been to an AA meeting, so I don’t have firsthand experience. What I do know is that those meetings are non-judgmental, and the participants are encouraged to speak freely. Clutter support groups are also non-judgmental, and participants are encouraged to share their thoughts. Because there are many questions about clutter support groups, I am going to address them. This blog is the first in a series of three posts talking about virtual clutter support groups.

What is a virtual clutter support group?

First, clutter support groups used to meet in person, and some may still do that. Most clutter support groups, however, meet virtually because it is so easy. There’s no travel involved, and the participant can be on camera or off. A virtual clutter support group is a group that meets to talk about clutter. The group is usually facilitated or run by either a Therapist, Certified Coach, or a Certified Professional Organizer. If you’re looking for a clutter support group to join one of the first things to look at is the person (or people) running the group. Typically, a participant in the group will ask questions which pertain to the clutter in their life.

Do all virtual clutter support groups operate in a similar fashion?

I run a virtual clutter support group with my friend and colleague, Jonda Beattie. Our group is called Clear Space for You because we believe that a person’s home needs to have space for them to live the life they envision for themselves. Of course, I know how our group is run but I didn’t know if other virtual clutter support groups are run similarly. So, I reached out to some of my colleagues. The answer to the question is that all our groups have similarities and differences. This is terrific news because that allows you to select the virtual clutter support model that works best for you.

An overview of 4 virtual clutter support groups

1. Clear Space for You

meets virtually once a week for 4 weeks.  The meetings are 1 hour long. New sessions start at the beginning of each month. This virtual clutter support group is led by 2 professional organizers, Diane Quintana and Jonda Beattie. The group is limited to 4 people, which allows Diane and Jonda to provide personalized solutions. Each person brings their own project to the group. At the end of each weekly session, Jonda creates a digest of the decisions each participant makes during the session as well as the next steps the person intends to take.

Diane N Quintana ICD® Master Trainer, CPO-CD®, CPO® and Jonda S. Beattie M.Ed

Clear Space for You virtual clutter support group

2. My DeClutter support Group

is limited to 6 people. Each meeting is 1.5 hours once a month. Folks commit and pay for 6 months at a time.  A few days before the meeting, the facilitator, Alice Price, sends a link to an article.  It can be anything from an article about gratitude, to better sleep, to procrastination, to using timers.  Each meeting starts with a RTR (round-the-room) of success from the month, then a RTR about the article, and then a RTR on goals/intentions for the month. 

Alice Price ICD® Master Trainer, CPO-CD®  COC®  CVPO™

Professional Organizer and Coach

Organize Long Island, Inc. www.OrganizeLongIsland.com

3. The Declutter/Clutter Support Group Classes

are a 4-week course that will give you the tools you need, help you gain insight about your situation, and let you know that you are not alone. You will work on a small decluttering project throughout the 4-week class. Vickie Dellaquila, ICD Master Trainer, CPO-CD will lead this group in a confidential, non-judgmental, supportive manner and with gentle accountability. Classes are delivered via zoom and class size is limited. You can move forward in your life!

Vickie Dellaquila, ICD® Master Trainer, CPO-CD®, CVPO TM, CPO®

 vickie@OrganizationRules.com

4. Weekly online groups with Alison Lush

People who join my weekly online groups share the same goal: getting unstuck with #gentleaccountability.

We focus on the individual, week to week. 

What do they need and want to address? What resources do they currently have? Have they uncovered any insights? What skills or habits would they like to develop?

Four services available: One-on-one Virtual Sessions, monthly Accountability Groups (max 6 participants), private online forum for peer support, and 40+ hours of Body Doubling every month.

This model is created to be sustainable over many months, offering a supportive learning space with maximum emphasis on personal choice and changing needs.

Alison Lush, ICD® Master Trainer, CPO-CD®, CPO®, PPCC
Certified Virtual Organizing Professional

In Conclusion:

These four different virtual clutter support groups are different in some ways and similar in other ways. They are all facilitated by certified professional organizers and offer a safe non-judgmental space for participants to gain control over their clutter. All these groups offer accountability which is hugely important. The differences are in the length and frequency of the session.

If clutter in your home is preventing you from moving forward towards your goals and you’re considering joining a clutter support group you now have some good options. Please contact me if you would like to learn more about how clutter support groups work. We can talk through the  options and find a group that is a good fit for you. My blog next week will focus on the reasons people join a clutter support group.

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia.

12 Comments

  • This is wonderful Diane. This will help a lot of people that struggle with clutter and are afraid to hire help to come to their home. Thanks for explaining all the different options you offer.

  • It’s wonderful that you and Jonda are doing this service for others. People who are alone tend to fall into depression easily and would need a group like this to help them stay connected and motivated to declutter. Thank you for sharing your virtual clutter support group.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thank you, Sabrina. People in the Clear Space for You clutter support group learn from each other as well as from us. I agree that it helps to know they are not alone.

  • Seana+Turner says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ve been thinking about starting a group, and I love to see the differing models. I think the same would work for a group focused on productivity, which is what I’m thinking about right now. Thanks for those who shared their models with you for this blog post. Maybe a new pursuit for the new year?

  • This is very informative! I didn’t realize there were so many virtual clutter support groups – and I’m sure there are others you didn’t include.

  • I love how you explained how each group runs its Clutter Support Groups. And it was especially fun to read about these because I know all of these wonderful colleagues. I can imagine how effective they are in not only helping people move forward where they are stuck but also in not feeling alone with the challenges they are facing. What a great service you provide!

  • Julie Bestry says:

    I think it’s wonderful that you’re explaining how virtual support groups work, as I’m sure many people would be curious but apprehensive about how much they’d have to share, or if it would be awkward. I agree that the most common analogy people would imagine are 12-step groups like AA, but I find that they are also similar to attending Weight Watchers and DiabetesSisters, Each meeting provides useful information to all, plus non-judgmental support.

    Because of our decades-long friendship and collegiality, I know how much wisdom and talent you and Jonda have, and I can’t imagine a better experience for someone needing clutter support than attending your Clear Space for You. (I sound like a commercial endorsement!) I like the fact that your groups are limited in size so that everyone participating gets a chance to share and give support, without fear that they will be left out. Alice is a spitfire, and I have no doubt that her groups, with a significantly longer commitment period, also provide exactly what people are seeking with the knowledge that they’ll get support for finishing a wider array of projects all the way until completion..

    I know Vickie D. from her book for helping seniors downsize, and I am sure her expertise is ideal for leading that group, and Alison’s variety of offerings gives people a chance to find the modalities that work best for them. In-person is great, but I think this move toward virtual clutter support groups is the way to go! I’m so glad I have colleagues like this to whom I can recommend the experience for those unable to use my services (or even those who want multiple resources). Thank you for explaining all of this!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thanks, Julie. All four of us offer the same but different services. Each one of these groups provides non-judgmental support alongside gentle accountability. Alison has the most diverse offerings, Alice, Vickie, Jonda and I run our groups in very similar fashions just with different lengths of time and commitment.

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