Time for ‘spring clearing’? Call a pro

| April 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Regina Lark

The first clue you might need help is that you have a junk drawer. It might be in the kitchen, or maybe it’s in the laundry room.

“Everyone who calls has a junk drawer, maybe two or three,” says Regina Lark, a de-clutter expert and professional organizer and speaker — she spoke on “Spring Clearing” at the Ebell of Los Angeles last month via Zoom.

She is also an author —“Psychic Debris: Crowded Closets: The Relationship Between the Stuff in Your Head and What’s Under Your Bed” is in its third edition — and she is a productivity coach.

She was helping a client move when COVID-19 stopped us all in our tracks in mid-March.

While moving is an “essential business,” and her business specializes in residential, estate and corporate moves, the virtual organizing side of her business has risen exponentially.

Prefrontal cortex

Clients are often busy professionals or stay-at-home types, but regardless of their lifestyle they all seem to share common characteristics. These center on a critical part of the brain that deals with clutter and time and emotional management.

It’s the prefrontal cortex, Lark explains.

“If your brain isn’t wired to do these functions, it isn’t impossible [to do them], but they might create another frustration.”

Then there are clients who have been organized for years until they are challenged after a divorce or death or other life crisis or health issue that throws them off balance.

In all, Lark counts hundreds she has guided to clean out closets, throw out stuff and create a better life for themselves the past 11 years.

Simple suggestions

She starts by offering simple suggestions to her clients:

“Put everything away once you’re done using it” at the end of the day, be it a work or crafts project or cooking a meal. If there’s no room in the cupboard or drawer, “do the best you can,” Lark said over the phone last month.

De-cluttering came naturally to the former adjunct college professor of history and women’s studies before working in administrative management at UCLA and director of programs at UCLA Extension. She has a Ph.D. in women’s history from USC.

The 2008 recession changed her course, and today with a team of 12 — she calls ninjas — she helps everyone from the chronically disorganized and those with hoarding disorders (some clients are referred through the courts) to retirees and do-it-yourselfers.

When working with a client, Lark often starts with something benign and unemotional, which is where the junk drawer comes in.

Other matters tug at the heartstrings. One woman who stored her grandmother’s never-used dishes would, after some encouragement, clear out her mismatched, not-so-nice ones, and now she dines on the beautiful set inherited from her grandmother.

“I don’t believe in lazy.”

“Often when people can’t start, can’t continue or can’t finish a project, they think they’re lazy.

“I don’t believe in lazy,” says Lark, who instructs new clients to throw out their Marie Kondo-type books, which she says are written for people who are already on their time-management game.

Often Lark takes the client on a “deep dive” to investigate, say, a Crock-Pot that you “may need some day.” It’s true, but when? And, is it part of the overall goal?

“Most people have a goal to get to a physical point in their physical environment.”

It sounds like a better alternative than adding to the ubiquitous world of storage units around the country, which she calls, “The land of indecision.”

A free consultation includes a walk through (or these days more likely includes video and photos) of areas you want to tackle. Visit aclearpath.net, and, for moving and packing, visit, silktouchmoves.com, or call 310-710-3379.

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Category: People

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