I’m not a professional, but I am a daughter of a wonderful lady who has trouble knowing what to keep and what to toss. Throw in some childhood traumas related to cleaning and an adult trauma related to having your sentimental keepsakes thrown out without your consent, and you have the makings of a pack rat on a major scale.

My mom has never been taught how to clean. She has never been walked through, step-by-step how to organize her belongings and make a place for everything. Does that blow your mind? It would if I didn’t grow up figuring it out for myself. Part of my goal for the cleaning extravaganza is to teach my mom basic organizing tools. Not just methods for building a habit of cleaning, de-cluttering or putting things away, but how to think about what needs keeping and what needs to go. When you are told to clean, and then berated for what you throw out or verbally abused for not doing it “right” it tends to make the thought of having to clean up a very confusing and scary thing. This was my mother’s experience as a child.

We’ve had some emotional phone calls in the last few weeks and what jumps out at me every time is her FEAR. If I can just break through the fear, I think we’ve got it made in the shade!