Debbie Stanley

The Genesis of Organization

It starts with a thought. The signs appear in the neatness of our spaces, the functionality of our filing systems, and the likelihood that we’ll be somewhere on time. But, this nebulous state we call “organized” really is a state of mind. I help people to achieve it by starting at the source: Getting their…

There Are Spotlights, and Then There Are Firebombs

My disdain for exploitative media portrayals of disorganization and hoarding is well documented, so I often get questions like this: “Don’t you appreciate the interest and awareness that these shows have generated? Hasn’t that brought you more clients?” Here’s my answer: The shop owner doesn’t thank the arsonist for bringing attention to her business. ***

Content Is Not Garbage

I attended a workshop recently in which the presenter, talking about clients’ thoughts, said, “Content is garbage!” His topic was ways to help clients reduce anxiety, and he said that focusing on the content of a person’s thoughts–the story, the interpretation, the “why”–is counterproductive. This presenter is well-known for his work with anxiety. He showed…

Hoarding Typology 1 of 3: Indecisive Hoarding

As hoarding behavior receives more attention from researchers and clinicians, the reasons behind it are becoming clearer. In my work with people who hoard, I see themes that can be grouped into three categories, or typologies: indecisive hoarding, sentimental hoarding, and barricade hoarding. 1. INDECISIVE HOARDING The primary characteristic of indecisive hoarding is disorganization. When…

What Is It?

What does “organized” mean to you? Is it something you’ve been chasing all your life? Do you equate it with happiness, success, peace of mind? Would it mean having your stuff put away, your papers filed, your schedule under control, your thoughts in order? Is¬†organization an expectation that someone else has assigned to you? If…