Bookending as a verb? Yes, and this action can ease your organizing journey. It is a well-known tactic used within the support group community of those with hoarding disorder. Traditional bookends keep books in place. In the decluttering community, declutter buddies use phone calls as “bookends” to keep decluttering sessions in place.
Two individuals pick days and times to declutter simultaneously. One individual calls the other at the beginning of the session. They briefly share what decluttering activity they intend to do. They speak again at the end of the session to report back. It is similar to body doubling I described in a previous article, but different in that each individual works alone during the allotted time. The beginning and ending calls act as “bookends” to keep the sessions in place.
I have worked with many individuals already employing this tactic when we started working together. They shared that they were more likely to stick to decluttering sessions when they knew someone else was counting on them to show up. Sometimes, getting started and sticking to a decluttering routine can be the most challenging part of the work. Once we gain traction, motivation increases to continue working toward decluttering goals.
The secret is out; body doubling is another valuable tool to add to your organizing toolbox. Decluttering does not have to feel lonely. It is a relief to talk to peers sharing the same challenges and feels uplifting to help others with life challenges like conquering clutter.
Author: Judith Dold
Musings from yours truly about all things organizing.