Farewell to Uselessness!

Young Woman Helps Clients Organize Rooms, Live Better Lives收纳达人带你“断舍离”

Women of China (English) - - CONTENTS - WEI XUANYI魏萱亦Photos Supplied by CAO HONGLI供图:曹红丽

Cao Hongli, 23, began working at a graphic design company after she graduated from Jinling Institute of Technology (in Nanjing, capital of eastern China's Jiangsu Province), with a major in animation, earlier this year. Cao, though, is more than a graphic designer. During weekends and festivals, she goes to clients' homes, and she helps them tidy up their rooms. She is an organizing consultant, a job that has become increasingly popular in China in recent years.家里总是乱糟糟,想找什么东西翻箱倒柜也找不到;不用的东西丢了可惜,放在家里又占位置。这些烦恼,不少人都遇到过。眼下,收纳师这个全新的职业正悄然兴起,他们会教你如何彻底告别这些烦恼。曹红丽正是这新兴职业中的一员。

First Meeting 初识“收纳”

"I learned of the concept of 'organizing' … when I was in my third year of college. I read an article about Marie Kondo, a well-known Japanese organizing consultant, and her methods of 'organizing' (tidying up rooms). She was listed as one of Time's '100 most influential people' in 2015, because (she was an) expert at organizing. When I was reading the article, I felt like communicating with a friend. I love tidying up rooms. Many of my methods of tidying up rooms are similar to Kondo's methods of organizing. At that time, I realized, for the first time, that tidying up rooms could become a job," recalls Cao.

"I bought Kondo's books, to study her theories about organizing. I was interested, and I decided to become an organizing consultant. From her books, I learned that organizing is more than tidying up rooms. Organizing is a process that allows a person to know him/herself better. It can help a person change his/her life," Cao says.

Then, she bought many books about organizing. She also participated in some training sessions, which helped her improve her organizing skills, and which helped her learn how to solve problems she might encounter when she is organizing a space.

She has also followed some official WeChat accounts related to organizing. The articles about organizing published by the WeChat accounts have helped her improve her organizing skills.

Not everything has been smooth sailing for Cao. "More than a year ago, only a few people knew about organizing. Many people, including my parents, thought being an organizing consultant was the same thing as being a cleaner. My parents did not support me … In the beginning, I only helped my friends tidy up their homes for free, to gain experience. Now, I have many customers. Most of them are

housewives and white-collared workers, who hope to live high-quality lives, but who do not have much time to tidy up," Cao says.

Methods “收纳”的方法

"I ask my clients to imagine their ideal lives before I help them tidy up their rooms. Then, I organize their rooms according to their imaginations. At first, I gather everything they own, one category at a time. Then, I ask the clients to select the things that are important to them, or the things that they need. The other things will be thrown away. Many customers tend to keep too many things, as they believe they might use them in the future. In fact, they may no longer use most of the things. At that time, I will guide them to give up the useless things," says Cao.

"Then, I choose a place for everything, according to my customers' habits, capacity of the furniture and the amount of the things. Everything has a fixed position. The position cannot be changed. Clients should put things back in their places after they use them. Rooms cannot be messy again, after I tidy them up. Even if the rooms are messy again, my clients can tidy them up again, after they put the things in their right places," Cao continues.

"In the future, I hope more people will know about organizing. We may talk to our friends, relatives or colleagues. However, we seldom talk to ourselves. Organizing is a process for a person to talk to him/ herself. We will know what kind of people we are, or what kind of lives we want to live, through organizing. I hope more people will live better lives, as they like, "says Cao.

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