施展整理的魔法

「藝收納」與「衣櫥醫生」
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2019 / 12月

文‧陳群芳 圖‧莊坤儒


現代人生活寬裕,免費的集點贈品、百貨禮品,還有24小時開放的網路購物,讓物品的取得變得容易。但堆積如山的物品卻沒有為現代人帶來快樂,反倒在雜物中迷失生活本質,「整理師」便是因應時代而生的新行業。

又到了年終大掃除的季節,跟著我們直擊居家整理顧問何安蒔與衣櫥醫生賴庭荷的工作現場,探訪這個神秘又迷人的新領域吧!


試著想像打開櫃子,物品從頭上掉落;拉開抽屜,藥品、文具、護手霜……,過期的、新買的通通塞在一塊兒,過載的抽屜拉開就闔不上;房間內滿是書籍衣物,無路可走;或是角落堆積如山的紙箱,一挪動,蟑螂、老鼠便跑了出來……,這些我們有點熟悉又難以想像的場景,正是整理師的工作實況。

整理師的日常

提起整理師,一般人容易與居家清潔搞混。藝收納居家整理顧問何安蒔表示,居家清潔處理的是「髒」,由客戶指示清掃區域,將灰塵、污垢打掃乾淨即可;而整理師處理的是「亂」,必須面對過多且毫無擺放邏輯的雜物、動線不良的房間。一般人看了就腿軟、煩躁的凌亂空間,整理師平均一待就是4到12個小時不等,考驗整理師的耐性與體力。

整理師像是指揮若定的將軍,看穿一切凌亂,並帶著客戶動手整理。透過改變家具的擺放、安排物品的收納位置,實現委託人對空間最舒適自在的想像。何安蒔就曾在不添購家具的情況下,只靠動線調整,就把原本缺乏美感的房間,營造成具備臥室、客廳、書房、瑜珈四種功能的區域,讓客戶大為驚嘆,直說擁有了此生最滿意的房間。

在整理的過程中,整理師常需要面對客戶的情緒,可能是整理到一半賭氣擺爛,或是看到大量物品被自己浪費而感到沮喪,又或是家人在整理過程中爭吵,見識了最真實的一面。整理居住環境也像在整理人生,有時整理師不只美化空間,還需要抽絲剝繭找出問題所在。像是有位太太委託何安蒔改造飯廳,但夫妻倆各執己見,深入了解才知道,太太希望將童年時全家在餐桌吃飯、分享生活的美好記憶帶給孩子;而先生卻自小就在客廳用餐。這樣的情況即使美化飯廳也不見得會改善,但何安蒔發掘了根本的原因,讓這對夫妻互相理解,才能在整理後體諒對方,共同營造想要的家庭氛圍。

人們在整理物品時會看到自己的過去、現在與未來,決定物品去留有人果決,有人難捨,因此當一名整理師不僅需要空間規劃及收納的技能,還需要溝通、開導,更要有同理心,「切勿用自己的價值觀去批判委託人的生活,唯有帶著愛去給予協助,才能展現整理師的價值與意義。」何安蒔表示。

發揮天賦,找到自己

整理師這行業在日本已行之有年,台灣則是近兩年才較為眾人所知。2016年2月成立「藝收納」的何安蒔,便是台灣整理師的先行者之一。

小時候,何安蒔的爸爸每半年就會帶著她和妹妹將家具大風吹,教導空間丈量,思考物品擺放的關聯性。姊妹倆在爸爸的鼓勵下,常常更換房間床鋪、書桌的位子,自己刷油漆、裝飾衣櫃,種下她美化空間的種子。何安蒔婚後與先生住在小型社區的舊屋,家中多是親友贈送的二手家具,雖然實用卻少了美感,於是她陸續以布置來改造,並在2015年自己存夠錢,重新裝潢廚房和地板。何安蒔自己選材料、畫設計圖,她以烹調習慣來配置櫥櫃的順序:冰箱、水槽、料理區、爐火,還在廚房設置食譜區,親手打造理想的廚房。

看著何安蒔將住家打點得整齊美麗,爸爸提議她開創整理布置的生意,到別人家中找出問題,協助他們美化居家環境。於是,沒聽過整理師這職業的何安蒔就這樣入行了。

何安蒔開「藝收納」粉絲專頁分享多年來改造自宅的點點滴滴,以旗袍作為個人形象,何安蒔表示,整理不一定要捲起袖子穿圍裙,居家整理是一門藝術,只要做好一次大整理,定下物品的收納方式,往後每天只要花十分鐘物歸原位,維持美好的居家環境是可以很優雅的。

起初每月一兩筆委託,到2017年底一個月十幾張預約單。如今何安蒔開授整理師培訓課程、到處演講,還成立中華心希望空間整理顧問協會,今年十月協會開辦了台灣第一次的整理師認證考試。每次看到委託人從整理前的焦慮、不開心,到整理後露出的滿足笑容,何安蒔很是感動。問她難道不擔心教出太多學生來競爭,何安蒔說具備個人特色很重要,而且這行真的沒有想像中容易和好賺。她鼓勵學生自創品牌,盡力做好每個案子,就會被看見。何安蒔說:「我是要推廣整理的概念,如果能多培養全台各地的整理師,讓更多有需要的家庭受惠不是更好嗎!」

衣櫥醫生看診囉

雖然整理師這行業在台灣還很新,但隨著這幾年投入的人漸增,要在整理的領域走出一條路,就必須找出個人特色,賴庭荷便以自己擅長的服飾穿搭,建立個人品牌「衣櫥醫生」,提供衣櫥規劃與穿搭配購的服務。

這天,我們跟著賴庭荷來到客戶家,只見她熟練地拿出各種顏色的測色布,在素顏的委託人胸口鋪上白布,隔絕其他顏色的干擾,接著便以一次兩塊色布開始測色。源自美國的四季色彩理論,以大自然呈現的四季景象將顏色分成屬於春、秋的暖色系,屬於夏、冬的冷色系,而春天色較清澈、秋天色偏混濁。同樣是紅、黃、藍、綠,在四季色彩裡因為彩度、明度的不同而有各式各樣的變化。

每個人的膚色、唇色、眼珠顏色都不同,藉由色布觀察顏色在臉部造成的變化,例如氣色變好、暗沉是否變明顯等,反覆測試,直到找出適合的季節屬性,以此做為挑選服飾、彩妝的參考。亞洲女生普遍追求皮膚白皙,當某些顏色讓膚色變白時便以為是適合自己的顏色,但卻可能使得臉部暗沉變得明顯,氣色變差,因此看起來「變白」不是絕對的標準。

賴庭荷表示,四季色彩的運用有天堂與地獄之分,有的人拿著色票挑選衣服,執著地要找到正確的顏色,喪失了購物的樂趣;天堂的使用方式,是知道自己適合哪些顏色,但會以自己為主體。例如同樣是秋天色,偏橘調的紅、黃給人活潑的感受,偏冷色調的藍、綠有知性的感覺,端看想要的形象去選擇。賴庭荷以自己為例,即使知道白色系不適合,但符合她想傳達的個人形象,她就利用秋天色系的絲巾或是彩妝品做搭配,只要將適合自己的顏色擺在靠近臉的位子,就能打造好看的造型,不被顏色制約。

穿對衣服,散發光芒

自2017年開始接案,賴庭荷常看到委託人被台灣主流的審美觀:白、瘦、美所困擾,好似在框架外就不夠好。如臉太長、眼睛太小等,這些委託人在意的地方,在賴庭荷眼中都是他們的特色,只要找到合適的穿著,便能充分發揮每個人的優勢。於是她分析經手的數百件案例,研究世界各國的人種,各地區服飾的特色、材質等,再比對臉型、身形,開發出「角色風格三原型」的論述。依據客戶的五官、臉長、身形,以及每個人的眼神、舉止所散發出的特質,分成照顧者、領導者、夢想家,發掘每個人適合的穿衣原則。例如具領導者氣質的人穿上西裝外套、風衣會很有氣勢;穿在夢想家特質的人身上,反倒像是小孩穿大人衣服,會有違和感。

做完測量與諮詢後,接著便把衣櫥裡所有衣物下架,把衣服分成喜歡、還好、不喜歡、居家機能、紀念品五大類。隨著整理的進行,客戶會漸漸的被分類後的衣服包圍,賴庭荷稱之為整理的魔法陣。當衣服都擺到正確的分類時,每件衣服要放到哪一類就會越來越明確,也容易有衣服的回音。例如不那麼喜歡卻捨不丟的衣服,當想放到喜歡那區時,心裡就會出現一個聲音,自問真的喜歡嗎?在分類的過程中賴庭荷會觀察客戶的表情,尤其是還好區的衣服,透過不斷地提問,抽絲剝繭委託人與衣服的連結:可能是親友送的,可能曾有過美好的回憶等,也有人因而發現自己總是活在他人評價裡,從未傾聽自己的聲音。如此探究,被客戶開玩笑地說是靈魂的拷問。

除了服飾,鞋子、包包、彩妝、髮型、眼鏡,舉凡跟造型有關的,全是賴庭荷的守備範圍。帶著客戶整理衣櫥後,賴庭荷會配幾套適合的穿搭,並給予髮妝的建議。一般人習慣單穿上衣加褲子,在賴庭荷巧手搭配下,素色連身裙內搭花領背心製造亮點、上衣前後顛倒穿竟能改善臉長的問題等。即使沒有明星般的長相,但穿對了衣服,人就會散發光芒。賴庭荷笑說,常有客戶分享改變穿著後獲得讚美,或是被告白,還有人在改造後找到了結婚的對象。

自成立「衣櫥醫生」品牌,環保始終是賴庭荷的初衷,挖掘每個人衣櫃都有讓人變美的潛力,透過讓客戶認識自己,就不會盲目的購買,讓人們從眼花撩亂的快時尚中解脫。誠如何安蒔所說:「『整』的是表面所繫的空間,『理』的是屋主混亂的思緒與疲憊的心。」整理師引領人們發掘問題、看透自己的本質,助人與更美好的生活相遇。                                                              

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EN

The Art of Order

—Professional Organizers

Chen Chun-fang /photos courtesy of Chuang Kung-ju /tr. by Phil Newell

People in modern times are rich in material possessions. Yet mountains of “stuff” do not bring happiness, and in fact people get lost in their clutter. It is for this reason that the role of “professional organ­izer” came into existence.

Come with us to the workplaces of organizing consultant Sasha Ho and “closet visitor” Lai Tinghe to take a look at this mysterious and fascinating new field.


When you open your closet door, objects fall out onto your head; your room is full of books and clothing, leaving no space to move around; or there is a huge stack of cardboard boxes in a corner, out of which mice and cockroaches run as soon as you touch it…. Situations like these are the daily bread of professional organizers.

All in a day’s work

People often confuse professional organizers with cleaning services. Home organizing consultant Sasha Ho says that home cleaning is about getting rid of dirt, and is achieved simply by sweeping or washing away the dust and dirt in the home. But organizing is about getting rid of chaos, and it requires dealing with the clutter of possessions that have been placed without any logic and rooms in which it is difficult to move around.

Organizers change the placement of furniture and create storage areas to realize the client’s vision of having a comfortable space where they can feel at ease. Sasha Ho says that she once simply rearranged the flow of a room to turn an unattractive space into an area with four functions: bedroom, living room, library, and yoga space. The client said this was the most satisfying room she had ever had in her life.

Organizers often have to deal with clients’ moods. Sometimes clients will get in a pique and stop the project halfway through, or they will get dejected seeing all the objects they wasted their money on, or there will be family arguments in the middle of the organizing process. Sometimes organizers must not merely beautify the space they are working on, they also have to investigate the source of the problem. For example, once a wife commissioned Ho to rearrange her dining room, but the husband and wife had different opinions and stuck to them. It was only by understanding the couple in depth that Ho discovered that the wife wanted to give her children the same happy memories she had from her childhood of the whole family chatting as they ate together at the dining table, whereas the husband had been eating in the living room since he was small. Making the dining room more attractive wouldn’t necessarily fix the situation, but after Ho uncovered the root cause of their disagreement, the couple understood each other better, so that once the reorganization was complete they could be more considerate to each other and work together to create the atmosphere they wanted in their home.

To be an organizer takes not only skills in spatial design and in organizing people’s belongings, but also the ability to communicate, advise and persuade, as well as a good portion of empathy.

Natural talent

When Ho set up her consultancy in February 2016, she was one of the first professional organizers in Taiwan.

When Sasha Ho was small, twice a year her father would get her and her younger sister to help rearrange the furniture, and taught them how to measure spaces and think about the interrelationships in the placement of objects. The two sisters often changed the layouts and furniture in their rooms, painting walls and decorating closets by themselves, and this planted the seeds in their minds of how to beautify space. After Ho got married, she and her husband lived in an old house, and most of their furniture was secondhand stuff given to them by relatives. ­Although it was practical it was not appealing to the eye, so she continually rearranged it. Moreover, in 2015, after she had saved enough money, she had her kitchen and floors renovated. She chose the materials and drew up the design herself, personally creating the kitchen of her dreams.

Seeing his daughter transform her home into an orderly and beautiful living space, Ho’s father suggested that she launch an organizing business, to identify the problems in other people’s homes and help them beautify their living environments. So that is how Ho got into the business.

Ho has shared what she has learned from renovating her own home over the years on her Facebook fan page, and created her personal image of always wearing a qipao (traditional Chinese dress).

When she first started out she got one or two commissions per month, but by the end of 2017 she was getting them in the teens. Today, Ho offers training classes for professional organizers, lectures widely, and even has founded the Heart, Hope, Space International Organization of Professional Organizers, which staged Taiwan’s first-ever certification exam for professional organizers this October. Ho feels moved every time she sees the transformation of clients from anxiety and unhappiness before their homes are reorganized to satisfaction and smiles afterwards.

The closet visitor

To get ahead in the world of professional organizing requires a distinctive skills profile. Lai Tinghe has leveraged her superior fashion sense to set up her own brand, “Closet Visitor,” which offers closet organizing and clothes shopping advice.

On the day of our interview, we go with Lai to a client’s home, where she gives the client a color test. To avoid being distracted by other colors, Lai first drapes a white smock over the torso of the client, who is wearing no makeup. Then, she uses pieces of colored cloth, two at a time, to evaluate which color combinations best match her client’s skin, eyes and hair. The concept of “seasonal colors” assigns color palettes to individuals based on the natural colors of the four seasons, with warm colors for “spring” and “autumn” types and cool colors for “summer” and “winter” types. Across the different palettes, the “same” color can have many variations of chroma and color value.

Every individual has a different skin tone, eye color, and lip color. By observing how each of the colored cloths affects the appearance of her client’s face, such as giving her a better complexion, Lai can determine which “season” she belongs to, to provide a color palette that can guide her in choosing clothes and makeup.

Lai Tinghe says that the ways in which people use seasonal colors can be heaven or hell. Some base their clothes buying entirely on their color swatches, doggedly seeking out the exact colors, but this takes all the joy out of shopping. The heavenly approach is to know what colors best suit you, and to keep the main focus on yourself. Lai cites herself as a case in point. Although she knows that white does not suit her, it matches the personal image she wants to project, so she combines white clothes with scarves in “autumn” colors. So long as colors that suit her are positioned close to her face, she can make herself look good.

A new aura

Since she began taking commissions in 2017, Lai has had many clients who have been distressed that they don’t fit the mainstream aesthetic in Taiwan: light-­complexioned, slim, and beautiful. But in Lai’s eyes the things these clients worry about, such as having a long face or small eyes, are in fact part of their individuality, and as long as the right clothing can be found, they can be shown to their best advantage. This is why she has analyzed the hundreds of cases that have passed through her hands, studied the different races of the world and the attire of different regions, and compared face and body shapes, to develop her concept of the “three categories of role-based style.” She divides clients into three cat­egories—care­givers, leaders, and dreamers—based on their facial features, the length of their faces, and their body shapes, thereby revealing the basic principles for the appropriate attire of each individual. For example, a leader will project a sense of power when wearing a Western-­style suit and trench coat, whereas these would look out of place on a dreamer, like a child wearing adult attire.

Lai also organizes closets. She starts by taking all the clothes out and having the client separate them into five categories: I like it; it’s OK; I don’t really like it; it’s functional around the house; it has memories attached. As the classification proceeds, the client will gradually be surrounded by clothing, which Lai calls the “magic circle” of organization. Over time, it becomes increasingly clear which category each piece of attire belongs in. For example, if a person thinks of placing a garment that they don’t ­really like but can’t bring themselves to throw away onto the “I like it” pile, they will ask themselves, “Do I really like it?” Throughout the process, Lai observes the client’s facial expressions. Especially for apparel in the “it’s OK” section, through continual questions she unravels the connection between the client and the garment: perhaps it was a gift from a friend or family member, or perhaps it is associated with some beautiful memory. Some clients even discover that they have lived their entire lives guided by the judgments of others, without ever listening to their own voices.

Everything that is related to a person’s style falls within Lai’s purview, including clothes, shoes, bags, makeup, hairstyles, and eyeglasses. After helping the client organ­ize her closet, Lai will set out several appropriate outfits and give advice on cosmetics and coiffure. Take for example a person who is in the habit of wearing simply a shirt and pants. With Lai’s skilled mixing and matching, she might brighten up her appearance by wearing a plain dress over a camisole with a colorful scarf collar, or improve a long face by turning her blouse back to front. Even without movie-star looks, with the right clothes anyone can project a certain aura.

Since founding the “Closet Visitor” brand, Lai Tinghe has always had an eye toward environmental protection. By discovering the potential for beauty in each person’s closet, and helping clients to know themselves better, she hopes they will no longer buy things blindly, and can escape from the dizzying treadmill of fast fashion. As ­Sasha Ho says, “The first character in the Chinese word for ‘organize’ is zheng, which means ‘to put into good order,’ and this applies to the space we are working on; while the second character, li, means ‘to rationalize’ or ‘make rational,’ and that refers to the confusion and fatigue in the client’s mind.” Professional organizers guide people to discover problems, see their own real nature, and find more beauty in life.        

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