Hello past and present organizing clients and friends!
We are moving from our charming neighborhood in Brooklyn Heights to the louder sister neighborhood of Dumbo. There are many reasons for this move but mostly it comes down to this: I wanted a washer and dryer in-unit. I am very excited! For me, this is making it: when a dishwasher, washer and dryer are whirring in the background. Ahhhh...
But the new apartment is significantly smaller and has miniscule closets.
So, my Marie Kondo self was challenged to pare down even further. And my not-anywhere-near-Marie Kondo husband got a big dose of what paring down means. This was next level paring down. But a really cool challenge.
Tim’s (the name I give Tom when writing about him) default is the “storage” solution.
Ha! This is when folks say: “Oh, I’ll just rent a storage unit or bring it out to our garage, or other home, or my mom’s,” etc.
The problem with “storage” is you are really just avoiding the problem. The problem being, lots of unnecessary stuff. Storing elsewhere is really just moving the stuff around. It’s still there. You are still saying: “Hey, I can’t deal with you now, let’s talk later.” In the meantime, the stuff has sat and is getting dusty, potentially gaining dampness and a lack of attention.
I recently read the excellent book, The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson. Magnusson writes that she is somewhere between the ages of 80 – 100. She wrote this book because she has had to clear out many homes of friends and family after too much was left behind. She is pretty straightforward in stating, “Hey, no one wants your stuff!” (Nice-little-old-Swedish-lady, ha!) Your kids don’t, your friends don’t. And why not ask them while you're alive, “Hey would you like my piano, this photo album, this childhood book, these college papers I wrote?”
Most people consider moving very stressful – and it is. But it can also be an opportunity to stretch your idea of what you really need. Less stuff = less clutter and I think more fun and clarity!
One of the most difficult categories for people to pare down on is Sentimental. In the Marie Kondo world, Sentimental includes photos, memorabilia of any kind, gifts etc. This was a category that I really did half aXX, because it is that difficult. But once I was faced with having to have much less due to space I was able to look at this category in a new way, as an opportunity to enjoy my photos! I threw out the photos with strangers, babies I no longer recognized, photos that were too blurry or that I had more of one than. Then I took some photos on my phone and sent them to family and friends to enjoy. It was really awesome to enjoy the memories. In this way the photos became part of a living book to use and enjoy. Not a book that gathers dust and is rarely looked at.
Happy tidying! xo
These Elfa in-closet drawers were easy(ish) to put together (thanks to my daughter Sandy!), and are so helpful for small spaces!