“It was a mess, but it was a happy, cozy mess. A mess of lovely, largely happy memories. I felt lucky to have them, despite the disorder of it all…”Eve O. Schaub, “Year of No Clutter”
I’ve always felt that I couldn’t live in a minimalist state. I like chotzkys too much. I love spaces with books, warm blankets, figurines (not a ton, but some), candles, lovely rugs (a weakness), and beautiful lamps. I love stuff, as long as it helps me create the spaces I love. However, over time, I’ve come to appreciate the occasional bare baseboard and an opening on the bookshelf. It leaves room for possibility. Breathing space.
Since my retirement, I’ve been on a quest to go through all my s**t and, boy, what a pain. Half the stuff I own, I wonder why I ever bought in the first place. I am bereft of storage, but when I look at the things in the closet (some have been there for 20 years), I can’t believe that these things have been squatting in my space, which I pay dearly for. Honestly.
Recently, my sister and brother-in-law have decided to do a major renovation and replace all their flooring (the entire house!). Brave folks. They had, like many of us, accumulated quite a collection. But they persevered. They hired a dumpster and cleared the whole place out in seven days. Seven days. I repeat… seven days. Like I said… brave. My sister and I have talked quite a bit during this time. I’m living vicariously through her, and she’s calling me when she’s about to jump off the second floor landing. It’s happening! They’re doing it. Picture my sister and brother-in-law doing the Rocky heroic stance, (theme from the movie playing loudly in the background), as they bounce up and down in their dumpster!!!
One of the reasons I have a little less space is because I was storing some things for my adult children. They have less space than me. However, my daughter is finally in the position to take back most of her things and go through them at her house. She came yesterday and collected two carloads worth of memories. Wow! And, suddenly, I have space! A closet with space. It is so exciting. But, now, I have to decide how to use the space. It’s not a lot of space… but it IS space! So much pressure!
Here is a picture of the space at hand:
I can visualize built-in shelves, those fancy ones from the Container Store. I can see beautiful matching bins… I already have Christmas gifts and seasonal pillows in here. Wow! This is amazing. It is bliss (I’m a really cheap date!)! However, I realize that I’ve always just crammed things in wherever there was a bit of light shining through the mounded up detritus of my belongings. Now that I have space, I’m a bit at a loss as to how to proceed.
I told Mr. G. that I needed to figure out what should go in the closet first. Then, I’ll set a game plan. I’m really into this, and I think I am ready to purge other areas. I’ve gone around with my clipboard, taking note of every nook and cranny in the house that needs organization. Not surprisingly, pretty much EVERY nook and cranny in the house needs organization. I’m going to keep you all posted. (I’m really not that bad, but when I look at some of the things I have… shudder!). And, if I eventually get a dumpster, I will definitely do the happy dance!
So, my question to you all… how do your organize your spaces? Any tried and true methods, or do you just dive in? I’ll be interested to see what you have to say. Trust me, no judgment here. We all have our dirty little secrets… and most of mine live in closets and in the pantry!
Thursday, on the blog, we’ll talk about my latest favorite movie… Until then, my friends!