Moving Month

It’s moving month! In the last five weeks I have emptied my mother-in-law’s home of over fifty years and moved my daughter Corrie from one apartment in Atlanta to another. As I write, I am sitting in her sunroom, enjoying the song of birds.

The first move comes as Bettye’s life gracefully approaches conclusion, and the second as Corrie’s adulthood opens wide. This morning I am drinking coffee at Corrie’s out of a cup that came from Bettye’s. I’m looking at a rocking chair given to Corrie by my sister, and across the living room see the table and chairs that Abbie bought from Craigslist for her first apartment. I have texted Bud that the sunroom will benefit from the end table we no longer need since we are using one from his childhood home.

A few things are confirmed that I have told clients previously:

1.       Moves are about the present. Not everything that was meaningful or specifically useful needs to be kept, but it can be appreciated, blessed, and put aside. Unless the move is temporary by design (i.e., into an apartment until the new house is ready), keep only what fits your lifestyle and space today.

2.       A fifteen-foot rental truck loaded by professionals saves time, relationships and sanity. On a hot day, offering the movers a glass of ice water lets them know you realize how hard they are working. Unloading by a professional on a rainy day is also welcome! (Thank you Daequin! You were amazing.)

3.       Cheap packing tape is a bad idea. (The strong paper tape from U-Haul was in my Prius in Nashville, not the Pilot in Atlanta!) However, all but one of the boxes held.

4.       The right size box, ideally with handles, makes packing the house and the truck better. (Not every box can say “Do not stack”!)

5.       Let the people at the moving company know you have come in to check out their free box bin. If it is empty, they probably know if there are three boxes of boxes waiting to be given away in the loading area.

6.       Even though the older generation is downsizing and the younger is upsizing, it is not a given that the furniture will be moved from the grandmother’s to the granddaughter’s home. However, when this works, great!

7.       When the move is over and the dust settles, a really sweet note from daughter to mother is very much appreciated.

All told, it is a joy to be part of the moving that comes with life transitions, whether as a family member or as an organizer.

 

 

My New Website is Up and Running!

Join the on-line Launch Party at clearingthewayhome.com. Send me a message through the site and be entered to win organizing prizes!

Changing my look and website was not on my mind when I mentioned the staleness and limitations of my old site to my children. They told me about Squarespace and I decided to play around there. Three days later I had a new site developed and it led to a different image. Beginning with my old company image of stairs leading into an inviting Tuscan house, I soon realized that it no longer conveyed the image emerging. I was drawn to new images and was at a crossroad. With appreciation for my 6-year-old image, I decided to say goodbye and let the new emerge.

As I developed the new site, I was drawn into images of nature and growth. Some show growth around obstacles, like the tree with its roots wrapped around the large bolder in the Big South Fork National Recreation Area. Others show nature manipulated to bring balance or to indicate a direction, like the cairn, or the labyrinth I discovered on a hike in Northampton, Massachusetts.

As photos came to mind, I wondered whether to add a gallery of before and after pictures to show the type of progress a client may expect. But I decided that the ones showing major change are only as consistent as the inner ability of the client to maintain the appearance. And some, like the full and overflowing pantry “before” to the “full” pantry after do not convey six hours of work or seven bags of discard.

I realized there is often not a photographic way to show the before and after of much of our work. My hope is that during the 6 years I have been decluttering and organizing in your homes you have experienced a degree of calm. Also, important to me is your increased awareness of the layered effects clutter and organization have on your life. I welcome shared stories of how our work shifted your relationship to your things. Perhaps it helped you re-focus conflicts with other people around clutter. Finally, I hope your things make sense to you and have purpose and meaning.

This is how I measure the success of our work together. I like things to look like they are chosen to be in your home and for you to have increased satisfaction with your things, from the storage solution for toilet paper to the organized entryway. It is as important to be able to daily reach a pan in the cabinet without extra effort as it is to be able to locate a screwdriver and a particular screw when the exact need arises. Easily moving home office items from the dining room when company is coming is as essential for some as organizing a dedicated home office is for others.

When you enter my website, I want you to imagine calm that can be found by specifically addressing clutter, frustration, and challenges. If you want to organize your space, we will first find out what you already do, build on it, and spiral from the inside out, like the picture of the fossil, or take unsuccessful past efforts and see what can sprout new, like the fallen tree in Bud’s picture from Springbank Retreat Center for EcoSpirituality and the Arts in South Carolina. Starting where you are, we will follow a path forward until we find what works.

Please be sure to enter the contest to win your choice of organizing products at the Container Store, Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, or Home Depot, or the grand prize of an organizing session. Thanks for your continued support of my work. Here’s to the next 6 years!