I walked through my new client's large apartment and every time my eye fell on something I could organize, I heard Melanie say: "I don't need that organized." I began to wonder why I was there when suddenly she said: "This is what the apartment looked like when I was married. My husband Bill has been gone 8 years and I want it to look more like me now."
I knew that Melanie was 'stuck' and needed me to free her. It's as if items in all our homes have a life of their own composed of the energy from the good times and bad they stand silent witness to. I remember when I had to leave an apartment I loved, the minute I packed and sealed the first box, I could almost hear dried glue breaking. Suddenly I was free to pack with abandon. I knew the same would be true for this client.
Push the First Domino!
I began by asking her about the furniture in the apartment. There were two pieces that didn't seem to fit with the general theme or with each other. They were it turned out the furniture her late husband brought from his first marriage. It had been a bitter divorce and these pieces were Bill's 'spoils of war.' He never liked them and neither did my client. We made arrangements to donate them to a Discovery Shop. They will send movers and a truck to do the pick-up. You get a tax deduction and more space in your home. It's a total win/win.
Bill was an avid cook but Melanie didn't share his interest or have his skill set. She had been left with almost 100 cookbooks. We kept a few and donated the rest to a cooking school. Now budding chefs skim the pages looking for inspiration.
My client's husband had fallen in love with a particular painter but once again Melanie did not share Bill's passion for the artist. His paintings, however, hung in every room. Now they are with my e Bay guy waiting to find new homes. We assume the sale will pay for the fresh coat of paint Melanie got for her space.
After two short sessions my client was off and running without me. She didn't really need me to organize her. Melanie needed me to give her permission to create something new and fresh. She needed permission to let go of Bill's things. You can give yourself that permission. You can ask for help from a friend, family member or decorator. Or you can call me and I'll come over and light the fire of transformation for you. It's one of my favorite tasks as a professional organizer. If you live far away, we can Skype to success!