Amy was stressed out! She had a problem. She didn’t have enough storage in her completely gorgeous, huge old converted villa. You know the kind, it has all the pretty twiddly bits on the veranda, a big bay window and pretty path to the front door lined with box hedges and roses.
It had been partially renovated in the late 80’s and she and her husband had bought it 6 years ago. She was pregnant with her first of 3 babies at the time and over the years had completely filled the modern(-ish) pink and beige built-in wardrobes in the bedrooms, as well as the few original narrow dark cupboards that had been left untouched in the reno.
She was really struggling with managing all the stuff that comes with 3 kids under 6, her husband’s sports and work gear and moving her youngest into her own little room. This meant moving the other kids too, and all their things, between the rooms with the packed pink and beige wardrobes.
At the end of her tether and completely over her whole house, Amy called me in to consult on how to reorganise her home.
She had done an amazing job of finding places for all the things a modern family of 5 needs, in a house that wasn’t really designed for the way they lived.
Their home actually had a reasonable amount of storage, it wasn’t quite right for their needs but it was workable until the kids grew older and needed more privacy.
During her whole house consult, as we moved from room to room, we’d identify what was in each storage space. I discovered Amy had stored a lot of children’s clothes in almost every cupboard. Ah, more baby clothes. Gifted clothes from a friend. Cute clothes that will fit one day. Decluttered baby clothes from her sister. Expensive clothes sent from family overseas for the only boy who had grown out of them in weeks!
She loved those baby clothes so much. She knew she needed to prioritise premium storage space for their day to day lives over her need to hold on to every item of baby clothing that had ever entered her home. One of the most important clutter management concepts that we identified as we worked together was Amy’s need to let go.
She was ready.
It was practical to keep some clothes for the littlest to grow into, but only the really special items.
It was important for Amy that the clothes went to a very good home.
It was also important for Amy to keep a selection of clothes that meant the most to her, they became her keepsakes.
She was so determined to sort out her whole home. We worked out together what would make her the happiest: What to keep, what to donate or gift and where to take them. We set out a basic system for her to sort through everything, in the small amounts of time that she had to herself, and off she went!
In her response to my support emails Amy shared how tough it was, letting go, but also what a huge difference it had made. She had decluttered every single room and cupboard.
- The dark narrow linen cupboard.
- The crammed kitchen cupboards.
- Her and her husbands huge wardrobe.
- The kids pink and beige wardrobes and squillions of toys.
- The packed laundry and bathroom cupboards.
She ended up having to call an op shop to pick up the ENORMOUS pile of donations she had created. And she’d reduced the amount of kids clothes down to a manageable selection. They were stored in the room of the child that they were meant for, and she had donated and gifted the extra clothes to people and charities that she loved.
She felt SO good. Her keepsakes were in a big flat box, safely stored under her bed and she could use the cupboards in the house properly for the first time in years.
She could install the shelving I recommended in the cupboards making them far more useful. She could get to the boxes of crafting gear that had sat untouched in the bottom of the cupboards for months. She could see what they owned. She could bring out anything her family wanted, at any time without dreading The Excavation of a wardrobe.
Amy is completely awesome, she transformed her home. She let go of the things that did not serve her or her family, but kept the most precious things that made her happy.
Letting go is hard, but it’s worth it.
It’s all about your priorities. What are your’s?
PS: If you’re having trouble letting things go and need a hand to work out what will work best for you and your family, scroll down a bit.
If you’re self isolating and you’d like some decluttering advice or coaching contact me to schedule a FREE half hour phone or video chat. It’s the least I can do to support you.