Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lighten the Load

One of the great things about helping other people organize their stuff and get rid things is that when I come back home, I have a renewed sense of commitment to making sure that my own home isn't clogged with objects that will block flow.  Not everybody knows that I've taken on a few clients to help them organize their space.  As things go with all things unencumbered, I really want to give this a gentle nudge, instead of gunning my engine and saying "GO!" But,  for years I knew that it might be something that I couple with my *life coaching* expertise and bring increased flow and sanity to peoples' living spaces.

And this, exhibit A, is my own quiet work/typing space.  Not always spic and span, but at the end of a purging cycle and vacay, we're ready for the (too soon to imagine) September freak out!  In regard to ones' own work space, or desk, I can only say….don't let anybody else near it.  For those of you with younger kids and cats, good luck.  If it's clean, I want it to stay that way, and if it's a mess, I don't want someone else to see that errant bill/ticket/note that is not meant for their eyes.  I've strategically placed my random pile of papers on the antique sewing machine right outside of the viewfinder.  Have faith, it's a pretty tiny stack, because I sift through the whole thing almost regularly (two days ago).

Exhibit A: Heywood Wakefield desk, clean and beautiful.
 Exhibit B?  It's the room with a door that my roommate inhabits, when working/computing.   What I'm pointing out is the collection of albums, memorabilia, files etc..that are stacked, carefully in the corner of this room.   I sat on the floor just a day ago and sifted through two or three large collections of cards, letters, and photos from Mom and Dad that I was holding on to.  I looked at a few things for the last time and made the decision to let go and re-stored the photos and cards that I will keep, for now.  One of the important parts of purging is that we don't always know what we want, why, and for how long.  If we keep everything, then, eventually, we throw it all out, without enjoying any of it.  If we keep nothing,  we risk unnecessary loss.  As time passes, we have to look at objects and ask ourselves if and when other people are going to want to see these items. Some are private enough that we'd rather get rid of them (you know, that embarrassing note scrawled out on a bar napkin at one am?).
Exhibit B: even photos, letters, cards need to be curated periodically.

 And yes, I'm in the same boat as all of those parents who are constantly wondering how and why so much stuff barges into the house.  Why do we EVER buy gifts for a child?  Please, I rant and rant and rant, but it still gets in here.  But alas, as I've long contended, after (sometimes) great use, it gets passed on to a neighbor, a friend, or thrift agency that will make it useful.  There is a point, however, where the sheer mass of stuff in our offsprings' rooms is so overwhelming that we quietly enter with a giant trash bag and do the inevitable.    One remedy to the angst-producing trash bags of stuff is to purge more often, which, of course, requires time and energy. Pictured below are two of the real keepers that we're hoping find a lovely home among friends.  Both dolls are Gotz, although they're most likely draped in AG apparel.
Exhibit C: Gotz dolls in their finery on a daybed. 
So back to my endeavor, to not only clean my own home but to support people who are ready for change.  The great thing about having some experience holding a space for is that I know that not every one can handle equal amount of chaos/stuff/purging/papers/etc…part of helping somebody else purge their space is knowing that it's a process.  I'm always in process here at home.  When things get bumpy, or when things get quiet, I start to go at a section of the house.  It helps me find my own center.  Then again, there are times when I'm perfectly content with a large mass of items taking up space.  I'm a collector, after all.  I savor the objects as much, if not more than others.  So I get it.  I get the desire to collect and derive meaning from objects, I also get the desire to create space for new paths and energy.  I was chatting with a friend who I hadn't seen in quite some time, and the only thing she remembered about my new endeavor was the charming name I stumbled upon, she laughed, "Lighten the Load!"  I love it!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen,

    I'm the production assistant for, an editorial site covering homeownership-related topics.

    Would you consider letting us feature a photo of your decluttered desk from this post in an article about organizing your home? Email me at for the details. Thanks!

    Libby Walker