Creating New Spaces

Today's client had a bedroom and office that were problem spaces. She wasn't comfortable in either room. Her bedroom had four sets of full bookcases facing her bed. They kept that room from feeling peaceful. Her office had two desks whose surfaces were covered with papers, notebooks and other various things. She couldn't stand still in that room. It made her feel edgy.

I decided to start with the bedroom. We went through all her books. I put the books she wanted to donate in bags. She let go of about half her books. She surprised herself. She loved reading. But she realized many of the books she had because she thought she should read them and she wasn't. I had her put the books she wanted to read on her bedroom floor.

When we were done, there were four empty bookcases sitting there. I wanted her to get the feeling of what it would be like if the books weren't there anymore. We get used to things being a particular way in our homes, we don't even think to question that they may no longer fit. Removing something and checking out the new feeling can help inspire and spur a change in our environments. She decided to move the bookcases and books out of her bedroom. The biggest bookcase got moved out by the curb and the rest went into her office.

Next, I asked her about a red mini couch that sat off to the side of her bedroom. She said she didn't like it or want to keep it, but she had to. It was previously owned by her mother. She felt a strong attachment to the couch. She remembered sitting on it as a child while her mom changed. Part of her shut down as she felt the dilemma. She said, "If I get rid of it, wouldn't I be the evil betrayer of family history?" I said, "No, you wouldn't be. You're not the family historian. This is your home, not a museum." She let it go and we put that out on the curb.

She really loved the new serene and open feeling in her bedroom. She looked so happy and peaceful as she surveyed the new bedroom space.

Next, we went to work in her office. We went through each item on and in her desks. Most of it were things that seemed important, but weren't. They were trash posing as necessaries. She seemed so unhappy as we clutter busted in her office. I asked her if she worked in there. She said she didn't. I suggested she get rid of the biggest desk. She was surprised at the suggestion. She said, "But don't I need it?" I said, "When something is covered with a lot of crap, chances are the thing underneath is clutter. This desk doesn't serve you. You're not a desk person." I pointed to the vacuum cleaner next to the desk. I said, "You need and use this, right?" She said yes. I said, "But you don't need and use the desk." She agreed and we took the desk outside next to the bookcase on the curb.

She felt so inspired that she went through a filing cabinet and tossed everything inside of it, then put the filing cabinet by the curb. She cleared out the rest of the paper and notebook clutter and then cleared out the room's closet. She decided to turn that room into her library.