Part One: Do You See Your Home Organization Story in Cheryl's?

While each home organization story is unique, ultimately each one is about the shared desire to transform a space, free of clutter. I’m excited to share Cheryl’s story with you because it’s one of evolving needs and priorities and setting goals that last over time.

I began working with Cheryl on her home organization needs in May of 2012 when she was about to leave Kansas City for a job in northern California. The new job was a career change that Cheryl expected to be long-term, so she wanted most all her “stuff” with her; however, at the time of the move, she didn’t have a place to live in her new town. Cheryl decided she didn’t want to hassle with a bunch of clothes and shoes she never wore, so she donated over 100 items before heading west.

Clothes, shoes, ball caps. Generally pretty easy items to let go of and a great place to start any de-cluttering project.

Unfortunately, the job and the community were not as expected so Cheryl moved back to Kansas City about six months later. This time the move was on her dime; to reduce expenses she left most of her furniture and many heavy books behind. Before the move back, she took a bold step and snapped pictures of her collections—matchbooks gathered on vacations, silly key chains from fun college days—in order to give or throw away the actual items.

Mementoes. Usually a challenge to part with, but some items are easier than others.

Cheryl now was in a full-on life transition. No job, no place to live, no definite plan for the future. She put most everything in storage while she traveled and lived with friends for the next several months.

In the fall of 2013, Cheryl moved into a small one-bedroom apartment, with a tiny storage closet available in the basement. Everything came out of the pricey storage facility and into the apartment. This was intentional on Cheryl’s part—she wanted to see everything she owned. She then asked herself, “What do I need to get rid of so all my stuff fits in my space?” For some people, this would be an extremely overwhelming approach but for Cheryl, it made the process very visual and tangible.

“Sick and tired,” this is the way Cheryl described her stuff being in large storage tubs. The containers weren't labeled, so every time she needed something in storage, she had to search for it.

To overcome her sick and tired feelings, I helped Cheryl create a habit of getting rid of something every Sunday. This continued for several years and even still today! She has learned she can be comfortable, happy even, with less stuff. She thinks carefully now before bringing anything new into her home.

“Joanie helped me think about how I want to spend my time and often reminds me to make sure everything I own supports that.”

Over the next two weeks I’ll share how I helped Cheryl change her mindset to get unstuck about “stuff” in order to de-clutter and how we set goals in order to stay on track over time for long-term success.

Ready to make your dreams of de-cluttering a reality? If you have questions about how to transform your space, contact me for a “Let’s Get Started” session.

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