One of the services my company Baby Green offers is home organization, but sometimes I wonder if the more accurate label would simply be home purging. As the trash bags fill up with JUNK, the organization naturally follows. I have seen countless clients, friends and family members attempt to get organized without eliminating unneeded objects first. I suppose it's possible in the short term to skip de-junking and tastefully arrange your trash in your home. But staying organized without the essential de-cluttering is nearly impossible.
I wasn't born an organized minimalist. I, too, had to undergo the process of throwing out, recycling and donating about half of my possessions when I relocated from Manhattan to Long Beach. (See my now minimally material home in my recent Mi Casa blog post.) I think my clients like that I can relate to their struggles of letting go with my own firsthand experiences. It's logical that we spent a portion of our lives collecting and amassing both treasures and trash, but that a second phase comes when elimination is called for.
To inspire those of you on a similar journey, I will periodically post before and after photos from my organizational work. These first images are from a local project in which the homeowner has made astounding progress with detachment, which was first rooted in simply becoming aware that her spaces weren't flowing and that she was storing nothing more than garbage in many of her closets and cabinets. An avid meditator and an energy healer, my client radiates a sense of peace and calm, but her home was not matching this. She now feels that what's on the inside is reflected on the outside and that "each room no longer feels like a to-do list of 50 tasks calling out at her." We all can relate to that. We tackled her mudroom in one session, a secondary entry into her home that you could barely walk through. All the junk is gone, systems are in place, access to needed items has been created and legs are no longer bruised trying to navigate through the room. And peace has been restored.
"To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something." Lao Tzu
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." Hans Hoffman