where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Irene vs. Baby Green

My life certainly has had its inherent challenges recently, from a fried logic board to natural disasters, but I'm committed to getting my blog going again come hell or high water (literally!). For anyone who doesn't know, I live in the South Shore of Long Island, an area, like most others on the East Coast, that was badly hit by the recent Tropical Storm Irene. But spirits are high and recovery has been swift, with the dominant perspective of "it could have been much worse" rattling through every conversation. For me, these are just bumps in the road, and ultimately I'm grateful to have a computer and a roof over my head, even if they are susceptible to breakage.

One of the main focuses of my business in the past year or so has been home organization. This is a general term that tactfully describes what is more or less home purging. Organization cannot be achieved until the unnecessary stuff is out the door, period. As I pass post-Irene curbside piles of contents removed from one flooded basement after another my heart first goes out to each homeowner. But then I can't help but wonder why they needed all that stuff in the first place. Extra storage is often not the blessing it appears to be. Whether it's a basement, an attic, a garage, or an extra room (none of which I have), these spaces tend to be a black hole for unnecessary accumulations. Irene was fierce with her purging, destroying the contents of peoples' homes, forcing them to part with whole roomfuls of possessions. My ways are a lot more gentle.

I recently visited a beloved family member (who shall remain nameless) for the first time and was given a tour of her charming home, only to realize that she didn't show me one room along the main hallway. The door was shut and she breezed by it in such a hurried manner that I knew she was guilty of something. With some urging, she finally showed me the guest room/closet/storage room and this is what lay within:

I knew I would not be able to enjoy the meal she was about to make if I just re-shut the door and kept walking. I begged for ONE HOUR in the room (with the help of my mom who was also visiting). The goal was to make it possible to walk into the room and decrease the visual chaos so that the homeowner wouldn't risk a heart attack every time she passed the room. WIth hurricane-like fervor, we tore through the room, sorted scattered items into a half dozen boxes that could later be sorted and purged one at a time, cleared the floor and desk surfaces, and when the timer went off 60 minutes later, these were the results:

Please click here to learn more about Baby Green's Organizing Services.