My friend Jody came to visit me from Las Vegas in the spring and told me that she was worried about me. A friend of twenty years, she said “You’ve always been a clutter bug, but it has never been quite as bad as it is now.” In my own my defence, it was after the longest winter in Eastern Canada in a long time. Much had come into the apartment and not many things went out. It’s hard to get rid of things in that weather. I just wanted to hibernate. I just wanted to survive.
In contrast, at any point in time, Jody’s apartment is ready for the photographers of House and Home to show up. Furniture is white and clean. Everything has its place. There aren’t piles. I’m not like that. I am a bear in the winter, and when I’m not a bear in the summer, I take more of a Tasmanian Devil approach to living in an apartment. It’s less of a time thing and more of a priority thing. Jody sends me links on how I could spend just minutes a day improving my living space. I rarely read them, because it’s just not my priority.
What a Virgo she is. I am a Virgo too, except that I don’t have any of the characteristics, so I’ve decided that I’m a Leo, even though my birthday is a week after the cusp.
Ironically, most of what I need at any given time tends to fit into a suitcase for most of the year. I can pack a bag for anywhere in about 15 minutes flat to any location in this world. My apartment is filled with things that I like to enjoy, books, crafts, electronics, sewing stuff, paper, and ukuleles. Lots of ukuleles.
Jody’s Visit #2
Jody came through town again in May/June while I was in Hawaii and Vancouver and since she’s like a sister, she stayed in my place. I had already gotten rid of some of my piles by then, but then she did something that few friends could do. She started decluttering. I welcomed it. This can only happen when someone knows you really well and you trust them. She is a friend like a sister, and she warned me that she was doing it. On some level I was afraid of but I knew it needed to be done.
The Facebook notifications kept me abreast of it. She disliked the hangers in my closet and made the decision to get rid of my hangers in lieu of black professional looking ones that spaces everything out evenly.
Before I even got home, Jody opened up my kitchen cupboards, reorganized and tossed out a bunch of things. She even bought a vacuum (which broke because a strand of my long, thick hair wrapped around one of the wheels causing it to pop off).
I had a small Extreme Makeover moment when I entered the apartment. Nothing was moved but everything was better. My kitchen and my closet were organized. It was like getting a new improved version of me. We went out to celebrate.
I would like to think that in the right season, I’ll always do culling when I need to, but it takes me much longer. This is a pile that I happily got rid of last week, and I’m ready for more.
Clutter is a series of decisions that you have been putting off. Looking at your own stuff is hard, but a friend can help you have perspective on your stuff. Jody is that friend. She is organized without being overbearing or bossy. She doesn’t make me feel stupid or crazy about my stuff. She looks at everything from a practical perspective and is gentle in her approach. Best of all, she has a need to put chaos into order and I have just the right amount of chaos that she can use. If you are someone who is able to put chaos into order in the home, then look around at your friends and see if they might want to help. If you are someone who lives in a bit of chaos, be open to that help. You will both be better for it.
Special shout out to Jody: Thanks Jody. You are my friend that I would call from jail at any hour, and my friend who I always know I can count on when I’m drowning in my own stuff. Thanks for making my home a better place to be.