Today, I got to work with one of my clients to totally transform a spare room into a breath of fresh air!
She’d told me a long time ago, “So…. I have this spare room. I hate it. No one is allowed in it. I don’t even go in it. I think I want to tackle it some day and reclaim it for myself.”
Today was the day! With a big leap of faith, she opened the door, and we dove in!
Before we started, I asked her what she wanted this room to be for her home when we were done. Her eyes lit up as she dreamed out loud: “I’d love to have a place where I could put my instruments so that they weren’t out in my living room, and they could be safe away from my animals!” So, we marched forward and aimed to build that space for her!
The room had become a place she dreaded, and rarely entered. Her home was large enough that it was easy to ignore it, and there was really no reason for anyone else to ever need to be there, so, like so many people with rooms like this, the space really got more and more filled over time, mainly with items that really didn’t need to be seen from or heard from, ever again!
It was a catch-all of items that didn’t quite work elsewhere in the house any more. A collection of memories from old relationships, not all of them good memories. Mementoes from childhood, and photos of much beloved friends, family, and the four-legged-friends she’s had throughout her life. Things other people were letting go of, and thought she might like, but they hadn’t really worked for her, and she didn’t know what else to do with it. And some paperwork – some important, some not, but all needing a good sorting.
She knew before I arrived that it was likely that a lot of what we’d find would just go in the trash. And she was right! She made quick decisions, even about items that were sentimental, yet were more associated with negative feelings now. Once she started on that path, it all moved quickly, as she faced old letters, cards, photos, mementos, and was committing to only making space in her home (and her life) for the things that brought about positive feelings, and made her feel like they deserved to be in this home she was building.
Tackling the paperwork box was something we left to the end of the clean out, because she thought it would be the hardest. It turns out, she had a lot of things she knew she didn’t keep, but also knew it needed to be shredded. She confessed she didn’t really know what to do with all of it, and we talked through the options. In the end, she decided that, not only did she want to tackle it herself after purchasing a shredder, she thought it was a great task for her to do while watching a Red Sox game!
With the room so cleared out of stuff, with only a few pieces of furniture left, we rebuilt the rest. The biggest change, of course, was that we were able to take a small shelving unit, unused from another part of the house, and instantly turned it into her music station for her instruments, so they are safely in here, and her living room feels less cluttered to her now. We were able to move books and paperwork into the desk, put away, organized. Here are a few side-by-sides, so you can see the real difference!
She’s inspired by what we’ve done, and can imagine now making a few furniture changes (swap out the dresser for a lower table from another room, maybe she doesn’t need a bed in here after all, and could do better with a futon or daybed?) and she’s going to relocate some artwork from some less-traveled spaces in the home to this music wall, since it fits that theme so well. Most importantly, she INSTANTLY started envisioning hanging out with friends in here, when they come over to play music, and enjoying this amazing, newly reclaimed space! It has a function, filling a specific purpose she had, it is welcoming and comfortable, and is instantly is allowing her to get more value out of her real estate investment!
OH… I didn’t even tell you the best part!
In our decluttering, we found a long-lost pile of rolled coins. She had no idea it was in here, on the bottom of a laundry basket. There was about $125 in there!
So, guess who’s getting a brand new shredder with the money that her spare room gifted to her?
We should all be so lucky in our clean outs!
So very proud of my client, and I’m SOOOO excited for her and all the things it already inspired her to do next in her home!