Helping people as they transition to a new stage of life is one of my favorite parts of my job. Last summer I worked with two couples who scheduled appointments not long after their weddings to reclaim clutter-free homes.
For one couple, the wedding gifts overwhelmed their small kitchen. They planned to move to a larger home in a few years, so they asked me to figure out short-term storage solutions.
We pulled everything out of their old kitchen for review. When an old appliance could be upgraded by a new wedding present, we unpacked the gift and gave away the old item. We got rid of duplicates, anything that was worn out, and unused gadgets. We maximized the utility of their limited storage by arranging like with like: Tupperware in one place, bake ware in another and pots in a third.
Their formerly-cluttered kitchen was left with open space. We talked about how they cooked and entertained, and how that might change in the near future. With that in mind, they picked a few more pieces from the gifts to incorporate into their kitchen for now. Everything else we stored elsewhere in the apartment, in readiness for their next home.
The other couple was lucky to have multiple storage spaces, but all seemed stuffed full. The clients felt that this new stage of their lives was a good time to revamp their storage, especially since they also had received many generous gifts they wanted to be able to access and use.
We discussed their lifestyle and daily routines. One of the clients was the “fixer” in their relationship. She complained that she can never find her toolbox for needed home repairs. Her spouse was concerned that there was nowhere to safely store the holiday-themed china serving dishes they received, which they had wanted to use just once or twice a year.
I helped them group items by how often they planned to use them: easy access, store longer-term, or store accessibly for occasional use. Once we had a plan, rearranging the closets was much less overwhelming to them. Both were delighted at how easily identified the right places for the toolbox, the china and other items once we’d clarifies their storage needs.
At the end, both couples felt they had gained space in their homes. I was thrilled to receive a grateful feedback from one of the clients later, telling me how well their new arrangements worked.