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Cleaning Clutter...

Today I made a house call to a client who is moving into a smaller condo. She is already up to HERE with Stuff. I wouldn't call her a hoarder, but she's a prolific artist and can't bear to let any of her creations go. Or even the most worn out of art supplies. Or her dozens of framed family photos. Or her travel memorabilia.

Something's gotta give.

What will it be? In her new place, the plan is open, light and airy. There will be no dark corners in which to camouflage the mess. There aren't many walls on which to hang art. And those that exist call for large pieces, not 20 little framed photos.

She realized that some of those photos have been on display for at least a decade--to the point where her eye doesn't even see them any more. She decided to unframe most of them, scan them (I suggested TurboScan--a brilliant phone app), get a digital frame and upload the photos to it. That way she can see all of them on rotation in the space of a single framed 8 x 10 photo. Win-win. Fortunately she's tech-savvy enough to figure out how to do this.

Calculate: how much wall space will you have?

Rude awakening: the new space has about half the linear footage of wall. Which means only half the art can be hung at any given moment (unless she puts in some kind of art divider wall--I didn't suggest that, because she really has Too Much). Her alternatives: 1) become a kind of curator and host rotating exhibits, with half her art in storage or 2) Let go of at least half of it. She is continuing to create, so soon will be overrun once again.

It is HARD. Emotional. I've been there too. Many cry as they realize they "can't take it with them." It's OK. Repeat after me: I AM NOT MY STUFF. I AM NOT MY STUFF. I AM NOT MY STUFF.

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