For seven years, I’ve periodically swapped organizing services with the amazing Aby Garvey. Aby is not only great at making spaces function really well, she makes them beautiful too. I absolutely love watching Aby fiddle with a collection of something to make it look great in a container. I could do it all day.
This past Saturday, Aby was kind enough to come to home and help me address my the large closet in my home office, where I keep supplies. Three years ago, she helped me tackle the same space and made it really lovely. I blogged about that experience in a post called Lessons learned while decluttering. In the intervening three years the space had become a little unruly. It still functioned well, but it had lost its visual peace.
I thought Aby could work her magic on it and didn’t really think there was much I’d let go of. I was wrong about that latter point.
Here’s a before picture. Not bad. Not great.
And here’s the after picture.
Ahhhh. I was able to let go of a lot of stuff that wasn’t serving me, which allowed for more open space. I can’t stop looking at it. It makes me smile.
What really struck me, as usual, is how much easier it is to let go of stuff in the presence of an organizer. Aby wasn’t cajoling me by any stretch of the imagination, though she did encourage me. But there’s something about the focus on my stuff that comes during a session with an organizer, along with the objective presence of a professional, that allowed me to make decisions that for years I’d been avoiding.
I ended up letting go of a lot of items I had decided to keep during that 2014 session with Aby. For example, we had created a little box marked “Special Notebooks” that I literally hadn’t opened since we created it. Virtually everything in that box was donated, along with the box itself.
I donated three bags and two boxes of books, office supplies and notebooks. (I have a thing for notebooks, even though I barely use them anymore.) I donated a binder whose spine label made me realize I’d had it for about 25 years. It felt really great to part with stuff that had just been languishing in my office for no good reason.
I absolutely have the skills to organize my office-supply closet myself. But it’s much less enjoyable to organize alone. Having Aby there not only made it made the organizing session fun, it made it more effective. I let go of stuff I probably wouldn’t have on my own. And I benefited from Aby’s expertise and aesthetics. Lucky me!
Thank you, Aby!