This month’s newsletter will take a deep dive into the details of a job recently completed by the Amazing Spaces team. In an interview with our founder and lead designer, Renée Ory, we will learn a little bit about the behind-the-scenes brilliance that leads to a successful organization project, and how small changes can make big differences in a space. To maintain client confidentiality, the client’s name has been changed.
Melissa contacted Amazing Spaces because she was overwhelmed by her entire home. She felt stagnant and self-conscious of the amount of clutter she accumulated and was too embarrassed to take up offers of help from family and friends. She wanted to use professionals who could maintain a judgement-free zone, and that’s what we gave her.
Our jobs always begin with a free initial consultation. We prefer to have physical access to the space but can complete this consultation via telephone with pictures, or via facetime. We determined that we could transform Melissa’s home in two days with a full team. Melissa worked with Renée to identify trouble areas and any goals Melissa had for her space. We ultimately decided to use a zone approach to help delineate her space and organize her collections of seasonal décor, family photos, clothing, and transitional home décor.
This job was made easier by the number of storage solutions available in Melissa’s home. She had four total closets available indoors, with an additional storage closet in the garage, but none were utilized efficiently. Every interior surface was filled with clothing, and the entire garage was filled with outdoor items. We tackled the interior closets by clearing every piece of clothing out, and helped Melissa assess which were no longer wanted, which were odd sizes that she would like to store for later, and which were items she was currently wearing. Once we sifted through her clothing, she had a much better idea of what her unusable wardrobe consisted of, could easily locate transitional items, and no longer had to look at any unwanted pieces. This opened up two closets to use for storage of climate-controlled items. We dedicated one closet to her beautiful seasonal décor, and the other to home décor she rotated throughout the year.
On all our jobs, we expand the mess before we can make it smaller. This is a necessary step that serves two purposes: logging an accurate inventory of items in the home, and emptying potential storage spaces. Without this step, items are often stored inefficiently. We can identify which spaces would best serve each zone with the least amount of modification to actual spaces in the home. If we have a closet with shelving available to use, then the purchase of additional shelving to outfit another space is no longer necessary, which saves our clients time and money. This was the case with Melissa’s interior closets: they provided great spaces to store so many items. We purchased storage baskets to use in the garage and designated this space for non-climate controlled seasonal items. Each of these bins were labeled to identify which items needed to be returned to that bin after their use, and the shelves themselves were labeled so that each bin had a home. One of Melissa’s favorite spots is her new wreath wall in the garage. We hung her seasonal wreaths on an empty garage wall to free up additional shelving storage, to better preserve the life of her wreaths by keeping them fluffed, and to make it easier to identify each wreath visually.
Melissa remained on site during this job. It is not necessary for the client to do so, but it does make the process more efficient because any questions can be answered instantly. She admitted to feeling nervous and timid before the crew arrived. Within thirty minutes of having everyone on site and working together, she said she was having fun and felt at ease. She commented multiple times that she felt safe in discussing her items because she did not feel judgement from our team, only helpful eagerness. Not once did a team member suggest paring down a collection or getting rid of items. We respect our client’s possessions and the relationships that people can have with their collections. We will suggest appropriate disposal of only those items identified by our clients as things they wish to discard. At the end of each day of the job, our cargo van was filled with items to discard, donate, or sell, and these items were taken away from the job site. This ensures a clean start to each day on site and helps to reduce overwhelming feelings. Melissa said she took a huge happy sigh of relief when our cargo pulled away at the end of day two, because she was totally finished. She didn’t need to ride around town with a box of donations in her trunk… that was done for her. She didn’t need to try to decipher using Facebook Marketplace to sell unwanted but valuable items… we did that for her. She has no other steps to take because the job is totally complete.
Melissa’s home was inundated with clutter. Every surface, drawer, cabinet, closet was overflowing with clothes, paper, and décor. Her garage had room for one car carefully parked between piles of accumulated stuff. Our team touched every drawer, pantry, closet, nook, alcove, and piece of furniture to put into place efficient and effective storage solutions. We rearranged a few pieces of furniture and relocated artwork to best fit the new layout. When we left, the garage fit two cars once again, and Melissa’s home felt peaceful, with all of the wonderful beautiful things she loves remaining inside.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Many people are beginning to feel that spring fever hit and are ready to begin their spring cleaning process. Before you do, it’s best to begin by decluttering. Make this a two-step process. Step 1: create a donations box near an exit of your home or in the trunk of your car. This will help house any unwanted items you identify in your purge and get them out of crowded spaces. Step 2: begin with a small, manageable space like a junk drawer or bathroom drawer, grab a trash can, and get to purging. Once all trash and unwanted items are disposed of, use containers in your own home to give everything a place in the drawer. Small successes build momentum! Happy Organizing!