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Before the pandemic, early in the year 2020, I made the brave decision to declutter and renovate a home office area that was a space that had been neglected. It was quite an endeavour.

This room is the room we have just stuffed all the crap that has no home since we moved into this house and started having children. It was jam-packed! Artwork, leftover sewing projects, miscellaneous things in baskets – just an overwhelming amount of stuff. Busy years of raising kids and volunteering are why this room ended up in complete disorganization. It just was not a priority. We have been an active family on the hamster wheel for many years.

Many of the things in this room are very sentimental to us so, decluttering will be a task in itself. One of the things we have to remember when decluttering is that the things we are trying to declutter are sentimental and being respectful of that is critical. It was a process for us; for example, did I need to keep every piece of the girl’s artwork, or can I condense it down to a manageable container? We are both so sentimental. I realize that now. I keep all the sentimental things that have to do with the girls. They do not want them, so why am I keeping them? Do I need to keep them?

Sometimes when decluttering, you find golden nuggets that you did not know existed. I found this very cool letter from my husband’s Dad who has passed. He had written about gardening as a Master Gardener, in his own handwriting. It slipped out of a book that was in a mess of books that we had in our office. It will be a lovely treasure for him to read.

Regardless, the decluttering process is like decluttering our life as well. Years of swimming and soccer team stuff to go through, volunteer projects, school stuff for the girls. Just endless memories taking up physical space in a room and in our minds. As an organizer, you are often ahead of the individual who is needing to let go. This project has been a great test of patience for me.

Initially I was just going to paint this room and it has turned into a complete renovation. Now rethinking everything, we are going to make it into a space we love. In dismantling the office one section at a time, it has helped us to formulate a new vision.

Months later, the result is a beautiful shared office space, with lovely, soothing light, stunning views of our lake and trees, and we can hear the birds chirping through the window. An office that is efficient, calm, and individualized to both my husband and myself. Subtle lighting sets the tone at night. The music options are endless. I finally have a lovely sewing space and new home office space I can call my own.

So let this be the evidence that disorganized can turn into organized and lovely, with a bit of hard work!