Thursday, September 30, 2010

How to clean out my junk room

"soul cleansing"

How I did it: when i jumped over that broom, clutching my permanent boyfriend's hand, i knew that things would have to change drastically in my apartment because i had to turn it into our starter home. (we didn't live together before we got married. i don't believe in it, for obvious reasons.)

our new life as married folk would begin here, in my two bedroom harlem digs - quite roomy for city life (the apts are like that up here) but with a little organization and decluttering, it could be near-perfect for two.

the thing is, i kept putting it off - until my friend elaine came over for tea and bisquits a few weeks ago, saw my 2nd bedroom and vowed to roll up her sleeves and help me. what i had put off for years, we pretty much cleared out in a day. (and it was bad. really bad. so bad, in fact, that i honestly couldn't enter the room once i opened the door.) the rest i could handle myself - and i did, right away. the thrill of a clean, cleared out room was too intoxicating to put off any longer.) what little is left is a matter of daily maintenance and upkeep.

i'm a packrat. there's always something around for me to dig into and organize. but it doesn't have to clog things. not anymore.

now my permanent boyfriend calls it his comic book room, and some nights, he works in there. i had a rehearsal for a gig the other day with a pianist and the upright wooden piano, though slightly out of tune, was in fine form. so are the guitars that hang over it, patiently waiting for the next project.

the room is awake now. and in a way, some part of me is, too. here's the kicker - we have a bigger apartment.

do i owe elaine or what.

Lessons & tips:

  1. give yourself a time limit to get it done - and be realistic.

  2. please don't beat yourself up if it isn't done in time. just make progress, and keep making progress. the progress - that's your reward.

  3. get someone amazing to help you. they can keep you on track when you start to fade.

  4. don't get stuck in the minutiae. reading old letters, books and sifting through business cards and photos can easily derail you. keep it moving.

  5. don't make that big trip to ikea/hold everything/the container store until you de-clutter and see exactly what you've got.

  6. if you live in nyc, your storage unit should be your attic - not your 2nd bedroom. readjust your belongings accordingly.

Resources: Honestly - I got by with a little help from my friend.

It took me 2 days.

It made me grateful

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