• Paola

What I Learned From Facing the Dreaded Clutter

It was 20 years in the making. 20. Whole. Years. Not the mess or the collection of toys and dust and memories, but the moment that I felt worthy enough of letting them go.

The clutter of our daily lives is such an odd thing. The weight it puts on the joints of our homes. The dread. Why? Why do we keep making more and more space for the things we no longer want to see?

In launching this new business with Cristina, I quickly felt the challenge to transform aspects of my own life into examples of what I want for our clients. I redecorated my home, am building a new wardrobe, and I organized a utility closet. Each one of those tasks took more reflection and emotional fortitude than conventional logic would ascribe, but with Cristina’s support, we got it done and it was surprisingly fun.

But, few things have meant as much to me as tackling the 8 x 10’ open storage area that hangs over the garage. In the 20 years I have lived in my quaint Old Spanish home near West Miami, I have not ONCE gone through ANYTHING that has been placed in that lair. Ever.

Instead, through birthdays, holidays, graduations, heartbreaks, divorce, hurricanes and now quarantine, it has been the living receptacle for things that I have wanted to put away but had not gotten past.

My intention is not to over-dramatize what it is to clean out a storage space, or even to delve too deeply into the changes within me that finally brought me to face this task. My intention is to say to those of you who face similar tasks with dread, shame and fear: I completely understand. 

Lastly, I want to share the biggest lesson I learned from the past few months of looking into the dark corners of my home. It was the realization that I had to stop judging myself. Every doll, dress, vacuum cleaner filter, pool toy, FPL bill and bent picture that was boxed and cobwebbed in my garage were all there because of choices I have made. Not all of them were choices I was proud of -- until now.

During this pandemic I have somehow connected with a part of me that can look at the relics of what was and not only accept them, but thank them for being a part of me. Moreover, it clicked for me - such an obvious thing, perhaps - that as easily as I had made those choices, I can make new ones that are aligned with who I am and who I want to be. It took 20 years of being in this home, and maybe 20 more years before that too, to speak to myself in this way.

20 years and 20 years, but not 20 more. 

And just like that, I was able to let them go.

Seriously yours,


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