RTB Helped Us Get Organized, Stage Our Home, and Prepared Us For a Major Life Change

Taking the time to get organized over a year ago is still positively impacting my life today, though my life then and now is drastically different. My name is Lindsay. I packed up the family and six suitcases this past May and moved to an approximately 900 square foot apartment in Switzerland.

Last year, I owned a house of approximately 2000 square feet. Into it, I crammed most things from my childhood (including tubs of stuffed animals, picture frames filled with pictures from high school, and my unicorn and white tiger collections), lots of clothes I hadn’t worn since I was a smaller version of myself, furniture that didn’t fit in our living space, a husband and his gatherings from the years (though he hadn’t accumulated nearly what I had), two toddlers and two cats.

I realize now the huge shift in mentality that occurred in the past year regarding the items in my house. I give credit to Jessica for being the catalyst of that shift, that made such a drastic downsize into a fairly low stress process. So, here’s the story from the top.

I thought I was pretty well organized last year, before Room to Breathe came in. I mean, I had about 25 plastic tubs in the basement, all labeled with the contents. The tubs were lined up neatly against the wall, and I felt like they were easily accessible. There were some boxes of children’s books and a big shelf of board games. In the living area, my kitchen was overflowing with a variety of appliances, cookware and gadgets. Here’s where I give a shout out to my mother for buying all kitchen items in threes: one for her, my sister and me. She always felt that if she needed it, chances are that my sister and I did as well. According to friends, my house wasn’t cluttered. But somehow, the house felt completely full of stuff.

A friend gave me one of the best gifts I have ever received: the gift of Room to Breathe. Mom, if you didn’t live so far away, you’d be getting Room to Breathe too!

Enter Jessica Dolan. She came in, took a look at the place, and we worked out a plan. I got rid of the things that were obviously not needed, like 15 empty diaper boxes. We discovered that a lot of my children’s books were mildewed, sadly. And I committed to finding new homes for 33% of my board games. I began Freecycling on a regular basis. I had a plan to organize the kitchen in a way that would work for our family. Actually, in hindsight, I think I kept a pretty open mind to the whole experience. The only thing I resisted was touching my unicorn collection.

Afterwards, I was feeling pretty good, though I still had a mild unease about the contents of my house.

In a short time, my husband and I decided that our best next step as a family would be to try to move to Switzerland, where my husband was born. Before we knew it, our house was on the market. At the same time, my husband was being offered a temporary position in Switzerland. I was working at lightning speed to get the house ready for showing. Jessica came in again, this time to stage the house. The house was beautiful and we had a buyer rather quickly.  By then, my husband had been offered a permanent position in Switzerland, so we knew at that point that most of our things had to go.

That’s when the real excitement began…

Written by RTB client Lindsay Furer

Emily, Playroom Organization, Age 10

BEFORE

Hi, I’m Emily, I worked with Jessica and I got wonderful results.

Before:
Before Jessica came, my playroom was a wreck! I kept losing things, and I could barely step without stepping on something. So my mom found a time for Jessica to come and help me with it. Now keep in mind if your room is a mess wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use it again? Wouldn’t it be nice to see the floor again? Or the shelves? Or your desk? Or just the room itself? Anyway, I’m about to tell you how that mess was turned into the nicest, cleanest playroom ever!

AFTER

During:
Ok, when Jessica first came with all the new furniture, I was a little embarrassed to have her see all that clutter, but it wasn’t as embarrassing as letting my friends and family see it. At that time my friend Ava was over to help so we got to know each other then we got to work. Jessica made it fun for us by having us do or set up fun things like music, or talking games like I spy or something. That first day we got a lot done. We got the old couch moved out, and the old desk moved out, and the new desk moved in… pretty much the big stuff on the first day.

On the second day, we started by finishing up from last time. We also began putting things in there final place, next we planned how we’d finish up the last session.

When she pulled up the drive way on the last day I was half sad beacause it was the last day we would work together, but I was very happy too since my playroom looked brilliant! We got to work immediately.  Jessica has this really cool label maker and it was so much fun to label my shelves!  Me and Ava made tags for the bins and tins, while Jessica cut outlines and strings for the tags. After that we fastened all of the tags and it was done!

After:
That night after Jessica left, I was playing in my playroom looking at the difference of the two pictures. Now I feel much more responsible and knollegable about keeping rooms and objects clean and beautiful. Without Jessica I don’t know how I could have used it in any way.

Thank you reader for reading this important blog and I hope you get a chance to work with Jessica!