Every garden needs to be pruned now and then. And Lisa Thomson has learned that shedding unnecessary objects can improve the feel of a home, too.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. As far as I’m concerned, any time of the year is just as good as any other to start or break a habit. Yet like millions across the nation, this January I was swept up in the tide of “tidying”.
Ten years ago, when I moved from a studio apartment into my 900 square feet condo, I couldn’t believe how much space I had. There were whole rooms with nothing in them!
Over time, I bought furniture and rugs, and filled the linen closet with sheets and blankets. As I brought new things into my home, there was no need to get rid of the old ones. I had space for everything! I stashed my old VCR, even older vacuum, and surprisingly large scarf collection in the hallway closet, and then moved on to the guest room, where I packed in stacks of books I would never read again alongside a broken stereo and a monitor with missing cables.
This went on until the day when—searching for a spot to store some extra dog food—I realized how much stuff I had collected. How many lone socks I’d held on to, how many pairs of shoes I hadn’t worn in years. And in that moment, I felt the weight of it pressing down on my shoulders. All that stuff was making me claustrophobic.