• Stephanie Neely

I Wasn't Born an Organizer

Updated: Mar 15

When I was very young I hid everything I had under my bed, in my closet, and in a large pile next to my bed which I daintily covered with a blanket. I wasn’t fooling anyone though - I had no idea where anything was. My mom would stage interventions where she and my brother would spend an entire day cleaning out my room. I’ll never forget the feeling after that. Finally knowing where things were, being able to see under my bed and open my closet door - that was worth the pain of losing some toys that I couldn’t remember I had anyway.

Over the years I slowly learned the art of minimalism - without knowing the name. One move in my teens I got rid of nearly everything. I had the bare minimum and invested in some very inexpensive furniture which promptly fell apart upon my next move, but which showcased the items I loved most and were most useful. I learned to keep only the clothes I wore and loved most and I came to appreciate the empty space in a room that things simply couldn’t replace.

One day, before my wedding, I helped my now husband go through his things - something he had never done before because he had never moved before. It was an emotional experience, especially being his first time. I was very gentle and promised not to throw away or discard anything he didn’t want to. I promised that every decision was his and his alone - these were, after all, his things, and I respected that, as I respected him. We first worked on movies and video games. We’re both gamers and so this was difficult but helpful. After selling a large pile of media to Game Stop and 2nd and Charles, I went off to work and he went home inspired. He went through his remaining piles of DVDs and games and doubled the money he had gained - totaling $300 in one day of old, used media. I was so proud and I helped him over the years pair down from what was emotionally tolling and two large bookcases full of media to now four tiny baskets which he happily purges semiannually to make way for media he will use.

This experience gave me the passion and the understanding that I’m good at this - I have the patience and empathy it takes to help those who suffer from the emotional baggage of keeping stuff they don’t use. This is my story. How can I help you?

Sam and Stephanie Neely

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