Launching my residential organizing business, Tranquiliving, in 2003, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on clutter in messy clothes closets, stuffed kitchen cabinets, crowded dirty garages, overflowing attics; you get the idea. What I didn’t imagine then is that my foray into residential organizing would become a whole lot more about the people than the stuff. I began to see that I was sent to them as an encourager, a fellow traveler, who could understand and empathize with the challenges of stuff. Clearly we needed to deal with the things taking up too much space, but we also wondered together, “How did so much stuff wind up in this space?” All the stuff seemed to have a story of its own. What was the source of the incoming stream and how could it be directed to proper places? I soon became, as one client put it, “a benevolent dictator”. If not a counselor in the traditional sense, I clearly became an encourager, a cheerleader, a fellow sojourner who has been known to share and shed tears. My passion became supporting and inspiring others to breathe new life into their homes. I want to spread the word that wherever you live, you can rejuvenate your space and make it work for you.
Here’s a quote from one of my favorite authors. It describes a home set in a very poor, rural area of Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains in 1912:
“I was surprised by the room before me as Miss Henderson had been by something about me. There was warmth and color and shine here; firelight gleaming on polished brass and the gray satin of pewter; firelight reflected on the well-scrubbed and waxed puncheon floor; the turkey reds and cobalt blues of what looked to be hand-loomed materials set off by old pine and cherry furniture. A bank of windows all across the back of the room let the outdoors in, with the winter landscape and the towering peaks like a gigantic mural”…….”I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stare…..this room is so beautiful that I want to hug it – if you could hug a room. It’s like – well, like coming home”. From Christy by Catherine Marshall.
As I reflect on the years since 2003 and how Tranquiliving has evolved, I continue to be interested in helping people cull and organize their stuff. I’m also passionate about helping them to make healthy choices as they fill all the spaces in their lives. It is quite astonishing how much the excess stuff affects us; most importantly, our personal well-being and relationships. True places of refuge, that’s what I’m after; not sterile spaces devoid of stuff. A space with just the right amount of belongings that welcomes its inhabitants. A place you’d choose to go for rest, rather than avoiding it because of the chaos. You could say I just want ALL THE PEOPLE to have a HAVEN to go home to; a place to feel welcomed and hugged. My mission is to help as many people as possible to create such spaces.