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Let The Dominoes Fall as They May



It has been an ongoing process to work with my almost-teenager son to reorganize his room and remove “keeper” items that are no longer wanted in his room, taking up precious real estate. For example, Legos are persistent in our discussions. In his younger days, he would “free build,” and we created an organized system based on color for him to build his creations. Now, he builds sets and other models he’d like to display. The issue? He has quite a bit of shelving and display space, but… where do we put the things he no longer wants (I should mention his dad is a Lego collector!) but that we want to keep? Dun, DuN, DUN… the Basement!


The basement, ah the basement. We are lucky to have a large basement, but having lived in our house for almost ten years, it is filling up. I explained to my son that until some of the basement is cleared out and organized, I am not thrilled about bringing MORE items downstairs without a system in place. The issue at hand is what I like to think of as dominoes… have you ever had a plan to organize a room: you pick up an item and head to its rightful home, only to realize that in its rightful home is another item (or two) that needs to be put away? Trust me, you are not alone, but how do we deal with it?


I always tell clients that it’s important to start somewhere. Choose a spot that you can identify as a space that will make you feel motivated if it is cleaned up and organized. It doesn’t matter the size–maybe it’s a drawer in your bathroom with old toiletries and cosmetics…maybe it’s a shelf in your closet or a bookcase. The bottom line is to start. Progress is progress and we have to let the dominoes fall as they may in order to pick them back up and make a new display with them. Just like in organizing, sometimes you have to make a mess before you can make progress.


What does that look like for us? Well, I’ve convinced my son that we will work on the basement this summer and that if he helps, we will have a yard sale and share the proceeds. Ideally, the basement will be rid of unwanted items and we can claim the space for his “keepers.” Although it’s not a one-and-done experience, (my guess is some of those keepers will go out the door the next time we do a sweep of the basement), you just have to pick a spot, put on some fun music, maybe set a timer to get you started (15 minutes doesn’t sound so bad, and I’ll bet you will have the motivation to keep working!), and dig in. The dominoes will be knocked over, but you will feel satisfied when it’s all done and the dominoes can be put back in place.


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