Fierce in Seattle: Life. Simplified.
a blogumn by Kelli Bielema
I’ve never considered myself messy. Organized chaos is a phrase I like to use in my admission of carefully displayed clutter. It’s an axiom that makes me sound like my clutter and my life are one big, cute party! Ah, who am I kidding? I’m a mess!
Since moving from LA to Seattle in the fall of 2006, I had to downsize my life considerably. I lost about 600 square feet, a garage and 5, yeah, cinco, closets. All walk-ins. Not of Mariah Carey proportions, but none the less, you could step inside them. I never had an abundance of clothes, just stuff.
I remember my mom always warning me about becoming a pack rat while I was a kid. She told me it was gross. I don’t want to be gross, mom, I just like these kitty figurines and this commemorative 1980 Olympics Coca-Cola bottle and this movie stub from E.T.
After a big fat purge, a garage sale and packing up the moving truck in Los Feliz, I still managed to take some junk with me, of which I can’t explain. Blank artist canvases (I don’t paint much anymore), board games I never play, empty Tiffany & Co boxes (where are all the diamonds that were in there? Hmmm.) and strangest of all, Michael Jackson puffy stickers circa 1983. Over the course of this past year, I have started to rid my life of these unnecessary things. The blank canvas I used when I commissioned my friend’s 6 year-old daughter, a budding artist, to paint on it for me. It’s now hanging in my office and people often ask where I got it. The board games were donated to Goodwill, those charming blue boxes…I think I still have one.
Clearly, I am not as troubled as someone you would see on A & E’s Hoarders. I recently saw an episode where the woman’s house had to be condemned because she was living in her own feces. I can’t talk about it anymore here, as I may hurl chunks onto my keyboard.
Nevertheless, I know most of my collecting comes from sentimentality. I am going to hold on to favorite greeting cards, but have been thinking I should scan them into an album. I’ve really been on a roll lately and a lot of it is due in part to my friend Elyse. Nearly a year ago she began her own side business as a home and office organizer. She does much more than that, she helps simplify your life, thusly titling her company “Life Simplified.” She not only helps you rid the crap, but develops a system that fits into your life. And, the best part, with little or no money to make these accommodations. I think I spent maybe $40 or organizing bins, but otherwise, what I had was right in front of me. One thing Elyse told me was “once you clear your clutter, you have so much more time to do the things you really want to do.” And wouldn’t ya know it, she was right! It takes me a fraction of the time to pick out clothes to wear, the right spices for my famous chili, and that not-too-often utilized bottle of Campari. The frantic search for anything is over. A place for everything and everything in its place. Simple enough!