So this list of the seven phases of grief has turned out to be pretty spot on for me when it came to mourning the loss of my closet. Steps 1: shock and denial—yep that happened. Pain and guilt? Yes. Especially the guilt about feeling the pain. Anger, bargaining and depression—less important but, excluding anger, they may have had a place in my emotional landscape for a minute.
Backstory: We welcomed a new family member into our home, and my former closet and office became his room. That meant I had to move an entire room-full of belongings—including my motherlode of beauty products because that room has a sink and vanity area (!)—into the corner of mine and my husband’s bedroom. It started out as a fun challenge, morphed into a monster task I never thought I’d finish, and now is an accomplishment I will probably brag about for months to come or forever.
After the brief depression I quickly moved on to “the upward turn,” taking pleasure in the fun wallpaper we installed for The Teen.
Then came the “reconstruction and working through” phase. There was construction: My friend Danny Montoya, a brilliant carpenter, built me a clothing rack with awesome, sturdy redwood feet and a gold bar. LOVE the gold bar! It so suits my ’70s obsession. Check out Danny’s latest project, The Butterfly Joint, a program for little kids to learn woodworking. He and his wife RedTri SF editor Erin raised $53k through Fundable to launch the program. They have secured a space in San Francisco, which Danny has been working hard on building out, and they tell me they’re about ready to announce an opening date. Stay tuned!
There was also a lot of construction in the form of Ikea furniture assembly. I hope my handsome clothing rack doesn’t mind hanging out with the hoi polloi, but they seem to be playing nice together so far.
And now I find myself firmly in the “acceptance and hope” stage. I have to say it’s great to have all of my clothing, bags, jewelry, makeup and toiletries all in my bedroom. Everything feels very convenient and I can keep track of what I own much better than before. The fact that our bedroom is on the top floor near the front door is also a bonus since I always ALWAYS forget something and have to run back—with my old setup that meant running down and back up a flight of stairs.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the move is that I am enjoying sharing space with my husband again. It’s close quarters, but in a nice way. I see him more, we talk more, and it’s like we’re more of a unit than before when I had my own domain—the “doll house” as he liked to call it.
We also now share the downstairs as a joint home office, so that brings us together more often than the previous configuration.
I’m still not finished. Although a visit from Tend.com’s video squad (video coming soon) forced me to get everything 90 percent in place, I still have a few boxes in the garage that must be dealt with if I ever want to park my car in there again. Also, Frida’s two closets are filled with clothing I intend to sell. I will have to address that sitution at some point before she becomes a teenager like our new family member.
Have you ever had to downsize? How did you make it work? I would love to hear, please share your stories below!