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  • Felice Cohen

Organizing 101


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Last month I was a guest lecturer at New York University. Being the city’s unofficial spokesperson for small spaces, I was all too happy to give the 25 students, mostly retirees, tips on what and how to toss what you have a hard time parting with.

Recently, I also began teaching a virtual online class to seniors about organizing. I wasn’t sure this segment of the population would be interested. At this point in their lives, was getting rid of stuff even on their radar?

Turns out, it was. Smiling faces began popping up on my laptop and before I knew it, there were 37 students. A record I was told.

I started by discussing sentimental items (Check out MakeSpace’s great tips on what to do with these items) and this proved a popular topic. Participants had furniture, dishes, even tablecloths from relatives long gone that they couldn’t part with, even though they no longer wanted these items and needed the space. I helped them see that objects aren’t necessarily sentimental, it’s the memory behind them.

After class the Director of the program sent me comments from participants. Here are a few:

“The best class EVER since I have been a member. The adrenalin is coursing through my veins. I am so excited. This class WILL (not may) change my life for the better MORE THAN any other class you offer.”

“Best class yet! Took an overwhelming subject and made it less threatening. You hooked me.”

“She’s so supportive + nice, but still tells it ‘like it IS’. She can help me do something very important for myself in my own home, my llfe-long problem w/ papers. Organizing + discarding would make me more comfortable. Thank you for her great class!”

No matter our age, deep down we want to be happy and stuff proves time and time again that it can be a barrier to happiness. Conquer your stuff now so you can enjoy your golden years without clutter.

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