When the movers put the final boxes in through the giant roll up garage door in the living room and pulled away, we turned and looked at the mountain of stuff. Terrified, we left town for a few days. We honestly did not know how to unpack, since there was no storage or places to put things away. That began the several month process of rearranging piles as we dug through it all. In our defense, we did have less stuff than we had during our last move, but we were still in serious need of downsizing and de-cluttering. Another thing to know about us is that we love stuff. We have interests, books, music, booze, food, entertaining supplies, cooking supplies, hobbies that require lots of equipment. We like to collect things like furniture, lamps, rugs, art, tchotchkes, collecting, collecting, collecting. Lots. Of. Stuff. And one room to put it in.
So that is where the work began, getting rid of stuff, having emotional breakdowns about how many pairs of shoes one really wears, how many guitars one needs. Asking what is important and does it spark joy. When you move to basically one room, you don't have the luxury of useful and beautiful as separate categories--it all had to be both and it had to have a home. It was amazing how, after all the cabinets in the kitchen were filled with important things (like cocktail glasses), that we still had boxes of stuff left to unpack. You never think about how useful pantries are until you don't have one. Who doesn't love an area that can hold all the kitchen stuff in an organized way but you don't have to look at it all the time? We desperately needed a pantry.