Starting a quilting non-profit is taking over the home….and her family has had enough. She makes quilts for veterans – Quilts of Valor…a wonderful giving concept…but her husband Don, and her daughter, Carolyn Gialamas agrees….this is just too much. Fourteen grandkids shut out of their lives…living in the now is not an option….she’s buried under too many quilting supplies. “This work has taken over her home and her life,” Peter notes. Her family has had enough.
Overtaken with clutter, Peter walks in to the clutter evaluation. “Out of control,” Carolyn calls it. “It’s not a home, it’s a storage facility….We virtually never come over here. Why? Is there anywhere for us to come?” Carolyn tearfully says. The intervention starts early this episode….and Barbara is hearing it. She has to make a choice….family life or quilting in this space….one or the other. From the living room….to the garage. It’s all full and these are the spaces that we are working on. Peter breaks the news. “The first step in organizing is you have to purge the things you no longer need, use or want,” Peter tells her. Don tells Peter that this experience will buy them 2 years with the family, and then the house will be back cluttered. Peter throws up his arms, “I’m not doing it.” Peter needs to get through to these folks….in a big way.
So, here is the game plan. Declutter the living room and purge and organize the garage in order to turn that space into her quilting work space. Oh……good luck.
Day one is the garage. “Garages should only be used for those items that truly deserve to be stored,” tells Peter. Unloaded, the items amount to 23 yards of items and Barbara is rolling up her sleeves to get through the items….but she’s looking for a magical 3rd space to put some of these items. “We’ll put it in the closet,” says Don as Barbara continues to have a hard time getting rid of the items. So, Carolyn finds an opportunity to talk to her mom about the craziness of her house. “Its not stuff that makes the memories…(the grandkids) need to have memories with you,” Carolyn says softly to her mom. This family clearly communicates….but Barbara seems to finaly be hearing this lesson from her daughter now.
Peter challenges Barbara. “In the last 30 boxes you have gone through, you have not kept one thing. So how about moving all the (rest of the) boxes to the donation pile right now? It’s your call, it’s a big step.” says Peter. With a little pause…Barbara says yes and lets it go. Day 1 is over.
Day 2 brings us inside to declutter the living room and the reason why we are here. Today, Barbara gets some extra help from fellow quilters to help sort out and organize the quilting supplies that have taken over her living room. When Peter asks her to create a vision for the space, tearfully Barbara sees her family in the living room space. This will be the vision that keeps her on track, Peter hopes. Now, let’s move on to today’s task. Out of the living room come more than 200 bins of quilting supplies. Her new work space will hold 110 bins. She will have to let go…and Peter is leaving her on her own….this will be hard.
As Barbara and Don work through the personal items, Carolyn and the fellow quilters are sorting through the quilting fabric. It’s a little bit of a panic, but Carolyn very lovingly reminds her mom of the end goal and they keep moving on. Without Peter’s help at all today….Barbara and her family and friends got a lot accomplished. Impressive! Inspiring! Incredible!
Day 3 brings us to rebuilding the spaces. The garage is being turned into Barbara’s quilting wonderland! Five volunteers from the Army have come to give back to her and help rebuild the Quilts of Valor workspace…and load her items into the garage. Now…Barbara and Don are sent out of the house and Peter takes over to finish implementing the vision. In 48 hours people….look at how far she has come! It’s amazing. I know she had a lot of help and a lot of work and Peter Walsh, but still….great job!
Finally, the reveal is wonderful. Zones in the workspace to keep limits and the vision organized. The living room is cozy and open and ready for family. Another job done. Another house and space realized. Another inspiration to move us forward to living our best life! Thank you Peter Walsh!
Peter Tips to Remember….
- As you pull the clutter from the room, keep like things together. It will make the sorting go much faster.
- Create your vision and keep it in mind as you work to determine what pile to sort your stuff into
- The first step in organizing is you have to purge the things you no longer need, use or want