How to allow ease in a new home (Rosie’s story)

Why I decided to have a makeover

I had moved house seven months ago and contacted Dorota because my son and I were still living with unpacked boxes.

It was difficult to find a lot of things or to move through some areas of the house.

The last three years have been quite unsettling and I hadn’t allowed myself to land and rest in the house I’m renting.

It came to my attention that I wasn’t particularly rooted and grounded and this was impacting on other areas of my life.

I was seeing the house as a sort of temporary measure yet it could take a year or even two potentially before we move again.  I felt very stuck and it was about much more than finally unpacking the boxes.

Reflecting on the situation, I remembered noticing how sometimes if I first allow things to be as they are and just accept what is, it can help them to shift and change. So I decided to let myself live in the current home, to bed and root here, however temporary it may be.

I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. But I remembered that Dorota offers makeovers for overwhelming spaces so I reached out to her.


How things have changed

After the one day makeover with Dorota, and some finishing tasks on my own, if I want something, I can just go and get it.

I know exactly where things live now.

My son has learned where things are too so when he needs something, he knows exactly where to find it.

That’s brought a LOT of ease.

The entrance hall has more space to move and is now a joy to look at on return home.
(We took off the door that wasn’t used anyway and found that the shelving unit underused elsewhere fitted just right into that space. You can walk more easily through the hall and shoes, scarves, gloves etc. are stored nicely on the shelves).


Also, I really love the new space in the living room too. It’s looking really good because I’ve been taking little finishing steps since the makeover day.

For example, the bureau my granddad made is now safely screwed to the wall.

This enabled me to clear away the boxes that were piled up in front of the bureau to prevent it from toppling over. Now, I’ve got this empty piece of furniture, ready to be cherished and well used. I know exactly what I’ll keep there: my mementos. When Dorota suggested that, it felt just right given how much the bureau means to me.


Step by step by step, it’s all happening

The big thing is that I have a clarity over what needs doing next in terms of putting things away and finding a place for everything.

It doesn’t feel like this massive pile of stuff anymore because it’s now all in categories and I’ve got spaces allocated. Things are not all in those spaces yet but I know where it’s all gonna go.

If I’ve got some energy one evening, I can tackle one little thing.

My living room feels a lot more integrated with me and a more relaxing space.

I’d realised that I find it NOT relaxing to have text in front of me so that featured in my arrangements. It made me think carefully where I put books.

I have a comfortable desk area, which I use every week, in the spare room that was too full of stuff to use. The “office” is lovely, light and easy to use. The printer is easy to access and I can pick up the book I need from just behind me.

These things were so difficult before and now they are easy.


What we did on the day

The day of the makeover itself is a bit of a blur now, ha ha.

I remember that before we did any sorting at all, we decided where unwanted things could go and we set up bags for that.

The main job was categorising things.

The categories became obvious and there was a sense of things getting messier before they got better. But it’s such an incredibly useful thing to do.

We were also deciding what needed a new home as we worked.

We moved some furniture around.

We thought through what would work where in terms of how we use the space.


I knew it was going to be hard

And indeed, there was a moment in the afternoon where a part of me would have wanted to sit on the floor and cry that I didn’t want to continue.

I didn’t do this because it’s a learned habit to hide these things. And I also wanted to make the most of the time Dorota was there.

But I was surprised by the resistance I felt from my body. I was physically feeling the stuckness of the situation I’d been in, as if I was stuck in mud.

That was when Dorota suggested that I take a break and have a shower. I felt a bit guilty leaving her to it, it seemed unfair on her. My internal voices were saying that I was being lazy.

When debriefing with Dorota later, we realised that supporting me to move towards that feeling rather than avoiding it, would have moved both of us past that difficult moment with more ease.

We came up with a suggestion for Dorota’s future clients: to give them a “Time out” card they could wave in a melancholy sort of way when things feel too intense inside. The card will help you admit to a difficult feeling that you might not yet be able to voice, and receive Dorota’s support for it sooner rather than later.

It’s amazing how lots of little emotional clutter accumulates through the day of tackling your physical clutter. If I was on my own, I wouldn’t be trying to do as much in a day.

Energetically, it may have suited me better doing two half days rather than in one long day. But, that would have meant stopping in the middle when the house was at its messiest. I might have given up!

With hindsight, as tough as it felt to keep going, I’d have done it that way again.

We created some decent momentum that helped me finish quite a lot of tasks and many more after the day.


Why I’d recommend a makeover with Dorota

I’m really glad I did it.

I have more of a sense that I know what I own.

It’s no longer a vast amount of stuff where I don’t know what I have. I know what I have and everything I’ve kept is there for a reason. That feels great!

I feel that when I do move again, the move will be much easier and unpacking at the other end will be much easier.

Considering that Dorota spend a whole day elbow deep in my  possessions, it’s amazing that nothing she said grated. Instead, when I had my moment of crisis, she gently helped me through it and we got there together.

I’m really glad Dorota was there in that tough moment. She recognised the tenderness of it in me and was gentle with me. I deeply appreciate that.


Rosie, Bristol, UK,  mother and educator