October 1, 2023
October 1, 2023

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

In August 2001 my sister and I spent several weekends cleaning out our mother’s apartment after she died unexpectedly. That experience was firsthand training for me that I share in all my presentations: 1) you never know what tomorrow will bring, and 2) every day is a gift.

My sister Suzanne and I had honest discussions while clearing out Mom’s stuff; for example what to do with her hats (Suzanne found a theatrical costumer in NYC to donate them to), clothing, home furnishings and, of course, the family photos.

One item stood out for me while we were working together in Mom’s bedroom. We found a small Tiffany jewelry bag with a silver Elsa Peretti open heart pendant in it. The heart was on its original chain. It was a gift to Mom for Mother’s Day from our brother. I had always admired the open-heart pendant and have been enamored with its design since it was introduced in the 1970s. I remember turning to my sister and saying, “No discussion, this piece is mine.”

Having purchased my share of nice jewelry over the years, and at certain points in my life feeling that a “signature piece” was important, I find it interesting how my taste and my needs have evolved. Several years ago I downsized my jewelry box. Most of the pieces I had purchased were sold for gold at its peak. The jewelry that seemed so important to me in my 30s and 40s felt inconsequential to me as I matured (a nice way of saying “”as I got older”).

Don and I purchased our first flat-screen television from the cash that we made from the sale of my jewelry. I never looked back and never regretted the pieces that I sold. But through all the years since, the silver Elsa Peretti open-heart necklace has held a very special place in my heart. And as a symbol to my clients, it shows that I come to them with “an open heart.”

As you may be preparing to downsize your belongings for the sale of your home, or just decluttering to make your home more comfortable, stay focused on your goal. If you use it and love it, keep it. If not, let it go and let someone else enjoy it. Or sell it and buy a new flat screen. And remember to keep your heart open to all the goodness that comes your way.

Happy organizing.

By Eileen Bergman

Eileen Bergman is a professional organizer a proud member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). Eileen is listed in the resource directory for the Hoarding Disorder Resource and Training Group. Eileen may be reached at 973 303 3236 or [email protected].


Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles