The Washington Post

Allie Casazza on organizing with family and finding her purpose

- Locallivin­g@washpost.com

board for real? He says he wants to declutter, but heaven forbid I get rid of anything in the garage. A: This is so hard! My husband struggled for about two years when I first started figuring this all out, and he didn’t want to get rid of anything. We came up with a compromise: He could have the main bedroom closet and garage, and he could keep as much in there as he wanted. I wouldn’t mess with those spaces, but I kept the rest of the house free of clutter. Communicat­e what you need while also respecting his boundaries. We can’t expect everyone in our lives to get on the same page as us all the time. Let him do his thing, and you do yours, too.

Q: How do you organize children’s artwork?

A: The best thing to start with is deciding what is truly special. If you mark everything as “special,” then nothing truly is; try to keep only their “masterpiec­es,” as my daughter calls them. Everything else can be scanned and sent to the cloud. I also like taking a picture of the children who drew the pictures while they hold them up, so I have the visual memory of not only the art, but also the artists.

Q: How did the declutteri­ng process help you discover your purpose?

A: When you declutter, it’s not really about the house. It’s about how much time you gain, and how much physical, mental and emotional space you get back. Your brain is freed up, and you become a happier, lighter version of yourself. For me, that looked like blogging, taking a long daily walk with my kids, taking yoga classes, meditating and reading more books. I found my purpose because of the time I created in my life.

Chat Thursday at 11 a.m. Author Kathleen Hackett joins staff writer Jura Koncius for our weekly online Q&A on decorating and household advice. Submit questions at live.washington­post.com.

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 ?? PHOTOS BY ARIANA BROOKSHEIR ?? TOP: Allie Casazza and her husband, Brian, had to compromise when it came to organizing. TOP RIGHT: When going through kids’ art, Casazza says to start by deciding what’s truly special.
PHOTOS BY ARIANA BROOKSHEIR TOP: Allie Casazza and her husband, Brian, had to compromise when it came to organizing. TOP RIGHT: When going through kids’ art, Casazza says to start by deciding what’s truly special.

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