Those sudden unexpected events that too often fall upon us happed to me, and as a new widow, I needed to drastically downsize or right size for my new normal as a single woman with and empty nester and move into an apartment until I could decide where to live. Wanting to love where I lived regardless of whether it was an apartment or condo, with less square footage, I knew I needed a theme to help me let go of some of the things collected over the years on travels and from experiences. I wanted that theme to run throughout each room. I decided to focus on sailing since my husband and I had a lot of memorable sailing experiences throughout our marriage.

Knowing my theme helped me let go of many things like mementos from trips to Russia and Australia. Things given to me over the years became of less interest to hang on to knowing I wanted sailing to breeze through my home. It truly helped me in editing through things that I kept because before his passing we had so much space and like many women, I had attachments to handmade items from my children’s school projects. There simply was not enough room. I had to grow up and realize I could not take it all with me and that is true for each of us right up to our last breath.

I could not love where I lived if I felt crammed or jammed or packed into it and I wanted to be content and happy in my new place wherever that would be. When I walked into the ‘home’ after being gone for a period of time whether that was in hours or days, I wanted to feel happy that I walked in the door and sense the peace and calm. I wanted my guests to feel that way too.

I felt the joy in giving things from our home and even the children’s rooms like beds and dressers to people that needed or could use those items. I needed to let go of Christmas decorations and ornaments collected over the 36 years since I would not be needing all of them and giving them to my children as young married adults for their own Christmas tree blessed me tremendously. I treated myself to a whole new small collection of snowman themed ornaments purchased on sale after Christmas that were uniquely designed. I thought of grandchildren that would one day come and I wanted them to love my tree. Now when I visit my children and grandchildren at the holidays, I can enjoy seeing those old ornaments on their trees. My heart sings with happiness. Plus, my grandchildren enjoy seeing and counting all my silly snowmen.

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson

Elisa Hawkinson
Professional Organizer | Author Calming Your Chaos | Leader of the Smooth Organizer Community


Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson



Since 2000 Elisa (Lisa) Hawkinson, author of Calming Your Chaos, has been teaching and training businesses and individuals to support anyone who is not naturally organized on a consistent basis to be just that. Her HOW2GetOrganized seminars, workshops, and speaking along with hands-on coaching and coaching by phone has evolved from her natural genetic bent for order. Efficiency, calm, productivity and profitability are increased with the help of HOW2 and Elisa.


Join Our Community of Amazing Women

Be the first to know about upcoming events, new shows and stories!

Pin It on Pinterest