Let’s fight breast cancer, not your pen collection

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Last month, I spent a week with my dear sister who had just received devastating news. She was beginning her fight against breast cancer, the terrifying illness that took our mom from us last February. We spent the week together, allowing the news to sink in, with me trying to support her as she started to process the reality of her next few months. What does someone say in a situation like this? There isn’t much you can say. So, like I tend to do, I started to get busy.



I found myself hanging out in my sisters home office, and my hands got to work while my mind was someplace else. I found piles of pens, in boxes and baskets and drawers. More pens than one person could ever use in a lifetime...maybe more than ten people could use. My sisters kids got to work testing the pens, and sorting them into three boxes: trash, give away, keep. The simple act of organizing gave us all something to focus on other than our heavy hearts.

All together, we counted and sorted 540 pens, highlighters, crayons, and pencils. We decided to keep 10 on the desk in an accessible place, and 20 more in a drawer for future use. The rest was unnecessary clutter, taking up space in an area that my sister was trying to live and use.

You might think, “What’s the big deal, it’s just a bunch of pens? How much space can it take up?” Not much, but it wasn’t really about saving space. Decluttering and simplifying space is about focusing on what you really need for your everyday life, and removing the extra. The weight of the sorted pens gone from her house was a tiny weight I could remove from my sister, who was already carrying the weight of the world.



This is the heart of Simply Organized Interiors: to identify the weight our stuff can carry on our minds and souls, and to get a little more weightless with each organized space.






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Cincinnati, Ohio

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