The ‘life changing magic of tidying up’ is one of the latest trends. But what if, instead of just a trend, to you or a loved one, tidying up has become a necessity? Maybe you’re moving to a new home, a new country, or maybe your grandmother is moving to a home and there just isn’t room for all of her stuff? For some, getting rid of things becomes a vital part of moving on to a new chapter. In cases like these, the ‘magic of tidying up’ is less about asking yourself whether or not something brings you joy, and more about not being able to bring everything you’d like.
It all started with a volunteer project
Freelance journalist Linda Blankenstein was faced with just such a problem, and we think she found an amazing solution; the ‘tidying up’ magazine! She made just such a magazine for a woman she met through Dutch volunteer program AHN (Algemene Hulpdienst Nieuwegein). At first, she was connected to Mrs. Gosen in order to create a ‘lifebook’ for her. A project that brings creators in touch with elderly folks in need of company and a way to turn their memories into something memorable and tangible; like a book or a magazine.
Why make a ‘tidying up’ magazine?
Once this project was finished, Linda continued to visit Mrs. Gosen to keep her company, and she realized that many of the conversations they had were about certain items or ‘things’ that Mrs. Gosen held very dear, but couldn’t keep. Inspired by the first project and Mrs. Gosen’s stories, she decided to start another magazine to create a place where Mrs. Gosen could keep her things. The ‘tidying up’ magazine was born.
How the ‘tidying up’ magazine was made
Linda: “I visited Mrs. Gosen regularly. During these visits we would take an hour each time to talk about a certain item. We made a list beforehand of the items she wanted in the magazine. I made a few photos of each of the objects and wrote an accompanying story. Once Mrs. Gosen had approved the texts, I got started on making the magazine in Jilster. The creation process is straightforward, especially if you’ve already worked with similar programs before, like photo album creators. I chose to use a standard template (pages from the 50th anniversary magazine), because this suited Mrs. Gosen really well. I often used a photo of Mrs. Gosen as the background image, that I would then make transparent inside the program. When the magazine was completed, she was ecstatic. So much so that she ordered a copy for everyone in her community.”