Peter Walsh and Dawn Bridgewater

Photo: David Tsay

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The Possibilities
When clutter swami Peter Walsh arrives on a warm summer morning, Bridgewater's excuses fall on deaf ears. She explains that she'd initially hoped to turn the area into a work space, but...well, she didn't have the right chair. And her shoot schedule—her credits include Sex and the City, CSI: Miami, and Verizon commercials—left little time to sleep, let alone decorate. Walsh diagnoses her real problem as one of commitment. "Weird spaces get quickly out of control when you don't designate a specific use," he explains. "You say this should be an office. Well, you have to commit to that." They decide to transform the space into a desk that Bridgewater can use to sort mail, work on her laptop, and file away paperwork for her extensive Directors Guild of America application (i.e., pay stubs and call sheets from recent jobs). In other words, "a nerve center," as Walsh calls it—"a place where you run the business of your home."

The Process

The duo begin with a typically Walshian purge, ruthless and efficient, narrated by gently barbing commentary. "How many lanyards does one person need?" Walsh asks incredulously, upon becoming entangled in ID passes for dozens of movie shoots. "For Halloween each year, I go as a roadie," explains Bridgewater. "Anyone has an '80s-themed party? I'm dressed as a roadie." Walsh stares at her, mouth agape, and drops the lanyards into the "trash" pile.

He's decreed that everything be sorted into banker's boxes labeled PERSONAL (taxes, apartment lease), DGA (pay stubs, call sheets), and OFFICE SUPPLIES (staplers, envelopes, stamps). But many items fit into none of these categories. "What is this?" Walsh asks at one point, holding aloft what looks to be a flat black change purse. "That's my executive lesbian fanny pack," says Bridgewater. "I wear it to concerts because—" "I've heard enough!" Walsh trills, dropping the fanny pack onto a pile of items bound for the bedroom closet. Meanwhile, an iPhone box, an old camera, and an address book that Bridgewater says dates to "before everyone had cell phones" are tossed in the trash. Soon the pair have filled four large garbage bags. "It's amazing how little useless stuff she has now!" says Walsh.

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