The Organizing Lady Comes to Visit
Our house is a disaster.
For a long time, I couldn’t figure it out. The more I tried, the worse it got. So I grew a shell, like a turtle, and pulled myself inside. It made walking by the same magazine on the floor for a week — no longer having the motivation to bend and pick it up — something I could do with ease. It got so I didn’t even see things anymore. Clutter was where we lived.
Who knows how many “tried-and-true” (or “tired-and-false”) housecleaning books I read. Everything from House and Gardens to Feng Shui. Nothing worked for very long.
Someone introduced to the Flylady and while I agreed with her philosophy, I couldn’t put it into practice. Except for keeping the sink clean — I did manage that one. And getting up every morning to dress, do my hair and put on make-up before I started anything else. Usually, I dressed, put on my make-up, etc., and then went back to bed. Hey, you do what you can, right?
And then one day, a few months ago, while perusing Amazon, I ran across a book on cleaning. Sorry, I ran across yet another book on cleaning. I have a small library of them, as though if I collect enough books on the subject, it will all come together. Fat chance. They simply totter on the shelves, or fall sideways and lie there gathering dust.
But this book seemed different. I was skeptical and decided I’d look at it and return it if it were just another routine about routines. It wasn’t. It’s a book about how we get stuck with things and how it gets beyond us. Life happens, things change, and we find it hard to change with it.
So there’s the pile of Shelagh’s stuff…that’s one obstacle. And there’s the “Music Room” which is no longer a repository for music since the Boy went off to school and the piano went to the next generation for lessons, and the guitars went with the Boy. A sad and lonely hymn book remained behind until…it became the room to put things “for awhile until I figure out what to do with them.”
Thus, a clue to your problem is labeling rooms by names that no longer function. It’s a junk room, not a music room. It needs to be a media center, and Wally Ballou has even gotten the sound equipment to go with the wide screen I have yet to get because first I have to move all the junk out (WHERE???), pull up and replace the rug, paint the walls, and then make it a Media Room.
So after reading the book, I looked on line for a person who was trained in this meta-organizing. Sure enough, in Li’l’ Kumquat, there were four. I picked the one who seemed to have been doing it the longest, and she came today.
Peggy, the Baron and I talked for two or three hours and she walked around and looked at things and asked questions and discussed styles of organization and how we use space, etc. It was exciting and exhausting.
But now we have taken our first step. And I have three steps to do before I decide what to do next. The first one is to remove every single book from my bedroom that there is not room for. A good beginning. When that is finished (put them in boxes until the shelves are built), I get to reward myself with flowers…
A wonderful, hopeful beginning…I laugh and wince when I remember that I used to do this for a living myself. Cleaning people’s closets, I mean. And now you barely open mine. The Baron used to say that I didn’t just clean, I went on search-and-destroy missions…but that was then. Now?
Now I watch the glisten of January's afternoon sun as it shines through a particularly large and intricate spider web in the corner of the “Music” Room.
Ah, how the mighty have fallen. Ah, how the mighty are struggling to arise.
Hey! Look me over!And as soon as I can find the book in the midst of all my clutter, I'll let you know the title.
Hey, lend an ear,
Fresh out of clover
and mortgaged up to here…
But don't pass the plate folks,
Don't pass the buck,
I figure whenever you're down and out,
the only way is up!