May 19, 2024
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May 19, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

A client recently asked me “How do you manager the clutter in your home?” My answer was brief, “I really don’t have much clutter in my home.” Yes, my desk is always covered with papers, but not even close to the piles on Albert Einstein’s desk in the photo that was taken on the day of his death. My night stand has a stack of books that are in my queue to read, and there is always a small pile of mail in our foyer because with our busy schedules we simply cannot keep up with it daily. So yes, I have clutter. And it’s manageable, and if you were to make a surprise visit to my home I would not be embarrassed by what you would find.

On the other hand, there was something gnawing away at me for about three months this year…a missing sock. Because I don’t own a lot of clothing and I wash clothes frequently, I know what is in my inventory. Somehow I lost track of a sock. A sock? What is the big deal? you may ask. Well, since I am on my feet all day, walking up and down stairs carrying heavy cartons with arms full of clothing and home goods, my socks and shoes are an important part of my protective gear. When an expensive REI sock is missing from my inventory and I have one less pair to wear, it’s not as simple as going out to purchase a new pair. The socks are expensive and I was determined to locate the missing sock.

I was confident that it would show up in a pair of yoga pants where it might have gotten caught inside a pant leg from the dryer static. After several cycles of laundry and all my yoga pants had been washed multiple times since the sock went missing, I realized that it would require further sleuthing on my part. This morning I had a brilliant idea. The closet where we throw our dirty laundry is on the floor right next to our bin of rags. It never dawned on me that my late-night toss into the laundry basket may have missed and ended up in the rag basket. This morning I sorted through the rags, and behold—I found my missing sock. (Hence a column name was born.)

You may ask why I share this experience with you. It’s because organizers are people too and we are not perfect. Sometimes things get lost, thrown out by mistake, or washed with the wrong colors. As much as I would love to have a perfectly organized home, life gets in the way and prevents perfection. Being human allows me to sympathize with clients who cannot remember where they put their iron, their supply of toilet paper, or their recent shipment of beauty supplies from CVS. There are also those clients whose 200 pairs of socks are stored in a random plastic bin in the bottom of their closet. Why so many? Because they don’t have the time or patience to keep up with their laundry, so they stop at K-Mart on their way home from work and purchase another 12-pack of tube socks. Sound familiar?

Before you beat yourself up about your habits, please give yourself a hug and a pat on the back for getting through the day. We are living very busy and harried lives. As a wise man in my life once asked, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” This is a great time of year to take your first bite.

Happy New Year & Happy Organizing!

By Eileen Bergman

 Eileen Bergman is a professional organizer, a proud member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). Eileen is listed in the resource directory for the Hoarding Disorder Resource and Training Group. Eileen may be reached at 973-303-3236 or [email protected].

 

 

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