Since 2003!

I just searched back through about a year’s worth of entries on my personal LJ to try to pinpoint when I started doing professional organizing. (I have not organized my entries with regard to tags or memories yet, though it seems like it’d be fun!) And fortunately I said “Yesterday I did my very first professional organizing job” on July 26, 2003. So now when people ask me how many years of experience I have, I can answer “Four.” Now I need to figure out exactly when it was that I started working to make organizing my primary career. Probably about a year ago, which is when I joined NAPO.

Things are really slow at the moment, work-wise, but perhaps it’s just because everyone’s busy with Xmas-related stuff. I’m using it as a chance to catch up on various background tasks. I’m guessing that New Year’s resolutions will bring me a bunch of new clients!

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Organizing Myself!

I have a feeling that some folks may think that just because I organize professionally that my home is perfectly organized. This is so not true! Organizing is a process. One’s situation, needs, and priorities are always changing, and although my home is definitely in good shape, there is always something that can be done better. I will never be completely organized, nor will anyone else reading this.* Kind of sad, but true.

So, I was looking through my “Manuals” file today, trying to find the one that came with my external hard drive (I had put it in the “Computer” file, oops). As I generally do, as I went, I was removing for recycling those manuals to items I didn’t have anymore, and putting aside the manuals for items I was selling or giving away. (And letting the manuals suggest other things to give away, such as my “STOPATAK” personal alarm thingy, which I have never used.)

This is when I realized that I also had several manuals that came with items I still have, but which I never refer to. These manuals were for the following items: Curling iron, table fan, Hitachi Magic Wand (ahem), French press coffee maker, and bike helmet. I could see why someone might need the manuals when she first used the bike helmet (for correct fit) or French press — but a massager, curling iron, and table fan are really not complex instruments. Why did I save those manuals in the first place? I don’t need to be told, “Do not use this curling iron in the bathtub.” So they’re outta here!

Another story: I was talking to my almost 7-yr-old daughter on the phone, and she asked me what I was doing (I always wear a headset while on the phone, so I can multitask). I told her I was folding this shirt that I loved, but which was falling apart. She said, “Now, you know what an organizer would say: If it’s falling apart, get rid of it!” She was right! But I decided to mend it instead of tossing it. (This won’t really fix the problem but it’ll make it less noticeable.) Lest anyone get on my case for this bit of clinginess, I lost a bunch of weight recently, so my wardrobe is quite sparse. Also, my pile of clothes to be mended is still pretty small. I finally did my ironing (while watching What Not to Wear), so mending is next.

So, those are a couple of examples of my own organizing process.

Last week I only had 1 organizing session, whereas I usually have 3-4 sessions a week. I was half-afraid all my clients had simultaneously decided I sucked, but as I guessed, everyone was just recovering from Thanksgiving madness/lethargy and had stuff to catch up on. This week, I’m back to 3 sessions. Yay!
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*If someone lived a very ascetic lifestyle, like a monk of some sort with the barest of essential possessions, I can imagine he might manage it. But if you’re hanging around on the Internet, you’re probably immersed enough in Western consumerist culture that you’re not that kind of person (hey, neither am I!).