Practicing What I Preach

As a Professional Organizer, I live the advice that I give my clients.  I regularly donate unworn clothes and unused items; I efficiently process incoming e-mail and paper; I manage my time using an effective to-do list.

But even I’m not perfect.

That’s why I found it so satisfying last week to tackle something that had been nagging at me for a while — something that was violating TWO of my six basic organizing principles.

First, some background.  I am a scrapbooker.  That means I transform my piles of photographs and memorabilia into albums that document the life of my family, along with captions and stories.  It’s great fun, plus we all enjoy pulling out the albums and looking at them.

Although I would love to have a scrapbooking room, this is Manhattan, after all.  So I keep my scrapbooking supplies in a big bag in my bedroom closet, and I haul everything out to my dining room table when the scrapbooking urge hits.

If you are one of my clients, the alarm bells just went off for you.  “What?” you are thinking.  “She keeps her supplies in the bedroom, but uses them in the living room?  What happened to her Basic Organizing Principle #3, which says ‘Store things where you use them’?”

Okay, you caught me.   I admit, it was a major pain to always be hauling that heavy bag of stuff back and forth.  Especially since the bag — which was designed for holding scrapbooking supplies — had so many pockets that I no longer knew what I had in it.   Yes, dear readers, I had also been violating my Basic Organizing Principle #4, “Use it or lose it”.

So I resolved to clean out the bag and relocate my supplies to a cabinet right next to my dining room table.

I dumped everything out on the living room floor, and started to review the contents.  I threw out a lot of stuff I wasn’t using anymore, and put aside a few things to donate or sell on eBay.

When I was all done, my remaining supplies were tucked away next to the dining room table, the bag was in the garbage, and the trash cans were full.

And all was once again right with the world!

Leave a Comment