Saturday, October 13, 2012

Organize Those Papers!

Hello Dear Readers!

As you might have noticed, my blogging has been a bit, um lacking, but as always I have a reason.

And that reason is Kickstarter.  We only have until Friday at 10pm to raise the funds for the Elizabeth McQueen Meet Brothers Lazaroff EP, and as I have limited free time to be in front of a computer, I decided to devote what little I had to to Kickstarting.

It's been in an incredible process, and one that I plan on detailing further on this blog, but for now I am taking a little (much needed) break to talk about something completely different.

Y'all, I think I'm going to get my house organized.  And it' all because I accepted some much needed help.

You may remember the post I wrote my post about why I cut all my hair off. Looking back on it, I realized that I had included in there a not so veiled cry for help.

It was our house full of stuff we don't use, but that we don't have time to get rid of because even throwing things out takes time and energy that we just don't have.

I couldn’t clean my house, so I cut my hair.

What I didn't expressly say is that my house is full of stuff I don't need because, well, my mind is a disorganized place that has trouble imposing order on the world around me.  I am  a messy, not picking things up kind of person.

I get headaches when I have to file things. So most things don't get filed. They get piled.

It's embarrasing really, especially now that I'm a mom and supposed to care about things like tidiness and cleanliness and organization...but like I said, my head hurts when I have to do those things...

Almost immediately after I posted that post I got a response from my friend Keri.

Can I help with the cleaning of the house?

So nice! Except that she lives in DC, and I live in Austin and well, you know, 1000 miles.  Then said she wanted to Skype and see if she could give me ideas for what to do...but you know, organization = headache and so I let it go for a couple of weeks...

Until I saw on twitter that she had her first musician client. You see, Keri is an archivist by trade and  runs her own business called Organize Those Papers. She realized that most of us need our own personal archivists.  How many of us have millions of papers sitting in boxes that we're keeping because we're not sure if we'll need them or not, but that we don't have the time, energy or inclination to put away in a place where we can easily find them.  Or have one gazillion digital pictures that are just sitting on a hard drive -- memories languishing in digital limbo.

Keri is an archivist...her mind was made to find a place for everything.  She likes doing it. It's what she choose to do for her career.  And now she's offering her services to individuals whose strengths lie in other realms.


My highly competitive nature made me respond that I  wanted to be her first musician client. And so, we made a Skype date.

I'm going to admit that I was still kinda skeptical...not because I doubted Keri's ability, but because I doubted mine. I was a bit worried that I when talking about going through our house my eyes would glaze and my mind would blank out...that's what happens every time I think about organizing a drawer.

But instead, we had a productive and inspirational session.  We went through my house, room by room, and discussed what needed to go.  What I found was that I'm holding on to a lot of stuff for emotional reasons, and what Keri did was talk me through different ways to approach that...hang onto some stuff maybe, take pictures of others, have a party and give away other many ideas I hadn't thought of.

Then we found a time period where it was reasonable for me to actually take the steps. A couple of weeks when we'll be home. Perfect!

Lastly she wrote everything down, and came up with an action plan for me. It a document that has a room by room breakdown of what I need to do, complete with places to donate our stuff that will be leaving our house.  So cool!

My goal? To rid our house of 50% of the stuff in it. It sounds like a big number, but we live over half our time on the road using 1/50th of the stuff we have.  Most of our possessions never get thought about, much less used.  So it's time. It's time to free up our space, unclutter our life, and thusly ease our minds.

And I honestly feel like I can do it. Stay tuned. I'll let you know how it goes.

I feel lighter already!

And of course, you can contact Keri at if you need the same kind of help I do.


Doug R said...

Good for you! My wife Patti imposed the 1 year rule: you have to have a good reason for keeping something you haven't used in 1 year. Every other year or so we have a garage sale and give most stuff away to the immigrants and refugees in our community. We get laughs when we negotiate with the "garage sale rats". "How much is that?" "A quarter". "Will you take .20?" Patti's goal: "make our stuff their stuff". Works great!

Suze said...

Dude, I'm reading a book right now called Simplicity Parenting, and it's making me want to get rid of even more of our stuff. Our house is small and old (read: no closet space) so when we moved we got rid of TONS of stuff and it was so, so liberating. You will not regret simplifying, even if it means letting go of sentimental stuff.