Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Killing Clutter

Scan a magazine rack on any given day, and you'll notice many articles on organizational topics. Genius Organizing, De-Clutter Your Life, Clutter Diet, Meaning Behind the Mess – these are a few samples from magazines on my coffee table today. I trust magazine editors have a handle on popular topics to pull in readers, so I surmise that the public – at least those who read magazines – is obsessed with getting organized and killing their clutter.

My obsession with clutter began at a very young age. I didn't have nearly as much stuff (a technical term in the organizing world) back then, but you can bet that everything in my small bedroom was regularly purged, straightened, stacked, and alphabetized. In my adult life, people often comment that I am "oh, so organized." Which means that I'm more organized than they are – not nearly as organized as I would love to be. As I sit here writing this blog I'm thinking about how the dresser drawers sure could use cleaning out and the bathroom cabinet absolutely must be reorganized next weekend.

When a friend mentioned her professional organizer in casual conversation a few years ago, I began thinking about becoming one myself. I attended a couple of local professional organizer meetings and soon realized that my day job as a family law paralegal paid a lot better and had better benefits than those of a self-employed organizer. Not to mention that I wasn't all that crazy about tackling someone else's mess. Take one look at the TV show Hoarders, and you'll see what I mean.

Then the brainstorm hit. Don't become a professional organizer – write a cozy mystery novel about one. And she can uncover a dead body under a mess in the bathroom or in the walk-in closet. Wait – this book is going to be set where I live. It's way too hot in the Houston area to hide a body for any length of time in a house. Okay – make it February, and the body's in the garage. That'll work. And so my character – professional organizer Poppy Cartwright – her business, Klutter Killer, and the book Relative Chaos came into being.

So my book is published - but my house is still not organized. Sigh. How many of you would like to have a professional organizer come knocking on your door?


Elisabeth Rose said...

I don't like clutter either but as I sit here typing my eye falls upon many bits of paper lurking on my desk. And other stuff. . . But it's all important! It is!!!

Great post. :)

Kay Finch said...

Sometimes paper is a necessary evil, but we had a two-hour meeting in my office yesterday about going paperless - in a law office of all places! Don't know how that's going to work.

Sandy Cody said...

Kay, I used to work in a law office. Good luck with the paperless project!

My grandmother used to tell me that ten "keep cleans" was easier than one "clean up". If only I were able to put that advice into practice. I hate to think of the time I waste looking for things I was too busy to put away. I could use your professional organizer.

Leigh Verrill-Rhys said...

Yes, please! Right now. We're in the process of moving house after 13 years in 13 rooms - we like our stuff! But, like money, we can't take it with us. I love photographs of sparingly furnished rooms: a chair, a painting, a small rug, a pot of flowers but what I inevitably see in every room is 'my stuff'. Thanks, Kay. I know I need to let go but, ah gee, I might need it one day!