Confessions of an Organizer – Peggy W Barnes

Confessions of an Organizer

I am a Certified Professional Organizer….sounds impressive right???  Well, here is the truth about me:

1.  I can still be a messy Millie.  Check out this photo of my current work area.  Yes, it all makes sense to me, therefore, I am organized but it is still, nonetheless, messy. 

2.  I do not have my underwear folded or my t-shirts folded and stacked like a Banana Republic Store.   

3.  I do not have matching file folders with matching printed labels.  I have file folders (whatever was available in my home or on sale) some have printed labels and some have written labels….whatever was going to get the job done the fastest. 

4.  I do not have my sheets and towels folded in ways that make them stack beautifully and neatly on the shelf.  They are folded but not precisely.

5.  I do not have all my photos in albums with beautiful trim, borders, and extra accouterments to make the photo explode off the page…..nope, many of my photos are still in boxes (by year!) but in boxes.

6.  I do not have my filing done…..much of it is stacked on top of the filing cabinet. 

7.  My laundry room looks like a laundry room…..with dirty clothes and clean clothes commingled, staying enough apart for me to know what’s what! 

8.  Sometimes at night, I leave dirty dishes in the sink.

9.  I haven’t been able to let go of my kid’s rock collection. 

10. I have a basket of shoes, overflowing, by my back door.  I hate wearing shoes and taking them off, the minute I walk in the door immediately relieves some of my stress.  

So, what makes me organized? 

1.  I can find what I need when I need it because I do not have too much stuff and I know where everything is. 

2.   My underwear does not need to be folded because no one else is going to see whether it is wrinkled or not and my t-shirts are folded well enough.

3.  I can find my paperwork when I need it…..again because I don’t keep too much and because it is labeled in a way that makes sense to me for retrieval.  Matching folders are not magic….you still have to have a system that makes sense. 

4.  My sheets and towels have worked just fine not being folded perfectly. 

5.  My photos are in boxes, sorted by year and many of my kids’ pictures are in an album for them but I still have a long way to go.  I will never be a scrapbooker, the tediousness of that makes me sweat thinking about it!

6.  My filing is not done…one small stack, on top of a filing cabinet is not killing anyone.  Remember it is small because I don’t keep much paper!

7.  My laundry room is a place of function, not beauty.  I can get done what I need done very well, which is evident by everyone in my home having something clean to wear. 

8.  Yes, I am just plum tired some days and I leave the dishes in the sink.  The FlyLady would not approve, however, I do take care of it as soon as I wake up.  

9.  I love my kid’s rock collection….I have it in the bottom of a vase with beautiful flora coming out the top.  A beautiful decoration for me…..a great way to keep memorabilia merging it with  with my decorating style.  There is nothing wrong with keeping sentimental stuff, there is only something wrong with keeping too much of it. 

10.  My shoe basket is overflowing but at least I have a basket, right?? 

All this to say, I am not perfect, I am not what many would call “organized” because I think they have the wrong idea about being organized.  As Julie Morgenstern (the organizer guru) says:  “Being organized has less to do with how something looks as how something functions”.  My house functions great but does not look like I live in a magazine.  Life is busy and life is sometimes very overwhelming.  I work….all the time, I get tired, I get frustrated, I don’t have time to focus on my house looking like a magazine.  I do have time to get systems in place, that work for me and my family and I have time to tweak those systems until organizing is just a side note in my life.  

None of this means that I can’t organize to make a house look like a magazine because I can. It’s just I know what works for me and I know how I think and my house is organized accordingly. 

So there you have it, the truth about this organizer……..I guess Martha Stewart will not be calling to hire me any time soon 🙂 

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