Though all corners of my home may or may not, at times, reflect this, the truth is that organizing is one of my favorite things. I remember organizing the corner cupboard with the wobbly lazy susan in the kitchen when I was a kid - small enough to crawl half way in there to pull out the pan lid or three that inevitably fell off the susan and into the back corner. Once mom affectionately called me her "organizer girl". I've owned it ever since. My sister was the "finder girl" (she could find any lost thing any where at any time.)
I'm doing a presentation to a big group of women this coming Saturday on organizing and I'm finding myself writing enough notes to write a book. All or nothing - I guess - is how i roll. They're not really about clever storage solutions, the latest labeling gadget (I have no clue), or chore charts. Mostly I'm interested in sharing the connection between a perpetual state of chaos in the home and how it is a symptom of a perpetual state of chaos in the head. Well, perpetual or temporary. Either way they are connected and I hope to present the idea to the women that our sense of value lies more in our freedom to move around in our own homes, our own lives, than in how much stuff we have to show for our attachment to sentimentality or status. It used to be that only shiny, expensive and new was the epitome of status but now even the most humble, well worn, and shabby collections are now taking their spot high in the ranks of enviable. Whether shiny or chippy, too much of anything leaves room for nothing.
As with everything, no matter how much you think you (I) know about something, there's always room to learn more. Life is about expanding. Always expanding and reaching beyond the border of what we think is all there is, beyond the border of what we think makes us so smart, beyond the border of thinking we have it all figured out. About all things. I love that about life and I hope I always keep that slight sense of not-knowing that keeps me open to seeing where I can learn more. Some people say that owning the not-knowing parts of yourself is cheating yourself of the knowing parts of yourself but I say it's not. Not at all. I say they're each holding an end of the jumprope and if one of them gets lazy or cocky or self-important, you're going to end up in a heap of bruises on the asphalt.
But anyway, back to this organizing thing. I've been thumbing through a bunch of books on the subject and love the simple model of processing STUFF that David Allen presents here. It's so perfect for real stuff and head stuff (you could easily replace the word "stuff" in this model with "thoughts"). All that over collecting and over thinking clutters up the space you live in and clutters up the space where your best thoughts should be able to reside in peace. Problem is that half the time your unsupervised, unsorted, and unexamined thoughts are throwing a big pool party and a bunch of thug-thoughts show up and muck up the pool. Time to call the authorities and clean the joint up.
Since most of you won't be there Saturday :) I'm extending the invitation to you now to take inventory one drawer, one closet, one defensive-of-my-collections thought at a time and see if there is anything there that, if cleared from your space, would make room for something you'd rather have - like fresh air, breathing space, or room to hang a mirror so you can get to know yourself a little better.
I'd love to hear what you come up with...