Save this column… somewhere…

By Joanne Peterson | Sep 05, 2013

I recently discovered in my home a year-old Better Homes and Gardens publication called “Secrets of Getting Organized.” It’s called a “special interest” issue.  I notice it’s priced at $6.99; I would never pay that much for a magazine. I am sure I purchased it for a quarter at the Friends of the Library Ongoing Book Sale at the Edmonds Public Library. (Go there. See for yourself.)

Because by nature I am not an organized person, I am amazed by those who are, and fascinated to think there are thousands—perhaps millions-- of people out there who believe in “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

My brother follows that rule, as did our mother and her mother before her. (I’ve always said my brother and I are so different from one another that one of us must have been left on the doorstep in a basket. Hmmm. I wonder which one of us that would be.) I’ve often said that “A place for everything and everything someplace” makes more sense to me. I am not proud of that.

I’m just saying some people are organized and know where everything is without appearing to work very hard at being that way. And when something is not useful any longer, they get rid of it. What a concept! Others of us don’t have a clue where we put the VISA bill, the card for our daughter’s birthday--which is in two days--or the charger for the cordless drill. And get rid of something only because it’s no longer useful?

I lived for many years with a totally organized person. I have experienced the contrast up close, and I’ve decided it may be a bit like a sense of humor--some people have it and some people don’t. If you have to work at it, it’s not apt to come off just right.

If you’re not an organized person, you can feel just the teensiest bit inferior. At least, I can. So you pick up “Organizing for Dummies” and read “Training Your Mind to be Organized” and sub-titled sections called “Identifying Countertop Criteria” and “Simplifying Your Sink”—really, that’s in there. I’m going to contribute this volume to the Friends of the Library Book Sale—where I got it.

I also own “Lighten Up! Free Yourself From Clutter: Create the Space for Miracles by Freeing Yourself from Too Much Stuff.” How’s that for a title? Daunting. I am going to donate it, as well. (I cannot recall ever discarding two books within the space of five minutes. I am so impressed.)

In fact, if you are the owner of a big batch of books on organization skills and/or clutter control (close relatives), I have a hunch a giant step toward changing your life might be to pare down that collection and keep two. Three, max. OK. One would be the best choice, but I cannot imagine choosing to keep only one book in most any category.  (To be continued)

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