This week my new neighbors will be moving in. The first time I met them was last week. They were trimming some branches hanging over their property to allow more light to pour into their home. They asked if they could do the same with a tree growing on my property whose many branches also obstructed sunlight from reaching into their home. They seemed like extremely nice people and I breathed a sigh of relief that I was getting good neighbors. I gave them my blessing.
But then this weekend I found out something truly disturbing about the wife. Are you ready for this? Alright here goes… She’s a professional organaizer. As in I AM SO MUCH MORE NEAT AND TIDY THAN YOU COULD EVER HOPE TO BE THAT IT NECESSITATED BECOMING MY PROFESSION.
Oh the horror.
When I first learned of this, I thought back to what my house must have looked like when she first stepped in it last week to introduce herself. Thankfully, it was mere moments after my cleaning lady left. Had she come on any other day at any other time…well the shame and trauma would have been devastating… and I am not even sure if it would have been hers or mine.
This whole professional organizer thing flies in the face of the proverbial “Keeping Up With the Joneses” concept. Designer bags (not that I have had a new one in the last ten years). Luxury cars. Huge televisions. Puuuuhlease. No amount of material possessions can compete with the merits of being a professional organizer. The feelings of inadequacy that a professional organizer can bring about are truly epic. And I write this as a big pile of laundry sits sullenly on my dining room table begging to be folded and put away (alas, it will have to wait to till tomorrow as I am seasoned procrastinator as well- just ask my mother).
I could just picture the look on her face if she were to ever come down to my basement and (gasp) see the thousands of LEGO pieces tossed carelessly about. And to be fair (to myself) I did buy those colorful -and very pricey – LEGO storage organizers but…well…unfortunately, for the money I spent, I thought they would come with little LEGO elves who would file out of the bins and march around my basement floor putting away all those tiny pieces. Apparently the company expects you to do that part.
In fact the best way to organize LEGO is to keep from buying them in the first place. A bit extreme? Maybe. But you haven’t seen the extent of the LEGO disaster that is my basement.
I do my absolute best to keep my house as tidy and organized as possible. But man-o-man is it hard! The effort it takes me just to load my dishwasher is enough to need me wanting a shot of tequila just to get me through that chore. Sadly, I take comfort in walking into another messy home and relish seeing toys and clothes strewn about. I cheer inwardly when I walk into my Type A friend’s home and her dining room table is littered with STUFF that needs to be put away while her floors are teeming with backpacks and shoes. It makes me deliriously happy.
In fact I find highly organized and extremely tidy people to be potentially suspect and of dubious character. Just sayin… Are they are trying to hide something with all that organizing?
With me, it’s all out there. I got nothing to hide… you know what you’re getting and you get what you get (though my mother, I am sure, disagrees with me vehemently).
But I would also be lying if I said that I don’t find The Container Store catalog deeply inspiring and even leaves me feeling a little hot and bothered at times.
In my most humble opinion there are only two ways to be truly organzied with out seeming suspect. You can’t have kids or you can’t have stuff.
One time I saw a television program about a professional organizer. Not only was she extremely Type A and a proud member of the OCD establishment but also extremely pretty with a home that looked like it was plucked right out of a glossy magazine. I will admit I was a little envious. Okay. A lot envious. Oh how I hated her and worshiped her all at the same time. It was a very complicated emotion.
And I tried to be like her. To emulate her. I googled her. I employed her tips and suggestions, moved some furniture around and even color coordinated my kids crayons. But after seven minutes I was ready to return to clutter. It was overwhelming and exhausting. Plus I couldn’t find anything afterwards because it was so darn organized. I’m not used to such things.
And so this morning, as I saw trucks and vans entering and exiting my new neighbors’ home, I resolved to do my very best to get organized myself. I huffed and puffed and washed and rinsed and scrubbed and sprayed. And in effort to de-clutter, Feng Shui and better organize the spaces in my home I somehow managed to make my house look even more disorganized. Go figure.
So to my new neighbors I say WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD! We are delighted you came but you’ll have to please excuse the mess.