Friday, March 30, 2012

Organizing (aka De-Cluttering)

It finally happened.  I did it!  Well, not me precisely, but it is done.

As I had written before, a company by the name of "Allow Me" provides an incredible service.  Want something done?  "Allow me!" they say.

I can't remember what put me over the edge precisely, but the proximate cause was a friend's request for things to help her daughter set up a first apartment at college.  Did I have anything, she asked.  I honestly couldn't tell!  I could open drawers and cabinets, look into the closets - but was there anything really there that was of use?  Did I need it for the in-law apartment myself?

So I made the call and by golly they were at the house in a matter of days.  We walked through and I realized how truly bad it was.  There was real estate mixed in with Alex's things, my mother's heirlooms, and now we have Liam's toys and books and baby equipment.  The recumbant bike I was going to use to work myself into better shape sat in the middle of the sitting room.  I haven't been able to stand being in the room long enough to try it out, much less work out.  Friends have come to stay and we just shove things around...not good.  Even Christmas was sitting there!

So for four partial days, Patty and Suellen took over the apartment and organized me.  They dragged me in on occasion to make decisions, but they were fairly painless.  I had a pile or two every night to take back to the main house and sort through.  Yes, some is still in bags, but certainly will be attacked at some point.  They warned me not to go in Pomodoro any more - I have tons of cards that I bought but are now encased in plastic.  My files for real estate are gone except for the past six years.  There's even room in one of the shelves for the files sitting by my desk at the office.

Good things happened, too.  I found two addresses I thought had been lost, and cards go out today to the people.  They uncovered photos we had forgotten existed, of Boo as a puppy and me as a child.  I was able to look at obituaries I couldn't see before, and place them lovingly in albums for safe keeping.  The top drawer of the sideboard I use as a desk is now organized.  I will never have to buy paperclips again - or pens - because I know where they are.

Patty and Suellen were tough, but fair.  They took on me and the dogs, chasing Charlie when he escaped on them and affirming Sheba's limp.  They bought plastic to encase things, dragged away stuff for the Jumble Sale at St. James this summer, helped me make decisions.  My mother's Easter egg Irish linen cape will go on e-Bay through them.

I said afterwards that I felt "thinner."  In a good sense.  Will I miss the albums my mother accumulated over her lifetime?  Not really.  I still have the memory of listening to them in the old house - I don't need them sitting in the bedroom.  The books still need to be tackled - but that will take Alex's input when he comes this summer to sort them out.  "Tai Chi for Seniors" resides next to Stephen King novels on the shelf.  But that's okay.

So if you arre looking for a way to clean out and not take years doing it, I highly recommend  the services of "Allow Me."  Call them at 315-569-4737, e-mail is, or visit their website:  You will see that they do more than just "organize" - groceries, shopping, errand-running, pets...they will even be the "waiter" for you!  All I know is that finally, after all these years, I can go into the apartment and not feel overwhelmed.