Dear Peter Walsh, Organizational Guru…

I’m making progress here, although today, if it wasn’t for NaBloPoMo, I’d probably take the blogging day off. I’m in high gear on this house organizing frenzy, liking it, and noticing some interesting things about what exactly is organized and what isn’t in this house…and why. Like, the answer is Earth shattering, and everyone’s been waiting for it. For world peace. And stuff.

November 15, 2007

Dear Peter Walsh,

The other day, I actually sat down to watch Oprah. That may not seem to be anything special, but I’ve been a sort of lazy good for nothing but blogging domestic engineer for about a year now, and spend no time watching daytime television. I don’t even think about it. You’re wondering what in hell all this has to do with the price of tea in China, right? So anyway, I actually remembered Oprah, clicked on the television, and there was Celine Dion. I’m a closet Celine aficionado — well, not quite an expert, but still. So I grinned, turned up the volume and sang the entire hour. I just love “I Drove All Night,” don’t you? The Roy Orbison version the best, I mean, he’s incredible, but Celine is great, too. Did you see her show in Vegas? It was completely amazing. I know, I know. You’re thinking I’m less than balanced and I can see that wild look in your eye that lets me know you’re planning your escape route. But stay with me here.

So there was a commercial during the show that advertised another show coming later in the week. I think it’s airing today. It was about hoarders. I’ve been wondering about the idea of hoarding, and have been thinking of it while I’ve been going through my house. Sorry it takes me so long to get to what I’m talking about. My mind is full of clutter. Things go in and never come out, all up there waiting to be used. It’s a genetic problem. You just never know when someone may need to know what the botanical name for a Bird of Paradise is at the San Diego Zoo when you’re really there to see lions and tigers and bears. Fortunately, the problem isn’t so horrendous that I never get to my point, though, so that’s some relief. Isn’t it?

But good news! I’m only in the mild to minimal category on the Hoarding Severity Scale. And according to my Clutter Assessment Results, I am a clutter victim, who can blame a “busy life” (um…car pool four times a week and two blogs? No.), “disposable income” (he’s kidding, right? What? You didn’t know money grows on a tree on our patio? Feh.), “and a steady influx of purchases” (well, okay, but they’re mostly food related, so they don’t stay around long…), and “junk mail” (erm, no one’s going to complain if the post office outlaws that crap. Maybe they could get on that?) Like I was saying…

Here’s my progress to date. I have a handle on:

  • where all the bills go now (cool folders with LABELS *Woo Hoo!*) Okay so the folders aren’t cool; the labels are. And I will be getting cool folders. Some day after I get organized.
  • the office shelves are great, the closet isn’t too bad, and the stacks are down to a low roar. Of course every time I get my desk organized, someone leaves a tank on it. Sheesh.

It’s hard to get good help any more, yanno?

    • magazines are now sorted, organized by date, and either recycled or marked and stored (but I’m really lying on this one, because going through the saved issues will take time…and I do have time)

  • the cheese drawer in the fridge (I’m still working on the science experiment that is our veggie bin, but at least it’s not mushy any more)
  • the RT’s bedroom which is much, much cleaner and organized (almost minty fresh and clean) I said almost, okay?

IMG_0936.JPG IMG_4589.JPG

Before and After. Not bad, huh? Now to get rid of the bunk bed. Okay, where was I?

  • the laundry room upper cabinets (so I still have to dig into that stoopid lower cabinet that all those plastic grocery bags are stuffed in but it’s scary in there. Really.)

But I should get credit for some things never, ever being disorganized.


They’re always perfect. Except when the MoH empties the dishwasher and just puts the wooden spoons on top of the steel utensils, or the measuring cups in this drawer instead of the one next to it. And the wire whips? You have to put them in a particular way. Because.

The rack below it is also organized by color: greens, reds, blues. So probably a little touch of OCD to add to the mild hoarding tendencies and clutter victim state.

You could come and help me out since Martha hasn’t accepted my offer yet. You know, maybe hook me up with a nice set of shelves for this lame coat closet that builders still insist on including around here, which is truly ridiculous considering we never have to wear coats. Ever. Shelves would be great. Could you get right on that, please? I need the space for my kitchen overflow.

And these built in cabinets? What are they for other than hiding things? My cats love to sleep in them, but that’s not the best idea considering everything in the cabinet gets hair all over it and then has to be washed. What would you use them for? Suggestions when you have time, please?

Well, after you’ve helped that lady who has 75 tons of trash in her house. Which is just plain weird.

Thanks for your time today. Maybe we can do lunch and discuss the possibilities. Yes?

Have your people call my people.



p.s. Do you know anyone who does windows?


9 responses to “Dear Peter Walsh, Organizational Guru…”

  1. Kelly! Look at you getting all organized! If I lived closer I would so be over there helping you.

    I love to clean and organize!

    Ps..Celine is AWESOME.

  2. Geez. I’m innamiddle of doing the same thing in my office right now. photos on the writing blog. I’m hoping to be done by the weekend, but there’s a lot of clutter in here!

  3. Okay, Kelly…you can come do my house next. You could even start with my utensil drawer. Then the junk drawer…then the coat closet….then my linen closet….then my bedroom closet…and then…..

    Hey! Where are you going?!?

  4. Sorry to be the voice of dissent where Celine is concerned, but I can’t stand the woman’s voice. Sorry, but it’s the truth.

    Anyway, just as I thought our relationship surely could never work out with such a fundamental difference of opinion in music, I saw something in the photo of your shelves…

    Nancy Drew books? Hardy Boys? Adore them! We have a collection of those ourselves! As the youngest in both our families, these collections have fallen into our hands.

    Well, in my mind, the books cancel out the Celine, so if me being a Celine-hater doesn’t kill it for you, I guess we can continue being blog-buddies…

  5. Congratulations on organizing AND blogging every day!….(I’d be napping or compulsively eating or something)….You are deserving of an award! You may pick it up on my blog! 🙂

  6. Great Job! I so need to organize everything in my life. I hoard stuff, but I don’t think I’m all that bad. It’s good to see someone making some progress on their stuff.

  7. I keep so little with the exception of books I don’t think I could ever be a hoarder.
    You do have some stuff.
    I’ve never really listened to Celine although when I have heard her I have always thought she had a spectacular voice.

  8. meleah, it would be soooooooooo fun to have you here helping — not only because you’re an organizational genius, but because I’m sure it would be hilarious!

    Hey Jerry! I’m a bit behind on visiting and responding — I think the holidays are creeping up on me and I already feel a bit behind. I’ll have to check out those photos.

    mel — I just looked at those photos of The Boy’s room, and it’s so funny I hadn’t noticed HIM on the bed the first time I looked. Sooooooooo funny. And I’m sure I do see a connection in the RT’s “before” shot. And yanno? I think I’d enjoy organizing other people’s stuff more than my own. No decision making. So how much to you charge? Bwhahahahahah!

    Hey Gina. I knew I’d get crap from someone on Celine. I think what it is is that I truly believe her voice is amazing. She doesn’t use all the technocrap that so many voice artists use to mask their lack of talent. I only own a few of her songs, and don’t even like them all. But it gives me chills to listen to what she can do — the range, the volume shifts, the control. Totally amazing. But I understand. Really. And I how cool that you love all the ND books. Dana girls, too? I loved them, but don’t have many. My first (The Secret in the Old Clock) was purchased at a garage sale for 25 cents…Ah…the memories, right?

    Olga, Dah-link… You are beyond swell, er, ah…make my chest swell….um…ah. So you’ve made me quite happy with your recognition. THANKS very much. I have a post in the woiks.

    Mike, you gotta take the test. You wouldn’t want Oprah to find you, yanno? Or make the 5 pm news after your stuff caved in on you. Right?

    Cooper, I totally get the book thing. I do have quite a few, but recognizing that it could get to be a problem (not every room should have a couple hundred books in it…) over the years, I’ve weeded through them. It’s always a bit sad. Of course, I still have oodles of professional books in the garage. There’s no room for them in the house.

  9. Hi Cindy — Good luck to you! Good thing I didn’t show you what the first landing on my stairs looks like. Everything has sort of stagnated there while I figure out what to do about it.

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