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Finally got organized, sort of

August 13, 2011

My life just got better. I happened across a book in the library that I devoured as if it was a lemon ice box pie.
It caught my eye as I was still fuming because I couldn’t find my favorite dress. I call it my lucky dress because good things always happen when I’m wearing it.
How does a dress just disappear?
I looked in every closet, under every piece of furniture and in the laundry room. It’s just gone. I even looked in the car but I can’t imagine taking it off  there unless I was sleep walking.
I’m thinking the dress was feeling so overworked that it just got up in the night and snuck off. 
Looking for inspiration, I headed to the public library. This fabulous book that saved my sanity is Julie Morgenstern’s “Organizing from the Inside Out.” She is a genius, and I’ve  begun incorporating her program into my life.
Did you know that Americans waste nine million hours per day searching for misplaced items? The Wall Street Journal reports that the average U.S. executive wastes six weeks per year searching for missing information. You can figure that an aging baby boomer wastes roughly twice that amount of time because she can’t remember where the bathroom is located.
It’s way more complicated than this, but in a nutshell, Morgenstern’s system calls for you to begin by creating one clutter-free room in which you keep nothing but items you use and love. If the experience feels good, create another room like that. Move all the “rejects” to a single room as you go, and you can decide later what to do with the “junk” that’s left.
I started my program in the kitchen because that is the most unorganized room in the house. There is no rhyme or reason to how I stash my pots, pans and small appliances. I stuff things where ever they seem to fit. Wrong, says Morgenstern. You should create “stations” for each activity and group like things together.
When I’m cooking, I will circle my center island about 20 times trying to pull together everything I need. I feel like I just took a ride on the Merry Go Round half the time, and that perpetual dizzy look on my face doesn’t reflect my IQ at all.
This morning I attacked my spice cabinet.  Tucked behind three tins of poultry seasoning, I found a can of white spray paint I’ve been searching for since last Christmas.
Now to tackle my pantry, and hopefully the rest of the house before football season sets in.
I thought I was well on my way to getting organized until today.  My day planner noted the “Organization” book was due back at the library. I combed the house looking for it and it is just gone.  I’m wondering if it ran away with my lucky dress and they are in Tahiti having a lovely time without me.
 
Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement.  She welcomes comments at http://www.deludeddiva.com.

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