Monday, December 04, 2006



Other People's Organizing

I helped T. clean out her garage for the bulky pick up this week. She gets one freebie from the city per year, and she will lose it if she doesn't get her stuff out there this week, on Wednesday. Things had to be less than 6 feet so she needed her demo crew (me) to ensure that things my height or shorter or the city would fine her. She also had a bunch of crap to sort through, most of which was left by the previous owner.

She had an over-6 foot tall door to saw (luckily it turned out to be hollow core), wood to sort and saw, and other junk to wade through. Some of it was, well, uhm, something you'd take to a party where they said to bring an item that you weren't sure what it was and you'd all sit around and guess. Many of the mystery items were homemade, and I wish I'd taken a picture of this, uhm, thing. It was a foot long board, about 5 inches tall, with 4 round holes cut out of it. You could see the markings where the person made the calculations to get the cirles "right" (whatever that is for a mystery object). Then, the creator screwed it to another board perpendicularly. a side view would look a lot like an L, whith the holes being in the vertical portion. A series of peepholes? A place to store PVC piping? A small finger puppet theater? One of those little cracks in the castle wall where you can put the tip of your gun through? What to do with something like this? T. offered it to her neighbor, who declined.

I hauled stuff out of the garage, broke down cardboard boxes, sawed a door, tried (in vain) to dismanltle, bash and bend a screen door so it would be less than 6 feet, and in general, breathed a lot of moldy, dusty air. Eww.

The thing is: I had no problem with these tasks. Had it been my garage, my stuff, I don't know if it would have been so easy.

I'm great with Other People's Organizing (and cleaning). I've sorted out friends who were Big Messes. I've helped them figure out what they need to keep and carted off their excess junk. I've helped them figure out their "styles" and put together systems that work for them, so they could easily maintain their new, organized, clean space.

But my stuff? No go! I'm sure it's because there are emotional and other factors at work when I deal with My Stuff, ones that just aren't there when I deal with Other People's Things.

I love helping folks organize. I've even gotten paid to do it. Love it. My stuff isn't always that hard, though I doubt I'm as thorough but I do try. Also I some what regularly go through my stuff. I've live in this place 1.5 years and have gone through my clothes at least once already - toss a few things every single time.
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