Carla clears a path — literally and figuratively

Carla clears a path — literally and figuratively

This summer I had the pleasure of working with Carla*, an accomplished woman with a lovely, lovely demeanor. Her apartment was clean and her kitchen cabinets showed her organizing prowess...they were better organized than mine! She shared her writing with me and her intellect and wit shined from the page.

But walking around her apartment was a challenge, as there were stacks of boxes in every room, each spilling over into the next. She didn't have to verbalize her stress and shame... I could feel it emanating from the piles of items and boxes of papers that had taken on a life of their own.

We spent several hours together over two sessions, and we made great progress. When I left, Carla's confidence and joy made my heart swell!

In Carla's own words

Whether you’ve moved recently, are overwhelmed and need another hand to help you organize your space, are planning to downsize, have problems as I did with a magnetic-field wall (more on that later), have just one space that needs organizing – a closet, basement, home office, attic, etc., or need help organizing several areas, Lisa will work with you to organize your space.  

Lisa has a knack for assisting, leading, and suggesting solutions in a laid-back but active way that makes the process seamless.  In my case, she intuitively and effortlessly filled in the gap I have that creates that problematic magnetic-field block.  

My story

As someone who is organized in many ways – designing publications, handouts, and how-to guides; developing, leading, and running university level research programs, committees, symposiums – all of which comes easily for me, it’s puzzling to me that in other areas, my organizing skills disappear and the process of connecting my mind/body with the seemingly easy activity of Organizing The Paper I’ve amassed feels like trying to line up, to connect, the north poles of two magnets.  The poles stubbornly repel each other.

When I downsized to a small place, one that doesn’t have storage, I had to put a lot of items in storage.  After a few months, I decided to close my storage unit, so I brought the contents to my apartment, thinking it would be easier to sort through items at home, rather than in the storage area.  Wrong.  When I set out to organize the first category on my list – piles of papers, I came face-to-face with that stubborn magnetic field I mentioned earlier, the one that doesn’t allow the doer – me, to connect to the task – the humongous project of Sorting, Tossing, Recycling, Keeping, and Filing.    

I was at my wits’ end.  Following the recommendation of a friend, I contacted Lisa.  After I explained my situation, we set up a date and time to meet.  Once the date was set, I spent the interim time embarrassed at the thought of having Lisa see my apartment.  Only close friends had seen it.  My apartment had, not surprisingly, a storage-unit vibe, not the vibe I wanted, not the vibe the apartment could have, given its graceful floor plan, if less cluttered.  

I needn’t have worried.  As soon as Lisa arrived, her nonjudgmental manner immediately put me at ease.  During our initial meeting, Lisa had me show her my small (600 square feet) apartment.  After the tour, she asked me a series of questions about my goals.  We set a date and time for our first organizing session.  

Lisa returned with large cobalt blue bins to use when sorting.  After reviewing the space again, we decided where to begin.

Lisa worked alongside me, keeping me focused.  We were able to work quickly.  We sorted through stacks and stacks of paper and magazines; consolidated books to be organized later; got rid a large tube television set, thus creating space for my flat screen TV; tossed out old fans that were jerry-rigged with fix-everything duct tape; and tossed out a lot of other, bulkier-than-paper items.  

Lisa’s thoughtfulness, sensitivity, focus, and energy were invaluable.  The steps were no longer daunting; that strong magnetic field magically dissolved, disappeared.      

It’s been wonderful to have more space.   Not only can I walk easily from room to room, I have a clear dining-area table than can be used for its intended purpose – mealtime.

I still have more sorting to do, but with Lisa’s assistance, I made a great start. The positive results have given me the sense that this is doable.  It helps to know that if I reach another magnetic-field wall, I can set up more sessions with Lisa.

My message to Carla

Thank you, Carla! It was wonderful to collaborate with you. May your home and heart be ever free of clutter!

*Name changed to protect my client's privacy