My sister, who is also organizationally challenged, recommended a professional organizer whom she had used before to help me with my “issues”. After putting it off for nearly a year because I just knew I would stumble upon THE system that would finally make everything make sense in my home; I hired her.
She charged $25.00 an hour with a four hour minimum. She worked with me for four hours on Monday and is coming again Friday for four hours. She had me take her through the house showing her all my problem areas. I could have only done that with a stranger. She asked what my priorities were. She asked what our hobbies and interests were as a family. Then we went to work.
I now have a Christmas closet that ONLY contains Christmas items. I now have a home decor closet so that when I want to change out seasons or colors I can do that. Our home only has a tiny linen closet, a tiny closet in the foyer, a walk in closet in my husband’s office, small closets in the other three bedrooms. The basement is unfinished but broken up into three rooms that have poles in the middle of them (I assume they are holding the house up so they are important) a sump pump hole in the floor of one of the basement rooms (good for those times it rains so much the water comes into the basement and needs to be funneled out not so good for looks or storage) and the furnace/water heater in the middle of another basement room. Not a good storage situation. Useful mostly for exercise equipment, DH’s workshop and extra acquarium supplies. My husband loves freshwater fish and what started out as one tank for our son is now nine tanks in various rooms in the house.
We are down to our last child living at home, he is 12, so we will have an extra bedroom after his new room which is now the playroom is finished. Two of the three older kids that have “moved out” still have stuff left here at our home that if put altogether probably would fill all of the “open” space in one of the the basement rooms easily. Of course, it isn’t in one place it is in many places. She suggested that we gather up each boy’s stuff (when I say boys I mean men 28 and 24 who have been gone for 3 or 4 years) and put them in two separate areas of the house – one for each child- and tell them to come and get it by X date or the charity truck is coming to take it away ah ha. I don’t have a problem with this plan. My husband, on the other hand will. I’ve been trying to convince him of this for a l o n g time. My organizer is hoping that once he sees how much stuff each of them really has and how much space it actually takes up when accumulated in one space that he will see the light and make the call himself. Perhaps even offer to carry it out, perhaps even load it in his truck and perhaps even deliver it to them. I really don’t care how it gets gone, I just want it gone. Love them, not all their stuff.
She also suggested that once our remaining son moves into the bigger bedroom (the room awaiting weatherproofing, new carpet and a new paint job) that instead of making his old room into a dedicated guest room that I turn it into my studio. My current studio is what is supposed to be the formal living room. It is very small and contains my piano, my library, my scrapbooking supplies, my rubberstamp supplies, my quilting supplies including fabric, my yarn for my crochet projects, our household files and bills as well as a small TV, a rocking chair, a small desk and a round side table with lamp. Itisveryverycrowded and really unusable with piles of stuff everywhere.
That would leave the piano and my bookshelves plus the rocking chair and the side table with lamp in the formal living room. Our 11 year old could practice his trumpet in what would now be the music/library room. I had told the organizer that I always wanted to have a library because I love books and my mother has a library. It is always something I wished I could have but didn’t think I had the house for. I am actually receptive to this. I had been looking forward to having a real guest room so I’m not sure how I’ll feel about not having a designated “guest” room, but the studio could probably serve as a guest room with one of those inflatable beds or even a rented bed if you can rent beds for the time a guest would need it. Our 12 year old offered to let guests use his room if we needed to from time to time. We actually don’t ever have that many guests as the older boys live nearby.
So her suggestions could work, if I get most of it done and then work on convincing DH that it is a good idea. That is the hardest part. Pray for me.
I’m rather excited about this. I’ll keep you posted on what really happens.
UPDATE: Today is September 1, 2010
- The items the older boys wanted have been moved out of the house. What remains needs to be sold or given to charity
- Instead of the room exchange ideas above, DH agreed to move his office to the room my studio is in, which he will share with our son and his video gaming equipment (this will leave our son’s room as video gaming free which I feel better about)
- My studio will be DH old office (it is upstairs so if it is in shambles, as I am prone to have it, it will not be out where everyone can view it)
- We have begun the room exchange process. It is a huge job. We will all work on it tonight in celebration of my birthday
- We purchased an inflatable bed which worked well for the guests we had over the summer. When we get DS moved to his new room, I think his old room could serve as a library/guestroom just fine. It would also be a good space for DS to practice his trumpet.
- We have decided to give the piano away – need to put it on Craigslist