By Kathleen Spring
LYONS – Getting organized can be difficult. Imagine how difficult it would be for someone living in the same house for 40 years to organize his or her collection of stuff. Andrea C. Marshall, the Office Doctor, and Cathy Rivers, with Rivers Colorworks+Design, came to the Walt Self Senior Housing Center in March to offer help and hand out some organizing tips.
“When in doubt, don’t throw it out,” said Marshall, in contradiction to the standard beliefs.
Marshall explained her theory by saying, “I miss my 1980s disco dress.” To avoid regrets, she suggests that people start slowly. When deciding how many eight-inch casserole dishes to keep, there’s no need to immediately go down to one dish.
Rivers tosses items into her three-pile solution, Keep, Give Away, or Trash/Recycle. She adds one optional Question Pile. Everything from this pile goes into a box with a date on that is six months from the present and stored in a closet; the date is marked on the calendar. Then in six months a final decision can be made.
Not being organized can be frustrating, but there’s more to it than that. What is disorganization costing you? Rivers said that the average person spends 55 minutes a day looking for things. It also costs money because many times people resort to buying duplicates. It wastes space. It can affect a people’s social lives because they are too embarrassed to let others visit their messy houses. The ladies advised starting with one thing, one spot, one corner. But start now.
Kathleen Spring is an award-winning journalist, photojournalist and author. She conducts creative writing and journaling workshops at her mountainside retreat Spring Time Writers. She most recently was a freelance writer and is the director of Lyons History Video ProjectBack to Top