Anyone who follows my blog with any regularity, or better, anyone who’s known me for five minutes, knows that I have issues with clutter. It’s not because I’m a bad person. I just can’t tell the difference between neat and messy.
So many of my friends have offered to help. Their offers sound wonderful as I fantasize my studio apartment being as beautiful as their homes, with their modern Scandinavian furniture and book shelving, acccents from Pier One Imports and candles from Cost Plus World Market.
This image lasts for only a few seconds, until I’m flashed backwards to the 3rd grade, and the sound of my mom crunching through my toys on the floor of my room, admonishing me as she attempts to organize the piles, and I’m forced to sit through it.
“Do you need this?” she says, waving my Electrosketch. Of course I need my Electrosketch. I use it like all the time.
“What about this?” she says, slamming my Barbi Corvette into the ground.
“And these?” she says, scraping all my Matchbox cars off the table into the garbage can.
I shudder as I come back to the present moment, I look my girlfriends in the eye, and I say, “No way.”
I’ve considered hypnosis, to reprogram myself to hate clutter, but then I would be miserable, because I still wouldn’t know what to do with it.
So, I went online and found professional help. Her name is Cori Roffler, and she is a Professional Declutterer.
As I weighed in my mind the pros and cons of actually paying someone to do something that women were just supposed to know how to do, inherently, I played back and forth the sound reel of my mother stepping on and breaking my belongings, all to make some kind of point, the sighs, the strained silence, the grunts of pain as she stubbed her toes, the extrapolated and imagined conversations of my girlfriends screaming as they dig through my closets, one comforting sentence Cori wrote on her webpage compelled me to click Send. That sentence was:
Believe me I have seen it all and I want to help. I offer a fresh eye and no judgement. Once we’ve started I promise the anxiety and embarrassment will disappear.
Today Cori came for my free consultation, arriving at my abode at precisely 11 o’clock from her home, which I can only imagine is immaculately maintained, in San Francisco.
Her eyes didn’t bulge out of their sockets. She didn’t run for the door. She said, “I think I can work with this.”
Her suggested plan of attack, since I’m tackling my entire apartment, and not just a room — because that would be impossible — would be work in waves, on a weekly basis. Phase One: my walk-in closet, which I offer to you to scrutinize all you want, because by Wednesday of next week, it’s going to look totally different. Like, you’re going to be so way jealous and wish you had a closet like mine.