Have you ever hired a professional organizer? I started working with specialists in this new-ish industry over 20 years ago and found it life-altering. These women–there are some male organizers, but I’ve worked only with women to date–have a way of knowing how to consolidate space, things, and time in mind-bending ways for this methodical soul.

My first organizer, back in the 90’s, solved every issue I whined about, and I was a convert. Subsequent re-arranging and moving experiences have been equally transformational. So, I called my second organizer, Betsy Krobot, to figure out how to gain some creative space in my NYC apartment.

Because she’s in CT, we used FaceTime for her to see my layout and spatial issue. First, I had to show her what I was up to in the creativity department. I gave her a tour of the pillows I’ve made since mid-March and the wall hanging I’m currently working on. I could feel her desire to help me find coveted space intensify the more we spoke, and she experienced my total excitement with my new medium.

If you get rid of that bookshelf/hutch unit and clear away two of the file cabinet drawers below, you’ll be able to have a clean desktop to use for drawing, sewing, and spreading out your materials. You’ll also have knee room, so you can roll your desk chair over there when you want to move away from the computer.” I instantly saw her vision, though would never have come up with it myself in a hundred years. But I knew getting rid of all those possessions was a big IF.

Where to put all that precious stuff? I’ve moved three times in the last ten years, so many of my treasures have been dispersed. Back then, I let go of hundreds of books and do feel a pang of jealousy with every zoom room I see: colleagues’ and friends’ walls lined with their volumes. Marie Kondo wouldn’t approve, but I feel a tad envious of their retained libraries.

What will people think of my background? I worry momentarily. Betsy wasn’t worried. She knows how life-changing it is to let go. I know it, too, but forget. She didn’t offer a Plan B.

I’ve spent the last few days clearing those drawers and making decisions for what to do with the contents. Everything remaining now will serve the artistic as well as coaching aspects of my business. I’m going to order a large pegboard so my supplies can be visible and within reach – scissors, measuring tools, templates, etc. One of my favorite memories of my dad was the workspace he designed for himself in our basement. He had a large pegboard on which he hung his tools, and suspended cups for the different-sized nails and screws. In my mind, each tool was outlined so he would know exactly where to re-hang it after its use. Sadly, I don’t actually remember his being down there much, but the visual of that wall remains indelible in my mind’s eye.

I obeyed Betsy’s command and am excited to have the surface below the hutch open and available for spreading out my wools and threads. Would YOU like to have this piece of furniture? If you can come and take it away–socially distanced, of course– it’ll go to the first responder at no cost.

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