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July 05, 2002 - Image 164

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-05

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ummer Pleasure

• °pan 7 Days
for Liptrielv i& 'Dinner ,




APO' Sci 6d,
yegoic ►

Conquering Clutter

Organizing tips that may save your life.



...always ill

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Summer Pleasures/2002

pink, correctly labeled file in front of
have to admit, when the Jewish
News called and asked if I'd
me, I introduce myself She's charm-
ing, hardly the drill sergeant I'd imag-
cover a seminar on organiza-
ined I was about to meet, someone I
tion, I was sure someone had
snitched. Having left the world of tel- could actually see myself being friends
with, until she utters those awful
evision, I'd moved my writing and
words. "Are you disorganized?"
production company into my home.
There are no worse words one can
Once a sanctuary away from hun-
utter to someone who makes her liv-
dreds of tapes, press kits and
books that piled in weekly, now
my dining room — all right, I'll
be honest here — every room has
a striking similarity to the clut-
tered office setting I left behind.
So while I laughed at the invita-
tion, I was a willing student. If
there was someone out there who
could give me my sanctuary back,
but still allow me to keep all the
bits of information creative types
need, I'd be the first to sign on.
The assignment was to show up
at 9 a.m. at the Michigan Design
Center in Troy and try to take in
this new way of thinking. Given
the locale, I wasn't really surprised
to find myself surrounded by
designers, but I couldn't help but
wonder what they were doing at a
seminar like this. Aren't designers
the ones you hire to make your
house a home? But Birmingham's
tie Cletter rwir/
Cleo Nike Bradley set me
straight. "Oh please, we're cre-
ative, we don't want to spend the time ing being creative. Well, I suppose
there are, but fortunately no one has
putting our own things in place. We
said them to me yet. I calmly caught
save everything, especially magazines
my breath and explained I knew
— Architectural Digest, Elle Decor —
we might want to go back and look at exactly which pile everything was in.
Seeing my sensitivity on this issue,
them; we're emotionally tied to them.
she tried a new word. "Cluttered,
And anyway, one look at the pile and
maybe?" That much I was willing to
I'm exhausted!" Suddenly I'm feeling
right at home.
The good news was, Debbie lights
As we continue to talk, Debi
up in the presence of people like me.
Weinstein, the owner of "I've Got To
I watched her come alive as she asked
Get Organized" is passing out neatly
the audience to raise their hands if
organized files. And while it's always
they had a similar situation. The
good to have take-home information,
more hands that went up, the wider
I can't help but picture the 30 files I
her grin. "My favorite kind of people!
already have sitting on the floor and
My goal today for all of you is that
wonder whether I really need to add
you'll all walk away with just one
another. As she puts down the light

organizing tip that will change your
life!" Having come with the hope of
simply seeing my floor again, I was
about to become a follower.
She started off slow, knowing that
she was dealing with an audience that
didn't frequent stores like Organized
Living. "What is the one part of your
life that is stressing you out the
most?" she asked.
For me, the answer was obvi-
ous. The files and piles that now
fill my home. But for others, like
many of you at home, it's your
closet or your kitchen cupboards.
It doesn't matter what your
quandary is, Debi's solutions
apply across the board. "Take it
slow, one shelf, one drawer, your
files, but whatever you do, don't
zig-zag!" Zig-zagging, she
explained, was moving from
room to room. Come on, you've
all done it. You start cleaning out
your closet and you come across
something that belongs some-
where else. As you walk into
another room, thinking you'll
put it in it's rightful place, you're
feeling ambitious, so you start
straightening up that area. Lo
and behold, you come across
that book you were looking for
and suddenly, you're on the
couch reading.
"Tape the floor!" Debi says with a
knowing smile. "Give yourself a 10-
by-10 area and tape yourself in, then
use black garbage bags." I'm guessing
she specifies black, so you can't look -
in and change your mind. "Then tie
one with a pretty bow and leave the
other hanging. The one with the bow
you'll be donating, the other goes in
the trash!" I can sense the woman
next to me shaking.
Next she introduces us to a game
called Friends, Acquaintances and
Strangers, and says we can play no
matter what our clutter issues are.
"You love your friends. They fit you;
they have information you need. You

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