It takes a mess to organize

Published 12:55 am Saturday, November 2, 2013

I’ve been at it for three days now; everything looks messier than when I first started.

Yes, I’m straightening my office, the extra bedroom with my computer, printer, several bookcases, a file cabinet, and some little slotted shelf cabinets. I have filled every inch of space in the room. I am not one of those people who live with clutter and claim it is organized clutter. They say that if they need something among the piled up stuff, they can put a hand right on it. I, on the other hand, have cluttered clutter and do not have a clue.

Somehow, I have once again managed to get everything out of kilter. I have plenty of desk space, but even it fills up with sale catalogs; stacks of mail requesting donations; magazines offering diverse merchandise ranging from food for a food shortage calamity to scarves that cost as much as fur coats; sheets of grocery coupons I’ve probably allowed to expire; newspaper clippings; offers for life or medical insurance; note pads decorated with my name or illustrations; and some important receipts that need filing. In fact, there are also four prescription bottles left behind from when I listed my prescriptions to take to an appointment with my cardiologist.

On the days the person who cleans for me is due, I make a quick sweep of the desk. I pile all that stuff on the lone twin bed in the room. Then she can apply her magic and give the desk surface a good cleaning. I also take advantage of a small recliner to stack a few items. Instead of sorting, sending things to the wastebasket, and filing while the desktop looks so neat, clean and shiny, I dump my stuff back on the desk. I intend to get to that job later in the day, or for sure tomorrow, (I tell myself). Then, as the old saying goes, sometimes “tomorrow never comes.”

One of the most frustrating things that occurs relating to this state of confusion is when I suddenly wonder if I might have a bill that has fallen past due buried in the heap. I find myself frantically shuffling things all over the place, holding my breath in the process. Thankfully, this catastrophe has never happened. I sigh in relief and thankfulness that this is something in which I have so far been proficient. Sometimes the jumble even yields a few surprises. It’s a delight to find a note from a friend or a good price on a sale item I realize I just can’t live without.

I felt a smile spread across my face as I entered my cluttered office this morning. I remembered my husband’s laughter and comment when he saw me working in the room time after time: “I don’t understand why you are doing that. In a couple of days, it will look just the same again.” I wonder. Is he looking down from Heaven today, sending me that message once again?