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  • Katy Winter

Organizing is my Caffeine

I love the smell of coffee. Growing up I woke up to the smell of my mom’s percolator brewing her daily two cups of rich coffee. Now I wake up to the aroma of my husband grinding coffee beans first thing in the morning, but I have never been a coffee drinker. To say I jump out of bed in the morning is an understatement. I have always been a morning person. I fly out out of bed, ready to pounce on the world. My mind is racing after an interruption of sleep, and I can’t wait to tackle the day. Of course at 9pm you will find me illiterate and groggy, and it’s not uncommon for me to fall asleep before my children. But that is the way I have always been.


Sometimes clients ask me to help them organize after work. And there are occasions when I accommodate. I am not on my “A” game at night, but organizing is my caffeine.  Last night I was supposed to stop by for an hour to help a husband go through boxes and boxes of paperwork. A renovation was finally forcing him to deal with boxes that traveled from his parent’s home after they passed away, to his many apartments, storage spaces and now his home.  There is more to it… It was a haphazard array of bills and bank statements, but he was in search of an item. Immediately my adrenaline started kicking in. He is looking for an original, very valuable stock certificate. Only after his father passed away did he discover that his father was a POW in Korea. So we were searching for any information related to his war experience. WOW. I was intrigued and excited. It would have been easy to look at these torn old boxes filled with statements and bills and say, chuck it. But as  “Detective organizers” on a mission, we spent three hours touching every single piece of paper. There are still some boxes left, and the stock certificate is not found YET, but we did find letters that his Grandfather wrote to his father during his 8 years in the military. Beautifully handwritten old letters which are priceless to this family. Yes, organizers do a lot of purging. But the process is not as simple as tossing everything you own. The process is cathartic and deals with clutter emotionally as well as physically. While this son was in college, and still experiencing the loss of his parents,  he was not able to deal with every single piece of paper. It was too challenging a feat for one person. But together, 20 years later, he is able to part with all the bills, and distinguish what is personally important for him to keep, without the raw emotions and overwhelming deluge of feelings. On the other side, I came home at 11pm wide awake. My caffeine was in full motion, and I spent the night dreaming of finding a stock certificate. I can’t wait to find it. An organizer on a mission!

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