Organizational Intervention

September 1st, 2011

Photos by Kathleen

Speaking of summer uniforms, for months The SC has been throwing whatever item meets her gaze over yoga wear and adding accessories.  Today I reached for this DarylK silk dress with asymmetrical hemline purchased at a NYC flea market, a San Diego Hat Company fedora with strips of color similar to the lines of color on the dress, and shoes from a summer sale several years ago at a Denver shoe boutique.

I am in need of an organizational intervention.  The first floor of my home is symbolic of my core; on the surface it appears relatively organized and uncluttered.  However, the rooms upstairs give the impression of chaos.  The intermittent jagged edges of my emotions mirror the disorganization of my inventory.  Nelson’s office and closet remain frozen in time, unchanged since the day of his death.  The basement is in similar disarray, reflecting my feet which are unsure of the path to take to operationalize my goals.  I become immobilized when I seek a starting point, a beginning, a focus, a plan of action.

My solution to this dilemma has been to seek the services of a professional organizer to assist with structure and strategy.  I have decided that I need a ‘guide’ to direct me and to collaborate upon a list of homework activities that I can successfully accomplish each week between appointments.  To slowly make sense of the chaos in my home is at the heart of my transition and it is my hope that I will feel a sense of control of my inventory and of the new life that unfolds moment by moment.  I long for calm and peaceful surroundings!

21 Responses to “Organizational Intervention”

  1. deja pseu

    Judith, that sounds like such a great idea. A professional organizer will be able to help break this monumental task down into manageable steps for you. Smart thinking!

    I love how the stripes in the dress are mirrored in the hat!

  2. janine

    Again, TRES ELEGANT.

    You really can wear anything, AND make it seem effortlessly stylish and totally modern and classic – all at once. Love the insouciance of the hat!

    Best wishes on the organizing and the task at hand. Take the time, though, to deal with what was Nelson’s. No one should rush you to go through this part of the process. Be sure you take the time you need with that, OK?

    Love and strength to you!

  3. Willa

    I smile at your wish to “feel a sense of control of my inventory.” My partner and I moved a week ago to a smaller home since the young ones have now moved on, and we are living in a sea of boxes. The new place is only about half the square footage of our previous home, and we have decided to downsize with purpose. Though we thought we had disposed of a great deal in terms of furniture, household goods, books, electronics and other appliances as well as many collections and personal items, we are finding that we did not realize just how much we have amassed over time. We are now sharing an office. My wardrobe really require several rooms. Half the basement is required for our workout studio (where we work out and my partner trains clients), and the other half is storing furniture we have yet to place and seasonal items. — Right now we are struggling with just finding things. It is going to take some time to adjust to our new place, to turn it from a shoe box to a jewel box .

    Our movers commented on how many boxes were marked “shoes” and “handbags” as they carried things in to my dressing room. Unfortunately they carried the boxes in first, and then they shoehorned my secretary, dressers and wardrobes in the room so that one could barely enter the room. It took me several days to move things around into place and begin to bring a sense of organization to the room. I still have several boxes and suitcases in the center of the room yet to be addressed, so I have yet to move any chairs in to place. They remain stationed in the basement…

    Our move has sparked a series of conversations about our inventory. We are giving serious consideration to what has meaning for each of us and for both of us, and we are giving serious thought to what more we can and should part with in the next year or so as we settle in to this next phase of life together.

  4. Philadelphia Pat

    it is always a challenge – but i love the concept that you want to focus on where you are going, not where you have been. although – for one who revels in vintage, that might be a stretch.
    many hugs as you grow towards your future.

  5. Susan Tiner

    I love that hat!

    As a former professional organizer, I can attest to the usefulness of having a ‘guide’ — it can be comforting having a companion with you in sorting and making decisions, at your pace.

  6. Judith Boyd

    It sounds like you are in the midst of downsizing decisions, which can be confusing and disorienting. I am in that place as well. It sounds like you have an amazing collection.


    It is only normal that chaos after such a loss. It is a good idea to seek help. The order will come eventually, my dear friend.

  8. Lonnie

    Some people just work harder than others at mastering life. Some people just work harder than others to keep thier “Stuff” together on on physical and emotional levels. You keep working through all of this with such dedication and aplomb. You work hard. You inspire the rest of us to push through our own discomforts and pain. Love you, Lonnie

  9. SizzleandZoom

    I love the idea of an organizer. Just what I would do If I needed it. Another step in your
    journey. I think it’s a very wise decision.

  10. Coastalharp

    Take your time…order will eventually come….remember to breathe deeply. Thoughts are with you

  11. Paula

    You are so wise to seek help when you need it–sometimes we just can’t sort through it ourselves.
    And you look just gorgeous! Love those shoes; so chic.

  12. melanie

    Looking at your chic outfit and pose, one would never guess you have chaos in your house! What a wise move to get help in organizing your stuff. My friend’s house got washed out in New Jersey and everything has to be thrown out now. Of course she’s in tears at all the treasured albums and mementos that are beyond salvation, but she said it must be God’s and her late husband’s way of allowing her to finally unload all that excess baggage! So that she can start ‘traveling light’ with new treasures to keep in her heart and her mind instead of all the plastic bins that were no protection for her stash anyway! Good luck in your organizing project!

  13. Nekiah

    Hello my new cyber-friend. First off, I want to thank you for stopping by my blog. Second, this outfit is super cute. I love how the lines in the top match the lines in the hat. Awesome! I read that you lost a loved one. I am sure it is that you were not ready to look, move or organize anything until now. So glad that you are moving on and able to take such a big step. I hope the help is all that you need and that the end result gives you some peace of mind. Kiah

  14. Veshoevius

    I’m doing the dress over yoga gear a lot these days too running between dance classes. Love your addition of a hat!
    I hear you about wanting organization and to be clutter free not just in one room! – I recently did my wardrobe but the rest of the flat could do with being done too as it chaos – it is a cathartic process – a second opinion to help you let go of things or a guide helps.

  15. WendyB

    I’ve had a professional organizer a couple of times. It barely makes a dent though! I’m professional DISorganized!

  16. Rose

    Oh Judith, how I do sympathize with your inner life and how it “manifests” itself in our surroundings. I have been doing a massive clear-out, re-shake up of the “furniture” of my life too, and this is the first time that I feel I am making progress after trying to tackle this task for years. Strangely enough, I too wondered what to do first. I told myself, just get rid of 3 books. A few other things seemed to want to go with the books, so out with them too. Gradually, over about a month, a huge amount has gone, although it’s been like melting an iceberg with a candle.

    I can’t imagine how awful it must be to have to deal with the physical reminders of Nelson’s life. I’m not surprised that everything has remained as it was on the last day. I suppose the removing of actual physical things will be helpful (maybe even enormously so) but what a task. All I can say is, don’t rush it. And if you want to hold onto some completely useless thing, you do it. Just because it’s value isn’t apparent, maybe even to yourself, in time you will know what it means, and can get rid of it then, if that’s what you want.

    Much love from England my dear,
    Someone else dealing with mess, Rose

  17. Shelley

    I think that’s a great idea–it’s a good sign that you realized you needed help to get out from under the chaos. Our state of mind is all too often reflected in our environment and I am constantly trying to purge clutter from my home with often minimal success. I love this outfit on you, especially the hat–you wear so many different styles of hats so well, I’m envious!

  18. Suella

    Have a look at for free and excellent advice on getting started where ever you are in your life.

    She helps us refocus on what is doable and sets up routines and habits to help us stay on track.

    It is free and offered with love from someone who has been there.

  19. Terri

    Having an organizer should help! You might also want to track down the short story by T.C. Boyle entitled “Filthy with Things”, as it will remind you what IS important. I know my mother dealt with my father’s immediate belongings somewhat successfully, but then buried herself under quite a number of unnecessary purchases.

  20. Margaret

    I came to Chicago in June for a 4-day stay to see my brother in law before the biopsy of his brain tumor. 12 weeks later I am about to return home. I, who adore clothes and my own style, made it through smoothly each day with one pair of trousers, 2 tees, 1 simple sheath, 2 scarves, and 2 pairs of shoes.
    This experience of caring for a cancer patient while pared down to (nice) essentials has started to transform me. Each day has required a mental and spiritual inventory to address it’s challenges. Now, as I return home, the inventory of possessions will be next.
    To begin with, WHY do I have 18 Hermes scarves?…I only like 3 or 4 of them…ludicrous!
    Love to you.

  21. Serene

    Judith, what a wonderful idea!! There is just something so cathartic about organizing one’s things and putting things in order. I swear it helps me think clearer! I’m excited for you. I love what you do with yoga wear! I NEVER would have guessed these were yoga pants. This whole look is just so unique and elegant. The more I read your blog and see your pictures, I feel like I could spot your look immediately. It’s so individual and tailored to you! That’s how I would like for my style to evolve….individual but identifiable. Like a brand…..Big organizational hugs pretty lady! ~Serene

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