The life of a professional organiser is not a glamourous one. It’s certainly satisfying but the satisfaction often comes with a dose of dust, rust and cobwebs.
I don’t care how well a house is kept, once you start moving archived boxes or furniture around, dust is disturbed, and my dust allergy flares up. A trick of mine was to always take a hayfever tablet before seeing a client because it was just too embarrassing for both of us if I had a sneezing fit.
I’ve been in some dusty places. Attics, garages, sheds – those are where you’d expect to find dust. But it’s extraordinary how much dust can be in a laundry with a tumble dryer that’s not well ventilated. Or in the far corners of a large walk-in wardrobe, where the vacuum cleaner rarely reaches.
But aah the satisfaction when I’ve delved deep into those spaces, dust and all, and come out after an organising session! Not only the dust is decluttered. When I’m done there’s a place for everything again. Things are neat and tidy, easy to find and easy to use. There may or may not be labels, but there is always order.
You may not think about rust being one of the hazards of organising. But there you are. It’s an insidious enemy to beware of. From the rust you’ll find in garages and sheds and old car bodies in suburban backyards to the rusty staples and paperclips that ruin important documents and cherished memorabilia.
But the saddest rust memory I have is the day I found a wedding dress scrunched in a box along with the rusty metal coat hanger it came from the drycleaner with. The dress was irreparably stained.
I am an arachnophobe. The dictionary says an arachnophobe is a person with an extreme or irrational fear of spiders. Yes, my fear is extreme, but I don’t think it’s irrational. Just sayin’.
The only time I can put aside my extreme fear is when I am protecting a child or when I’m with a client. When I’m with a client and come across a spider I just put on my “brave” persona and deal with the spider.
Except for that time when I was working a reasonably clean and tidy bedroom. I was moving things from the headboard shelf so that we could move the bed. I had already unplugged the bedside lamp. As I tugged at the cord and it came up from behind the bedhead, there was a coating of dust but also a GIANT spider. It all happened so quickly and so close to me that I forgot my “brave” persona and screamed!
We had a good laugh. Whenever I pull a cord up from the hidden depths, I remember that day.
If you’re drawn to a career as a professional organiser, dust, rust, cobwebs and all, take a look at my online training.