I was surprised when my husband penned the following letter to me and thought it would be perfect to share on my 30th wedding anniversary today. I’m a very lucky woman to be with this amazing man!
Confessions From The Spouse of a Professional Organizer
By Mitch Stone
Full disclosure people, I am not an organized person by nature. An organized lifestyle just didn’t seem natural to me. In fact, I grew up constantly losing things, looking for things, rushing to class, missing deadlines, and getting to practices late because I couldn’t find my glove, lacrosse stick, tennis racket, etc. The simple fact was I didn’t think about how I caused myself immeasurable amounts of stress by not being organized.
Then a miracle happened, I met my wife. They say opposites attract and in our case it is true. Not only did I find her smart and gorgeous, but I realized that she had a skill set that I could really use to get my career going. She knew how to plan, how to arrange and how to organize. I had other skills that complimented hers. I was late, messy and unorganized.
At first it was a challenge to see which of our life styles would prevail. I resisted being burdened by social norms that included being on time or putting things in their place. As a result I created a bit of chaos the first few years of our marriage.
So that was the beginning of the enlightenment for me. I needed to accept the advice my wife gets paid to give others, but being organized didn’t seem normal to me. I recall wondering, when we moved into our first house, if anyone had a coat small enough to hang on the set of little hooks by the garage door. Then I saw Ms. Neatly Designed hang her car keys on one of those hooks when she got home from work. I immediately thought, “Wow! That would make it so easy to find your car keys every morning if you simply hung them up on your way in instead of throwing them down so that they would work their way into the cushions of the sofa.” Brilliant!
Then she sat down with me to make sure I calendared events like concerts, dinner parties, birthdays and anniversaries. Suddenly, I realized that I would have incredible advanced notice of what was about to take place thereby reducing the need to apologize for missing something. She labeled clear container bins for holiday decorations to be easily located in the attic rather than having to call a handyman afterwards to fix the damage caused by tearing up the house looking for them. I appreciated how much easier and less stressful those things had become for me and us.
Now that I have had the advantage of being married to this smart, beautiful and successful woman for 30 years I’ve learned skills that I never knew existed. I can honestly say I am less stressed over little things in life that used to become major disasters. For example, losing car keys isn’t a huge ordeal unless of course it happens when you need to drive your wife to the hospital because your daughter is ready to be born, right?
Now my personal and financial records are easily found, my golf gear is in its place, my surf and SUP boards are on racks on a wall in the garage, and my suits and clothes are neatly arranged on hangers and in drawers. Incredibly, all my mementos (aka, junk) like Grateful Dead concert tickets, college party beer mugs and vacation necklaces, that I have saved over the years so my kids can throw them out when I’m gone, have been reduced and reconstituted to fit neatly in a clear bin and stored in a closet under the stairs. Yes, my life is indeed more organized, thanks to her.
In fact, as I write this I am traveling home and next to me are my bags that I organized for the trip. It inspired me to write this because I was reflecting on how going through airport security was such a breeze since I knew where my passport was, my laptop was easily removed from the bag, and I had not over packed because I had only the shirts, pants and other garments that I would actually wear each day. It is a change for the better and something I never dreamed could be possible.
But fear not young men (and women), although I have been married to this special woman for 30 years, these are not skills that take decades to acquire. This is something you too can do. However, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel.
There are tricks to the trade, so hire a professional organizer – and I highly recommend Christine Stone at Neatly Designed. A few hours of her time helping you clean out your clutter will get you started on a less stressful way of living.