I paid someone $1,000 to help me throw stuff out.
The painful realisation hit me when the topic was dredged up during discussions around the office about ‘clutter’ being a first world problem. Was I the ultimate elitist, or a desperado who will pay any price to regain my sanity (and space?). I can’t tell you this, but I can impart to you what my thousand dollars got me.
De-cluttering is big business these days since Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” rose to the top of the NYT best-sellers list, and stayed there. There’s been a sequel, spin-off blogs, listicles, podcasts, critics and detractors. Kondo had tapped into a weakness in the modern human condition, the yearning for space and clarity. Neither of which I was getting in my dusty rubble of a semi.
Mia Freedman, Kate de Brito and Monique Bowley discuss whether clutter is the ultimate First World Problem. Post continues after video…
To be honest, I was also moving house on my own (hubby was travelling) with two kids under the age of 3. The sheer prospect of relocating my junk into a house with less storage was panic-inducing. Also I come from a long line of hoarders. Those of us with Chinese heritage will know of at least one relative who keeps newspapers decades old, with no other purpose except to prop up the broken fan in the garage, alongside the meticulously washed coke bottles (in case of a zombie apocalypse of course).
It was all too much. I couldn’t just follow the instructions in Kondo’s book. I needed someone to do it for me.
I employed the same due diligence in finding a personal organiser in the same way I approach my job. I googled it, and cross-referenced her stats with reviews in my Facebook mums’ group.
Georgie was great. At our first meeting she wore a neat twin set cardigan, and carried a notebook. I expected her to snap on some gloves and go straight into the business of tossing my detritus out, much like the meticulous and ruthless way Julie Andrews cleaned up the toys in Mary Poppins. But no. Georgie frustratingly sat down with her notebook, and asked me to detail what my big concerns were.