In honor of our organization event this Wednesday, we’ve been getting some wonderful tips and advice from Daphne Kohavy, owner and operator of NYC-based The Functuary and professional organizer extraordinaire.
She began by teaching us how to organize like a boss, sharing her really useful guidelines for getting started, not to mention avoiding clutter in the first place. Next, she kicked her decluttering knowledge specifically for families and families-to-be, giving great advice for taming the baby stuff barrage on both a practical and philosophical level.
And today, we’re going to look at clutter from a completely different perspective—as a cautionary tale and “thar be dragons here” sort of warning mechanism. (It’s okay… we won’t go full-fledged hoarders on you, so we promise you won’t feel the dire need for a shower after you read this post.)
Cautionary Clutter Tale #1: The Paper Dragon
Like a mythical fire-breathing beast curled atop a mound of gold, Daphne has found a particular flavor of clutter offender: the paper dragon. These are the people who are (almost literally) drowning in paper, floating in the flotsam and jetsam of old papers, junk mail, receipts, invoices, and random scraps of documentation.
Daphne has actually seen people who sleep on the floor to make room for their massive piles of paperwork. So what does she do to help these poor, paper-addled people? Well, let’s just say that lots and lots of scanning is in their future.
Cautionary Clutter Tale #2: The Clutter Accomplice
Sometimes clutterbugs can only function with the help of an in-house enabler. It could be a spouse or sibling, maybe a friend who insists on incessantly gifting you with random tchotchkes, or, as with this case, it could be a mother and daughter. Daphne very clearly remembers this mom and girl team who were deeply, unhealthily dedicated to buying in bulk. In NYC. For just the two of them.
It was so extreme that the entire inside perimeter of the apartment was ringed with boxes, with furniture pulled away from the walls to accommodate the bulk. So she asked them “just how many square feet are you giving up so that you can store mass quantities of hand sanitizer? Is it worth it? You know… there’s a bodega down the block and a Walgreen’s across the street. You can have whatever you want, whenever you want it, without giving up your precious space. ” Hours of glorious purging ensued, and storage for the stuff they just couldn’t part with.
Cautionary Clutter Tale #3: The Closet Optimist
This is one that most of us can relate to… because who doesn’t have that one pair of skinny jeans tucked into the back of the closet on the off-chance that we magically return to our pre-college/baby/croughnut weight? Daphne, however, has found herself working with the most extreme of closet optimists.
Take the case of one girl, whose doctor actually told her she should save her ill-fitting clothes as motivation to lose weight. When Daphne met her, her closet was jam-packed with jeans she couldn’t wear. So she asked her, “how on earth can you be motivated by something you never see?” After much gentle coaxing, her closet was finally freed!
Do you have any personal cautionary clutter tales? We’d love to hear them. And remember, our storage units come with great rolling racks and shelves for all your skinny jeans.
And we’d also like to thank Daphne Kohavy for sharing her organization wisdom with us this month. Be sure to visit her site, The Functuary, and give her a call if you need some organizational support. Or visit us at 260 Spring St., Wednesday, Feb 11th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for an organization demo by Daphne.