MRS. BORO: Organized office starts with snowball’s chance

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There’s nothing like a full blanket of snow to make the world seem right again, in my opinion.

To awaken on Saturday to a smattering of snow was delightful, but to experience the full-blown downfall Sunday was pure heaven for me.

I enjoyed my Sunday “off” by watching football and reading a book (AND having a birthday dinner for Tommy and Beth).

And when I saw the massive white cottony blanket outside on Monday I considered making it a true “snow day” by sitting by the fireplace and drinking hot chocolate.

But I got a wild hair and started to clean out my office instead.

Tackling the small cubicle of paper and paraphernalia I call my office head-on was no easy task, but once I began there was no going back.

I spent literally all day purging, organizing and trudging through correspondence, wedding memorabilia and photos, trying to decide what to keep and what to “pitch.”

Two incentives fueled me before this frenzy.

One was a photo of my sister Carroll’s newly decorated Country-French office (formerly a bedroom) for inspiration.

Carroll, my first-born sister who ties her sheets with ribbons, is an organizer – and decorator and her new office is a picture of organization and subtle good taste.

She has 20”x30” framed panels of Pierre Deux fabric encased in large ornate (garage sale) frames, covered file folders matching the fabric panels and notebooks arranged in meticulous style and labeled with perfect labels (i.e.: “Garden Designs.”)

When we visited her in the fall, she had even put articles in the guest room for me that she knew I would enjoy, and made me a (designer) file folder full of her favorites articles to read on our trip (i.e., Oprah’s “Things I Know for Sure”, ___).

Carroll is always an inspiration.

Then I read an article in the New York Times earlier Sunday about a professional organizer in New York City who charges $150 an hour to straighten people out (

If you’ve ever visited anyone except the Trumps in New York City, you know that space is at a premium, so I’m sure an article about organizing in the new year was important for many (including me).

When Tommy said: “You have to read this,” I knew he was throwing hints my way.

Barbara Reich (rhymes with “Quiche”) is organizer to New Yorkers, many of whom are rich and famous, and proffers no arguments when advising clients to throw things away.

She has a “take no prisoners” approach and is ruthless, displaying sentimental attachment to nothing.

She said that when she was young she hated sleepovers at her house because her friends kept touching her “stuff” and she kept wanting to put it where it belonged.

When I read that, I remembered that Carroll hated sharing her “stuff”: possibly a trait of firstborns (and I have no doubt that Ms. Reich is a firstborn).

She also advises keeping a calendar at hand when you open the mail so you can record invitations and events and says to put magazines where they are likely to be read right away (I do that).

My favorite hint was to discard a monthly publication when the new one arrives (I don’t do that).

If you haven’t read it by then, you won’t ever.

Makes sense to me.

Reich also said: “When your possessions are out of’s hard to be organized in general about your life. You don’t want your possessions to own you.”

I’m going to try to remember all this as I tackle the rest of my office.

It’s going to take more than one day.

In fact, I figure it will take a month’s worth of snow days before I can claim any “bragging rights.”

There’s a snowball’s chance in Hades that I’ll succeed if history repeats itself.

But I’ll keep you posted.

‘Til next week.
Tagged under  Jeanne Bragg, Mrs Murfreebsoro, Voices

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