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  • Felice Cohen

When Your Stuff Owns You

The past week had me sharpening my organizing skills as I tackled two major “before and after” projects – one in a busy office, the other a two-bedroom condo. Both the kind of jobs I used to do on a daily basis that left the client thrilled and my lower back screaming for days. #gallery-3357-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-3357-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-3357-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-3357-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

They were the jobs that, while the lessons in my book are helpful, needed more than motivational insights – they needed immediate full-on triage. Instances where the piles had piles. Where “paper mountain” avalanches were common. And where one had to take caution before opening a closet door for fear of something falling on your head. (Remember Fibber McGee?)

How does stuff take over a life? Usually without warning. Maybe health issues, a job loss or possibly depression. Truthfully, it may not matter how it happens, but the point is we are all susceptible.

Which is where I come in. I am Ray Donovan and Harvey Keitel rolled into one pint-sized “Cleaner.” There is no judgment as I fill garbage bags faster than the client can spit out their first, “Buh-bye,” motivated by progress, pushed by the certainty of how they will feel when we are done – free of chains and free to have more time to decide to do what they love.

Inevitably the bad stuff goes away and in its place a system to keep it from happening again. There is often emotion involved. Sometimes tears, but always, always relief. That’s what keeps me going and going and going.

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