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What does organizing have to do with 9/11?

At the Ten Year Anniversary of 9/11, NYers and Americans are reflecting on what they remember, think about, and are inspired to do differently as the day draws near. What does this have to do with organizing stuff, space, and time?

As a Reorganizer who oversees estate cleanings, one of the things I encounter is the grief of the families left behind. There is the trauma of going through each item filled with memory and meaning and having to make decisions. There is also the complete overwhelm of going through financial papers, setting up probate for the estate, getting separate checks for the estate, etc...it usually takes a couple of years to put things in order. Much of that time is spent sorting and searching and trying to figure out what to do. It is EXHAUSTING and emotionally grueling for the family.

Whatever age you are, the more in order your things are, the better life will be for everyone, you included. I don't mean tidy, I mean "in order." Your files are clearly labeled, your bank account information is all in one place, the deed/mortgage info is easy to find, your insurance is up to date....there are a million things we can plan to deal with on a rainy day that, left undone, can be truly hellish for your family to have to puzzle together. It is not easy, I know. And it's not always fun. But taking some time to plan makes all the difference.

A good start is simply to make a list of all the information you can think of that would be needed if you weren't here, G-d forbid. Next, begin compiling that information, and store it in a safe place like a safe, not in a mysteriously named hard-to-find file on your computer.

Of all the lessons of 9/11, the one I will take with me this year is remembering that we leave a legacy no matter what. Let's do our best to make it a legacy which is not hindered by disorganization which overwhelms, so our family and friends can rejoice in our memory.

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Reader Comments (1)

The intense loss of 9-11 is an interesting topic for a reorganizer. Can the chaos of stuff symbolize the chaos of that day, and our inability to move past? Why do we attach ourselves to objects? What do these things replace in our lives? Do our possessions become part of us? As a nonorganizer, I don't ask these questions and don't think about these issues. I simply struggle.

September 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlon

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