At the office, Barbara was known as the Post-It Queen. The multi-colored, adhesive-backed bits of notepaper cluttered her computer monitor, her phone, and the calendar on her desk. Her co-workers couldn’t believe she relied on an organizer/appointment book, so riddled with Post-Its and crammed with scraps of paper, coupons, and newspaper clippings, she had to secure it with a large rubber band.
“Why don’t you use the organizational apps on your computer and smartphone?” her friend, Dee, asked her after the rubber band broke and papers floated like confetti on the breeze.
“I like my system,” Barbara defended while scampering on her hands and knees to capture the intricate details of her life before she lost them. The next day, she missed an important teleconference and realized she needed to change her ways. A nearby bookstore had a section devoted to organization. By the number of books on the subject, Barbara ascertained providing instruction to people so they could deal with their messy lives was a lucrative industry.
The more promising book titles were removed from their shelves for a thorough assessment. A final selection was made, and Barbara walked with determination to the checkout counter. Her life was never going to be the same after this important purchase.
Barbara cradled her pathway- to-a-new-reality in her arms as she went home. A weekend spent in contemplation and enlightenment awaited her. Next week, she planned to put into practice her new organizational skills. But first, Barbara needed to remove some clutter from her coffee table for her new book. She stuffed the newspapers and adverts under the table.
Wanting to be in a relaxed mood to enable her full concentration, Barbara took a bubble bath. But first, she removed the dirty laundry from the bathroom and placed it in a pile in the hall. Then, she searched for the expensive bath salts she purchased six months ago. Barbara removed all of the items from under her sink. She emptied the shelf in the linen closet with shampoos, moisturizers, and mouthwash.
She couldn’t find them. Well, after this weekend, she wouldn’t worry about misplacing items. Everything would be in its designated place. How wonderful it would be! She could already imagine the looks of envy her friends would give her when they saw her clean apartment.
Since a soothing bath wasn’t in the cards, Barbara decided a cup of tea as she ingested the wisdom from ‘Organization for the Busy Professional’ would be just as good. Her mother gave her some tea for Christmas. Barbara checked every cupboard in the kitchen until she found it in its gift bag sitting on top of her refrigerator behind some other items. Now, to find a teapot.
After a lengthy search, Barbara lay back on her couch tossing and kicking items off to make room. Her new book sat under a layer of clutter. When she awoke the next morning on the couch, she was unable to remember where she put her new book. It took her most of the weekend to find it. But she did find it under a blanket, some pillows and a newspaper or two.
Closing the book with a decisive thump, Barbara smiled in triumph. Now she had the necessary tools to become more organized. Barbara considered herself a free spirit, and didn’t feel the saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” was true. A new way of life was around the corner. Barbara was sure everyone would be calling her Ms. Organization before too long.
*Author’s Note: This short story was written in response to the writing prompt — Organization.