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OT--Rejected by my home organizer!

Old 07-02-2013, 03:18 PM
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OT--Rejected by my home organizer!

Aw, crap.

Today was my first day with the organizer I hired. I took the day off so we could work, and we had already scheduled another day on the 16th. I tried to clean a bit so things weren't TOO gross--and much to my chagrin I figured out where the "litterbox" smell was coming from--my cats had peed a LOT on the bottom shelf of my bookcase, and the bookcase REEEKED. I had to throw out a whole bunch of books, soaked the shelf in odor remover, dried it and covered it with carpet deodorizer. The bookcase is a total loss--I've had it 20 years, and it is from Ikea so it's had a long life. I covered the front of the bottom shelf with plastic, and I'll just have to replace the bookcase in the next few weeks.

So, I was already feeling a bit defeated when she got here. Very nice woman, very good at what she does, worked her butt off the whole day (taking only 10 minutes for lunch) and we got my bedroom basically done, and a start on the master bathroom.

When we sat down at the end of the day so I could pay her (close to $500), she told me she couldn't come back because of the smoke in the house. I did not smoke in the same room as her, but apparently between the smoke in the air and the dust she had trouble breathing. She was very nice about it, and apologetic, but I felt like I was going to cry. She is going to put out a query on the listserv for her organizer colleagues and try to find someone who can work with me.

Yeah, yeah, I shouldn't smoke. I do. And obviously, I can't blame anyone for declining to work under conditions they can't tolerate. But now I feel like I am back to square one with my squalor. If I felt like I could handle this unaided I would do it, but I'm still overwhelmed.

This probably sounds like just another whiny addict complaining. Aren't there any organizers out there who smoke? I just sent an email to another woman in my area (whose fee is less), and told her to give me a call if she can stand working in a smoker's house.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:01 PM
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Awww I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out! Disappointing for sure.

At least you're not giving up, so soon--when you're feeling less lousy, you can pat yourself on the back for that!!

A dear friend of mine came over on Sunday and heled me with my bedroom. He's a really good organizer and interior decorator. And a little OCD so helping a friend and teaching skills makes him happy! Me too, it's great to have a friend that you are safe with.

I am realllly sorry to hear about the cat pee. yecch. I had a CATastrophe like that years ago too. Kind of turned me off of cats all together.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:47 PM
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Dammit! That sucks!
There must be an organizer who smokes or can tolerate it.
I hope her listserv request gets results.

Geez, I would think cigarette smoke would be easier than cat pee.
But, I am a recovered smoker.
I know I would rather smell smoke than cats.
couldnt even work out a "break" system?

Well, it is over now (with her), you are a resourceful woman,
it will get worked out somehow.

And props on getting so much done!
I have to start clearing clutter.
I do not want to live hear much longer.
Sigh......

It will work out.

Beth
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:19 PM
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Could you work with her remotely in some capacity? For example, take snapshots of a goal room, send them to her, make goals together over the phone, and have follow up touch points with her about your progress, including after photos?

Maybe an out-of-the-box solution could work.

CLMI
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:21 PM
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Lexie, it's great that the bedroom is nearly done!! That is really excellent progress - don't get down on yourself - celebrate!! Isn't this one of those one-day-at-a-time (one room, one bookcase, one box or bag of stuff...) things?

Is there any chance that this lady can work with you remotely in some way? Skype, email, etc.? I'm just trying to think of things at might help you maintain this momentum.

You are so smart and capable. You absolutely CAN do this.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:29 PM
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I agree - take pride and pleasure in what you HAVE accomplished, not unhappiness over what you didn't get done.

Everybody says "Rome wasn't built in a day" for a reason.

It is better than it was, and you are committed and on your way.

I got iron fold-up bookshelves from The Container Store. You can mail order from them on-line, and the bookshelves are great, and come in 3 sizes. Very sturdy, well built, durable, and they can be washed....

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Old 07-02-2013, 05:33 PM
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I sent you a name and website but you never acknowledged? He is great, you can see his work.

(shhh..stop smoking it makes those little old lady wrinkles on your upper lip~and makes the house smell bad)
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:54 PM
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Enjoy the clutter-free bedroom tonight! I hope you sleep well and wake with plenty of ideas to begin working on the rest of the house. I think you will find someone else to help very soon
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:01 PM
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Thanks, guys,

Actually I feel very good about the bedroom, but that is roughly one-tenth of this house. I didn't at all expect to get any further than we did today, but when we started out she had this whole plan for how we were going to work our way through the house. Frankly, I think the dust is worse than the smoke in terms of irritant. Churning it up had ME coughing.

I'm just feeling a little bit jammed up at the moment--stuck, you know? I will keep chipping away at it, and see if she has any colleagues who might be willing to tackle the job.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:12 PM
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All my friends smoke. None of them are organizers though. You need to find a European or South American. They are more used to it or something.

That blows about losing her but I am sure you will find another. You are moving in the right directions. This was just a hiccup.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:22 PM
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Post this on Craigslist :

"Wanted: Latino male smoker with OCD tendencies to help organize house. Must look good in tank top and like cats."

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Old 07-02-2013, 06:24 PM
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You could always offer them a dust mask thing. If there's that much dust I would be using one. You can get them at any hardware store. Tell her you got the best and to come back. If not for future organizers.

You could also not smoke for a few days in the house and get a good a/c filter and spray a good amount of febreeze on it.

Dreams I was waiting for you to follow that up with something funny!
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:28 PM
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Lexie, there are safety masks that are worn by construction workers for protection against dust, fumes, chemicals, etc. They can be rented from the same places that rent tools and equipment out on a daily basis. these masks are good for the most hazardous environmental conditions--so, yours should not be a problem at all.

If you want more detailed info. on what model to ask for--check on the OSHA websites.

Just a thought.....

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Old 07-02-2013, 06:38 PM
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If one room is done you are not at square one. So the straight line to the end took a turn. People will help (even for money). Have some faith, everything will be fine.

Nature's Best is the only deoderizer I have found to deal with feline issues.

Hang in there.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:43 PM
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For bad cat and smoke smells, sit out shallow bowls of white vinegar with about 1/2 to 1 inch of vinegar in the bottom. It is stinky at first but has a neutralizing effect. This only helps to mask the smell.

To get cat pee out, pour hydrogen peroxide over the spot and wipe up with paper towels over and over until it stops bubbling. (So gross!) Pour, wipe, pour, wipe. Then clean like normal. Doesn't work on carpets obviously.

Cat lady, former smoker.
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:54 PM
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Just have the latino guy rent a rug doctor and use the pet cleaning action thing. You didn't order a pizza did you?
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:59 PM
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DoS, you are TOO FUNNY. Maybe I should ask my gay Argentinian neighbor. He LOVES cats--he traps all the feral cats in the neighborhood and takes them to the vet to be neutered. He takes care of mine when I travel (except during the winter when they are in their Florida house). And he and his partner have a LOVELY home.

Actually, it's probably my own fault the cats attacked the bookcase. Every so often I will forget about the litter for a week or so. I knew they occasionally hit the carpet (which I am replacing anyway as soon as I can get everything OFF the floor), but I had no clue they were using the bookcase. Ugh.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:02 PM
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Lexie, they make these automated raking litter boxes now that you plug into the wall. That way if you forget not a big deal.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:07 PM
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Well at least it was only the smoke smell - I'm pretty sure any organizer I brought into my home would run screaming from the super human task and blacklist me with all organizers on five continents...
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:20 PM
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You guys are totally making me laugh but I have to go clean my damn litter boxes right now.
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