An Organizing Lesson From the Pulpit

Hi! I’m back. Sorry to be away for so long, but I have been enjoying summer.

I just had to post something I heard today at church. Forgive me if this is not for you, (I try not to discuss religion or politics if at all possible) but I just had to share.

Today, we had a visiting priest (from the next parish over, so what I am about to relate I don’t think has any cultural difference to where I live). In his sermon he talked about STUFF! I am not kidding. He started with a story about a traveler who visited a monastery and was surprised at how simply the priests lived. A priest ask the traveler how many bags he had with him. The traveler answered, “Just one, you see I am only here for a brief visit”. The priest responded, “So am I”.

The sermon continued with the idea of how much we consume in our society. The priest even suggested to the congregation that we could all go home and fill a box with items that we haven’t used for a year. (Little did he know that I had done this just yesterday.) He talked about the excuses people make, to delay the decisions to keep things that they are not using. (This priest must be an organizer at heart.)

This all reminds me of the hilarious title of a chapter in Julie Hall’s book The Boomer Burden. The title, “The Hearse Doesn’t Have a Trailer Hitch”. Think about it. If you spent less time shopping and spent less money on stuff, what WOULD you, COULD you do with that (time and money)?

His lesson was not lost on me. I believe, and often work with people who see, that by letting go, you open yourself up to new opportunities and positive change. As my mornings speaker said, when you move on to the afterlife, the things you do in this life are more important than the things you had.


It just goes to show, the idea of living an organized life is all around us, in every facet of life.


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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Tracy on June 30, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Good post Janet!   

  2. An Organizing Lesson From the Pulpit on July 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    […] read and so true! An Organizing Lesson From the Pulpit | Basic Organization. I can totally […]

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