January 27, 2012

Sort, Purge and Thank the Garbage Man

As a Professional Organizer, I help people de-clutter their homes and get rid of things they no longer need, want or use. Sometimes the items are donated, sometimes they're given to friends and relatives. But, most often, they're bagged up and left at the curb.

Professional Organizers (and their clients) make LOTS of garbage. On 'Garbage Day' our clients put it all the trash bags we've made out to the curb (some tell me they wait for nightfall when the neighbors can't see) and say goodbye to them forever. We are the hero. Our clients are relieved of a weighty burden. But, who is the real hero here with the most weighty burden?

Trash Collectors, Garbage Men, Sanitation Personnel--the people who haul away trash.

Professional Organizers partner with Home Stagers, Psychologists, Real Estate Agents and other professions to help clients reach their organizing goals. Trash Collectors are the silent member of a Professional Organizer's team.

I recently read a blog post, written by Kindness Girl (also known as Patience Salgado) that piqued my interest. Patience took a poll to find out what the most thankless job in America was. Turns out the answer was--garbage collectors. Knowing what an important role they play in our society, she created a 'kindness project' for them. She says in her post,

"What could be a more lovely and simple message of respect than saying, "I see you, I value your contribution to my community and I thank you."

Patience enlisted the help of her daughter's kindergarten class to make thank you cards for the trash collectors. Word spread and more schools joined in on her kindness project.

How great is that? Just when you think one person can't make a difference--think again.

So if you get a moment, stick a 'Thank You' sign on your garbage can once in a while--especially days you put out an inordinate amount of trash.

As for me, I'm going to look into making some 'Thank You' stickers to place on the trash bags I create in my own home and those of my clients. It's never too late to show appreciation through random acts of kindness.

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