Frequently Questioned Answers

By, Devora Farrell

Of ThisOrganized., LLC

Do you remember the game called Jeopardy?  Answers would be shown to contestants, and they would have to come up with the appropriate corresponding questions.   

We’re going to do that here, using answers to the questions I am most often asked.  Let’s go…

·         No.  Actually, I was quite the slob

·         Yes, she was.  I used to think Tinkerbell took care of it because the house always looked perfect whenever I looked.  I think she cleaned and organized while I was at school

·         No; I had no interest in learning how.  In fact, I planned on hiring a house manager when I became an international attorney married to a prince (for real; I didn’t realize royalty would likely not be Jewish).  One of my degrees is in French so that I would be able to hold my own at cocktail parties.  No kidding!

·         I used to hang out with my brother and sister-in-law (hi, Diane!); she seemed (still does!) to know everything, from how to live a Torah-filled life to how to never have clutter, to how to cook delicious food that didn’t only require hot water and a spoon, to how to sew cute things on her children’s clothing by hand, to fun things to do with the family.  I asked her to show me how.  I saw her reading Torah-based books during her rare bits of spare time.  She introduced me to Martha Stewart.  Oh c’mon, not the person, the magazine

·         I learned the basics, but it still took me all day to prepare two pieces of chicken (the recipe said to remove all the fat; I thought that meant every molecule)

·         I read every book I could find about homemaking, frugal living, table setting, food presentation

·         We were invited to Chaya H’s house for a Shabbos meal.  When I went into her kitchen to help, I saw that her cabinets and drawers looked beautifully organized, with matching containers, labels, common sense placement…and it dawned on me that what I was seeing in magazines and books could exist in real life.  I had been doing what I had learned for years, but this took it to a new level

·         I got diagnosed with terminal cancer about 7 years ago (yes, it’s still terminal; no, it’s not in remission; no, they can’t remove it all; no, I don’t think a positive attitude makes a difference – cancer cells do not know what we’re thinking; yes, it’s a miracle each and every day whether my body stays alive or not; no, I’m not afraid of dying; yes, I’m very public about it – I think that the more people daven for me, the more it reminds me that I’m not alone)

·         Devora Chiyenna b-s Eliyitta

·         Yes, it means “please live;” I was given it at birth because I was two months early and not breathing

·         Yes, it’s a real name.  It probably started as Ella Yutta and somehow got smushed together

·         I asked myself what dream job I would most enjoy doing

·         My main focus is relationships, real conversations, and helping others embrace their lives in a more spiritually passionate way

·         I joined the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals as well as the Institute of Challenging Disorganization to get professional training to help people with all kinds of learning differences, reasons for struggle, style preferences, functional goals, budget constraints, physical/cognitive/psychiatric challenges, and life transitions to make their schedules, spaces, and “stuff” work better to meet their needs

·         No, I’m not a therapist, though what I do is therapeutic

·         Of course it’s confidential

·         I probably have seen worse than yours and no, I don’t judge you for it

·         The thrill of filling big black garbage bags, or a realistic To Do List and schedule

·         Yes, when clients or clients’ husbands get abusive to me or to each other

·         Pretend you’re moving; it makes it clearer what you don’t really need

·         It’s not wasteful to realize you’re never going to finish that project or your kids have outgrown that toy or you aren’t really going to fix that or you don’t need it; keeping it all is wasteful of your time, your space, your worthwhile belongings

·         If it’s pretty new and perfect, it can be donated; it rarely can be sold

·         Garage sales are worth it if you enjoy doing them; they rarely make much money considering all the time it requires to set up, advertise, “man” it, put it all away, arrange for pickup

·         No, even if the stain or rip is tiny—people who need donations do not want what is not n good enough condition for you to wear

·         The short answer is that you get what you pay for; she may have a talent for organizing, but chances are that she is not taking your family’s learning style and preferences into account, nor can you or your family maintain it when she’s not there, and there are probably spots in your house where she stashes the miscellaneous objects that do not have a home or that she can’t identify, including game pieces, wrappers, outgrown socks…and your home probably still has its distinctly disorganized places

·         Yes, now is good; why put unnecessary obstacles in your path?

·         Yes, G-d Willing they will be husbands one day and you want to start off on the right foot with your daughters-in-law, especially when she’s not feeling well

·         It probably does usually look like this and that’s okay; it gives me clues as to which system will likely work best for you


Questions?  Answers? Feel free to ask or answer them directly to Mrs. Devora Farrell at (973) 919-7761 or www.ThisOrganized or


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