Do you misplace doorkeys, glasses, your briefcase? Are there papers on your desk that you haven't looked at for a week or more? Do things amass in corners of closets or on the floor because you can't decide where to put them?
If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, "professional organizer" Stephanie Winston says she can help you straighten out the choas of your life.
"Organization is strictly a tool that allows you access to the things you need to live you life," says Winston, who charges clients $300 a day to put their filies, offices, kitchens and lives in order.
"It doesn't mean adopting a rigid, compulsively neat system. Order is whatever helps you function effectively and suits, as much as possible, your idiosyncrasies and way of life."
A New Yorker who quit her job as a book editor to study psychology, Winston started her service six years ago when she founded the Organization Principle. What began as a $10-an-hour way to make money for graduate school has turned into a thriving business, boasting clients from high-powered companies such as Xerox, Pan Am and Citibank.
"A major myth about organization is that order means neatness," says Winston, who describes herself as "sloppy, but well-organized" and whose slightly beat-up handbag is separated into a money section, a paper section and a key pocket.
"Someone whose desk looks messy may have things organized in a way that makes sense to him and allows him to find things he needs.
"Another myth is that organization is restrictive. But it's actually liberating because you learn that you're not the victim of paper or the telephone. It simply helps you get a job done."
Disorganization plagues men and women of all occupations equally, says Winston. Most people's biggest organizational problem is trying to do too much at once, like attempting to re-organize an entire closet at one time.
"They wind up pulling everything out, getting frustrated, and then just pushing everything back in. Nothing is solved, and the tension mounts. They'd accomplish more if they broke the task down into parts, maybe re-organizing one self a day.
"Some people like crossword puzzles or word games, but I get a kick out of organizing," admits Winston, whose eyes gleam whenever she talks about throwning things out.
"I'd love to get my hands on the government. I once analyzed the paperwork system at Norman Vincent Peale's Foundation for Christian Living and eliminated one third of the reports. What I could do at city hall!"