A ‘Mission’: order out of chaos

Times Staff Writer

OK, I admit that I’m not the most clutter-free person in the world. At home, I have a bad habit of not putting things back after I’ve used them, or so my ex-wife claimed. At work, papers tend to pile up on my desk during the week.

So it came as only a wee surprise when my editor said, “Nothing personal, but would you like to review a new HGTV series called ‘Mission: Organization’?”

After clearing off a spot on my living room couch, I watched the premiere episode, which will be shown at 8 tonight on Home & Garden Television. What I learned was nothing short of astonishing: If you hire a team of experts for an undisclosed sum, you too can reduce all that unsightly clutter. Oh, and I picked up a couple of practical tips along the way.

Tonight’s installment focuses on the Longley family, whose basement is flooded with various toys, mattresses and baby bric-a-brac untouched or unused for years. In addition, their three-car garage is so full of gardening tools, boxes and sports equipment that no one could hope to park an actual passenger vehicle inside.


“It was either the garage or Bob, and I decided to work on the garage,” says his wife, Rosemary Longley.

To the rescue come an interior designer, who creates a colorful, six-zone multipurpose room out of the basement; a professional organizer, who offers help on deciding which items to keep, which to toss and which to sell; and a shelving expert, who designs and installs an elaborate, heavy-duty wall storage system in the garage.

By the end of the half-hour, order has been created out of chaos, and the Longleys’ marriage is ostensibly enriched. What viewers don’t see is exactly how much all this costs or how long it takes, other than it being “just a few days of hard work,” according to the show’s upbeat host, Al Ducharme. In short, I wanted more step-by-step advice on how to tidy up my own surroundings rather than receiving the vicarious thrill of seeing someone else’s spring cleaning.

Nevertheless, “Mission: Organization” can inspire. I know I’ll be tackling my own closets next weekend. Or maybe the weekend after that.