Are You a Member of the Phone Calls Club?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Casual Uncluttering LLC

Do you call your Mom when you wash the dishes? Catch up with your best friend every time you fold the laundry? You hunt down your first high school boyfriend’s little brother, 30 years later, just to have someone to talk to because you have to do the clearing up before the housekeeper comes – those blippity-blip LEGOS!!!! “Better” yet, have your friends and family come to expect you to bribe them with pizza to come over and keep you company whenever you need to do paperwork? YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And you might need a body double.


Judith Kolberg, a founding member of both American professional societies for Organizers (the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD)) long long ago recognized that many of her clients needed another person to anchor them to their tasks while they organized, especially for chores her clients found boring, intimidating or otherwise difficult. She coined the term “social organizing” for that tool in her foundational book Conquering Chronic Disorganization and explored several methods for filling the need. Linda Anderson, a highly experienced ADD coach and another guiding light in NAPO, first developed the phrase “body doubling.” Other bold, inventive and observant souls have developed six distinctive techniques for body doubling. Terry Prince, CPO-CD, the first ICD President – look for the explanation of “CPO-CD” in another post, because I ain’t got the energy here! – has a wonderful paper detailing those six styles for me and my fellow Organizer geeks.



In simplest terms, body doubles are people who will keep you company while you work. They can be with you physically, on the phone, even on Skype or Facetime. How someone keeps you company can get complicated, as I’ve mentioned: do you need someone quietly reading in a corner, or someone who takes a more active assistant’s role? Do you need help with the occasional decision, or truly someone, just by being with you, who is a living, breathing, friendly in-the-moment reminder that this ickiness gotta get done? It’s not as easy as it sounds. The great news is that a friend or family member can be taught the techniques if you haven’t got the resources to hire an Organizer. Ideally, an Organizer will at least first teach your double. There are potential substitutes for a real-live human. I don’t like starting my clients with those, but nonetheless they are sometimes what a budget and personal situations allow.


You’re asking “Why do I need this?” There are several possibilities, which Linda Anderson talks about in an extremely readable paper on her website. You might need the boost of being accountable to someone else. You might need the biochemical/neurological stimulus of the other person’s presence. She outlines other theories as well.

PS – Your pet can sometimes be a suitable body double. If he isn’t stealing 1.5 pounds of salmon off the kitchen counter, or sitting on the newspapers getting bundled for recycling. Miss you, Trevor and Snickers.



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Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Lauren. Leave it to you to ask a bizarre question and then make it sound regular.

Apr 12, 2018 07:46 AM #1
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


That is quite an interesting proposition of calling someone while one does the mundane stuff of life.  It makes sense.  We both find those kind of tasks as opportunities to practice mindfulness.  It is what makes life very interesting.  A

Apr 12, 2018 08:19 AM #2
Jeffrey Masich- Arizona Associate Broker,MBA &GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Interesting points Lauren Williams, CPO and we should call our loved ones more often. No, I am not in this club, however I think I am in someone elses phone call club even though I am on the Do Not Call List for telemarketers. They usually begin their call with "May I speak to the Owner or Manager"....Mmmmh maybe they are doing the dishes or folding laundry? 

Apr 12, 2018 08:22 AM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Lauren - I think I may be a member of this club!   Often I will decide to clean out my email and when I do, I'll contact a friend that I've been meaning to call. 

Apr 12, 2018 11:50 AM #4
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


Apr 14, 2018 06:29 PM #5
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I should get into the habit of calling past clients and asking for referrals..... Not doing that.

Apr 15, 2018 06:34 AM #6
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Lauren Williams, CPO ,

I'm so glad Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-Ha" moments for the week! I'm not a member of the club I think the terms are interesting: “social organizing” and “body doubling.” I find I get more done being focused on a task and don't need someone to share it with or be held accountable. I'm accountable to myself and its just the way I roll!! 

Apr 15, 2018 06:58 AM #7
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Lauren:

I think I do as well focusing on things I need to do without someone there, although my wife and I prod each other from time to time. And some projects require us both to commit! The cats can be a distraction, however, from time to time.


Apr 15, 2018 08:53 AM #8
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

I usually go for whichever titles draw me in and many thanks now go to Kathy Streib for bringing me here. Very interesting post which has the links to hold my interest for a while. Great post Lauren and I've only begun perusing its entirety. 

Apr 15, 2018 10:55 AM #9
Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Lauren, thank you for sharing about this technique-sometimes "it's friendlier with two" as Winnie the Pooh says.

Apr 16, 2018 03:27 PM #10
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

I missed this post Lauren and I am here due to a reblog by Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900  and what I said to her applies here too:

...this is  a new one on me.... so now I must have a better understanding why every letter carrier is on the phone the whole time as they are delivering and miss delivering some of the mail....Endre

p.s.: I am just listening to classical music 16-18 hrs a day but not member of the club...

Apr 16, 2018 05:28 PM #11
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

I am not a member of the phone club. I am actually distracted when on the phone while trying to do a task.

I tend to be very focused.

I do like to have music playing.

Apr 18, 2018 06:42 AM #12
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

I am usually on the phone, but not to socialize. It is usually because my business requires it. I do understand why someone might want a "body double", though. Thank you for sharing!

Apr 18, 2018 12:28 PM #13
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Lauren Williams, CPO

Professional Organizer: Puget Sound homes
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