Posted in Change, Cleaning, Clutter, House, Me, Organizing

A Door Makes a Difference

I’ve been in the new “school room” for four weeks as of today. Yes, it has it’s downsides (e.g. when Catie decides to sing along with Adele’s Skyfall with headphones on–for the 14th time), but there’s one HUGE upside that I didn’t anticipate.

I’m tidier. Really!

My desk used to be in the office (still the office, it’s just now Jim’s and not mine). Lots of reasons for moving, but I’m fine with it and mostly don’t begrudge Jim his locking door. Being in the office,  I knew I could close the door on my mess. I could shove mail in there and forget about it. I could not file for six months and still be fine BECAUSE OF THAT CLOSED DOOR.

Enter life change of desk in the VERY open school room. No doors in the two doorways. I even bought a new, smaller desk with some Christmas money. LESS ROOM FOR JUNK.

This has, thankfully, forced me to organize, declutter, file, put away and generally be much more tidy. I don’t have a huge Ikea desk to sprawl paperwork all over. I want to keep the floor neat and not full of “to do” piles.

And after four weeks of living in here, I’m finding I’m mostly keeping on top of things. I have a clear hanging file thingy with three slots (long term, medium term and keep on looking at this because it needs to be dealt with!) It keeps stuff off the desk, but easily accessible. My printer is on a low filing cabinet with paper in a special 6-drawer organizer under it.

I’m LOVING it. Organization ROCKS.

Posted in Organizing

Organizing Biz

I just got an email this morning from a friend of my last client. She has a toddler and a baby and just moved and wants help organizing and getting settled, which is exactly what I did with my last client. LOVE IT! I normally don’t work over the summer–too difficult with childcare–so she’ll be my first job of the fall.

I LOVE working. I love doing something fun and actually getting paid for it. And having something fill up my days, which, without children, can be somewhat empty.

I’m calling her later today to set it up. I’m just really excited!

Posted in Me, Organizing

Quick Neat Moment

At one of my MIL’s appointment’s today (physical therapist, where I learned to wrap her arm to help with the lymphedema), the PT was admiring how organized I was (snort). I told her that that’s what I do for a living when I’m working. And then I handed her one of my new business cards. I NETWORKED, People!! She has several people that she knows of that need my services.

Which, at this moment I’m unable to offer because of being my MIL’s caregiver.

But, hey, God knew that. And I’m ok with that. And it was still totally cool to actually give out my card. I’ve given some to family members, but that doesn’t count.

And she thought they were nice looking, too!! 😀

Posted in Organizing

The Great Toy Purge

A few times each year I bring a laundry basket and a trash bag into the playroom. The kids and I go through their toys one by one. ONE BY ONE. It takes a while. But in the end the trash bag gets a fair amount and the basket generally gets filled with outgrown toys. And the playroom becomes easier to clean for awhile (until the next birthday or Christmas).

I sometimes get convicted about the number of toys my children have. When I read Little House on the Prairie and see that Laura Ingalls had one toy–her beloved doll Charlotte–and was content. My children have probably hundreds of toys when you add up the My Little Ponies and Littlest Pet Shops and Legos etc.

Speaking of My Little Ponies, they are no longer the rage in this house. The Littlest Pet Shops have definitely taken over my girls’ affections. I’m going to put them into a box and put them into the playroom closet on the highest shelf. If they don’t miss them and don’t ask for them, they’re outta here!

Is there anything you need to clean out?

Posted in Organizing

Where Things Belong

My cookbooks, like most everyone else, live in the kitchen. There are five regular ones and then a binder of all the cards and internet and magazine recipes that I make. But you know what?

I meal plan in the office. At the computer. I take two cookbooks with me, sit at the PC and figure out the week’s menu. And then take the cookbooks back to the kitchen. What if….WHAT IF…

I put the cookbooks into the OFFICE???

Anarchy! The end of the world as we know it!

Or just less dragging back and forth.

Posted in Clutter, Kids, Organizing

Physician Heal Thyself

Have you ever had so much to do OUTSIDE your home that the INSIDE of your home went to pieces? That’s been my life in the past few days. Sunday I went to church, ate lunch and then worked. When I came home I was beat and ended up not doing anything. Monday Bennett had a doctor appointment down at DuPont (hour away), which ended up including x-rays and another doctor appointment, as well as lunch in their cafeteria and a visit to the pharmacy. He missed the whole day of school. By the time we came home (left at 9:40, home at 3:00ish) I was again, whupped. I did one load of girl’s laundry but that’s it. Yesterday I worked and went grocery shopping. Did another load of girl laundry. That’s it. I am SO BEHIND. So the organizer’s house is a disorganized mess!

I’m staying home today!

Oh, and Bennett is fine. He has a condition called Hirschsprung’s Disease, where a part of the bowel doesn’t have nerve. It doesn’t know it’s full, so it doesn’t empty. He had emergency surgery when he was a LITTLE baby, had a colostomy for five months, and is fine now except not potty trained at 7. The doctor x-rayed his abdomen and his colon is completely full of stool and he’s not emptying it when he “goes”. We have a not-so-fun treatment of this coming up on Friday. I will spare you the details, but it will hopefully be the first step in finally potty training.

I used to think that I’d be passed talking about my kids’ bowel movements by the time they hit this age. Oh well!

Posted in Holiday, Organizing

Planning Ahead

Have I mentioned that I’m a planner? Yes, I’m sure I have. Because it’s very closet to being a sickness with me. I can’t help it, nor, really, do I want to! It’s very helpful!

Since December and the whole Christmas deal only comes once a year, and I have the worst memory in world, I have made a Word document. It’s under my “Christmas” folder. It’s called “Christmas Ideas–read in Nov” Seriously. I told you it was like a sickness!

Here’s my list of things I need to know in November so I plan ahead and make my December much easier!

1. Hang string on the wall for cards instead of the card holder on the door (Ethan just bangs on it and pulls the cards off!)
2. Remember that I DO NOT like to cook late in December and budget for more meals out!
3. Get family picture taken in summer or early fall or Thanksgiving–no worries!
4. Buy larger bins for kids’ decorations. They have outgrown the shoebox size.
5. New Years Eve you will change your mind and want to hang out with the Stapleton’s eating appetizers. Plan early. Harry’s closes at 6 on that day.
6. Borrow folding chairs for dinner from the church.
7. Christmas Dinner: ½ ham, premade mashed potatoes mixed with 2 cups cheddar cheese, green beans, carrots or corn, rolls, pies for dessert (Ken always makes apple), Don’t forget extra butter and apple cider!

We learned #1 the hard way. Same with #2. #3 we’ve done for several years and it works really well. #4 is a problem that cropped up the end of last year and I didn’t want to deal with it until this year–this way I remember! #5 is another lesson learned the hard way. We wanted to eat, but nothing was open so we ended up running to WalMart for something to cook. #6 only matters if we’re hosting, which I think we’re not this year. Thank you, Jesus! #7 is my go-to menu from last year when I was incredibly busy.

What would help you with planning if you thought about it ahead of time?

Posted in Me, Organizing

First Day of Work

I went to work today, although I didn’t get paid. This was part of my “get experience and get stuff for my website” project. It also reminded me just how much I love organizing. I LOVE IT. At one point I stopped and looked at the client and said “I’m having so much fun!” and she said “You are crazy!”. ::giggle:: We moved a ton of stuff around, changed a lot of cabinet contents into other cabinets, cleaned out two shelves of her pantry to put canned goods and other items there, and got rid of a lot of things.

It’s definitely easy to see the difference between the younger clientele and the older clientele. The younger set is much more willing to part with stuff once you question them as to why they are keeping it. My client would look at me, think for a moment and then pretty much always put it on the table (her getting rid of spot). It was very cool.

I love organizing and I love helping people make their homes more user-friendly!

Posted in Me, Organizing

Houston, We Have Lift Off!

I spent a lot of this afternoon setting up my new professional organizing business. I got a federal tax ID. I registered with Pennsylvania for my DBA (doing business as) or Fictitious name, called our internet hosting company and set up a domain, which exists but isn’t set up yet, so don’t bother going there. I contacted my brother in law about making a graphic for me for letterhead and business cards and such. In other words, instead of just thinking about it, reading about it, dreaming about it, talking about it, I finally DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Now I just have to work.

But that’s actually the easy part. I have two “jobs” in the next week. In return for using “before” and “after” pictures on my website, and getting general experience for myself and my “resume”, I will help some friends organize their particular area of chaos FOR FREE. I’m really looking forward to it. This week I’m helping a mom of twins with her kitchen and next week I’m heading over to a mom of TWO SETS OF TWINS (!!!!) with her closet. I imagine she probably needs me more than that, but we’ll leave that for later when I can be paid. ::giggle::

I’ve spoken briefly with a local organizer who has been in business for more than five years. At some point before the end of the year I’ll take her out to dinner so I can pick her brains (that’s her fee for our first meeting!). I need to head over to a NAPO meeting. They are the 3rd Thursday of the month. Guess when my mother’s of multiples meetings are? Yes, the 3rd Thursdays. But I kind of feel like my life is moving AWAY from that organization and TOWARDS the organizing persona. So I’ll get directions and head over in October.

I’m excited about this next phase of life.

Posted in Organizing

Keeping It Real

In the interest of complete honesty, I want to admit that my desk is, again, a complete disaster. The gully in the middle for the mouse? It’s a little wider only because my niece came to visit and needed to use my PC. So I pushed–shoved–everything to the sides. The pile on the left is 4″ high. The pile on the right is 7″.

:::Jim just came up to tell me that his PC died–Blue Screen of Death and all. And he’s an IT Geek, so he’s not kidding. Uh oh. That’s NOT GOOD.:::

However, on the good front, I attacked the pile on the kitchen counter and worked my way through most of it. Most. It never actually totally goes away. I don’t know why that is. It makes me sad.