OF SPOTLESS SUCCESS
Why is there so much to read!?! I am here for the before and after photos!
I hear ya! My after photos aren’t glossy, magazine-like pictures. I leave that to the “decorative organizers” and magazines. My after photos are real solutions based on the person in that space.
My typical client loves to read. A lot. And is highly intelligent (much more than me), they indulge in knowledge. They will “hoard” information in the form of periodicals, books, and personal history. Yes, all that information ends up in piles on the dining room table, throughout the living room and stashed in the spare bedroom. They're smart, they feel they should be able to tackle this thing on their own. Or, at the very least, feel like they should "know better."
You don’t need to be my typical client to talk to me. You can be a non-reader who knows they need help to move forward. Therefore, I give you permission to not read every page of this site (though if you could go to each page for several minutes so Google thinks you like it, I would appreciate it, just kidding. You do you for you not for me.)
I do have a YouTube channel if that is more your thing (though I prefer my makeup when typing over my makeup for videos.)
Or! If you would like to just jump into connecting, I am fine with that, in fact, that is very time efficient of you!
NO MORE EYESORE
“The rack was an eyesore. It wasn’t even needed! It had just become an easy place put things. And it was a constant reminder of the disorganization that had taken over the kitchen.”
Bob had lived in the house for several decades. Well-meaning family members and full-time caretakers now assisted with this care. Counters were clear, as things were always put away. But the cupboards, drawers and pantry were disorganized; not jam-packed, but not used effectively. Similar things (e.g., soup cans) could be found in multiple places throughout the kitchen. I’m not sure when the wire rack was introduced, but the rack was an eyesore. It wasn’t even needed! It had just become an easy place to put things. And it was a constant reminder of the disorganization that had taken over the kitchen.
Bob’s daughter called me in.
She wanted to streamline the kitchen.
As with all kitchens, this room was a hub of activity. In addition to meal prep, this kitchen also needed to support the logistics of everyday life; in this case, that included health care notes and medication schedules. This meant that pens and paper, medications, and food needed to be in proper order for communication and meal service.
The daughter and I worked together to apply the Four Tenets.
We gathered all of “the birds of a feather” together. A medication station was created in a cupboard and the drawer below it had the essential office-type communication tools: pens, paper, and logs. Spices were put in the same cupboard. Breakfast items were placed together.
One cupboard that had been used to collect paper bags (how many bags do you need??) was turned into a space for the cat food. (Don’t hide the cat. Hide the cat food.)
Two favorite serving dishes were moved for easier access - if you have them, enjoy them!!
With the cupboards, drawers, and pantry organized, items on the wire rack fit easily into their categories. The wire rack was immediately and happily taken away. What needed to go in its place? Nothing!
GINA: A SUCCESS STORY
Gina downsized into her ideal home in 2016. Four months into the pandemic of 2020, she came to Bright because she was frustrated with her office and dining room combo. As a solo entrepreneur, she used her dining room as the only office for her business. She reached out when she realized she was ready to claim her dining room as dining room, a place where she could have company over for dinner and a space she could enjoy. She was quickly boxing up her business and stashing in a spare bedroom when company came over. (No one stashes business in the corner!) This was by no means a way to treat her business.
We met via Zoom. Gina had decided to convert her spare bedroom to an official office. We determined the best first steps for her to take. We started by categorizing her business items. This led to tailor made solution for her office. With a holistic perspective, her system included personal papers. Coupons where filed, mementos were put where they belonged, and her favorite decorative bowl was revealed and moved to the center of the table.
We moved to clearing the clutter in her spare bedroom to transform it into an office. There were old files in the desk that after some thoughtful conversation, were easily purged. With space cleared, supplies sorted, and paper prepped for filing, creating the homes was simple and fast. We experimented with a plastic shelving unit to test the size and functionality. After 2 virtual organizing sessions, all Gina needed was a desk lamp that makes her happy and upgrade her shelving to a nice bookcase. Since the system works, Gina can make these purchases with confidence.
Gina now has an office that she enthusiastically works in. The desk is by a beautiful window, and she easily works, shoots business videos, and attends video conferences all within the beauty of her happily, organized office!
LOADS O' LAUNDRY
When I did my consultation with Liz, we discussed the basement. I could sense her disappointment and embarrassment when it came to her laundry area. We laughed at the irony of a “dirty” space being the place where they wash their clothes. I understood the chaos happening. There is a lot of activity in the laundry room or space which makes it even more important to have items in designated places and irrelevant “stuff” needs to go. The beauty of clearing out the clutter is the dust goes too! (Dryers are best dust generators!)
We focused on the laundry room during the second session. Liz’s family is active especially outside. There were outgrown ice skates, sports gear and outerwear. Liz moved the armfuls of items so they could be easily sorted into 4 categories, give to a friend, donate, throw away and keep. The keepers were categorized and put in a re-purposed unit. For the sake of simplicity, I like to implement use of units already in the space. I asked Liz if she was having fun, she said her husband just asked her the same thing and the answer was yes!
When the project was completed, I could feel Liz’s relief of the angst she felt when in her laundry area. Laundry is painful enough; the space shouldn’t be…
THE CHAOTIC CAR
When I first organized with Dave, I knew we were focusing on his vehicle. He is in sales, has a lot of bulky samples and tons of paperwork. What I didn’t know was how he felt about his vehicle. He didn’t like it if a client followed him out to his car. He knew his car didn’t reflect the quality product and business he was selling. He knew he needed to change.
The back hatch was broken so we attacked the clutter from the back-passenger doors. As Dave and I talked, I learned how Dave worked, what his strengths were, what his weaknesses were. His strength as a salesman was untouchable. Creating a system to manage his samples and paperwork was very doable. (When the vehicle was almost empty, we realized the hatch wasn’t broken, and with a slide of a button, the hatch opened!)
This project required a few purchases, an extra sturdy file box and containers tough enough for roofing samples. To create Dave’s tailor-made system, we placed and emphasis on how Dave thinks, how he prepares for a client and what image he wants to portray when approaching a client’s home or office building. The following month, Dave’s sales were company’s highest.
A TEENAGER'S QUEST FOR ORDER
When I met Abe, he hated his room, didn’t have friends over and spent a lot of time looking for what to wear the next day. During our first session, we talked about Abe’s priorities, what he liked, what he didn’t. He liked clothing stores, how they looked and how he felt when he was in one. Abe loved fashion.
As the sorting and purging happened, we talked about his clothes. We were going to turn his bedroom into a show room. As luck would have it, his mother had her eye on the perfect piece for Abe’s room. Once we were left with Abe’s favorite clothes, we created a system. As the system was coming together, we discussed the why, the how, the what to do and when with the cloths. Abe’s customized clothing management system was found!
The following session, Abe said he now enjoys having friends over. He has been using the new clothing system; saving him time in the evening and in the morning.
When I met Rachel, she embraced her mess. She readily admitted that there was broken glass tucked away in a corner. She owned it as it was part of who she was, but she did not like the image it projected.
As we talked, I picked up on Rachel’s creative side, a very common trait in my clientele. About have way through our first session together, she expressed that she did not like others touching her stuff. I empathized with her. There I was elbow deep in her stuff. I acknowledged and sympathized with her. Her honesty was appreciated, knowing how she felt allowed me to continue with an additional awareness.
We finished organizing her office after a few sessions. Papers and books were categorized, placed in a logical location based on ease of access and frequency of use. Rachel has an affinity for a bit of disorganization, so we enthusiastically categorized her disorganization.
“I haven’t shopped for so little in months!” Mary’s feedback was everything I aimed for. And Mary’s husband, can easily find what he is looking for, a key success indicator.
Mary knew her house could be better, and she wanted to whip it all into shape. She knew it was zapping her energy. Energy she wanted for more exciting things in her life, like a dog and trips to see family.
She knew organizing was the answer, that is why she attended The Bright Way to Organize Workshop.
The messaging in the workshop resonated with Mary (i.e. The 4 Tenets, where to start, and rules to break). She took notes and asked questions. Workbook in hand, Mary was ready to make big moves and fast, so she called me in.
Mary wanted one on one assistance.
One consultation, a plan, and a few sessions later, we were working in her basement, specifically her kitchen overflow section. We purged expired food. (So very common for expired food to feel like it was “just purchased”. Searching for the expiration date on all food may be tedious but it is worth the pay-off.) Birds of a feather were gathered together making the keep/donate/discard decision process super easy. Application of the 4 Tenets brought the process to a close. The unnecessary and/or no longer needed items (e.g. pots, pans and serving dishes) were donated. Items from the previous owner were let go.
With that area settled, we moved on to other areas of her home. Several sessions later, we found ourselves back in the basement, (adding overflow linen closet items to their new home) so I grabbed this opportunity to review the kitchen overflow section. “I haven’t shopped for so little in months!” Mary’s feedback was everything I aimed for. And Mary’s husband, can easily find what he is looking for, a key success indicator. Mary does no more “just in case” purchases. Shopping is done intentionally and with confidence. She knows what she needs and when she needs it.
And that energy Mary wanted back? It is now put to good use playing with her new puppy, Sadie!
penned by an Elementary teacher and client
Chloe’s house became her closet.
Chloe’s closet became her house.
Chloe’s house was a huge, huge closet.
Chloe’s closet was a teeny, tiny house.