It’s no secret that moving from one home to another can be stressful, expensive and not to mention, time consuming. As a professional organizer, I frequently work with clients who are in the process of moving. This list of tips is designed to save you time, money and hassle during the moving process!Read More
I'll admit it...one of the perks of starting Streamlined Living Colorado is that I will never again have to spend all day, every day in a stuffy, windowless office. I love that I create my own schedule and that I can accommodate most activities with some advanced planning. That being said, I've learned how much planning this whole being a business owner thing takes! The less amount of daily structure there is, the more organized one has to be!
The first several months of creating Streamlined consisted mainly of doing the front-end work. It felt a little (A LOT) overwhelming at times (MOST OF THE TIME). I'd get distracted easily because the tasks on my enormous to-do list were totally foreign to me (create a website?!), scary (lots of grownup decisions to be made--what if I made a wrong decision?) and never-ending (how would I ever get everything done?!).
To get a handle on things, I created a "Brain Dump" list that was everything, and I mean everything, that popped into my head that I felt I had to do for my business; even "categorize and prioritize Brain Dump" was on the list. I did that on purpose, because, checking things off of a list meant I was making headway and thus achieving a goal. And there is research confirming that checking things off a list releases dopamine which is a feel good hormone!
Making lists, no matter what the list is for, is a key component of staying organized in your work and in your personal life. Lists are a way to see and track progress, reduce anxiety, prioritize time and of course, release that dopamine!
I still have and use this original Brain Dump list. It is categorized and typed out with many, many more tasks handwritten on it, but I've also crossed off even more off the list. Having this list reminds me that although I may sometimes feel overwhelmed being a business owner, I can see how far I've come and I can celebrate the little victories of checking another task off the "Brain Dump". Because if I don't cross off the list, then who will?!
I'll admit it, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were pretty slow for Streamlined Living. I did have a few of my regular clients booking sessions but for the most part, I ended up doing a lot of administrative and "behind the scenes" planning for 2017 during the 3 slow weeks. And now we're only a few weeks into 2017 and I'm so grateful to be able to say I've had several new clients reach out to schedule assessments and organizing sessions!
Last week I spent time assessing 3 new clients' projects and it really energized me! I am so grateful to be able to help these people and I'm looking forward to making a positive impact in their lives. All of the assessments really reminded me that I am on the right path.
This blog post is more of a thank you card. I'm so grateful to have pinpointed this passion. I'm beyond grateful for the amazing and unshakable support from my boyfriend because without him, I wouldn't have even thought of doing this for a living (see blog #1).
And I'm so grateful for my clients. Many of them feel their organizational needs are out of the ordinary to which I remind them they are NOT abnormal by feeling overwhelmed at the thought of getting organized. Many of my clients have used the word "hoarding" when describing their situation when in fact, they just need help and clarity with giving their items a home. It takes trust for people to allow me into their homes (and for me to feel comfortable going into their homes) and I am grateful for all of those clients who have trusted me in their space with their belongings. I really do enjoy bringing order to my clients' chaos and seeing how excited they get to see progress. It's a win-win :) So, thank you. And cheers to 2017!
"You're doing what now??!!"
I get that question frequently. And considering a mere 10 months ago, I was gainfully employed and working for "the man", friends and family members that I haven't seen in a while are surprised to hear that I've started my own business as a Professional Organizer.
Last year, I was making a nice living doing a job I was decent at for a company I didn't especially like anymore. My manager and the many friends I had at that company were the reason I stayed. So, on that fateful November day when hundreds of us got laid off (most of my work friends included), I was stunned but not heartbroken. However, I was TERRIFIED about finding another job...
I hadn't LOVED what I was doing. I liked it, but I didn't feel satisfaction doing it. It was a job that paid the bills. I was never that person that knew exactly what she wanted to do for a living. I was forever envious of my friends that have always known they wanted to become teachers, nurses, physical therapists, midwives, photographers and even crime scene investigators!
The day after being laid off, I immediately started contacting connections I had made throughout the years. I began updating my resume and searching for jobs. The thought of not being able to pay my mortgage terrified me. Sure, I was given a severance, but to be laid off just in time for the holidays was especially bad timing. I was told over and over again that companies generally wouldn't be hiring much, if at all, before the new year and perhaps not even until Q2. And given that I had been in the Oil & Gas industry, many companies were downsizing due to the low oil prices. I really didn't know what other kind of job, outside of the industry, I'd be able to find.
And then it happened. I went home to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving and spent time at my sister's new house doing some projects to help her out. Her family of 7 had moved into a new home in September but in November, my 13-year-old niece's room was still not unpacked and was actually pretty bare bones. My mom and I teamed up to unpack and organize my niece's room while she was attending play practice. It took the entire day and Mom and I were gone by the time she got home from practice. "Oh my gosh, I love it!" she exclaimed to me via text. She had not known we were going to do this so it was fun to surprise her. (I think being 13 years old, she was simply overwhelmed at the thought of unpacking and organizing her room so she just ignored it and made due).
After that, another niece asked if I would "do" her room, too. I went over while she was at school and rearranged her room, put things on the walls, and reorganized her closet to make better use of her space. She loved it too! Then I tackled the play room in the basement...sorting and categorizing toys with storage bins, setting up an arts and crafts area and making the basement play area enticing for five kids to actually use. My boyfriend texted me from Colorado asking what I was doing and I told him. He responded with "Looks like you found your new career!" Whoa. Is this a thing???
It turns out I've always had a knack for decluttering, organizing and making better use of space. It had never, EVER occurred to me that there was such a thing as a Professional Organizer until my boyfriend had mentioned it to me. There was even that time a few years ago while visiting home in Wisconsin when I told my mom I wanted to clean out her basement. Yes, I was technically on "vacation" when I did this! My mom and stepdad were so thankful for my help and leadership. "This is my Everest!" I vividly remember telling them. Six carloads to Goodwill later, their basement was decluttered, tidied and organized. I wish I would have had the foresight to take before and after photos, clearly not realizing that it was my first project!
So here I am, a small business owner after working in Corporate America for 9 years. I'm making a living doing something I really love and I'm genuinely GOOD at. What a difference 10 months makes!