It’s the third week of January and you’ve fallen back into your old habits. Kitchen’s still cluttered, drawers still junky and the spare bedroom is littered with all the donation, consignment and online yard sale clothing piles.
The big plans, the motivation and the resolutions that come with the start of a new year have waned. You’re feeling deflated. You look around your home and the stress and anxiety start to bubble up. Life is happening and the hours, days, weeks just keep passing. What do you do now?
You ask for help. Time to hire a professional organizer.
Maybe you think…
“I don’t need a professional…I can do this myself.”
“That’s too expensive.”
“I don’t want a stranger going through my things.”
“I’m embarrassed I let my home get this bad.”
It’s time to stop making excuses because the reality is…
You know you WON’T do it.
You know you don’t WANT to do it.
But, you know it MUST get done.
Asking for help is not an admission of failure. It’s an alternate solution. It’s a proactive approach. It’s making it happen…with a second set of hands. And with those hours…the ones you didn’t spend alone in a dark, dank basement…you can spend living your life.
If these 4 scenarios describe you or your current situation, don’t go it alone. Hire a professional to get it done quick!
1.) YOU’VE MOVED BUT HAVEN’T SET UP YOUR NEW SPACE
Movers aren’t mind readers. They will move our things from one place to another. They’re following your explicit directions. But they don’t know you or your preferences or lifestyle. So they’ve unpacked your boxes and delivered them to the proper room but after that…it’s on you! And now it’s 3 years, 5 years, 10 years later…and the boxes are still exactly where the movers placed them.
You have a new home, a blank slate, the opportunity to create the flow & functionality you’ve always wished for!
When I unpack clients, I ask all of the important questions (even though you might not know they are important)! For example, let’s talk kitchen setup. Are right handed or left handed? This will impact which drawer or which side of the cooktop I choose for your cooking utensils. How tall are you? This will help me determine which cabinet shelf to situate your spices so you can reach them. Kitchen setup that makes sense, based on your preferences and habits, not only saves you time but it also makes you more efficient day in and day out.
2.) YOU’RE ORGANIZED BUT YOUR SPOUSE IS NOT.
I see this happen everyday. And it can create a lot of stress between spouses. My #1 piece of advice is lead by example. Make organizing easy for those who are less organized. As a professional organizer, I help put systems in place. Labeled shelves, baskets, boxes. This goes here. That goes there. The goal is to make it mindless so that it becomes a habit and not necessarily one more thing to do. Your spouse will appreciate the gentle reminders as opposed to the hostile environment that stress and frustration can create.
3.) YOU’RE NOT ORGANIZED AND NOW YOUR KIDS AREN’T EITHER
Kids are great models of the behavior they see everyday. It all starts with you. Get yourself organized to set a good example for your children. As a professional organizer, I will help you declutter your life, your space. Through that experience, you can teach your children what you’ve learned.
Kids will pick up your habits. Teach them how to let go of items they no longer need. The great feeling they’ll get when they donate items or pass them along to a younger family member.
Clutter causes stress for kids too! They experience that same overwhelming feeling when they have too much stuff. It can be paralyzing for both kids & adults. Teaching them good organizing habits needs to be a shared experienced.
4.) YOUR ORGANIZING PROJECTS HAVE STALLED & YOU’RE PARALYZED.
You’ve started an organizing project and you’re feeling great and motivated but then…as these things progress, the situation can get worse before it gets better. And the piles and the mess. And the uncertainty and the stress bubble up. It becomes hard to see the vision through the clutter. Then life happens. Your child is sick. Your job responsibilities are pulling you in 6 different directions. Days go by and then weeks and you just can’t get back to it. Eventually that space with such promise is now a room filled with stuff and you just can’t even bear to open the door. It’s paralyzing.
It’s time to jump start this project. Time to call in help. As a professional organizer, I want to help. I want to solve the problem. I want you to feel empowered. I want to get you back on track. I can see through the clutter to give you back your space, your time and bring order back to your life.
About Carrie Kauffman
Carrie Kauffman is an award winning professional organizer, member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and owner of Carrie’s Essential Services, LLC. Carrie Kauffman provides organizing services, in homes & offices, on the Main Line and surrounding communities. Carrie’s Essential Services specializes in moving & packing, preparing homes for sale, office setup including filing systems as well as general organizing & de-cluttering.
YOU’VE FINALLY DONE IT! You’ve taken the plunge. You want a better work/life balance or you want to be your own boss…and now you’re ready to start growing your business from home.
You cannot wait to reap the benefits of working from home! It’s going to be amazing!
Your make-shift desk at the dining room or kitchen table is cluttered with a week’s worth of mail and plates from last night’s dinner.
Or this. You’ve set up your office in the guest bedroom where laundry is piled high, waiting to be put away.
Or you’ve run out of printer paper and file folders and you’ve already been to Staples three times this week?
Or this. Your workspace is on the first floor, your printer on the second, your filing cabinet in the basement. Well….at least you won’t have to make a separate trip to the gym after running all those stairs…
Working from home can be a game changer for your business. Except for when it’s not.
So what do you do now?
YOU GET ORGANIZED, OF COURSE!
Entrepreneurs who succeed at building a successful business while working from home understand the value of organization and the value of delegation. Business owners need to work. They don’t have the luxury of time away from work to organize. They are painfully aware that when you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
That’s where Carrie’s Essential Services comes in.
I work with many local business owners to achieve their perfect home office. Think of outsourcing this project as an investment in your business. The more organized your space, the more productive you’ll be, the more successful your business! Bonus – hiring a professional organizer is tax deductible as a business expense! Win-Win!
When a small business owner hires Carrie’s Essential Services to achieve a great home office, we want to bring 4 things to the space:
MAKE SURE YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER
If you’re going to be successful working from home, you must be organized in your home first. If you skip this step, over time, both your home & work life will suffer.
Imagine you are working on your laptop at your kitchen island you glance up and spy a pile of messy papers & general clutter on the kitchen counter. Could be the kids’ art projects waiting to be taken up to the attic or the magazines & junk mail you have yet to go through or the folded laundry that has yet to be put away.
Imagine this around every corner, some household clutter distraction that pulls you away from your work, every time you step away from your desk. Mounting frustration as your work begins to suffer, you become short-tempered and irritable. And we all know easily that can cause trouble on the home front…especially when it’s not as easy to “leave it at the office”!
SET UP SHOP
Create a designated area to work. Ideally, it’s a fully enclosed office with a desk or tabletop where you have ample space for a filing system, printer and any other business supplies you might need. Sometime, you may prefer to work from the kitchen island. This is fine, as long as you are fairly mobile (ie: laptop, functioning WiFi, easily accessible files, printer, etc.) & self-contained. When you done working for the day, return your laptop & supplies to your home office.
MAKE IT YOURS
Take the time to add personal touches to your space. If your workspace feels like you, you’ll love the time you spend there. Put in shelves, artwork and personal achievements. Create a space that reflects you, your business & your life.
No good with décor or design? Check out my friend & frequent collaborator, Liz MacDonald. Liz is an interior design extraordinaire, home stager and host of the web series, Shelf Help. Her specialty? Taking pieces you already own to transform any living space. Imagine that dingy, dirty desk that’s been hiding in your basement. Liz can turn it into a stunner with just a roll of contact paper…intrigued? Watch!
SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE…WHEN FILING
If your home office is the place you keep both family and business files, then you must designate a space for both. One side of the file cabinet, just for family and the other side, just for business. Or if space & budget allow, separate file cabinets for each.
Same goes with the mail. Separate and designate a place for family mail and another for business mail
ADD A LITTLE COLOR
Color code your business files and family files with their own designated color. Follow through with this system when purchasing supplies – files folder, paper clips, binders, and so on.
SET FIRM OFFICE HOURS
Designate hours for your business and communicate them to your clients as well as your family. This step is about organizing your time. Set hours that work for you and stick to them. This way you establish clear boundaries with your clients on when to contact you and when they can expect a response.
Working from home is not for everyone. The line between work life & home life can become blurred, quickly, when working from home. The key is organization, so that these two parts of your life can thrive…while living together under one roof!
About Carrie’s Essential Services
Carrie Kauffman is an award-winning professional organizer, member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and owner of Carrie’s Essential Services, LLC. Carrie Kauffman works to organize and de-clutter homes & offices on the Main Line and surrounding communities. Carrie’s Essential Services specializes in moving & packing, preparing a home for sale, office setup including filing systems as well as general organizing & de-cluttering.