Victory!

I work with clients in a variety of ways. Some people I see every week, while others hire me for a “one and done” project. Many clients call me for one situation, and then reach back out to me periodically, either to “refresh” the original system, or to address a new issue (e.g. a new baby, the need to change a layout, a relocation etc.) I love looping back with clients and seeing the impact getting organized has had on their lives. Recently, I witnessed a “victory” moment that reminded me why I love this profession.

I was working with a client to “reset” a space we had designed the previous year. Things had been working well, but the chaos of life and an illness had caused her to fall a bit behind. Because we had established an efficient system, all she needed was a couple of hours of extra arms and legs to whip things back into shape.

At one point, we were sorting through a bin that had become a catchall for various items: toys, hairbands, change, some papers, loyalty cards, singleton socks… all the normal things. We were going through the process of grouping items into categories so we could carry them back to their proper homes.

At one point, my client picked up a small electronic part, smiled and said, “I know just where this goes!” She hopped up and confidently walked over to her desk, opened an overhead cabinet, pulled down a plastic container and said, “See… here is the label!” She tucked the item inside the box and came triumphantly back to the table.

“Before working on getting organized, I would have just stashed this in a drawer,” she said. “I probably would have forgotten where I had put it, and that would have been a problem because these are hard to get. I can’t tell you have good it feels to be able to look at something and to know exactly where it is supposed to go.”

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When I was a mother with young children, fretting about the mess in my playroom, another mom said, “Having toys around isn’t my problem, it is when I feel like I can’t put them away.” I’ve always remembered that. Simply knowing that all of your possessions have a designated place to live provides a measure of serenity in a chaotic world.

Life is full of stuff, and at any given point, some of that stuff will be out in plain sight. After all, you are living there! Expecting your spaces to be continually spotless is both unrealistic and unnecessary. However, being organized means you are only one step away from a clutter-free space. It puts you in control of the things you own, instead of the other way around.

Have you experienced freedom through organization? Can you relate to the joy of being able to put something in the perfect spot?

 

 

 

 

 

26 thoughts on “Victory!”

    1. Seeing progress in our lives is just a wonderful thing. Whether we are able to run and extra mile or complete a math problem or read a more sophisticated book or return an item to a designated, labeled space! I find all of these so affirming and motivating!

  1. I just love those moments when our clients recognize the value of having a place for their belongings! It’s that light bulb moment that I used to see when teaching children how to read – they all of a sudden get it. It is a very liberating feeling to know where to put something so that you’ll be able to retrieve it later.

    1. Liberating is the right word, Diane. It just feels like true, concrete progress in an area that may have felt frustrating. We can be so easily defeated when life crushes in. I love when we are able to bring a true, lasting solution to a source of stress!

  2. What a wonderful testament to both the dedication of your clients and your wonderful abilities to help them! What a great teacher you are. I love what you said about being realistic about clutter. Things won’t be in their places at all given moments of a given day. It’s an unrealistic goal. However, knowing where things going, having a home for our things, does mean that getting back to square one is possible. So we can more easily shift from moments of chaos to moments of calm.
    Linda Samuels recently posted…What Are Today’s Interesting Finds? – v14My Profile

    1. Exactly! If you know that you can get things back in order, I think it actually relieves the pressure that can build as you watch the mess accumulate. I just love this profession, and the concrete ways we can make life better. What a privilege!

    1. Yes, it really makes you feel great to know you’ve helped someone. When we all share our strengths, we do make the world a better place!

  3. I find that refining systems help determine the perfect spot for items in a home, so I prefer to revisit areas of my home periodically (usually once a year) to make sure things are still working. By doing this over the years, I haven’t had to modify much of the spaces which give me confidence that the place I am storing items makes sense for my family and me.

    1. That is an excellent point, Sabrina. I tis important to periodically ask how well the systems are working. Our lives do change and shift over time, so sometimes a bit of tweaking is in order!

    1. Being organized has definitely helped me through some rough situations in the past. Being able to find needed items in a timely fashion has been critical, especially in stressful times. Even restoring order each day served as a calming process, something over which I felt a measure of control.

  4. Thanks for sharing this success story! It’s so great when clients have those a-ha moments on the benefits of being organized. It really does make the work all the worthwhile!

    1. It’s great that you are encouraging your boys to put things away. This is a wonderful habit/skill to give to your children. It will serve them well their whole lives!

  5. Now isn’t that nice? You made an impact! I bet you do every day, but seeing it in practice. Wonderful.
    I’ve had my own freeing moments with organization and I admit that give me that “high on life” feeling every time I go to that space in my home and it looks and feels so much better.
    Tamara recently posted…25+ Ways to Have a Spring RefreshMy Profile

    1. It really is an amazing feeling… very empowering and freeing. None of us wants to feel “under” piles of stuff. Working in this profession really is a privilege!

    1. I think these words are more appropriate that “cleaning up,” which can lead to an effort to stash and hide in order to make things look good!

    1. That is a wonderful feeling. Looking for lost items is a rather “out of control” feeling. Being able to find what you need, when you need it is one of my favorite definitions of being organized.It is definitely worth the effort to me:)

  6. I love that we can claim Victory by knowing where something goes back to and already has a home. It’s often the littlest things that make for the biggest successes!

    1. Exactly, Ellen. This seems like a little or insignificant thing, but it can truly be a very satisfying and empowering accomplishment. When someone has been losing time and dealing with the frustration of not being able to find needed items, a change like this feels terrific.

    1. Probably a similar feeling to when someone tells you that they had a great travel experience because of something they read on your blog! It feels great to help people. I am looking at a northern CA trip coming up and was tooling around your site for ideas – you always have good, detailed tips:)

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