I finally did it. This is my first blog post. I have a list of about 15 topics to write about and even a few blog entries already in draft form. I am fortunate enough that I have clients, a husband, children, the gym, and other things that become priority in the moment and pull me away from my blog writing (Note: I am making a conscious effort to not use the word “busy”). Today I blocked off the time to devote to my first entry.
Photo: Napier Family Centre
I created a list of a few names to call my blog: The Productive Gut, Gut Instinct, The Cluttered Stomach, and Can’t Stomach the Clutter – to name a few. Those are weird names for an organizer’s blog? You might be thinking. These names, and especially the chosen one, are perfect for my blog title and this entry will explain why.
When a potential client calls me to help them organize their space, they are opening up to me in their most vulnerable state. Often times, they are very successful, composed, and maybe even organized in their line of work and/or as a mom. But there is a part of their life that they are embarrassed by, which is the space that needs organizing. Perhaps it is all over their home. Perhaps it is tucked away in a garage or closet. Maybe the surfaces are spotless, clean, neat, and organized and then they open the cupboards and it is in complete disarray. They call me for help and they are ashamed, embarrassed, and…vulnerable. They shouldn’t be. We all have those rooms, cupboards, closets, garages, cars. We all have that vulnerability.
Which leads me to the name of my blog: Can’t Stomach the Clutter. In 2011, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis, or UC, is an irritable bowel disease (IBD). My UC does not define me and I manage the disease as best as I can. I live a healthy and active lifestyle, while also on infusion medication every 8 weeks at the hospital. I mostly hide my disease from my clients. I share this to show you – my readers, friends, family, clients and potential clients – that I, too, am vulnerable.
8 Famous People Who Had Ulcerative Colitis (hint: JFK)
The key to managing my UC is similar to the key to managing the clutter in your home and lives. Simplify that which is overwhelming to you by having a plan. When I am in a flare (what us UCer’s call it when our disease is active and we are inflamed) I have to plan, plan, plan. Having a plan and sticking with it is crucial in handling the active disease. Having a plan and sticking to it is crucial in managing your stuff and your home.
Five Tips to Having a Plan to Organize:
- Schedule the time and block it off on your calendar.
- Be specific, realistic, and think small.
Don’t block off Saturday from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm and write “organize my house.”
Block off 9:00 am – 11:30 am and 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm and note “organize master bedroom.”
- Write it down. Start by writing down each room in your home on a master list:
|Master Bedroom||Bedroom 1||Bedroom 2|
|Master Bath||Bath 1||Master Closet|
|Closet in Bedroom 1||Closet in Bedroom 2||Linen Closet / Hallway|
|Kitchen||Dining Room||Family Room|
- Now, select the ONE room you’ll work on during the blocked time. Expect it to take longer than you would think. And now break down that room into each part of it that needs organizing (note that I suggested closets be separate than bedrooms as they are the most time-consuming aspect of a bedroom). A bedroom’s list might look like this:
- After each accomplished section, cross it off of the list. That accomplishment will feel good and keep you motivated.
Future blogs will not always discuss my disease but the name will remain static. I am the professional organizer with stomach issues and I Can’t Stomach the Clutter.
Note: Working with me, you would not know I have the disease. There is nothing obvious about it. I do not look sick nor am I contagious. I am, however, open about it IF you want to ask me about it or we don’t have to at all.