Updated: Jul 16, 2019
Walking your talk is a great way to motivate yourself. No one likes to live a lie. Be honest with yourself, and you will find the motivation to do what you advise others to do.
- Vince Poscente
I think it is really important to walk your talk – in your business and in your personal life. I began my organizing, staging and moving business in 2010 and quickly realized the most valuable service I could provide to my clients was to walk my talk. In order to be their best organizer, I had to do it and maintain it for myself.
This is how my journey with organization began:
Organizing does not come naturally to me. It has been a learned habit that I have adjusted and readjusted for the last 20+ years. It began when my oldest son was born. We lived in an older house with very small closets and no additional storage space. It became difficult, if not impossible, to keep his things organized (diapers, clothes, blankets, bottles, etc.) with the small spaces available. I soon realized that the older he became, the more stuff we needed. The more stuff we needed required more space to store it. We moved into a larger home and then had another baby 22 months later. The bigger home was now overflowing with 2 babies’ worth of stuff and so we moved into a larger home and the pattern repeated. Does this sound familiar?
The amount of clothes, toys, sports equipment, school uniforms, blankets and everything else we thought we had to have or needed grew and grew and grew. It was a full-time job keeping up with the laundry, going to the grocery store and putting toys away. My closet grew due to the clothing sizes I needed; transitioning from weight gain to pregnancy to weight loss. And we all know that dads gain baby weight too, right? I was tired of being frustrated when I couldn’t find a matching school sock, sports equipment, one shoe, athletic gear and that special toy, blanket or stuffed animal.
I continually searched, bought, installed and replaced organizing solutions until one day a light bulb went off. What worked for me didn’t work for the rest of my family. I was trying to organize all of us in the same exact way that I would organize myself and it just didn’t work. I began to observe our daily habits, discovered our learning styles and love languages. I took into consideration the way each one of us lived our life; separately and as a family. Only then was I able to successfully create solutions that worked and that we could maintain. Because maintenance is the key word. You can organize in beautiful containers but if the system that has been created is not easily maintainable, it will fail; every single time.
I have worked with hundreds of clients who have hired an organizer only to have the system that was put into place fail. WHY? Being organized is not just about putting things away. It is about how you live, how you want to feel, how easy it is to do it and how much time you need in order to do it. You also have to recognize how to adjust something when it’s not working and realize that it is unique to every individual. If it isn’t quick and easy, it will be hard to maintain. Additionally, organizing challenges must be taken into account. Are there too many things? Not enough space? Space not utilized properly? Wrong containers? Out of sight, out of mind? Too many steps needed to put it away? Items aren’t grouped properly? There is also the element of self-discipline. I am a firm believer that 15-20 minutes daily can save you hours over a period of time.
I went to an event recently and listened to another organizer talk about how she had not cleaned out her closets for 16 years. I overheard heard her say that she was not walking her talk. I wondered why would she publicly admit this? My next thought was why would I hire her?
I speak regularly to a variety of groups to help people get organized, de-clutter and learn how to adjust their homes, so they feel more comfortable and live in the moment. And guess what? I DO IT. I keep my home tidy. I clean out my closet and fridge regularly. I organize my garage on a frequent basis. I spend 15-20 minutes at the end of every day putting things away. This is not to say I am like this 100% of the time because I’m not – life does happen after all. I am like this 98% of the time because I do not function well in chaos or disarray. I also rearrange my furniture on a regular basis. I move my art and books around. The few accessories I have get repositioned as well. When I notice I’ve become complacent about my furnishings and accessories, this is when I know it’s time to move things around. I’ve kept track of how often I organize, clean out or move things around.
You would be amazed at how moving a few things around will refresh and re-energize the look and feel of your home. Keep in mind, the less you have, the less time it takes to organize, sort, maintain AND clean! I actually took out half of my master closet to create a sitting area on one side. I don’t have many clothes, shoes or accessories. I do laundry every Sunday and never have more than 5 loads which includes sheets and towels. This small adjustment in my life saves me hours of laundry, folding and putting away. It also frees up precious time that I can spend doing things I really enjoy!
I get a huge sense of self-satisfaction doing this for myself. I learn by doing it and then I can share what I’ve learned with my clients. I think it’s important to walk our talk...
Here is my master closet so you can see for yourself!
Wake up in the morning and feel anything is possible!
Living a life full of light, joy and inspiration is possible,
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