Monday, November 10, 2014

Happiness: Regaining Order

Have you ever felt like your life is just spiraling out of control?  Have you looked at your to do list and thought, "Oh screw it!  I'll never get this done!"?  Have you ever just wanted to crawl under the covers and sleep for days?  If you have, then you know exactly how I've felt these past few weeks / months.

Anna has been easy in the way that infants go, yes, but Anna is not the only thing going on in my life.  When you factor in running a business and just life in general, things get kind of crazy.  Still, I felt like I was staying on top of things fairly well, and then came July.  July was when my mom was diagnosed and things just took a nose dive from there.  Things became horribly disorganized and chaotic.  I'd have these brief moments of clarity and order, and I'd start to feel like I was gaining some control, and then something new would happen.  Mom would have a bad week, or the kennel would have a busier week, or Hans would have to work late (thereby losing my evening support).  It all culminated in me feeling utterly exhausted. 

Mom happened to notice all that was going on, and shortly before my birthday she heard me talking to Hans about how I just wish I could have someone come in and organize the house.  So, she gave me a fabulous birthday gift.  She called a professional organizer.  She told me she'd pay a certain amount, and anything above and beyond was up to me, but I knew instantly she'd made a wonderful decision in placing the call.  I needed some serious help.

So, enter Kathy from Come to Order.  We did an evaluation, and last Monday she and a small team came in to get my kitchen organized.  Organizing my kitchen was no small task!  In order to properly organize it, we also had to work on the basement (for additional space), and part of the dining room.  So, when Kathy and her team arrived, we got straight to work; two people on the basement, and me and Kathy on the actual kitchen and dining room.

Before I show photos of the AMAZING job that was done on this small space, let me tell you a bit about the experience.  First, Kathy is super friendly.  It's really hard showing all my disorganization to a stranger, but she's non-judgmental and very accepting.  Second, Kathy and her team seem to be able to see things and picture things that I never could.  She came up with organization ideas in seconds, that made me say, "Why couldn't I ever think of that?!"  Third, and this really was the most important, she kept me motivated. 

We ended up working for about 6 hours.  That's a long time for me to stay focused on cleaning, but Kathy was good about giving me simple, small projects to work on.  She give me things like sorting through recipe books to see if I wanted to keep all of them (I didn't).  She had me go through and separate utensils into different categories (cooking, measuring, grilling, etc).  She also was able to keep working when I had to stop to tend to Anna.  That was invaluable.

In the end, I couldn't be happier.  I've already booked her to help with my laundry room, front foyer, and office.  Oh, and I've also been motivated in a few other ways.  I've organized my papers and bills (and found out I don't owe as many bills as I thought I did (huge relief)), and I've focused a little more energy on cooking (money and calorie saver!).  I can't wait to see how the rest of our projects turn out!

And now for the pictures (side note: I didn't take the pictures, but I'm also computer stupid and can't seem to figure out why some of them are sideways.  You get the idea, though.):

Before: Part of the kitchen.  The fridge is pushed over to the left to allow room for a small pantry.  This, unfortunately, blocks off the corner and limits access to two cabinets.
Before: With cabinets overflowing, many items are left on the counter.

Before: A VERY overflowing pantry.
Before: Filled to the brim with glasses, mugs, and some bakeware (that's what the coffee cans are for)
Before: It may be fuzzy, but you get the general idea of disorder
Before: This was all I could open this cabinet.  The fridge was in the way.  Obviously, this makes accessing the tools in here kind of difficult.
Before: Our pots and big mess.
Before: coffee filters, hot pot, milk freezer bags and meds.  Obviously these things go together!
After: The basement extension of the kitchen.  Notice that the formerly-overflowing pantry is clean and organized.
After: Look, at how much we removed from the kitchen!!  And it's all labeled with easy access.
After: Not nearly as much on the counter top.
After: All the spices are in one spot along with a few canned goods.
After: The plates and glasses can all go in one spot...and it isn't nearly as cluttered.
After: Doesn't this just scream organized!?
So, what do you think?  The photos don't even show everything that was done, but you get the general idea.  I'm beyond pleased.  Life is already feeling a little better, and I can't wait for the next project to start! 

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