This post is sponsored by Clarity with Kayleen Kelly who helped organize my home this summer! My opinions in this blog have not been influenced by this sponsorship.
I was scrolling through my mom's group on Facebook and I hit a post: "I need a home organizer - please help!" What is a home organizer, I thought, and why would anyone need something like that? Couldn't you just pick up your house yourself, I wondered? I scanned my kitchen island with the huge pile of papers, empty cups, and school art projects, noticed the clutter of papers on my office desk, and peered into my children's room with books and toys all over the ground and a pile of clothes to donate or that might fit next winter sitting in a clump, and thought about my closet with clumps of clothes and how I can never find anything to wear. I immediately clicked the post to learn more. Many people were mentioning, "Clarity with Kayleen Kelly," "She changed my life," "Everything has a place," "there's never a mess!" I clicked over to Clarity with Kayleen Kelly's Facebook page and found photos of transformations in which she had helped other families. Hoarding levels of clutter turned to almost empty rooms. Baby room shower gifts piled up, hand me down clothes, and nursery decor turned to organization ready for new baby. Basic clutter turned into neatness. I immediately dialed her number. It was right about the time she answered that I broke down...
You see, we live in a new house that is less than 4 years old, yet we live in clutter. It takes hours to pick up before we can deep clean or have cleaners come. We can never find our shoes before we leave the house. Even though I've tried multiple times to organize and I have tons of bins to have a place for toys, it never seems to work and the clutter returns. Even after a deep clean when our house is spotless, the clutter creeps back over the next few days. We live in clutter!
I was ashamed to tell Kayleen about my home and I had tons of excuses. I work from home, I have kids at home while I work, I'm so busy, I don't have time to organize!!! But even with excuses, I still felt like it was all my fault and I didn't want anyone to know how unorganized we were. She said not to worry, that many, many people have this issue and she'd helped many moms declutter and get organized. Knowing I was not alone made me feel much better. So I told her everything and which parts of the home in which I'm having issues and she planned a time to come by to see the house.
To my surprise, when she walked in, she was a little confused. She actually said we were minimalists! I was shocked, and so happy! I wasn't a hoarder after all! I'm wasn't messy, I just needed help to create a system in each room. Even though I had tried, I was no professional, I'm not creative in any way, and I really don't have time to spend hours creating a system. Kayleen went through each room with me to determine where I thought I needed assistance. She then sat down with me and did a survey to see how comfortable I was purging, what my time frame was, where I'd like to start first, etc. We made a schedule for the summer and she was to come back and take care of it all. I was so stoked about getting organized before the new school year!
First she started in my closet. I didn't know how to use the two shelves I had - one was up high and one was down low. So I just clumped everything on the bottom shelf. With the "clumping system," I could never find running shorts or socks, an unwrinkled shirt, night clothes. Because of this I would end up not going running because I couldn't find anything. My shirts were wrinkled. But folding everything on the couch and piling it up seemed the quickest versus leaving the laundry on the couch for a few days. On my husband's side, he was neat, but my area was infringing on his, causing him to be cluttered. I didn't know how she was going to unclump my closet. No way was this possible, but she did it! I was shocked at how the shelves were filled up! She used one of our plastic drawers for my undergarments, running attire and swim suits. And they were labeled. Something in my house was LABELED!! I could find everything and she shared her hangers secret for quick laundry processing. Plus, I was so thrilled to see my husband's side organized. He deserved to be neat, just like he usually is, and not have me causing him to be messy.
The next rooms were my children's rooms. Since they don't pick up, EVER, I thought there was no way we could be rescued in their play room. But she helped me stay strong. She sorted every toy, every clothing item (even the ones I was, "saving for resale"), and helped me go through it. We even went through books that were so tough to purge, but we just don't need the baby books anymore. It felt so good to let go! In the end, she used all the storage spaces we had (I never had to purchase anything!) and moved things around like I had never though of. I couldn't believe the space was so organized! The kids immediately went in and knew where everything was and used the system. Even to this day, months later, the room is still picked up at all times, sure proof that the system works long term!
My office was the last space she organized and I was the most anxious about it. It was my livelihood. I didn't want anything moved or organized because I may not be able to find it. Plus, there were just papers everywhere, how long would that even take for her to come all day?
I was nervous and had tears when she arrived, but I relinquished my coveted space to Kayleen. When she called me in, we went through everything she had sorted: taxes, home tasks, work tasks, etc. Then it took her three hours to develop my system, place everything in folders, and organized our merch, like our Duval Mom, Duval Kid, and Duval Dad shirts along with my book sales, Backcountry Trails of Florida. THREE HOURS of organizing my office! I couldn't believe it had taken that long and I was relieved knowing that it wasn't something I could have easily done. That I for sure didn't have three hours alone, with no kids running through papers and drawing happy faces on important documents to organize my office.
And the system was amazing! Our folders are now filed for reference, work needs, and forms. Our shelving is ready to mail items, send out merch, and we have a to go bag ready to go to head out for festivals. My desk was empty. EMPTY! Are there people that actually get to work that way??! And my daily tasks were sorted by business and home for quick reference on our shelves. That way tasks were readily available and not under five piles on my desk. My sister called me that day asking a question and I easily reached down, found my reference folder and answered her question. I was so thankful to be organized, to have a system! I couldn't believe it and the feelings of relief and that our business was organized and ready to run full force for fall to help support our local small businesses, and our family, was possible. We were ready for the school year and fall to begin!
We are so thankful for Kayleen and her help in bringing clarity to our home. I'm spending less time picking up and more time working or playing with our children. My office work is streamlined. And now my closet is organized so I don't have that as an excuse for not exercising so I'll have to find another excuse! I was so ashamed at first, but now I know that there's no shame in being a bit messy with kids. With a little help, anyone can get organized and shed the stress of the mess! Thank you so much for helping, Kayleen!