I moved into this house with Jimmy just over four years ago. We had decided to move in together and start trying for a baby at the same time. What we did not anticipate, was that the baby making would like, immediately make a baby.
So, as I moved all of my belongings from the west coast to the east coast, I was also traveling and filming Ghost Hunters, dealing with awful, awful morning sickness, and trying to get our house ready for baby’s arrival.
All this time, Jimmy continued to work two jobs and remodel the house and I continued to work, either for Ghost Hunters or my business, all while raising our boisterous little child. What ensued was a house that was disorganized to say the least. Every trip I took, I would tear through my closets to pack, after barely unpacking from the trip before. As Charlotte has grown, her clothes, toys and baby gear had barely been arranged and things were spilling out of drawers, precariously perched in closets and shoved in nooks in the basement.
We are not disorganized people. Especially Jimmy, he is borderline OCD and I could see the clutter and confusion truly taking a toll on him. I hated it. Even more so since he had so carefully crafted closet space for me. He had drawn diagrams, asked me about my clothes and shoes and took me shopping to help him pick out exactly what shelving I wanted.
I responded by throwing my crap in the closet and barely making sense of it. It wasn’t intentional, I just literally did not have the time or headspace to make it work.
Turns out I’m not alone. This world we have created of taking on too much has also created an entire industry: Professional Organization Consultants or Professional Organizers.
These are folks who walk into homes and businesses and maximize your space based on your needs. It’s about taking back control of your environment. Yes, these magical people are REAL and as I’ve learned, VERY effective.
Enter Hope. By Hope I mean Hope Turenne and I don’t think it’s any coincidence her name is Hope. Because that’s exactly what she gave me. When she walked through my door I wanted to hug her but I didn’t want to be creepy, so instead I just made really lame excuses about how my closets looked. Hope just smiled and laughed, she had clearly heard all of this before. Her one hour consultation was so refreshing. First of all, according to her, I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was…which maybe she says to everyone, but I needed to hear it. Also, each of my closets were only going to take four to six hours to reorganize.
Wait. Was she looking at the same closets as I was? These things looked like a week long task to me. Each.
But that’s because I don’t have a brain like Hope. As we chatted, she just kept casually mentioning organizational tips that seemed so obvious, but my overworked and overtired brain never would have come up with them. She also told me she had quit her job to be an organizational consultant and that she felt she was born to do it. So basically, she’s an organized angel, sent from heaven to save hopeless people like me.
After my initial consultation, Hope returned just over a week later. We devised a plan to handle my two closets first and within four hours, my closets were clutter free and all of my old clothes donated to charity or readied for consignment. As I watched her work, she had a focus and a clarity that I just do not possess, (at least not at the moment), and she made me accountable. Having her there forced me to answer questions about belongings I had long held onto, but really didn’t need. She also made an organizational plan that would work long term for me and that I could keep up with. She thought ahead and knowing my hectic schedule and frequent travels, took advantage of my two closet spaces. We moved my every day clothes upstairs, and we moved my off season and dress up clothes to the spare closet downstairs.
Two weeks later she came back and we reorganized Charlotte’s closet. Finally, my child could actually play with her toys. And I could pick an outfit for her without digging through unfolded laundry and clothes that she had long grown out of. When Jimmy saw what Hope and I had done, he became inspired and cleaned out and reorganized his own closets. He also started talking about future home projects again. I hadn’t seen him so relieved in a long time.
Is this something I could have done on my own? Probably. But the time and money I spent to have Hope step in and take over was so well invested. It wasn’t that I couldn’t make the time, it was that I couldn’t even make the mindset necessary to get the job done.
These are all of my after photos. I wish I was brave enough to show you my before photos, but just trust me, it was awful.
Hope is a huge fan of Joy Mangano Huggable Hangers, so we changed all of my closets out to them. Having one uniform hanger makes things look much neater, plus they’re slim and take little space. Joy Mangano 34-pc. Huggable Hangers® Combo Pack – Black
What are your tips for getting and staying organized? Would you or have you ever thought of hiring a professional organizer?
PS. If you’re near the South Coast of Massachusetts, check out Hope and tell her I sent you! http://affordableorganization.com