I had a bit of a meltdown the day of my daughter’s first birthday pictures. I was looking for the grey bow and I couldn’t find it anywhere. Never mind that I had about seven bows in my hand; I had an inexplicable need for that particular bow. Was it in the diaper bag? Nope. That other bag full of baby crap? Nope. Maybe the backup diaper bag? The basket full of miscellaneous baby stuff in her room? How about the one in the hallway? Nope, nope, nope. Nothing was where I expected it to be and with each upended bag, basket and box, my agitation mounted. By the time I left for pictures (not having found the bow) I was in a tizzy, my house looked like a tsunami had hit, and I had sent an email to Corrie Douglas of Simplify your Life RI:
“I need your help!”
I’d been stalking Simplify your Life on Instagram for a while. Her feed is full of great tips and before and after shots of organizational projects that seemed to me like they should be manageable. But I’d had “get your ___ together” on my to-do list for long enough that I knew I needed a little support.
The thing is, I actually like organizing quite a bit. But with three kids, two part-time jobs, and a sleep deficit six years in the making, my brain just wasn’t up to the task. Even when I am able to carve out a few kid-free minutes to dive into a project, I end up feeling paralyzed, unable to make simple decisions. What should go where? What do I keep, what do I toss? Where do I even start? A mother’s brain is a busy place and we are constantly trying to make pretty big decisions; is my family complete, is it time to start potty training, how can I keep my kids safe? As a result, decision fatigue often sets in, making it very difficult to make the seemingly smaller decisions about how to structure our homes. If this sounds familiar to you, there is no shame in calling for back-up.
Corrie herself is lovely, and she immediately put me at ease. She is genuinely excited about what she does and it is clear that she loves helping families get organized. A mother herself, she understands the challenges families face and did not judge my chaos. She came in for an initial consultation to discuss what I wanted help with and what we would need. Corrie can work with the supplies and furniture you already have, make reasonably priced suggestions of what you can buy, or will buy things for you and add it to the bill. We chatted a few times between the initial consult and my appointment as she came up with different ideas for the project she was going to work on. Read that last sentence again, because it’s an important one. The project SHE WAS GOING TO WORK ON. This was the biggest surprise to me. I figured she’d give some tips and help a bit, but the day of the appointment we chatted for a few minutes, then she sent me away. You guys, I could have taken a nap while someone else magically organized my life (or at least my entryway and playroom) – I was beginning to think this was some sort of miracle.
And the results? I was thrilled. The entryway, which had formerly been a disorganized pile of shoes, bags, and whatever else got dropped as my family walked by suddenly did not give me palpitations. Each of the kids had a labeled bin for shoes, another for accessories (like bows!), and there was a spot for backpacks. And although they’ve needed a few reminders, the kids are actually pretty thrilled to have a space of their own for their things. When she was done with the entryway,
my new fairy godmother Corrie moved on to the playroom, sorting, labeling, and rearranging in a manner that made SO MUCH more sense. When she called up to me “do you mind if I work on the arts and crafts area?” I could have hugged her.
The thing is mamas, if clutter and chaos stress you out (and studies have shown that for many of us it does), finding a way to get things a bit under control should not be seen as an indulgence, but rather as an important piece of self-care. When things are causing us stress, we owe it to ourselves and to our children to find a way to reduce that stress. Perhaps it means begging a spouse or a friend to get the kids out of your hair for a day so you can dig into it, or perhaps it means hiring a service like Simplify Your Life to help you out – either way, give yourself permission to make it a priority if it’s important to you. I for one will be having Corrie back soon to tackle my overfilled basement and the terrifying mess that is the children’s closet.
Does your home cause you stress? Are there piles everywhere, closets are stuffed, the basement is packed and it is just not functional, appealing or enjoyable anymore? If you answered yes, I am here to help! Simplify Your Life is ready to help you de-stress, de-clutter and free up time and space so you can start to enjoy life and your home environment again! My name is Corrie Douglas, Professional Organizer, Owner of Simplify Your Life. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a love for helping and organizing! (401) 589-1916 | simplifyourliferi.com | [email protected]