I am a creative spirit. I hate throwing things away because I know somehow, some way it could be recycled, recreated, reimagined in the future.
When I was a kid, my mom would send me to clean my room and I would emerge three days later having uncovered a mountain of books I needed to read and boxes full of all the great crafting stuff I forgot I had. Simply put: I was a pack rat. My college roommates were not too thrilled about this character trait. They let me have my own room while they shared.
Now that I am a wife and mommy, who spends a lot of time packing and unpacking for moves and travels, I have started to reform my ways.
A few years ago we moved into a smaller home with a bigger yard. There was a great master bedroom, another bedroom for my three girls, and a smaller room we needed to turn into a joint office for our non-profit and the jewelry business. We also needed to turn the garage into a functional warehouse space to house the jewelry and supplies. Did I mention one bathroom? Needless to say, everything felt tight, tight, tight.
Every time I sat down to work I would start to feel like the world was closing in on me. We decided to enlist a little help from our friend Brenda McElroy who had started a business called Organized by Choice. We needed some fresh perspective on how to organize our space to make it functional for our family and work.
Enter Brenda. She is a miracle worker.
She helped us talk through our goals. She gave loads of “gentle” suggestions on what to get rid of and what to keep. She proved creative and encouraging. She helped my (pack rat) oldest daughter sift through boxes of art projects and supplies. She drew sketches on how we could organize our dual office space. She even went shopping for just the right organizers for our closets and desks.
Perhaps one of the most powerful things Brenda taught me is that everything needs to have a “home.” That word echoes in my head every time things start to feel overwhelming or cluttered. I pick up a bill, a birthday card, an old flip flop, a coupon or a gift card. I ask myself, does this have a home? If it doesn’t, I need to create a home for it or pitch it. This simple philosophy has empowered me to get rid of a lot of unnecessary stuff.
**For more great tips from Brenda, check out her blog at OrganizedByChoice.com.
Dorina Lazo Gilmore is the Coordinator of the Bridge MOPS. She aspires to be organized. She lives with her hubby, Ericlee, and three daughters, Meilani, 7, Giada, 5, and Zayla, 2. They split their time between Fresno, California and Pignon, Haiti.