Tonight was an exciting evening at my house. Typically on Friday evenings, I come home from work and cook dinner for my two youngest children, my husband and I. We all sit at the big dining room table, enjoy the meal together, talk about our week then we clear the dishes and have our weekly family bible study. I Love Fridays when we get to be together like this and this week was no exception. My son was a little late (he works 3rd shift and overslept) but he still made it in time for soup and family study.
Just after dinner, my daughter brought me a copy of the most recent issue of our county magazine, Happenings Defiance County This was kinda a big deal because.... I WAS IN IT!!!! I was right there, the very fist article!!! Big Photo and all!!
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Last month I was invited to a local library to talk about organizing paper. This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart.... I LOVE to organize paper. I know that may sound crazy to some of you but it's the truth. I honestly enjoy taking piles of paper, culling them down to four basic catagories and rapidly making sense of a mound of paper that seemed untamable. I find that many folks are intimadated with this task because they just don't know where to begin but once they learn there is a system, they too can begin to make quick progress.
.....see there, I got a little side tracked talking about organizing paper.... anyway, in the audience at the library, was the editor of the local magazine. Immediatley following my presentation she introduced herself and asked if I would be interested in appearing in the magazine on a semi regular basis.... It took no time at all for me to say yes!!! I KNOW there are many people who need help organizing paper! Their papers, their parent's papers, their kid's papers, medical papers, financial paper, insurance paper, you name it we all have it and it multiplies every day. Most people don't realize there are actually organizers who can help with paper!
.....sorta side tracked again.... I was so excited... I want to help people get their paper organized and Faith (the editor's name) was interested in publishing interesting and helpful articles for our community. This was a win for both of us. A follow up meeting was scheduled and the rest they say, is history.... or maybe its the present....
The magazine that my daughter brought home from town tonight, hot off the press, was the first issue to carry a Just Julie Organizing article. Of course the topic was organizing paper. It was the recap of the short version of a workshop I offer called "Conquering Your Paper Mountain". I hope many of you will pick up a copy when you are out and about in Defiance over the next two months. You can also find the article by clicking on this link publications.hubbardcompany.com/books/mokp
if you are interested in getting started on conquering your Paper Mountain, contact me Today
That seems like such a loaded statement. Do you really believe that I remember when I started to become obsessed with organization? I cannot think of when it all started! I was not “Born Organized”! I know this because I recall that my childhood room was ALWAYS a total mess!! My room was such a mess that I was given a book called “The Big Tidy Up” for my birthday from my Aunt Betty. This book was about a girl named Jennifer whose room was so messy her mother posted a DO NOT ENTER sign on the door and forbid her to let any guests near it…. The sad part is, my room looked just like Jennifer’s, and I loved it that way. I don’t have any recollection of whether my room was messy or not in High School. When I moved into my first apartment for college… it was tidy.
Fast forward to my first purchased home, which I still live in today. We didn’t have much way back then…. So, it was pretty easy to keep it all organized. Then came children!!! I was definitely organized then! I very clearly remember counting the number of diapers my diaper holder held. Wait, it gets better….. I pretended to bathe and diaper the cat to make sure everything I needed was within arm’s reach; that I could keep one hand on the cat (…baby) and reach everything I needed. Now, my cat was not very cooperative and she kept my left hand very busy holding her down…. It was actually very good practice. I guess that was the beginning…..
My kitchen was organized by zones… it still is. My kids’ toy room was ALWAYS organized. I became a Pampered Chef consultant and I would cook in other ladies’ kitchens….. I was amazed at how many women kept their oven mitts by the sink… why not keep them by the oven??? Why are your dishes not near the dishwasher??? Would you keep your hand soap in the living room?? NO? Why not? It seemed so obvious to me, but it’s not to everyone.
I was a stay at home mom before it was cool and I homeschooled my three children. We were so organized we could finish a full day of schooling in less than 3 hours. If necessary, we could blast through the whole week in just a day!!! But we very rarely did.
When the economy collapsed in 2009, my husband’s job took a grave turn, and I had to return to work. At the time, my children and I were volunteering at an area Assisted Living facility. The children read Bible stories to the residents and conducted a bible study and I oversaw a craft project that went along with our topic. The morning I found out I had to return to the working sector, we were to volunteer there. On our way out the door, the administrator stopped us and we spoke for a few minutes… Now, her office was a HOT MESS!! Papers were piled from countertop to cupboard bottom on every flat surface! I very casually mentioned that “that” was something I would love to “get my hands on,” and she hired me on the spot!!!
It was so much worse than I knew… I soon found out that many of those papers were bills… unpaid bills. Most vendors in the area would no longer do business with them because the bills were not being paid… No flower shop would service them, they could not purchase groceries (on credit, cash only) from the local grocery stores, no one would mow the lawn or fix the plumbing. It wasn’t that the $$$ wasn’t there, the bills were just not getting paid because they were lost in the piles. New resident and employee paperwork was completed, but just lying about in no particular order. The beautiful filing cabinets were filled with empty files and office supplies. I pushed up my sleeves and got to work!
If I could have skipped to work I would have (but it was 15 miles from my home). I LOVED sorting, filing and dealing with all that paper. In less than two weeks; All the paper was filed, all the office supplies were sorted, organized and stored. 25 banker’s boxes of papers were stacked up for the shredding service and 15 more were labeled for long term storage, all the bills where paid in full and all local credit was re-established. I spent hours on the phone with the managers of dozens of businesses undoing the damages of the “assistant” that I unknowingly exposed. Did you understand that?? The parent company of this establishment had been paying someone to do the work I just did…. She had “worked?” for the company for 10 years?!?!? Some of the receipts I paid were 10 years old!!!
I was on cloud 9… But it was done…. What now?? I was shown the storage room…. Banker’s boxes stacked 6 and 8 high, dozens of filing cabinets, more office supplies…. That storage room took me an entire month. But I LOVED it. Next, I organized the kitchen, nurse’s station, and storage room, the employee scheduling system, and a few of the residents asked me to organize their apartments. In 6 months, it was a new place… I made fast friends with the employees and many of the residents. I was devastated when I would come to work on Monday and find that a good friend had passed away… I could not continue in that position…
I learned so much there. I learned that I loved to organize all kinds of things, but paper was my favorite. I learned that not everyone looks at those piles of stuff the same way I do. I learned that people can learn to think in an organized manner. I learned that organization CAN be taught. Most importantly I learned that I was a good teacher. I taught so many employees, residents and their family members how to organize things and their paper. One thing I did not realize was that I could market all these things. I found another job, and reminisced for 7 years…
3 Years ago, I saw my first “Fix It Up” show on cable TV (we don’t have cable at our house) and I learned something new. People need help organizing their stuff and they will hire someone to help them do it…… I found my new outlet… I could finally stop reorganizing everything in my house over and over again… Now I could do it for others!
I struggled to find a name for my new business venture…. Then one evening we were at a gathering and I was sorting the cards in a friend’s “games” box, someone asked what I was doing and my daughter said, “That’s just Julie organizing.”
So that’s the whole sorted affair…. That’s how it all started… from “The Big Tidy Up,” to “Just Julie Organizing”