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”