It has been a couple of strange months. This pandemic has made us step back and slow down our frantic pace. The results we are experiencing are simply amazing.
We have discovered new ways to work and creative ways to connect, stay healthy and entertain ourselves. Many (myself included) are realizing how much fun it is to stay home with our loved ones.
Being home with others brings to our attention the many things we have ignored about our environment. All those pending house projects, the lack of organization, and systems impeding our progress and productivity now confront us – we can’t elude them when we have nowhere else to go.
It is logical to turn our attention to those project now that we have the time to address them. Now is the time that we need an organized, restful and clean home environment to thrive in.
As a result of this need, My Space Reclaimed launched its first ever Facebook Live Series: My Desk Looks Great. All Papers Are On The Kitchen Counter. This series of four live events explores an organizing approach for your home and the systems that support you and increase your efficiency.
Episode 1- The organizing process in 12 steps
Episode 2 – Dealing with the aftermath of the initial organization
Episode 3 – Two key home systems: laundry and paper (+ closet tips)
We are also very close to the 700 followers mark on our Facebook page!
Thanks to all our friends and fans. We love you! It is fun to learn and grow together. A feeling of community is emerging in our Facebook page as we provide remote guidance to our followers. Please keep us posted with your progress, submit questions, and send ideas for future Live Events to discuss your most pressing issues.
We are all in this together and My Space Reclaimed wants to do its part to assist you in achieving the organized, efficient home you and your family deserve the most at this time.
If you need help with your general organizing process or have particular challenges, we also offer virtual service. It is a practical way to get the assistance and information you need to achieve your organized nirvana.
The Greatest Pitfall In Home Management
That laundry basket that does not seem to find its way to its right place nor get empty…. Do you know that basket?
Families do not have time to finish laundry. Seems like cleaning up the kitchen is another problem for most people. Laundry, paper and kitchen are the nemeses of so many!
I have detected the most common pitfall of every “household manager” – not acting as a manager at home. A good number of people do not apply to the home the same skill set that makes them successful at work. Why not?
Decluttering your old home before you move and also organizing your packing according to the rooms in your new space, will result in a much easier unpacking process, a faster new home set up, and a better organization system after move-in.
My Space Reclaimed was featured by Redfin for the second time in their article:10 Home Improvement Projects to Tackle Before Moving Into a New House. Good read. Don’t miss it.
From Our “Warm & Fuzzy” Collection
“Maristella was such an asset for us. We recently completed a renovation and had her help us organize our closets and the kitchen. She not only helped us unpack and get everything in the right location, but also made sure to walk us through the organization systems to ensure we stay organized. Maristella also provides thorough notes and recommendations for products, which is much appreciated. She was also great working around our situation, including our territorial dog and numerous contractors in and out of the house. We highly recommend Maristella!”
Not sure you can tackle organization on your own? You don’t have to. Let’s set up a time to talk. I’d love to hear about your situation and see if I can help. Contact me at 972-896-8933 or [email protected], and we’ll set up a time to chat.
Spring is around the corner! While writing this newsletter on a beautiful Sunday, I’ve been listening to a couple of birds furiously chirping the whole day out of my balcony. I’m not the only one ready for Spring to come.
With Spring comes new hopes and a fresh breath of air. And we have some news to share.
My Space Reclaimed won Best of Houzz for the 4th year in a row! Thank you all for the continued support that made this possible. Houzz is addictively wonderful if you are into home improvement and design. Follow us on Houzz as well!
And if you are a true organizing aficionado, we invite you to join a very unique Facebook group recently created for Organizers and related providers to advertise their services and share new ideas and products we all come across (and squeal with excitement). This is the place where you will find all of it. This group is open to anyone. Visit the page and join us. Professional Organizers Products and Services
Finally, I invite you all to follow us on Instagram. Let’s see if we can expand the tribe there as well, the same way we did this on Facebook. Please visit our Instagram profile and follow us there (and tell everyone you know).
When Faced With Uncertainty, Control What You Can
Feeling like it is the end of the world as we know it? From climate change (and the corresponding fight about who is right or wrong), the absurd political climate we are living in, racism and neo-Nazis in the spotlight like we are in the 60s, the flu and coronavirus…. There is so much to make us feel uneasy and even desperate. This might not be too different from other moments in history but perhaps because of the internet and the easy, immediate access to news and information, it is easy to feel absolutely bombarded with things that make us wonder where do we stand in the middle of nowhere.
When such feelings haunt us, we can really feel unbalanced and lost. We might start feeling depression and those of us that suffer from depression already might sink even further. I know those feelings are not easy to weather.
I do have a suggestion for us all: organize your immediate environment. When you feel you can take control of your physical surroundings, then you can better manage your time. Consequently, you might start feeling a sense of safety and security. You then realize you are not at the mercy of everything happening around you. You won’t feel like a victim of so many uncontrollable uncertainties surrounding you.
The message here is: control what you can control by taking care of your environment and your time. And to do this, you organize your physical surroundings and your time.
Please let me know if you need help with this. I’d be honored to help you find some peace.
Restoring Proper Body And Mind Energetic Flow
Our environment can make us sick. I’m not necessarily referring to pollution, but rather the way we react to our environment. We react consciously and subconsciously. We are energy. Everything around us is energy. Even the colors we see are no other than energy at different wavelengths. As we know, colors have the power to impact our mood.
It is impossible not to react to our environment in one way or another. You might not react consciously, but our bodies know. Our subconscious mind knows. I first learned about this through an acupuncturist, when he showed me how the “muscle test” works. He proved to me that our bodies are the best lie detectors. The body can’t lie. The body has a mind of its own.
So regardless of what our thoughts are and what we think we perceive from our environment, our subconscious mind and our body know the truths we might not be aware of, or which purposely try to ignore.
Read my latest blog, Restoring Proper Body And Mind Energetic Flow, where I discuss who our perceptions of the environment and our own lives can manifest in physical symptoms and disease. Some ways to counteract this phenomenon are discussed.
Welcome to a new year full of opportunities to learn, to grow and transform.
It’s a new beginning. This is the perfect time of the year to get the best agenda to suit your needs and start mapping out those goals you might want to achieve in 2020 and beyond. What gets scheduled, gets done.
Aside from your bigger goals, you should consider including in your calendar all the boring household and personal routine tasks we all need to accomplish. This will allow you to free up the mind while complying with the menial tasks that should not be forgotten.
Here’s a very short list of those tasks as an example to get you started:
✓ Organize an area of the house ✓ Backup docs and digital pictures ✓ Check alarms
✓ Check emergency equipment ✓ Oil garage doors ✓ Clean out and wash cars
✓ Take pets to the vet ✓ Revise financial plans ✓ Dental visits
✓ Toss expired medications ✓ Reorganize files ✓ Medical check-ups
Many additional tasks will come to mind. Your list depends on your life’s circumstances. This exercise requires time and effort, but the more specific you can get while preparing this list, the fewer things will fall through the cracks. Everything will get done in a timely manner and you won’t have to remember it all once it is scheduled. Better on your agenda than on your mind, right?
The Color Of The Year
Each December, Pantone announces the new “Color of the Year” to inspire art and design in all its forms for the upcoming year. The color experts at Pantone make their pick based on “what is needed in our world today.” All areas of life are considered – culture, fashion, sports, entertainment, economics, politics…. For 2019, Pantone chose the energizing and vibrant Living Coral, to restore positivity. To begin the new decade, however, Pantone’s taste makers have selected a very different swatch from their collection. Classic Blue is officially the Color of the Year 2020. “Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era,” says Pantone. Whereas Living Coral suggested warm mornings and sunlight, Classic Blue resembles an evening sky. This color is intended to inspire a clear, peaceful mind. Source: https://mymodernmet.com/pantone-color-of-the-year-2020/
Talk Dirty To Me (And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets)
In one of my latest blogs, Talk Dirty To Me And I Will Tell You Some Cleaning Secrets, I share some products and tips that might make the difference between dreading the house cleaning process and having it done consistently and in a flash. With approximately 20 products (including tools), I briefly describe a simple, scheduled process that helps you maintain the cleanliness of your home. Cleaning your home and keeping it clean is much easier when the space is uncluttered and organized. I can help you with that. Let’s talk. Let me show you how much easier your life can be!
Many start the year with a desire to detoxify. Not only do they want to get rid of clutter and better their environment, they want to detoxify their minds and bodies as well.
In this book, Dr. Gundry explains how the beginnings of all disease can be linked to the food we eat, and how food can also heal us.
It has always seemed so paradoxical to me that western medicine depends on chemicals to treat our health problems and then counts on more chemicals to counteract the toxic effects of the first ones. Ironically, this is all done while paying little or no attention to the root of the problem – what we eat.
The book is entertaining and includes a detox program with delicious and simple recipes.
New! Rewards Program
My Space Reclaimed is launching a rewards program based on referrals. Tackle that special pending project or put the finishing touches on that space we reclaimed together, for FREE!
Recommend My Space Reclaimed to friends and relatives. For every 4 hours of organizing services they purchase, YOU GET 2 FREE HOURS. A minimum session is 4 hours. You need 2 successful referrals to obtain a free session.
Use social media to SPREAD THE WORD and increase your chances! Visit MySpaceReclaimed.com or call 972-896-8933 Visit MySpaceReclaimed.com or call 972-896-8933
The original Facebook page, “Maristella Bertram: My Space Reclaimed” will soon cease to exist. Most of you should have received a message about this through Facebook.
If you have not “liked” the new page yet, would you please click on the link below now and “like” the page? You don’t want to miss some of the crazy stuff and behind the scenes stories that happens while organizing. It’s never about the stuff, but it surely is always an adventure!
https://www.facebook.com/pg/MySpaceReclaimed/community/?ref=page_internal (Do it now, before you forget!)
What are you grateful for? I believe we should be in perpetual state of gratefulness for each one of us has been blessed with abundant gifts. Even when life throws hard tests our way, upon coming out “on the other side”, we usually see it was all for the greater good. We emerge stronger, wiser, more understanding and emphatic of others. In my opinion, that is an enormous reason to be grateful. It makes us better human beings. But there is something about this special time of the year that invites reflection. From a personal standpoint, I am emerging from one of those times in life where we only see the silver lining after the fact. It has been a rough couple of years for me. But now, parallel to this process, I’m witnessing amazing people sprout all around me like magic. People who humble me with their stories and honor me with their trust. These people grace my life and show me how blessed I am. For them, I am especially grateful this time of the year (and always).
Seasonal Décor…. Holiday Joy?
Few things seem to bring the house chaos to the surface like the holiday season. The gatherings, the cooking, decorations, the cold weather that makes us stay closer inside. The stability of our environment (or lack thereof) is exposed and put to the test like no other time of the year. Sometimes, I see people living in true chaos preoccupied with seasonal décor and gift-giving and entertaining and baking. I can’t help but wonder if that is just a defense mechanism to avoid seeing the elephant in the room. What sense does it make to decorate a house that is in total disarray? Some people might show no signs of being affected by the underlying disorganization of their environment, but this affects us all. At a mental level, clutter affects us consciously and unconsciously. If it is not at the forefront of our thoughts, it is still there like computer RAM. From an energetic point of view, clutter drains our energy. Sometimes, we don’t notice the detrimental effects of a chaotic environment, especially when we have not known any better. But if only we could experience a different way, what would happen? How many possibilities would open-up? How much more efficient could we become? How joyful? Our environment is our foundation. If the foundation is not in order, we are on shaky ground. Rather than being a roadblock in life, your home environment should support you and bring you joy. That joy starts with a commitment to having an organized and optimized space. Then, the whole family can have a great time decorating, sharing, cooking and eating together instead of fighting about not finding the dusty boxes, broken ornaments, or being in a bad mood because the house is a mess. Having an “exit strategy” is equally important because the way you choose to close your holiday season will directly impact next year’s celebrations. If holiday decorations were not in order before, this is a good starting point. Decide to mindfully and purposefully store your seasonal décor in a way that they are preserved, honored, and accessible for the following year. Also, commit to putting your home environment in order. You will feel the difference! Stop fighting your environment. Make your environment work for you.
Want to experience a more joyful holiday season? Get your environment in order! Overwhelmed by the task? Call MySpace Reclaimed! You don’t have to do this alone. Know when to ask for the help of a professional. Let’s set a time to chat and see how we can walk that road together.
Is Your Dryer “Eating” Your Socks?
I can’t tell how many well-educated, intelligent people I have known say the dryer “eats” socks. This makes me laugh hard. The truth is we’ve never uncovered the truth behind the mystery of the missing socks, but the result of this is the same in every household: a myriad of single socks that end up in a laundry basket, eternally waiting for their beloved companions. It is a waste of time to collect mismatched socks for weeks, hoping to find the matching pairs. Most socks are cheap, and it costs more of your time and storage space to engage in this activity of collecting single socks. Stop wasting time and recover that extra laundry basket by donating your old or mismatched socks to a shelter near you. Although we rarely think of donating socks, it turns out that socks are among the most needed items in shelters (probably because we usually don’t think of donating socks to start with). If we do think of donating socks, we might think we can only donate socks in perfect condition and socks in pairs. Not the case! When you have nothing, having mismatched or old socks to warm your feet doesn’t matter. With temperatures dropping this time of the year, it is the perfect moment to re-organize your drawers and take inventory of your socks. Donate those that you would otherwise throw away.
The Mess The Organizer Made
“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end”.This quote, from Robin Sharma, intensely resonates with me as an Organizer. As an Organizer, I bring a lot of change to my clients’lives. But this process is not always well understood by everyone involved. Thus, I got inspired to write a piece about it. It is a brave decision for a client to engage a Professional Organizer, but it does not end there. Clients need to understand that indeed, “it will get worse before it gets better” and that the whole house needs to be considered as a unit. To understand how the process occurs, read my blog The Mess The Organizer Made.
Summer vacation is over, but the heat is certainly at its peak. Everybody ready for school? I remember one of my favorite commercials ever from Staples. Here, I dedicate it to my friends with school-age kids: https://youtu.be/CD1PffNbZls Maybe now that kids are back in school, you might want to take on some of those organizing projects you’ve been thinking of? Not sure you can do this on your own? You don’t have to. Let’s set up a time to talk. I’d love to hear about your situation and see if I can help. Just contact me and we’ll set up a time to chat. We’ll have some fun reclaiming your space, your time and your sanity. Yes?
Disorganization has many root causes, but there are some elements that can aggravate a disorganized environment, compounding the problem. If these elements are addressed, chances are the environment around us would be much more manageable.
1.Too much stuff – Things will continuously enter our space. If we do not get in the habit of eliminating what no longer serves us, we end up with an unmanageable accumulation of stuff. We need to make room for what we truly need and want by eliminating what no longer has a place in our lives.
2. Lack of proper tools – Buying solutions or bins beforehand might be a waste of time and might even compound the problem by adding to the clutter, when these items are purchased without taking into consideration the area where they are going and what they will contain. You might want to read my blog Containers Won’t Make You Organized.
3. Broken things – These are things that have stopped working as intended and as a result of being neglected, cause further disorganization around them. We live life at a very fast pace. That causes us to ignore details like broken things. The problem is that such details accumulate over time and we end up with a dysfunctional environment. These details do matter. Take the time to fix these little problems the moment they happen. It would be much more time consuming and costly to let them go and try to deal with the repercussions later.
A common question when preparing your house for the market is what improvements to make in order to get the best return on investment. Here’s some interesting data that Opendoor put together for the Dallas market. You can read the article here:
When I blog, write a post or discuss concepts with clients, I wonder whether my words really make a difference in anyone’s life. A few days ago, I received a message that stopped me on my tracks. More than a “testimonial”, I would like this client to be our teacher today. Her words reveal how far she has come on her journey and the lessons she has learned. I am humbled and grateful to have been a part of her evolution. I met her in 2017 and this message came via text without any prompting. “Where Do All The What-Nots Go?” Here’s the title for a book you should write! I had many “What-Nots” (as you know). Each one had a story, a sentimental attachment. I am preparing to send them off into a new life. Big step! I think holding onto things of the past is mostly about not letting go of the past itself. Perhaps it’s a subconscious desire to fix things about the past that weren’t exactly right, or maybe it’s a physical connection to someone no longer present physically. Until now, my what-nots were simply languishing in a box, waiting to see the light of day. I never thought about them until I saw them. Each one brought pain and tears as I unwrapped it, and I spent a few moments reflecting on what each one meant to me. I guess I’ve grown since that time in 2017, when you helped me out. Back then, you carefully wrapped each piece and put it into the box, all the while suggesting that these what-nots were no longer relevant to my life. Even as you did so, you understood that I was just not yet ready to let go. These days, I can see that holding onto them is holding onto the pain and trauma they are connected to. Why else would they bring tears at the sight of them? Before you, and before now, I always thought I was holding onto the person or love I associated them with. I thought letting go of them was letting go of the love and nothing could be farther from the truth. You, above everyone else I’ve read or listened to on the subject, understand the process. You have a way about you that makes the letting go easier, even if it took me awhile. It is YOUR words I hear as I prepare my what-nots for donation. You’ve had a long- lasting effect on me. I’m glad you are putting your words into the world via your blog and newsletter. They deserve to be heard!” – Rox, Dallas
Summer is here and with that, two of my children’s birthdays. My oldest turns 16 and now she’s driving. No, I’m not ready for this. No one ever is anyway.
Are you all setup for Summer? Vacation, travel, camps? We are not! My world is not that perfectly planned as many would think. No matter what we’ll end up doing, I hope I will always keep documenting our “Bertram TV” episodes on social media. Our kids are a comic force to be reckoned with. They keep us laughing out loud every day. I’m truly blessed with this kind of crazy.
If you are like most people, you probably keep your travel bags and suitcases in your closet. You probably also have many travel size toiletry products in your bathroom, along with all those samples that everyone loves to give us (and we adore to collect). I will make a bold statement and say that inside those travel bags and suitcases there are things you left from your last trip or weekend out, that you don’t even remember leaving there. Want to see? Go now and check those bags (don’t forget the zippered pockets). You let me know…
I would like to share an excerpt of Karen Kingston’s Newsletter where she explains how clutter can hold a person back. She mentions how it is even pointless to try to attain personal growth prior to removing the clutter that surround us.
“There are the physical items you can see, and there is also the energetic side of clutter —the stagnant energy that accumulates around it that causes corresponding stagnation in a person’s life.
People with clutter-filled homes have no space in their life for anything new. Our homes are reflections of ourselves, and when the spaces we occupy are cluttered or disorganized, our lives feel the same way too. In the same way that it becomes more difficult to find things when you need them, so everything in life becomes harder and just getting through the day feels like a struggle. No wonder people who have clutter say they don’t have the energy to clear it!
When you finally give clutter clearing the priority it warrants, with each area of your home you reclaim, fresh energy is released into your life. And when you work through the backlog of things you need to do and bring yourself up-to-date, you become genuinely ready for change.”
Maristella has a unique ability most of us lack. She does not fear chaos, she embraces it, manages it and breaks it down so it can be tackled by anyone. Maristella helped me face and manage my fear of being overwhelmed by too many things and paralyzed to do anything. The work she does is not easy, but she loves it. It was a great experience and I learned this process that really gets me motivated and moving. Now, there are times when I lose that luster, but I’ve contacted Maristella when this happens, and she gets me right on track. I call that beyond responsive. Maristella does go above and beyond expectations. She takes great pride in her work – it is a reflection of her.
Have an organizing project but don’t know how to start? Not sure you can tackle it on your own? You don’t have to. Let’s set up a time to talk. I’d love to hear about your situation and see if I can help. Call me at 972-896-8933 or email me at [email protected], and we’ll set up a time to chat.