During a recent trip to Puerto Rico (I’m from PR, if you didn’t know), I listened to a good friend talk about his place- a condo with a killer view and more than reasonable space for a bachelor. This friend also has excellent taste, so his place looks nicely put together.
But for the last decade, he had tried to sell his condo.
During that time, the property had been on and off the market. And although my friend had done everything within his power and seemed to do it all right, the sale never went through for various reasons.
All the while, he had felt emotionally detached from his own home, as he said.
Deciding To Flow
At some point during those years, his life significantly changed – It sped up exponentially. Consequently, he was spending much less time at home. The timing was ideal because now, he did not need to spend so much time in a place he did not love.
However, he thought maybe his path was not to sell his apartment after all and that he probably needed “to flow” with his home instead.
And by “flowing,” he meant he had decided to align his actions and feelings with the energy of his dwelling, so it could be the source of joy he wished for – a home that would delight and support him. (I swear I had nothing to do with his decision or process – this was all him).
As he started to plan some upgrades on his apartment, it was clear he could only start those after emptying several areas that have been storing a lot of stuff through the years. He had not seen, touched, or needed that for long.
As you can imagine, this was not a project he looked forward to doing.
The Unexpected Happened
But then something unexpected happened- as soon as all that stuff started coming out of the many “hiding” areas, he felt a rush of energy compelling him to declutter and reorganize everything in his home. He could not explain it, but that feeling was enough. He took action.
Unbeknownst to him, this was a first-hand experience of clutter causing stagnant energy and the contrasting feeling of unleashing the positive energy that comes with decluttering.
It might be easy to ignore the draining effects of stagnant energy, settling for the status quo. However, becoming mindful gets us in touch with ourselves, our feelings, their why, and how. Then it’s easier to discern what should be done and the path forward.
So yes, my dear friend has a beautiful, well-appointed condo that he loves and is no longer trying to sell. He made peace with his home, which is now a place that supports his hectic life and gives him joy.
His Story Is My Wish For You
Listening to his story made me realize his journey perfectly embodied everything I wish everyone to experience.
Making the right decisions
Eliminating clutter and chaos from their lives
Shifting their energy
Loving where they live
(My friend should become My Space Reclaimed’s poster child, right?)
It’s simple- once you decide to love your place and act mindfully, your house becomes that HOME that supports your life and speaks of rest, comfort, and joy.
When that happens, life becomes easier, bigger, and better. That’s when you experience the flow.
Many people, especially women, feel ashamed about being unable to keep up with a tidy home or an organized life. Is that the shame that binds you?
But why does this happen? Where does such a thing come from?
Well, it starts with some harmful beliefs society has perpetuated. And these beliefs are particularly harmful to women.
Society has perpetuated three beliefs that are particularly harmful to women:
It is a woman’s job to organize the home, her life, and the lives of everyone in the household while even working outside the home.
This female job comes from the fact that a woman’s capacity to organize, plan, and manage comes inherently to the female gender.
A woman should be capable of doing all that naturally, effortlessly, and excellently.
But planning, organizing, and managing require engaging the brain’s executive function. And whether it is due to an accident, illness, a brain condition, or genetics, the ability to plan, organize, and manage takes work and requires learning for a large part of the population. The truth is that most people do not excel at those activities, even less enjoy them.
An Outsourcing Economy
And that should not be a problem. Our societal arrangement provides for outsourcing services and products we cannot make ourselves due to the lack of skills and time.
We defer the making of products and provision of services we need to groups or individuals that are experts at what they do because engaging our time in or learning all the skills required to produce our products and services is not cost-efficient.
And there is no shame in that.
For example, we go to a salon to get a great haircut. Of course, we could cut our hair, but that does not mean we should, would want to, or be successful at it (I know, I’ve been there! LOL).
Or we go to a store or tailor to get clothes instead of sewing our own. Although many people excel at sewing, that is not most of us.
And even those good at sewing would only make some of their clothes. Making their whole wardrobe from scratch is not an efficient use of their time. So even they outsource their clothes acquisition.
Why The Shame?
So, why the shame around organizing, managing, and planning?
Is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company embarrassed to engage a business coach or a team efficiency expert? No! It is even expected from a person in such a position.
The shame of being unable to keep a tidy home and an organized life comes from thinking we are inherently capable of achieving this. And if we can’t accomplish that, something must be wrong with us. Furthermore, if those skills are innate, they are expendable at some level.
A Compounded Problem
We are dealing with a double fallacy that compounds that shame.
Believing a person is inherently capable of planning, organizing, and managing negates the possibility of needing to learn these skills, as is the case for so many.
Consequently, someone without those skills might feel ashamed and even less open to acquiring the skills by learning.
How about focusing on what we excel at and what makes us joyful? It is easier to feel happier, accomplished, and fulfilled in life this way instead of pounding ourselves with guilt every step.
Here’s The Solution
And for things that involve knowledge we don’t have, skills we were not born with, and time we don’t want to spend (like organizing, planning, and managing, for example), the Professional Organizer comes to the rescue!
A Professional Organizer is skilled and, in many cases, instructed in organizing, planning, and managing physical spaces, time, people, systems, and ideas.
Doing the organizing and planning, you do not have time to do
Doing the organizing and planning you do not want to do
Developing systems that make your life and home more efficient
Using their knowledge, experience, and skills to build systems to make your life and home more efficient
Teaching you the fundamentals of their work, should you be interested in learning to maintain your systems
A Professional Organizer sets household members up for daily success and long-term goal achievement, plus a home that operates like a well-oiled machine. Who would not like to have that?
A Matter of Perspective
Look at it from the perspective of that Fortune 500 Executive that engages a coach to crush their short- and long-term goals while learning to work smarter, not harder. After all, you ARE the CEO of your home.
So, stop the guilt if that is what’s holding you back. Instead, give a Professional Organizer a chance to show you how easier life can be! You might be surprised. Your only regret might be not making that decision sooner.
What is the deal with all that packaging? Medicines and supplements come with an extraordinary amount of packaging that they no longer need once those items get home. Remove all that at once and make the product part of your home.
Medicines and supplements are usually found all over the home. New bottles, half-empty bottles, expired products, OTC stuff… Medication and supplements take up a lot of space in our homes. It is hard to account for the product on hand and even harder to track them for expiration and reordering.
Here are some suggestions to save space when storing medication and supplements at home. These suggestions help track the supply at hand and define the reordering process.
Whether you get your medicines and supplements by mail or pick them up at the store, you probably have an excess of bottles and extra packaging complicating your space.
Many medications and supplements come with excess packaging. It is unthinkable to go through it daily to get your medications.
Thus, it makes sense to strip your medications and supplements from all unnecessary packaging as soon as they enter your home. Better be done with that at once!
Most supplements and medication bottles come half empty. How about consolidating all that product? Do so when the product is the same type with a similar expiration date.
I have consistently decreased the number of bottles I get by half by consolidating their contents. The amount of unnecessary packaging I remove is considerable. I save a lot of space in my cabinets just by doing this.
Store ingestible medicine and supplements in a single place in your home, preferably in the kitchen.
The bathroom is suitable for therapeutic and medicinal products that are not ingestable. These are products that we apply to the skin, hair, nose, mouth, and teeth (both OTC and prescribed). This group might include the contents of a first aid kit, for example.
Having these two distinct categories of medication properly allocated and stored allows for better tracking of the product on hand and facilitates prescription reorder management s with the pharmacy.
It boils down to how diligently you can manage packages that enter your home and what you do with them, medication or otherwise.
When we have a dedicated guestroom, can we keep it ready to receive guests? It means keeping it empty of our stuff, decorated with a cozy atmosphere, and perhaps a couple of things to wow guests.
Maintaining our belongings out of the guestroom makes it easier to control our things. It simplifies everything. I can’t imagine the stress it would cause me to have random things in random places in my home, not knowing where’s what.
What The Guestroom Is Not
The guestroom should not be the dumpster for all the unwanted gifts you have received, your wedding dress or formal attire, gift-wrapping supplies, unpacked boxes from your last move, and old pictures in frames you’d rather avoid. Each of these things has a logical place – different from the guestroom.
If you’ve worked with My Space Reclaimedbefore, you know the logical place for each item in your home. But if you are still determining the best storage area for any of the stuff you want to store in your guestroom, I will be happy to point you in the right direction.
It is common for people to place random stuff wherever there’s space available. But this practice is incompatible with an organized home. So, for example, would you place canned food in a bathroom cabinet because it has some open space? (And if you answered yes, stop reading now – nothing here will make sense to you).
Keeping our belongings out of the guestroom also avoids the last-minute scramble to remove stuff from that space when guests come over. Or heaven forbids the need to make a little space for a guest or two so they can accommodate their things in the guestroom.
Please don’t do this unless you want your guests to feel unwelcome. The message given is that they’re interrupting how you live. I would not feel at ease as a guest in such a situation. I’d hate to feel I’m causing my host inconvenience or additional work.
What Every Guestroom Should Have
So, now that we know what not to place in that guestroom, let’s touch on what we should include.
Other than maintaining the room empty of our belongings, paying attention and intention to the guestroom makes total sense. We want to ensure the place is comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, cozy, and inviting. To achieve that, let’s use simple, neutral décor, and cozy ambiance, anticipate our guests’ needs, and implement details that truly make a difference.
We must consider the following elements to create unforgettable experiences for our home guests.
Choose a medium-firm mattress (in whatever size you need the bed to be). If the bed frame does not have a headboard, create one, or buy a panel to install on the wall behind the bed. The headboard makes the bed feel warm and determines bed placement.
Choose white, solid sheets and pillowcases of the same set (try bamboo!). Get two additional pillowcases every time you buy a sheet set. In addition, invest in four firm pillows (two, if the bed is twin size), a mattress protector, and pillow protectors (waterproof but that don’t feel plastic). Use the bed recipe for that upscale look. https://www.stagingstudio.com/bed-recipe-video
Include one nightstand for a twin bed or two nightstands for a double bed, queen, or king size. Include a full-length mirror, whether heavily framed, on the floor against the wall or a simple long mirror installed inside the closet door or wall. Don’t forget a dresser!
Choose simple curtain panels and modern-looking hardware. When deciding on panel measurements, consider that those come in standard sizes and that the appropriate length for these is touching the floor and lightly pooling at the bottom. Choose darkening / temperature-regulating curtain panels for added convenience for your guests.
The darkening / temperature-regulating curtain panels will help control the temperature in the room. Also, because chances are the guest bedroom does not have a separate thermostat, ensure that the room’s overhead lighting fixture includes a fan—the least number of items you need to add to the room, the better. Floor fans and space heaters do not contribute to an enticing look in a room.
Include limited wall décor that is simple, size-appropriate, and not about you, your family, politics, or religion.
Lighting is crucial for ambiance and functionality. In bedrooms, warm (yellow) light is the way to go. Install warm light bulbs on the ceiling fan light fixture. Also, add a table lamp on each nightstand, plus another on the dresser. Use warm light bulbs on all light fixtures in the room. Replace any burnout lightbulb at once. Do not mix different kinds of lightbulbs (color or power).
A Well-Appointed Bathroom
Place perfectly white (preferably new) bath towels or sheets on towel bars and hand towels on towel rings by the sink. Ensure the toilet, sink, and shower/bathtub work well without annoying leaks. Add a size-appropriate shower mat or rug in front of the shower and the sink area. Do not use toilet covers or mats around the toilet! Include a 3-8 gallon trashcan and line in with a transparent trash bag of the appropriate size. If the bathroom has a shower, install a new liner for its shower curtain. Better yet, consider a hookless shower curtain (eliminating the need for hooks and including a removable, washable fabric liner). Choose a solid shower curtain in white, preferably. Fit the countertop with a tissue box cover and a matching soap dispenser. (Place a tissue box in the dispenser and fill the soap dispenser).
Selected Travel-Sized Toiletries
Your guests will probably bring their toiletries. However, you want to be prepared for those impromptu stays and unforeseen mishaps. Consider buying these items in travel size: Q-tips, cotton, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, disposable razor, hairspray, shaving cream, nail clipper, mini brush, mini comb, moisturizing lotion, feminine supplies, tissue, wipes. Organize these neatly in drawer organizers (inserts) in one of the bathroom’s most accessible drawers.
Stock the bathroom cabinet over the toilet with extra rolls of paper (without the plastic wrapper!) and a couple of tissue boxes. If the bathroom does not have a cabinet over the toilet, use another nearby cabinet area).
Include 10-12 wooden, sturdy hangers in the closet. Add a skinny square or rectangular hamper that complements the room décor. Include 1-2 additional pillows (with pillow protectors and corresponding pillowcases) and a blanket.
It goes without saying, but the bedroom, the closet, and the bathroom should be spotless. Look up to see that the fan and air vents are dust-free. Pay attention to baseboards and crown moldings. Avoid plug-in scents and candles since these items require monitoring and can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals. Also, scents are very personal, subjective elements.
Electronics / Safety
Add a charger for your guest’s electronics on one or both nightstands. Include a small flashlight in the nightstand drawer if the power goes off. Use a plug-in nightlight in the bedroom and the bathroom and a couple of these in the hallway from the bedroom to the bathroom (when it’s not inside the room) and to the kitchen. Include a home automation device (such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home).
Coffee / Water / Snacks
Space permitting, place a coffee maker with a few hot-cold disposable cups, stirrers, and individual serving format coffee accessories (sweetener, cream pods). Add a small decorative box or basket with prepacked snacks (such as granola, cereal bars, and individual-size packs of almonds or peanuts) and two water bottles.
Add a clear vase with fresh flowers (minimal leaves) filled ¾ with water. Add a white or beige bathrobe and plush socks or sandals to the closet.
So, to provide your guests with an unforgettable stay that could become the stuff of legend, pay close attention to those guestroom details and anticipate their needs.
pills presorted in bags according to dosage/time of intake for each person
pill bags divided into baskets for each household member
system benefits: a streamlined process where everyone knows where, what, when, and how when getting their meds
The development of systems improves efficiency in the use of your space. Therefore, designing systems that increase productivity and make life easier is one of the most valuable benefits of working with a Professional Organizer.
If you want to experience some Organizing magic, let’s talk! We’d love to hear about you and see how we can help.