Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A "Back to School" DON'T for Summer Lovers

By now you’ve been inundated with Back to School Organizing tips. Many of them are tried and true - a few of my favorites:

  • Set up a Homework Zone
  • Create an easy Lunch station in the pantry
  • Designate a Drop Box for Mom’s papers

And for my not-so orderly friends who are already behind:

  • Find* and clean out last year’s backpack.
  • Order school supplies on-line (your local store sold out last week and replaced with Halloween costumes)
    *It’s near the back door. Probably contains a report card and half a sandwich.

    And here’s my Back to School “Don’t.” Ignore the tip that suggests putting your kids to bed early to prepare them for the coming schedule.  Some say do this for days or even weeks before the first day of school!

    My thoughts? Let them play! Summer is this short, precious little bit of time; and the end of summer, with the nights already getting shorter, sometimes even chillier, is even more delicious. We have nine long months ahead of car pools and sports practice, PTA meetings and conferences, homework and studying. There will be rain and snow and plenty of dark, dark afternoons.

    So this week - let them play.

    Sit outside with your neighbors while the kids shoot hoops or ride their scooters. Eat a popsicle, fire up the BBQ, catch a few fireflies.The kids will get up on the first day of school just like they always have – easily. Kids love the first day of school. It’s just a fun day of school supply sorting, locker finding, and friend reconnecting anyway. They’ll get out of bed just fine. That first evening they’ll be tired. They will eat a nice dinner, load their backpacks, and fall into bed, exhausted. In just one night your kids will be back into the familiar school routine without a single wasted summer moment.Play outside these last few nights. Stay up late if you want! Summer is slipping away.
  • Wednesday, August 13, 2014

    Today is a special day for Totally Orderly...

    Today, literally TODAY, I’m celebrating TEN YEARS in business!

    Happy Anniversary to Totally Orderly!

    And where was I in 2004? Carpooling my little tots, still sharing an email address with my husband; my mental health career long forgotten.

    I don’t know why I thought I could launch a business. I knew nothing about marketing, accounting, or strategic planning. ROI and COGS were acronyms too mysterious to research. But I could organize, and that was enough to get started.  

    Fresh from the gate I learned this job was about much more than organizing. It’s about families and respect and values. It’s about success and feeling good and acceptance. My customers, hands down, are the best part of my job.  

    And here are Ten Wisdom's & Lessons gleaned from my amazing Totally Orderly customers:
    1. Asking for help is a heroic act of bravery
    2. The generosity of some people is immeasurable
    3. Laughing at one’s self leads to incredible clarity
    4. A little order goes a long way
    5. The pursuit of perfection is probably pointless
    6. Our gifts and talents are meant to be shared
    7. Family, friends and experiences trump stuff
    8. Everything has energy – choose wisely what lives in your home
    9. Self-hatred is extraordinarily painful
    10. I’m not nearly as organized as I thought I was

    Today I offer a heartfelt thank you to all the customers who have come in and out of my life these past ten years. Thank you for welcoming me into your homes, for sharing your struggles, for exposing your hurts. I’ve learned more from you than you from me – and for this I’m forever grateful.  

    Thursday, August 7, 2014