Posted on: November 1, 2016


Michelle Flaherty “American Pie”

At a recent Halloween party, a fellow party goer dressed as an iconic movie character exclaimed, “Leslie, I finally understand what you do!” She went on to explain that she had lost control of her bedroom and master closet over a period of about a year. It began when she used it as a dumping ground for some of her children’s things. And regressed from there.

This mom knew she should do something about what seemed to be a lingering problem, but other things became a priority.  The catalyst for her, was returning home from a vacation to find the closet bar had collapsed. It was time to face reality.

What she didn’t expect, was that getting organized would change her life! Now she understands. We hugged and shared a moment of joy.

I was dressed as a mouse at the time.

– – –

I have a client, I will call her Ilona, who is the process of changing HER life. When we toured her space, it looked lovely from the outside, but her closets, pantry, and spare bedroom were bursting at the seams. She decided to purchase a twenty hour package of hours hoping to “Get Organized” so she would feel more comfortable having people over.

What she did not expect, was how much it would change her life.

We started in the master closet. It was so full she was not able to use it efficiently.  Clothes for the week were hung on hangers on knobs around the bedroom or draped over dressers. She declared boundaries for what to keep and what to donate. Over a period of two months she gave away at least 15 black garbage bags of clothing!  She treated herself to a new dresser. And enjoyed putting together outfits again.

At the end of our third direct service appointment, she expressed how much she appreciated the process, saying she felt that a weight had been lifted off of her.  She was feeling the shift, “Leslie, I know you do this for a living, but I want you to know just how much I appreciate this!”

Each time I returned for another appointment, she would have a few new bags of donations – items she put together in my absence – home décor, additional clothing, and extra kitchen supplies. We had a lovely time together, highlighting special pottery pieces on shelves in the walk-in pantry, sorting precious beads and jewelry supplies, chatting about her kids. Each time, she expressed her gratitude.

This past week, at the seventeen hour mark, we changed her life for good.  She organized long-forgotten office supplies (manila folders anyone?), donated stacks of patterns, uncovered her sewing machine, and re-visited precious memorabilia.  And then we got to the good stuff…

We organized her painting supplies! Not only does she have room to paint again (with canvases and gesso organized and waiting), her daughters are coming over to make jewelry.  Organizing her closet, led to rediscovering her creativity.  Fantastic!

My client has a few weeks of breathing time before our last package visit. At that time, we will tackle the entry closet and get her ready for the change in seasons.  I am certain she will have paintings and jewelry pieces to share. And the cracked windows we discovered (yikes!) will have been replaced.

I help people get unstuck. Right in the middle of the mess!

They have to be ready.

And it takes time.

But it really is life changing.

Just ask Marie Kondo!