Hi. I am Alexis and I own Refreshed Home Organizing.
There is a funny misconception floating around that professional organizers live Pinterest-worthy, organized lives. We seem to have given a false impression that all of our books are arranged by color, then size, our mail is always sorted, and our pantries always sparkle as overhead lights hit the smooth finish of acrylic canisters.
Okay, some organizers probably do live such wonderful lives, but for myself, these are just #goals (picturesque bookshelves DO make my heart happy). I have two young children, a working husband, and a messy dog. I am a business-owning mom who makes time to volunteer, take my kids to fun activities, and attend sporting events. I am living a typical life that comes with dirty dishes, toys strewn across the house, and a junk drawer (gasp!).
I have, however, created home systems that work for my family. Within minutes we can pick up the clutter. Almost every object has a home. I can visualize what the next day is going to look like. Our schedules are (mostly) streamlined. I enjoy the mental clarity that comes with an organized house.
I lived the cluttered, disorganized, messy life.
Growing up my room was full of toys, crafts, clothes, school supplies, treasures. I remember moving into my dorm with my car packed full of boxes and bags. (How much stuff does a typical college student need?) I stuffed it all into dressers, closets, and organizing bins. Most of what I owned stayed in those bins and moved with me TEN times over the next several years.
Eventually I got married: My husband and I combined years worth of belongings into one home. I became an elementary teacher: I collected tubs and tubs of books, manipulatives, and school supplies. I had two daughters: Between baby furniture, clothes, toys, bottles, and books, my daughter could probably fill a small storage unit.
It was overwhelming. My stuff owned me.
After my first daughter was born, I left teaching to stay home with her. It was then I realized that our home was overstuffed. Instead of owning items that made me happy and my life easier, my things began to own me. I was stressed and overwhelmed. There was a weird brain fog that set in. I wanted to keep the house clean, take my daughter places, cook balanced meals, you know, all the “supermom” things. But I just couldn’t get past the mental distraction that all the stuff was presenting.
It was then that I began donating and selling as much as I could (I’m fairly certain my husband thought he was next…). I went through pantries, closets, and those obnoxious plastic bins from college. I even found a combo NSYNC and Britney Spears CD (score!). It was freeing to see space emerge in cabinets and drawers. I never quite appreciated the ability to pull the cleaning solution from the closet without toilet paper and towels falling on my head. The weird brain fog that comes with dysfunctional spaces started to lift.
Living minimally versus living mindfully...
I have a tough time labeling myself as a minimalist. I still own a tub full of baby clothes, we have way too many forks, my children have quite a few toys, and most of my classroom is still boxed up in my garage. In many cases, I agree that less is more. I want to be a conscious consumer and avoid excess whenever possible, but I didn’t get to where I am today by “becoming a minimalist.”
Instead I focused on what truly serves a purpose in our home, either through function or joy. I also became aware of what types of clutter stresses me out, and what I needed my home to look and feel like in order to live happily, healthfully, and fully. I have learned to let go of items that don’t serve a purpose. I am mindful about what I bring into our home and ponder if purchases will bring temporary or lasting joy. As for what I do keep, I make sure it has a spot to live and is purposefully arranged.
I stumbled into professional organizing by helping others declutter, organize, and reclaim their homes.
It’s been over five years since I began purging excess stuff and reorganizing my life. I’ve found a balance between owning items I love and creating functional spaces for my family to live in. I enjoy the creative challenge of reworking trouble areas.
I get the struggles of balancing work, family, school, and sports schedules. You don’t want to spend money replacing lost gear, or waste time digging through your closet every morning. You want your home and your belongings to work for you.
What areas spaces in your life are sucking up your mental energy? Could any parts of your home use an overhaul? Do your belongings serve a meaningful purpose, or is the clutter looming in the background?
It is my joy serving other families, helping to create clutter-free, peaceful spaces to live in. This is why I became a professional organizer. To give the gift of a calm, refreshing home.
Alexis, owner of Refreshed Home Organizing LLC, is a professional organizer serving Kansas City, Missouri and the surrounding areas. Refreshed Home Organizing also provides virtual consulting and DIY organizing plans. Check out our services page for more information.