I grew up in an immaculate home. Really. My father was a carpenter who built our stone front colonial split level home on a hill with a pastoral view. My mom, a dedicated, full-time homemaker, kept our home well-ordered and immaculately clean. Have you heard the saying, “You could eat off the floors?” Yup, that was our home.
As for me, I’ve always been creative and busy. I loved being involved in as many school activities and/or art projects as possible. I always had something going on. This meant two things. First, that I was always taking things out faster than I was putting them away, and second, I wasn’t paying much attention to the mess in my bedroom because I was habitually out and about.
My mother wanted a neat, clean, organized home, and my crazy schedule, coupled with my belongings scattered around, certainly must have been a source of frustration for her. But rather than scold me or demand I clean up my trail, she would just tidy up my art projects while I was at school.
However, when I would stop long enough to look over my room and see the clutter, I would take the time to pull things apart, empty drawers and closets, and begin sorting and organizing until order was restored. Yet, in light of the high standard of order that surrounded me, I never actually thought of myself as being organized—or as an organizer.
In recent years, when friends marveled at how orderly I am, it didn’t strike me as anything special. They were just acknowledging a task that I figured anyone could do. That’s the thing about being organized. If it comes naturally to you, it’s hard to see that it’s not natural to others.
But to me, it was a game. A puzzle. And everything had to fit.
I look back and see how much I learned from my mom. Everything had a place in our home. If it didn’t, she would make a place or it had to go. Is the kitchen counter really the designated place I want to keep those papers? Is the floor the best place for that pile of clothes?
After I grew up and had my own family, I continued to be creative and busy. Our home would suffer from toys strewn about, projects lining tables and paperwork in various piles. I would sigh and think, “Certainly a far cry from my childhood home!” Four growing children in a townhome meant a lot of stuff, a lot of activity, and not necessarily a lot of room.
And do I dare tell you that we home schooled? Yes! I wouldn’t trade it for a minute!! But of course, the kids were never out of the house and off to school for me to keep things as neat and tidy as my heart desired. I knew I was choosing a lifestyle that would not provide much downtime, so I sacrificed the orderly home for countless rewarding moments with my children.
And yet, although I had a home that I perceived as forever messy and disordered, friends would compliment me on how organized I am! What did they see that I didn’t see?
It took years until all four kids were in college and beyond that, I began to realize how much I enjoyed organizing! Looking back, I realized that I took on organizing projects in every workplace since high school. When I had time at home, organizing a drawer or a room actually served as an outlet! Strange? Or can you identify?
It was during a conversation with a trusted friend a year ago that the idea took over. I was driving home during my dreaded hour commute from my office. My dear friend was planning her summer goals, wanting to get her home back in order after a long school year. Suddenly I blurted out, “I’d rather be organizing your home this summer too!” Crazy! But I felt like a lightbulb went on in my soul! “Yes!” I thought, “I really would love to organize your house!”
Over the course of the next week, the idea grew stronger, clearer. I loved organizing! And I loved helping others. I’m great with people one-on-one when I can really focus on the story of another person. Oh, I knew what it feels like to have a house full and feel out of control. I also know how much better it is when everything is in order. Then I can focus on the things that really matter in my life—my family, friends, church community, etc. I have a passion to help other women regain a sense of freedom and peace.
On July 11th, 2016, I launched Peace Restored Organizing as a way to help others find order in their homes—and through the order, a greater level of peace.