It is 11 pm and I’m sitting here at my kitchen table exhausted, after driving home to Wisconsin after being in Illinois for the past week, yet so on fire with love for what I do. I have been working on Optimal Organization full time for a year now and I am so fired up at seeing the positive impact it has made on people’s lives.
I sat in a room this evening with a group of amazing women dedicated to making the city of Rockford a better place and give back. I was in complete awe of their dedication and generosity and honored to speak at their meeting about organization. It is moments like tonight and jobs like I worked on these past few days that I am so grateful that I get to come home and say, “I love my job”.
I say this, but just know this past week/month has been no walk in the park. We’ve gone through the roller coaster of emotions that is house hunting and organizing deals and contracts have fallen through. At the same time though, my beautiful baby niece, Molly was born. I’ve also gotten to spend time with my family and my husband’s family, and I’ve had some amazing “ah-ha” moments for Optimal Organization (more on that in the coming months!!).
So as I sit here, writing to you (determined to not miss a Tuesday blog), thinking about how to encompass this feeling and it all boils down to GRATITUDE.
It is such a magical thing, gratitude. It has the power to transform our minds if we let it. I was listening to Rachel Hollis’s podcast, Dais, and she pointed out, “You can’t have anger/frustration/anxiety if you are in a space of gratitude”. Like I said my husband and I have been through the emotional roller coaster that is house hunting for about two months now. From the beginning we made a promise to each other that we would try to be optimistic about the whole process, have faith that we would end up where we were meant to be, and try to enjoy the ups and downs because this would be the only time we’d ever be house hunting for our first home together. Well, about 20 houses later and two rejected offers, there’s finally a glimmer of hope that we may have found the one. At first, I didn’t want to talk about this afraid that I’d jinx it, but it’s on my heart and my mind and I think it’s necessary to say – I am still grateful. Even if it falls through, I am grateful. I am grateful that throughout this entire process we have an apartment we love, family that supports us and a patient realtor. I am grateful that we are going through all these trials together and will be stronger because of it. I’m grateful for when we finally get our home that we’ll be able to truly appreciate it. I am grateful to all the people who have beat us to putting in an offer or who’s offer got accepted over ours so that we didn’t end up in a home we weren’t meant to be in. I am grateful for my job that I can go see a home at a moment’s notice because they go off the market so fast. I’m grateful that we can purchase a home at all. I am grateful.
I am also grateful for you, dear reader, for following along on this journey with me. I am grateful for you choosing to spend your time with me here reading this blog. More than you’ll ever know!!
I can go on and on about how much I appreciate you all and all the things we’ve seen or the troubles we’re facing, but at the end of the day, my bad day could be someone’s best day. I am choosing to be grateful and see the positive.
It’s the same thing with organization. Our lives change, our situations change, and things will get messy. However, by being organized we are better equipped to handle these changes and adapt accordingly. When we have gratitude for the things and people in our lives, it doesn’t excuse us from pain and stress, but we’re able to better navigate the things in our lives that may be causing these negative emotions.
I encourage you all to write down three things you are grateful for. Take them with you throughout your day and if they are people, send them a quick message or give them a quick call and tell them how much they mean to you. Open up and allow gratitude to transform your mindset and your life.
In love and gratitude.
I feel like meal prepping is a topic that sounds so daunting. “You’re telling me I have to prep an entire week of meals in one day?! Impossible.” That’s what I thought at first too. Through trial and error and lots of practice I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of it. The biggest change didn’t happen with meal prepping itself, but with my mindset behind it. In the beginning I looked at it as a time consuming activity and something that my time could be better spent on. Well no wonder why it felt so overwhelming!! I shifted my mentality to see how much time it’d actually save me in the long run. By prepping all the meals at once, I cut out all the thinking about what I was going to have for a meal, the last minute grocery trips, the time to cook it and clean up. I also love how it stopped me from making worse choices in what I was eating because I never had to think about what was next and possibly default to the fast food option.
Learning to meal prep reminded me that food isn’t just meant to crave my hunger, but it’s purpose is to fuel my body for the day. That doesn’t mean you have to derive yourself either! There are so many healthier alternative recipes to your favorite comfort food meals.
However, I recognize I’m a newbie and I’m still learning. So, in the interest to give you all the most valuable advice and tips, I’ve ask a friend to give you her tips, as this is one of her areas of expertise.
Organizing home offices are so much fun for me to organize. I’m able to think and map out the processes and systems my clients will need to use. However, it is also the toughest room for me to organize because each person has different habits and initial systems, so it takes a lot of one-on-one interaction with the client (which I also love!). If you wanted to organize your desk at home though, how can you do it if I’m not there? Here are three steps to desk organization.
Step 1: Designate Desktop Items - Try to allocate as few things as possible as desktop items. These are things that are the only things left on the desk at the end of the day. For example, it could be your computer, a cup of writing utensils, a lamp and some sort of desktop organizer. By only having a few things that remain on the desk, it makes room for the things you use during the work day. When I work, I always have my planner and notebook, but at the end of the day these things are easy to tuck away until the next work day. The "out of sight out of mind" mentality is something to keep in mind too. Things you need to remember to do or things that come to your desk frequently, (the daily papers from your boss or bills you need to remember to pay, etc.) give these things a home on the desk in the form of a desktop organizer or paper tray.
Step 2: Find everything else a home - Books on the bookshelf, papers filed away in a filing drawer, office supplies in drawer organizer. Whatever else you have, if they are not what you deemed as “desktop items”, find another (close) home for them.
Step 3: Add to the aesthetics - This is a place you may spend a lot of time in. You want to make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing!! By adding plants, a vision board, favorite quotes, etc. you increase the energy you attract just from being in this space! Try it. Your productivity, inspiration and creativity should increase the more you enjoy being in the space you work in.
If we have to work, we mind as well make sure it’s in a space we enjoy being in!! Give these three steps a try. I want you to be the most productive and inspired version of yourself!!
Hugs & Love,
Can you say Road Trip?!?! We just got back from an 16 hour drive (round trip) and while it was long, it made me reminisce about the days when we first started dating. My husband and I started our relationship off by him driving me home from school on his way home for breaks and some weekends throughout college. This was a 5 hour drive so we had a lot of time to talk, get to know each other, and have some pretty epic sing-a-longs and dance parties.
We are veterans to road tripping and have learned a few things along the way which you can read here, but as far as everyday use, how are you supposed to keep your car organized?? Here’s what I’ve come up with:
I hope these tips make your car rides more enjoyable & more organized :)
Where is your favorite place to go on road trips to??
Until next time!
Hugs & love,
Emily has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University. There she learned how valuable organization can be in being productive. She chose to use this knowledge and help others achieve this productivity and optimization in their homes and small businesses. Read & Enjoy and as always, let us know if you have any questions!