Leah of Northern Utah Professional Organizing
My mom was the one who initially got me started on my path of organization and tidiness, even though she is much more comfortable with clutter than I am. She told us that every day we didn’t make our bed we would be docked 10 cents on our allowance. We got $2 a week and I didn’t want to lose almost half of my allowance for not doing something as simple as making a bed. It’s been decades since then and I still make my bed every morning.
At university in Hawaii I shared a house with 9 other girls. We had 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 1 kitchen. If we weren’t organized, it would have been a disaster--clutter, contention, and cockroaches. I worked hard to keep things neat and orderly, particularly in our crowded kitchen. Then I spent a year and a half in Japan where I really learned to hone the organizing skills I had been practicing since childhood. Apartments in Japan are small. Living rooms transform into bedrooms at night. There is no place for disorder or the accumulation of unnecessary items.
Two years ago I helped my widowed mom downsize from a large home to a retirement apartment. I understand the difficult decisions that go into reducing possessions at that stage of life, but also see the contentment that can come from living in a well-ordered space of carefully curated items.
I live in Cache Valley with my husband, two sons, and our dog, in a bungalow without a basement or attic. As a result I have been unrelenting in being organized over the years, partly out of satisfaction and partly out of necessity. I have successfully run my own part-time catering business for 20 years, which has required a lot of organizational skills. I also teach piano lessons before and after school. My favorite hobby is planning my next trip because I love to travel. Pictured here is one of my sons and me while our family organized the food storage room at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission on Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. Yes, sometimes I organize even while on vacation.
As I have embraced living simply, I have learned that experiences and relationships are more important than possessions. I have also learned that minimizing, organizing, and optimizing the space I live in really does have the ability to eliminate frustration, save time and money, and create a feeling of peace in my home.