Hi guys and welcome to my first official blog! As I sit here writing I must say I am filled with so much excitement about what is to come. I would be lying if I didn’t say there is a share of sheer terror that comes with making such a big leap but if 2020 taught us anything it is that life is absolutely too short to not be doing something you love and that nothing great comes out of comfort zones. Ok enough of the cliches, lets dive into why you are really here, you want the hot gossip, who I am and why The Organised Co. is here for you.
If you are brand new here, hello and welcome! My name is Emma and I am a self-confessed organising queen. I have two wonderful children, Archie and Molly, and Barney the old man of the house. He is our almost 10-year-old Labrador who steals the hearts of anyone that knows him.
For the longest time, I have been known as the organised one, the one with a plan, or the one who knows the rules or where everyone should be. At school, it was something my friends used to laugh at me for, always worrying about “the rules” or if we were going to be late or even just planning our elaborate dance shows for our parents (kids are way too cool for such behaviour now). As we grew older though the tables turned and although I am still known for my often over the top organisation, it has come in useful on more than one occasion.
In my late teens, early 20s, my friends and I started to go on holiday together. It probably doesn’t take much imagination to know that these holidays involved more than a few cocktails and generally sleeping all day and dancing all night. However, if you would like a glimpse of the kind of person I am, here are a few examples of the things I planned for on holiday that let’s face it, most 18-22 year olds wouldn’t.
- I packed a spare pair of underwear and swimwear in my hand luggage. Yes, as grown-ups I can hear you all screaming how sensible that is. As a young adult though, I was met with the usual “oh Emma” stare. Now just for the avoidance of doubt, I had originally packed these items in case my luggage was lost and then I at least had a spare pair of underwear. The swimwear was for the exact same purpose so that I could still go for a swim. It wasn’t until we arrived at our hotel though that the bonus perks of being so organised came to light. Whilst everyone else was digging through their suitcases looking for everything they needed, I had my bikini on and was ready for the sun. Side note – yes, I am usually pretty smug when the doubters of my organisation pays off, this may already be apparent.
- I packed a first aid kit. Again, I know as a grown-up we are all in agreement that this is an excellent thing to pack for a holiday but think back to a similar age. Was your first aid kit consistent with a hangover-cure? I have lost count of how many times though (despite the teasing) my friends have come to me for antihistamines, pain killers, plasters, tweezers, bandages and of course the trusty mini sewing kit from a cracker (more on that another time). Yup, you guessed it, another smug win for organised Emma over here.
- Designated spreadsheet and itinerary keeper. To some this fills them with fear but it was usually me who kept all our boarding passes, pick up and drop off times together in a nice handy wallet so they didn’t get lost and made sure we all had enough time at the airport (probably too long but the planner in me can’t cope with rushing for the gate)
As you can see, it is just a part of who I am, I could write all day with stories just like this, but you get the idea.
I have always known that organisation was one of my biggest strengths and have wanted to utilise those skills for as long as I can remember. For some time I wanted to become an event planner. At the time though it was a relatively unknown industry and something my parents felt I had sort of made up (of course I hadn’t as the planner in me had researched everything) and was told that I would have to go it alone to do it. I do sometimes wonder now if I had, had the guts to do it, where I would be now as I really think I would have rocked a job in that industry, I mean look at it now, it is huge! There is no point looking back though, I would never have ended up where I am now and for that I am grateful.
My career until this point has always been with numbers. It is another great strength of mine and a job that I always enjoyed and have done really well within. I have met so many great people and had great opportunities to manage a number of projects (oh yes I can fit in organisation skills anywhere) and always had the knack of being really productive at work and prioritising for me and my team. Although I have always loved my jobs and the people I worked with, there was always something niggling in me that it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing.
Then everything changed
This is the bit I guess you are all really here for, the drama, the curveball.
Up until 2019, I was really happy with life, I had just had Molly and life was ticking over quite nicely. Of course there were ups and downs, but there always are and that is Ok. Although I may not have been working in the career of my dreams, I was building a family and all my skills of organising and productivity went into maintaining a new busy family lifestyle that I think takes everyone by surprise. I was completely content at the time.
When Molly was 7 months’ old and Archie 4, I then became a single mum for the first time and my husband at the time and I separated. It is a time in my life that I can look back on with more clarity, but it is a period in my life where I stopped doing everything other than survive for me and the kids. It is a time in my life that I can honestly say broke me as a person but coming out the other side of it has taught me that life is way too short to not be chasing your dreams and anything really can just change in a second, so you have to wake up and live. Looking back I now know why I went through those experiences, it led me to helping others in my own way and made me realise just how strong I really am.
I was already in survival mode and learning how to be a single parent when the pandemic hit in March 2020. Suddenly on top of the chaos I had let happen in my day to day life, the new concept of lockdown, furlough and home-schooling became a reality for all of us. My 5 hour work day turned into 14 hour work days with an 18 month old and 5 year old at home along with the stress we all went through of learning what the pandemic meant for all of us. I was incredibly lucky and had support from family where possible but it was too late, within weeks I had hit burnout level and was not in a good place at all and it now wasn’t something that I could hide.
It was at this point that I took stock, I of course reached out for professional help but through this I had realised I had stopped doing what made life a little easier. I had stopped organising, I had stopped planning, the clutter in my home was suffocating and not giving me a safe, calm space to collect my thoughts. Then it changed. I started working hard to change that and little by little, by taking back control, by scheduling my day, by decluttering my home, by utilising my planning skills, the old me crept back.
Within those months, as I recovered and began to bounce back, I knew that if I didn’t change something about my life and didn’t start leading by example and showing my children to follow what they love, what example was I showing them? If I couldn’t be brave and chase after my dreams and make sure I had a life that made time for my children and didn’t just put food on the table, how could I expect them to do that for themselves?
Then it clicked, I could use the skills I have had all my life, my super-human ability to organise anything to help other busy families to do the same.
I had never realised the power of what I used to do every day until I stopped. I have been helping people for years with my little life hacks that have come up in conversation and downplayed the questions like “how do you fit it all in?” or “your house is so tidy” to not want to seem like I have it altogether. I can tell you with certainty I do not have everything figured out, I am not sure anyone does (let me know if anyone knows that person) but I know I can help those people just like you, leading hectic, busy family life schedules, claim back more control and create calm from chaos.
What will The Organised Co. offer?
My aim is simple. To help as many people as possible reclaim control of their busy lives instead of it controlling them. There are many ways I can help but here are a few benefits to what I offer.
Decluttering – It has been proven that a decluttered home reduces stress levels. However, this isn’t just an empty statistic. Those that are surrounded by clutter and items that do not serve a purpose are less able to relax and unwind and is in fact found to add to an individual’s stress levels. It is a fact that makes sense though. If your home is tidy, clutter free and your belongings are all those that serve a purpose, you are going to feel calmer and have a safe haven to come home to at the end of a busy day. Even just one calm space in your home can make all the difference, just as one part of your home that is perhaps the place “where everything gets dumped” can play on your mind and take up mental space without even knowing it. This is not just the only benefit though, there is also the simple matter of time saving. It may seem counter-intuitive but by spending time decluttering and giving everything a home and system, you will save time in the long run. Save time tidying, save time finding things and save time within each of your daily routines. If you would like to know more about the benefits of decluttering, check out my blog post here.
- Organisation – The benefits of organisational systems in your home are much the same as decluttering. In your home, it is the next natural step after decluttering, that is to then make sure your home works for you in the best possible way. Organisation will mean something to everyone but when the flow of your home works for you, you can never underestimate the changes it will have on your every day life. Organisation does not mean tidy. There is a big difference between hiding everything away in a cupboard and tidying everything away in its designated home. Again this is a topic I will be exploring more in future blogs.
- Productivity and general life organisation – Many people struggle everyday with their to do list, whether it is struggling with motivation or complete overwhelm. No matter what end of the spectrum you are here, by adding simple and manageable routines and structure can make the difference between reaching your goals or not, whether they are financial, career, family or anything else. More importantly it can make the difference between complete burnout and even help with managing your mental health on a day to day basis.
You may have seen shows like The Home Edit on Netflix and heard of Marie Kondo and their extreme methods and Insta worthy show homes. Now don’t get me wrong, that is my personal paradise but it is also not my reality. I am not a minimalist and my home is certainly not organised in rainbow order and tidy at all times. It is however organised and everything has a home and a purpose (yes even those 10 paintings in a box that Archie drew age 1 that I can’t yet part with). It is important that you know I would never ask you to do anything I don’t already follow and practice in my own home and life. I am right there with you in the chaos of real life and no matter how many times I have been told in my organisational education not to call it a junk drawer… I STILL HAVE ONE! (It is just not a big old mess inside – I just don’t know what else to call the drawer that holds all my useful bits and bobs). I will also not bombard you with all the stereotypical life hacks of morning routines being the answer to having an amazing life. I have huge respect to those who can get up at 5am but that just isn’t me. No one’s life is the same so our routines shouldn’t be either, no matter what social medias life quotes may tell you.
If any of this has peaked your interest and you think I can help you a full list of my services can be found here and if you would like to book a free consultation about how I can help you more specifically, please do contact me here.
I want to be as accessible as possible and so have also created a range of free resources that can help you too. You can find these here.
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In the meantime, I want to thank you all for your support and most importantly to those special few who have listened, supported and pulled me from the darkest of spaces to one of the happiest and most exciting phases of my life. I quite literally could not have done it without you.
Big love to you all and remember – you have absolutely got this!!