By Gwinn Volen
The book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up seems to be a conversation piece among many a group. My book club even tackled the book for one of our monthly meetings. The timing for that was appropriate, as I was planning a move. And though I’m a bit of a serial mover, I’m still what one would call “organizationally challenged” when it comes to a move. Plus, “stuff” just accumulates, right?
I wanted this move to be different, and I decided one area I could possibly win this time was in organization. After doing my own home purge ala the Tidying Up “KonMari” method – analyze your things and if they don’t bring you joy chunk them – I decided hiring an expert to help me organize, pack and unpack was still needed.
In came Ponte Vedra local Jen Walker of Simple Beach Living. I had Jen help me with the packing and planning of my kitchen and pantry. Though I had purged as mentioned above, Jen took it to a new level. She has a completely no-nonsense approach to planning, organizing and packing.
“Do you need this many wine openers?” Hmmmm….do I have a problem? “You have four broiler pans?” Moved a lot, and they come with every house. “Three jars of hearts of palm?” I do love them.
Jen was fantastic. She completely ignored my desire to chatter, and she used her time and my money wisely. After five hours, she had my kitchen organized by function and frequency of use, purged things where needed, and then packed it and had things well labeled and ready for the move.
The day of kitchen unpacking was equally as efficient. Even when there wasn’t a ton of stuff to do while the movers were bringing in large household items, Jen made use of what would’ve been idle time for me – looking at my new cabinet space and discussing what my daily routines were. Once the box rush came, the panic and anxiety in my eyes was apparent. Jen helped me back away from the ledge, and within a couple of hours she had a whole system for my new kitchen. Everything was nicely put away and intelligently organized.
I’m sure I’ll break some of her systems, given my penchant for shoving things in random places to “straighten.” But, I plan to have her back every six months for a recheck. And, I’m thrilled to have a base system to work with.
Oh, and she also helped me create some systems for my kids — think paper stacks and homework piles. She also provided guidance on general scheduling of time and the dreaded management of electronics usage (an ongoing battle in our home).
Bottom line, I highly recommend Simple Beach Living. Jen’s pricing is reasonable, and she really is a godsend in what I find to be a stress-charged situation of addressing hordish, sloppy systems.
Step 1: Declutter by Category/Function. Begin decluttering by saying thank you to items you found useful in the past, but now belong in a new home.
Step 2: Evaluate. Determine what you use regularly and position those items accordingly in your kitchen, home or office.
Step 3: Time management. The more organized your day, the less stress you will have and more energy you will have to spend on yourself and others.
Step 4: Keep it up. Ten to 15 minutes a day can make such an impact in how you greet the next day!
About Jen Walker and Simple Beach Living: A native of Jacksonville, Jen Walker is an MBA graduate who is following her passion to help others. In addition to being owner of Simple Beach living, she is PTO Treasurer for PVPV/Rawlings Elementary. She enjoys spending time with her kids and giving back to the school.
If you mention this article to Jen, she will provide you with a free consultation and one free additional hour of service after the initial three hours. For more information, see her Facebook page and website.