Virtual Organizing Show & Tell!: An Operation Organization - MN Success Story!

I'd like to introduce to you a new friend and client, Kim!

She contacted me about some organizational challenges in her home.
After an initial consultation, I was certain that with just a few coaching sessions to educate on some organizing basics paired with a few tailor made solutions she could conquer her clutter with confidence!

She's agreed to share some of her reactions and observations from our work together. I'm so excited to show and tell of her recent success as my most recent virtual client:

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KIM shares:
"I contacted Heidi not knowing if she could help me because of our different locations.  She is in Minnesota and I live in Chicagoland . Heidi offered  her professional services virtually,  and I jumped at the chance, even though I was unsure whether my "issues" could be handled with her not physically being in my kitchen with me!

I contacted Heidi about a month before school was out for the summer, hoping she could help me tackle my seriously cluttered and chaotic kitchen.  I wanted to be able to focus my energy and attention on my kids this summer.... not where I misplaced my keys, the crayons, the sun lotion and bug spray!
Heidi's approach was straight -forward and kind. The process was smooth and easy, even with communication solely via emailed pictures and a few phone conversations.
Heidi was encouraging throughout the entire process, and helped me to see my habits of piling things to deal with them later with a new set of eyes.

I had a few  'A-ha!' Moments talking things through with Heidi, and she was fantastic in helping me to follow through with her practical advice .
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Kim was such a great sport and a sincere joy to work with!  She is a mother of 3 and was enthusiastic and determined to take on the task at hand.

With two children in school and one toddler at home, Kim identified that with her current schedule she could realistically dedicate one hour a day (during her child's nap time) to her organizing goals.

We began work in her kitchen as it is the hub of where much of the activity takes place within their family of five.  Here is the 'before' first view of entering the kitchen from the entrance/living area of the home.

(The dining table is to the right)

a closer look
The counter tops were full of papers, projects, books, and multitudes of random items that didn't have a clear 'home' elsewhere.

I explained to Kim, that clutter is essentially delayed decisions.  Clutter also tends to attract other clutter much like a magnet.  Once one item is out of place on a surface, other 'homeless' items seem to gravitate to that surface as well. 
a closer look
Because the counter-tops were so full, it was challenging to prepare food as well as find things when someone wanted/needed them.

Final view of the counters - to the left is a pantry cupboard and fridge.
I suggested that Kim give a critical look to what is on currently on the counter and only allow select things to return after sorting.  Most organizers agree on the mantra, "If it gets used every day it gets to stay, other-wise store it away."  

Only items that were actually used in the kitchen were to remain in there. I also encouraged her to mentally stage certain areas for certain food preparation zones relating to the nearest stationary appliance.

The next step was to clear and sort through everything on the counters. 

I suggested that she prepare her space as much as she could before her session so she could optimize the un-interrupted one hour  available to the fullest.
What a good student - she even has her notes out on the table! :)
I laid out specific tasks for Kim to complete with a list of materials she would need.

Kim was AMAZED at how her kitchen looked just ONE hour later!!

Check out that beautiful clean and clear surface!!

Notice that the coffee maker is now closer to the sink rather than across the room?

Congratulations Kim!  You did FANTASTIC work!
Once this stage was complete I coached Kim on how to spend follow up days addressing/distributing/storing the items that were sorted.  Only things that really 'belonged' in the kitchen stayed.  The rest were either re-located, donated/sold, or trashed.

CLICK HERE to read about Stage Two. You'll see some of the discoveries we made about her individual challenges as well as a few solutions we set in place to help keep her on an organized track!

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