At one time, Cathy considered herself an organized person, but life has happened since then. Having twins and starting 2 different businesses has changed all that. Even still, she felt she had it pretty together and was progressing positively with her career
But in her husband's eyes, Cathy's strategies did not work. He saw documents, products, toys and boxes stacked in corners of her office and a frequently time-challenged wife. “He had a mission – he has been trying to organize me for the past year. He would get frustrated and I would get frustrated,” Cathy said, referring to her husband. He had tried several approaches including rearranging things himself, but nothing would stick.
Cathy and Jeff experience what is common for many couples whether it is married couples, or business partners. Frequently the challenge is that the duo has very different thinking styles and the person that is trying to help is not able to identify solutions that fit with their counterpart’s style. Add to that, we are all human and when a spouse says something – it is personal. Defense mechanisms go up and productivity goes down.
The clutter was stressful to Cathy, but the task seemed too overwhelming to tackle on her own. “I'd see it all the time and think, ‘ugh.' I couldn't do it,” she said. However, she has a goal. As the area’s manager for Arbonne International she knew that she had to get things under control for both her team and her own career growth. So, she turned to a professional organizer. She had recently listened to a presentation that Calahan had given earlier in the month and believed Calahan could be the help she was looking for.
At Greeneberg’s office, they methodically picked through items on the floor, underneath and on the tables, making piles of business supplies, sample products and retail products. They also checked file drawers and cabinets and removed items from crowded shelves.
“I couldn't do this,” she said. “It would take me a year.” But with Calahan providing the guidance, after a day and a half, the office was transformed.
The baby blankets and toys were gone. The clothes that had not been worn in years were ready for donation. The 10 bags of garbage were removed. The desk space and staging space were clear. Labeled containers now hold all of her products and office supplies and remind Cathy where things belong.
Many people are looking for a quick fix. They want a clean up in 30 minutes like they see on hit T.V. shows like Mission Organization or Clean Sweep. Unfortunately, the quick fix is akin to putting a Band Aid on a stab wound. In order for the new order to have staying power you've got to get to the root of why it got like that in the first place.
We have not implemented the same system for a client since we opened our doors in 2002. Everyone has different thinking, learning, communication and organizing styles. To have one solution for everyone is to ask for a disaster. Recognizing that Cathy’s style was akin to the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy, all of the systems developed had to be out in open view, but structured.
Clutter, procrastinating, no system for storing or filing items and being reactive rather than proactive are all signs of a lack of organization. Lack of organization can be a source of stress and frustration. It stymies productivity at home and at work.
On the other hand, being organized can be downright blissful. “I can't tell you what this has done for me. I feel like I'm on top of the world. When my office was cluttered, my mind was cluttered and now I'm free! Love it!” stated and excited Cathy.
And unlike some clients, Cathy didn't have trouble tossing old items, even sentimental ones. “It was worthwhile to bring in Stephanie. I can’t imagine why anyone would not do this,” she stated. She has already noted the positive results of increased speed in pulling together presentations and product packages as well as increased confidence.
So what did her husband think of the change? Cathy worked with us while her husband was away on business. When he came home she excitedly showed him her office. He gave her a huge hug and was amazed and pleased.