February 2019 - Where we've come and where we're headed


It’s been icy. It’s been frigid. There have been snow days, ice days, and freezing temperature cancellations. It’s Mid-February in the Midwest. We are cold. We ache for spring, for sunshine, for longer days and for warmth. The consensus seems to be that everyone is feeling a little grumpy, a little bitter. “Blah” or “Grrrr” are words that are coming up a LOT lately for my clients, friends and family. But I will not submit! I want spring too, but I will not give life to the negativity. I will not jump on the blah wagon. This is a great time of year for indoor projects, like sorting photos for example. As I spend this frigid February day sorting some of my photos, I’d like to take this blog as an opportunity to share some moments from where our Organizers have been and some thoughts about where we are heading. I hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane!


The first long distance job that SOS Organizers did was back in 2007. It was for a long time client who had purchased a winter home. We got him all organized and packed for his new adventure and after we dropped him off at the airport, we began driving his car from Iowa down to his new place in Arizona. Here’s a few shots from our trip. There’s a picture of our happy client, as well as one from the Red Rocks of Sedona and another from a super cool cactus nursery that wasn’t far from our clients home. Until then, I had absolutely no idea how many cactus plants bloom and how colorful and absolutely beautiful the flowers can be!


While in Arizona, we took one day of our trip to travel to the Phoenix area to do some shopping and see the sites. One of the places we were most excited to visit was The Container Store! A few years later, we came full circle, when along with fellow IPO Organizer Maggie Jackson, we had the pleasure of meeting Cecilia Boone, Co-founder of The Container Store, at the Annual Iowa Women’s Foundation Awards Luncheon!


A few more exciting celeb sightings! Several years ago, Lori Vande Krol had the chance to meet Peter Walsh, star of HGTV program, Clean Sweep, AND she had the opportunity to give away an autographed copy of her mentor, Barbara Hemphill's book, Less Clutter More Life.


The best part of IPO over the years has been the friendships that have formed. Looks like Lori Vande Krol and Michelle Kuiken had a blastie at NAPO convention (beauties in blue).


And from 2009, then IPO members Jennifer Buser and Sandy Rackis at Simple Organizing Strategies 5 year Anniversary party. All of the Organizers in attendance coincidently wore little black dresses. This picture is even more special since it is one of the last celebrations we had with IPO Organizer Joy Bayshore before she lost her battle with cancer in 2014.

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Professional Organizers are asked to speak quite a bit. I’ve spoken for cardiac survivor and cancer support groups, independent and assisted living centers, Chambers of Commerce, for bereavement groups, libraries, the Knights of Columbus, and at Wellness Fairs. Organizers like me also teach continuing education classes at local Community Colleges. We’re everywhere taking on everything. We have passion for what we do and we are changing the world. I even manage to find ways to incorporate basic principles of organization and wellness into fitness and yoga classes that I teach. Maggie Jackson added ‘the Walk Coach’ to her business, The Organized Life. Organization is all around us and affects everything we do throughout the day so it’s no surprise the number of people who want to hear what organizers have to say and who want to know our secrets!

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Organizers can also make a routine of visiting local TV news programs and offering informational segments on anything from office paperwork to kitchens and pantries. From garage organizing to preparing for Holiday guests. Check out some snapshots of news segments from over the years. I wish I could find footage of one of my first spots. It was in the Quad Cities in 2004 for Paula Sands Live for a segment on Organizing and Baby-Proofing the home. I wore a white turtleneck sweater underneath a buttoned up suit jacket with slacks. I thought that’s what “Professionals” looked like, lol. I was just a baby starting out my new career at that time, and thank goodness, since then I have learned to embrace who I am and to dress in a way that suits me and makes me feel comfortable. Seriously, don’t be surprised if I show up in cat pants these days.


With Marie Kondo’s Netflix show following the release of her New York Time’s Best seller, along with shows like Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive, compounded with the New Year and 50% of people resolving to live a healthier and more balanced life, there is a lot of fuel on the Organizing fire right now. Just recently, Anne Ahmann of Happy.Healthy.Home was featured on a Des Moines area news segment while I was invited to appear on an Iowa City story. Get used to seeing more of our smiling faces!


Then and now. It has always been our goal to grow and to learn. To lean on each other for support, guidance and wisdom. Iowa Professional Organizers are a valuable resource to each other and to our clients. We are a network of like-minded caring humans who reach for more each day and encourage those around us to do the same. I am so proud of my Iowa Professional Organizers. My friends. My colleagues.


And just like every great long distance relationship, we find a way to make it work. Thanks for joining this look down memory lane. Stay tuned as we look towards the future. We can’t wait to share our experiences with you! Grab your sunglasses, it’s going to be bright!

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