This week we are celebrating our 200th blog post!! Let’s take a step back and tell you the story of our blog. It’s a story of risk taking, growth, and collaboration.
Back in November of 2012, both of us felt some pressure that we “had” to have a blog to be “legitimate businesses” and jump in the pool of social media marketing. At that point Dana had been in business 10 years and Katherine for 16 so we both felt established and reluctant to take on a new form of promotion. We decided to tackle the project together – to co-write a blog that we would publish jointly and could each re-purpose for our own use.
Here are 10 lessons we’ve learned through 200 posts:
- Don’t go it alone – tough jobs are way easier, and often actually fun, if done with a friend
- Have courage to move forward even if you don’t know what you’re doing – things have a way of sorting themselves out and you learn along the way
- Commit regular time in your calendar – make it realistic if you want to get something done
- Don’t give up – your partner may have energy when you’re flagging
- Honor your limits – over the last 6 years we adjusted our start time, adjusted the frequency of posts, and gave us ourselves permission to repost old blogs when feeling uninspired
- Go for good enough, instead of perfect – don’t let perfectionism be a roadblock; done is better than perfect
- Keep things simple
- You don’t have to have all the answers – bring in outside experts to help with topics or technical issues
- Make your own rules for success – don’t let others’ expectations drive your goals or standards
- Celebrate your accomplishments – it’s often only the negatives we focus on, celebrating helps you remember and savor the positives
Does the blog get us new business? Hard to tell. But we get consistent feedback from current clients that they like hearing from us and get value from the topics. Taking the time to think through topics keeps us curious and open to ideas and creates content that we can use in presentations, newsletters, and other places. One of the biggest benefits to us is a regularly scheduled time to stay connected, support each other through business challenges, and celebrate business and life successes.
How could you collaborate to achieve some of your goals? Have you had a great collaboration experience related to organizing? Share your story with us!
Get a Fresh Perspective on Your Clutter
Clients call, ready to make some changes in their home and excited about the process – “Let’s get started!” Before diving right in, it can be helpful to spend some time making a plan of attack. To create lasting solutions, you have to know what problems you’re trying to solve and why they are happening in the first place.
- Identify what’s not working. One person’s idea of chaos is another’s idea of serenity.
- What are we aiming for? What is the vision you have for your space? Understanding a person’s goal for how the space would ideally look and function helps define the work to be done.
- What’s most urgent? Understanding how the problem areas relate to each other (or don’t), and how each affects daily living helps set priorities for the hands-on work.
- What is causing the clutter? Understanding the cause helps guide the appropriate solution.
Often, clutter begins because one of the following concepts isn’t being used:
Friends with Friends. Keep “like” items together.
Real Estate Value. Don’t let low-use items clog up prime real estate; make conscious choices about where things live.
Container As Limiter. Consciously limiting a collection to its container prevents overflow.
Habits vs. Systems. Sometimes items that are sitting out and creating clutter actually do have homes. An assessment will identify the routines that need to be implemented.
Function & Feel. How does the space function? Can the furniture be arranged to allow for more flow? Is there enough light in the space? Is the space conducive to focused work or free form play? Can décor provide a draw to a certain area?
- You get a sense of the scope of your project … and help setting priorities
- You get an objective perspective of your space…seeing it through another’s eyes
- You get trained in the basic organizing principles
- You get creative options that you may not have thought of on your own
- You’ll find out that you’re not alone in the struggle to get and stay organized…and you’ll get the benefits of other clients who have come before
Because everything changes over time, organizing is a life-long process. For the most part, your project will have a beginning and an end but don’t forget you’ll need to occasionally re-assess in order to keep your systems current with your life. Give your self the gift of an assessment. It could change your perspective for life!