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Finding your clear path

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

It's easy to lose focus and worry about the mess instead of important tasks at hand.

You can imagine how this woman felt, a mom in Kentucky whose daughter was in school in Chicago, calling her in tears looking for help. Surrounded by clutter, she couldn’t think clearly, was completely stressed out, and was facing exams in her very challenging graduate program.

Mom got the panic call parents everywhere dread: they tearfully need us and even as we try to soothe, we start to sweat and calculate how we can get to them immediately. Then we take a deep breath and look for a reasonable way to help.

She Googled “organizing help Chicago” and got the Shery Hill Organizing, LLC website. (Optimizing actually works!) She called me.

Mom was easy to talk to and ready to solve Daughter’s problem. We had a quick chat — I assured her that as an experienced organizer with far-flung kids of my own, I was up to the task.

Daughter and I got in touch directly and made a date for the weekend. She explained the core issue: she was stuck in her clothing and shoe clutter. To prepare, I asked her to wash all her dirty clothes and her mom asked her to buy plastic bins to pack her winter clothes for her next move in August. I also did some research into under-bed shoe storage she could buy.

When we had our plan of action, Mom let me know that just setting up the session had relieved Daughter immensely. I love what I do!

I arrived at Daughter’s apartment Saturday morning and declared it a no-judgement zone. We surveyed the neat little kitchen and bath, a bed and futon covered with clothes and a large walk-in closet full of stuff top to bottom.

We discussed our goals: 1) Get rid of anything she wasn’t using – I would take all donations and consignment candidates with me 2) Fold and pack winter clothes we hoped wouldn’t be needed this spring and summer – which can be iffy even in June here in Chicago 3) Organize and store all useful clothes and goods 4) Come up with systems to make it easy to stay organized

We evaluated and folded lots of clothing and as we worked through the futon and bed, she became clearer about what was useful and what wasn’t. I see the power this clarity gives clients on every project and love watching the results!

She didn’t need all those sweatshirts. She never wore that cute outfit. We filled bags to move out of the apartment and she was loving it. We pulled everything from the floor and shelves of the closet with more stuff “out!”

Every hanging item was scrutinized — the ones we kept were ordered by type of clothing and color. Storage drawers were moved for easier access. Shoes were lined up ready to go into the newly ordered under-bed keepers.

The laundry basket was moved to the wall away from the door so she would undress in the roomy closet to easily rehang clothes to be worn again and toss dirty clothes into the basket before getting dressed for bed.

Along the way we chatted to lessen the stress of plowing through the project. That’s where the “buddy” aspect of my job comes in. Four intense hours later, we completed the organizing, putting the winter storage bins onto the top shelf. We even vacuumed the closet.

Finally, we Skyped Mom to show her the fruit of our labor and let her know Daughter now had a clear path to reach her goals.

Did I mention that I love what I do?

Now there's a clear path, not just to the laundry basket, but to the important things in life!

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