The Blog

Order in the House Please: The Instigator for Real Change

2171215733_optExactly, when do you hit the wall? Yes, at one time or another, we all reach our own breaking point, and it is precisely then, that we realize we’ve had enough of a situation. This is the perfect moment in time that we have an opportunity to change our behavior.

Pay attention my friends, there are glaring signals.

Maybe you’re sick and tired of repeatedly losing your phone or misplacing your keys and glasses.

Or, perhaps it’s when you’ve missed an important doctor’s appointment or a business conference call because you never wrote it down, you forgot. There’s more…You never had time to pick up the dry cleaning, you double-booked your dinner plans with friends, and you can’t find your checkbook.  You’re angry at yourself and probably a little embarrassed and ashamed of being so lax and disorganized.

Or worse,  you often incur financial penalties because you bounced a check, or failed to pay a bill on time, again.

Or worse still, your disorganization caused your child to suffer.  He/she may have been excluded from joining a sports team or a school trip, because you missed the registration deadline or neglected to sign the proper forms.

Just maybe… that could be the last straw.  Enough is enough.

Does this sound like you?

The good news is that the breaking point is usually the best instigator for change. It wears you down both mentally and physically. But each of us have our own threshold for the zero hour and individual perspectives of when a situation is critical. Some of us react to our inner alert sooner than later, while others might delay until they are already in a full-blown crisis mode. The scenario might look something like this;

  • Most countertops are cluttered with miscellaneous items that belong elsewhere.
  • Neglected incoming mail has accumulated to overwhelming paper piles.
  • Spare bedrooms have turned into a dumping ground for anything you don’t know what to do with.
  • Stepping over both dirty and clean laundry piles everywhere.
  • Passing by puddles of stuff on the steps that are awaiting their eventual journey upstairs.
  • Tripping over shoes and sandals in random places, some without their sole-mates.
  • Gathering half-drunk water bottles, unfinished snacks, and empty bowls in high traffic areas.


The bottom line is when “busy” integrates with “later, ” chaos ensues rather quickly.  Life only works, until it doesn’t, and no one can make you care about what you don’t care about it. It’s that simple. When you hit the wall, you will know. It will be abundantly clear.  When you’re ready, you’re simply ready.

But just recognizing the symptoms and acknowledging that you’ve had enough, may not be sufficient.  If you are a self-motivated person, your desperation will probably fuel you to take action and implement change.  

But if you need support and more motivation, don’t beat yourself up for it.

Enlist help from a trained professional who can provide the steps to help you organize and gain back some control.  Going it alone may be ineffective.

Make no mistake about it, restoring order in the house is much more about life-balance than it is about merely organizing your possessions. Sometimes situations need to get worse before they can get better. Reverse the cycle; break down only to reconstruct. Convert the breaking point into positive change. Take it as an opportunity to begin anew with better and more sustainable systems.  You will not only see a physical change but feel a significant emotional one as well.

So when is your “enough?” What steps will you need to take to affect positive change?   Reach out and get the support you need.



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The Most Organized Holiday of the Year

Each Spring is punctuated with the joyful celebrations of both Easter and Passover. Granted, all holidays have beautiful traditions and rituals, but Passover in particular, is unique in its own fashion.  It is one of my favorite holidays, albeit extremely laborious (especially if you’re observant). It is rich in tradition, history, and customary laws and it requires a heightened sense of organization. Naturally, as a Professional Organizer by trade, and as a person who loves to pay attention to detail, this holiday speaks to my heart.

The very first Passover took place in Egypt thousands of years ago and many consider it to be the most beautiful of all holidays.  It is the oldest holiday on the Jewish calendar. The Passover Seder brings together families and friends who eat, drink, and sing together, while reciting the old-yet ever new-story of the Exodus from Egyptian slavery.

The level of observance may vary, as some must kosher their entire home and kitchen to invite the holiday in. Having a separate additional set of dishes, pots, pans, and utensils to clean, are often a part of this change-over process.  Many households consider this transition the opportunity for their grandiose Spring Cleaning. And yet there are others that simply prepare a festive meal without the need to make it such a labor intensive prep.  There is a wide range of observance, for sure.  But regardless of how you welcome Passover, it is safe to to assume that a typical Passover Seder always involves family gathering around a holiday table reciting from the traditional Haggadah and celebrating this festive holiday in very similar ways.

The Judaic translation of  Seder, means “order”, and so there are specific foods eaten at specific times prior to the main meal. There is a set order for everything that happens during this time.  The Seder Plate sits at the head of the table (generally in front of the Leader), displaying the five foods that all have a symbolic reference to the tale of the Jewish people’s freedom from Egyptian slavery.  Each guest has a copy of the Haggadah.  Supervised by the leader, all guests participate in responsive readings from the Haggadah and once reciting the prayers in unison, all eat the special traditional foods at the same time.  There is an obvious sense of an orderly agenda that is being methodically followed. “Haggadah” means to “to tell” and that is the purpose of the Seder; to tell the dramatic and exciting events that Passover recalls.  It is customary to re-tell the story of the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery, and pass it on from generation to generation.

Make no mistake about it, the preparation for the Seder is extensive and detailed.  The duration of the ceremonial portion of the Seder meal may differ from family to family.  But regardless, the responsibility falls on the hostess, who is required to coordinate the entire schedule and manage the service of the meal. Timing is key. The matzah ball soup MUST be hot, the brisket should be carved ahead of time, and all the side dishes should be landing on designated platters, ready to go.  If you are not organized, this could go badly. Hopefully, there are happy helpers available to refill the wine glasses, clear and reset the table for each course.

From year to year, I save my notes on menu choice, recipes, guest lists, etc.  In this way, I can recall what worked and what did not, and make adjustments for the following year.  A good practice for any holiday planning.

There is something beautiful to be said about that wherever you are in the world, those observing this holiday are all following the same order of practice.  There is little deviating. The Seder Plate is prepared with the same components throughout the world.  This Jewish holiday unites people in a way that no other does, because it is organized in the exactly the same manner.  This dinner is like no other ordinary dinner.  There is a definite pace that is controlled by the ritualistic practices and the re-telling of the Passover story. The customs are abided by in the same order. And no matter how the menu varies, you can be guaranteed to find a box of matzah set on every table.  Everywhere, families are singing “Dayenu” in the same tune, one voice. It is essentially the same in any country you travel; consistent and repetitive. It’s something to look forward to each and every year.

No matter your religion, adhering to certain rules and customs may seem confining but I believe it connects humanity. We all need structure and parameters.  During this holiday, we are restricted with our diet, and are forbidden to eat leavened bread.  Like anything else, once deprived, we learn to appreciate our freedom more deeply.  We are grateful to be free from tyranny and we are happy to return back to normalcy at the end of the holiday.

One of my favorite Passover delicacies is the “Charoset,” which is a mixture of nuts, apples, wine, and cinnamon.  During the ceremonial portion of the seder, we dip this with a leaf of  bitter romaine lettuce. What we glean from this is this…life is bitter-sweet .  The sweet and pleasant taste of the harvest impresses upon us that, no matter how bitter and dark the present appears, we should hopefully look forward to better days.

Nice take-away.  Do you have a favorite holiday that aligns you?   Do you prepare and plan for it?

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