Thursday, June 18, 2009

Organize to make room for what's important

Things are busy and I am grateful! I battle maintaining my personal organizing daily. The house runs well, but the "to do" list is forever growing. This week my computer crashed! I went from a working computer to a black screen with a blinking cursor. I am a PC but I don't know how much longer I will be able to say that. I have resisted the change to MAC but this week Dell has really encouraged me to make the change.
On Monday morning I called Dell for the 300th time in a month and again I spoke with someone who I could barely understand. He spoke to me as if I was the idiot and 5 hours later I had nothing!! There seems to be no recourse either. I called Dell and tried to find a complaint department. I don't believe one exists. They said they were sending a box and that it would be here on Tuesday. Still no box and it is Saturday!! I am running a business people!!!! I can't even explain the issues this has caused. They have made me so mad. After I get this BOX, I will send off my computer and have it back in 7-10 business days??!!! Right. And who can go without a computer for that long? So you see the struggle this week has been great!
Dell could send me a new computer faster than this! I don't like companies who aren't "man enough" to have a complaint department and take care of their clients.
On Thursday I had a much needed break and went out to dinner with one of my clients and several of my employees. I can't tell you how much we love our clients. Once we enter someones house to help them get organized they become family. I can't explain it. I guess because what we do is so intimate or maybe because we're just so damn adorable!
Dinner was so much fun. Roxanne (my client and friend) has been such a great friend and is a lot of fun to be around. Patty, Cassie and Anne went too. We sat around the table telling stories and laughing hysterically. Everyone needs that kind of night. We are so busy running in the rat race that until something like this comes along and you are forced to stop for a second, you don't even realize what you are missing.

News Flash!!! You are missing the best part!

I was reminded this week by my sister and a friend, who both have children that will soon leave the nest, how quickly time goes by. Both of these women have spent a great deal of time with their children. But is there ever enough time?
I admit my business takes more time from my family than I would like. I am a perfectionist and I want everything I do to be the best. There is nothing like trying to be a mom and a business owner at the same time to bring you to your knees with the realization that YOU CANNOT be perfect. I cannot give my business and my kids all of what I would like to. I often feel that to please one is to make the other sacrifice. So the daily battle continues.
What I do know is that if I were not organized I would miss out on even more. many of my clients tell stories of how much they have missed out on due to their disorganization. It can be such a prison. Gosh!! Don't you see why I love my job. I'm not just out there clearing clutter; I am helping people change their lives!!
I must admit that my passion turned business was in the beginning just that, but now it's my life's mission to help people. I have sat across the table from moms who cry telling us how we have helped them to mend relationships, given them more time with their kids and changed their life. How could you ever walk away from that?? I am so honored to have been given this opportunity. My life is enriched in ways that words cannot express. So you see these families become my family. They are my friends and I love them. And my children . . . they are the reason I breathe.
If you are missing out on life due to disorganization, stop the cycle today. Make a commitment to change. We are here to answer any of your questions. Ask away!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Organizing, work and tithing - a great weekend!

This weekend I "tweaked" my house or at least some of it. I needed to and it's very therapeutic for me. I recommend this to all of my clients. You have to stay on top of your organizing systems for them to work as best as possible. It was fun for me! Yes I know this makes me a little crazy!!

I am still on my journey and I want to keep you in the loop of course. I have stopped my acid reflux medication! I'm feeling o.k. Actually I am feeling better than I did on the medication. Which is just messed up! I still have some symptoms. I can't help but wonder if the medication has been suppressing my bodies natural production of stomach acid and now my stomach is just trying to figure out what to do. Tomorrow I go to the hospital for a barium swallow. Mmm... that's gonna be tasty! I just hope after all of this, I get some long overdue answers.

I can't tell you how great it was to hear from so many of you about your medical mysteries. I can't make any of you post comment on my blog but your stories could help so many and I encourage you to do so. Until then please keep emailing me! I love to hear from you. Really, it's the best part of this blog. Listening to people share their stories is amazing!

O.K. so I've covered the latest in my crazy medical story now we can talk business. Wow, did I get some great responses to the vendor who is rude! We are pursuing other options for this product and so far it's looking promising. I will let you know how it works!

We are making some big decisions on the business this week. I had an interesting meeting this past Friday with a very talented lady. She is working on a BIG project and wants to use The Amandas as experts. It is for a national company and we wish her the best of luck! Obviously!!

Also tomorrow we are going to see a man about a horse!! Not really.

I have a new employee that started today in New Orleans. Her name is Bridgette & we are thrilled to have her with us! She said during the interview process that if money were no object she would organize homes and lives for FREE! That's definitely my kinda girl! Some of the exciting things going on with The Amandas are happening in New Orleans.I get a little nervous about saying too much in the blog. You just never know who's reading this thing. Geez, I didn't know anyone read it!!

On the home front the kids and hubby are fine. Dan, my husband has taken a more active role in my company and I am so excited. O.K. I'm a little nervous. He says I'm the creative and he is the level headed voice of reason. What the heck? Was that suppose to be a compliment?

Speaking of creative me; the family went to church yesterday in a torrential down pour. Just when we got inside and settled, my voice reason, Dan, says that he left the tithe check in the car! What???

You don't understand how I feel about tithing. It is a necessity. It is the one thing in the Bible God says you can test Him on. In my life it is spot on. When I tithe and give freely, I get back. I feel deep in my heart I am blessed in some part because I tithe. You should tithe!!

Anyway, I told Dan he had to go back and get the check and to be quick, before collection. Just as he walked out of church the sky opened and it rained harder than I imagined it could. Dan ran through the parking lot to the truck and got the check. By the time he made it back into the church he was soaked to the bone and the collection basket had passed. As he sat down looking wet and defeated, I told him to get up and find an usher and see who he could give his donation to. The look on his face said it all. He went to communion and then began the search for someone to give the check to. He found the basket and saved the day!! See I'm OCD about everything not just organizing! Dan did wonder after church how God felt about him worrying so much about giving his tithe that he missed the entire sermon! Oh well, I heard it! It was about believing and I believe Dan did what I told him to!

The girls are doing well. My oldest is in dance camp this week while the younger stays home with our nanny. The baby, who really isn't a baby anymore, is being treated for kidney reflux. She's on an antibiotic for a year and we are going to see a Pediatric Urologist for testing next week. She has no idea of course. Not going to be a great day for her.

All in all it was a great weekend and today has turned out to be pretty interesting.

Talk to you soon!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saturday I wrote and told you that I had begun my own organizing journey and I would keep you in the loop. I am trying hard to keep my promise. Of course now that I look back on Saturday's post I can see where I thought the next day was Monday! That should be an indicator of my stress. Everyday is like a Monday right now.

I said I had 2 important meetings on Monday and I did. The first was for me. I have been suffering with severe acid reflux for 3 years now and no one seems to know why. I am 5'4" and 120lbs so the weight is not a factor. I don't drink or smoke so those were ruled out as well. On Monday I had an ultrasound on my gallbladder performed. Not the first time but a necessary repeat. I didn't write the blog that day because the technician performing the test let me know through her actions that she found something. Of course she gave me some song and dance about how she couldn't give out results but I wanted to tell her "oh, but you can do everything else to let me know you found something." Needless to say I didn't feel much like writing that night.

Yesterday the Dr's nurse called to say that they found fatty deposits on my liver. Another indication that I am an overweight alcoholic! I am neither one of those things!! The nurse was surprised when she found out that I was not overweight and couldn't drink due to GI issues. We are now awaiting a series of other tests to be performed. I will keep you updated. For now I am praying for God to send some Dr an answer or diagnosis or something. Three years is a long time to be sick. OOH but I am still organized!!! That's right. Do you know why? The same reason I have told you over and over. . . simple systems integrated with my habits and lifestyle. That means you can be too!

On to the next meeting.

Strategy meeting with "the powers that be". You don't know them and they will just remain "the powers that be" until later. Basically they are helping me with my goals and plans for my company. They are very good and we meet often. This meeting was to talk about the things we accomplished over the last month and look at the upcoming opportunities for The Amandas and The Clutter Prescription. It was a very exciting meeting. There are some great things coming along. We are revamping our segment on Fox 8 in New Orleans and there may be another TV opportunity in Alabama. During the meeting I was told that there are businesses buying time on news programs. I was asked if I wanted to do this. Ummm. . .no! I have not done that and I hope we don't have to (knock on wood). I left the meeting feeling good about where we are and where we are headed. I also left feeling very grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me.

So the day was mixed. A little good and a little bad. Then I was faced with a challenge. I have been ordering product from my vendors for a while now. I have a great relationship with most. I have been loyal to those that have been good to me and then replaced others that have not really cared if we gave them business or not. But there are a few that have a product I cannot get elsewhere and I am forced to stick with them. This bothers me. One of the foundations of my business is customer service above and beyond what the client expects. Customer Service is dying these days and I know how much I miss it. I also know how much it means when I receive it. I appreciate it and want to give my support to whoever is providing it. It's one of the reasons I love American Express. They have unbelievable customer service!! There is one vendor that I am really having trouble with. They have never shown ANY appreciation for our business and have been on occasion rude and abrasive. This day was one of those occasions. Now I have to decide if this product is worth the trouble. Isn't that sad? All because of a little customer service. Don't they know the importance? It just doesn't make sense. I am even nice to customers who aren't so nice. Why? Because they are customers! Without them I would not have the business I have today. Who doesn't get that?? Well I can think of one. Whether I make a penny from the client or $10, 000, I treat them all the same. That's a good lesson for everyone.

So you see it's been a very busy couple of days. Today I got a call about the possibility of a national opportunity for me and then a nurse called to schedule a PH study. Look that up if you don't know what it is, then write and tell me how sorry you feel for me!

Until tomorrow. . .keep it organized!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

An organizing journey that begins today

First let me apologize for being so absent. I have been busy with work and a family wedding. I had to prioritize and not everything could fit on my plate. One of those things happened to be this blog! It's not always fun to make those choices but they are necessary. Why would you seek me for advice if I can't do the same things in my own life?

The past 2 weeks have been very busy but they have also been very thought provoking. During this time I have been presented with some interesting business opportunities and decisions to make. I have to say I am under some pressure and stress trying to figure things out. Organizing doesn't always come in the form of household to dos. I am faced with some life organizing right now. My kids, my business, my goals, and well basically my life, all need a little re-organizing.

I wish I could tell you here's how I figured it all out but right now that's just not the case. I can tell you that this will be a journey that I will document and share with you. Maybe we can both learn something. By the end I can tell you for sure you will learn something; either how to do this or how to NOT do what I did!!

I rely heavily on prayer. Those who know me best know that during difficult times I ask God for billboards. I find that when I am stressed out I stop hearing the subtle hints from God. I lose ability to think as clearly as I should and I try to take over. That's when I ask God to shout it out and place it on a billboard so that I don't miss it. I know that my life runs a lot smoother with Him at the wheel instead of me. I guess that's my first step.

Last night before bed I prayed for God to speak to me through my dreams. This morning I couldn't remember what I dreamed! What's that suppose to mean!?

I have taken some time to get out a notebook and pen and write down the different areas I am trying to make decisions on. I then tackled the first one by writing and brainstorming different ideas on how to handle this situation. It seemed to work.

Anything is easier to handle if you break it down into smaller parts. For example, the first thing I need to deal with was my children. We have a nanny who helps out with the children. I call her a nanny because she is 25 and she does more than just babysit. She helps make my life easier by taking care of things so that I can spend more time with my girls. She gives me a great gift. The problem is I need her to be better with her time management and think of things that need to be taken care of without me always telling her. I need her to read my mind and act accordingly!! O.K. I am clear that is not a possibility but I can't think of another way to express what I want. Thoughts run through my mind all day at the pace of about 100 miles an hour. I forget one thought almost as soon as the next enters. It is difficult for me to tell someone everything I need them to do. Now I need to figure out what is reasonable for me to expect of someone and how to relay that to them. I sat down and wrote her a letter telling her what my goals were and how I thought she could help out. I made sure to tell her all of the things I appreciated that she did, namely giving me more time with my kids which is the biggest gift anyone could give me. Then I went on to explain some things that I had observed and how we could accomplish more. I also went on to explain how these things could enhance her skills and her resume, helping to prepare her for any future jobs she may hold. I will give this to her and see how things unfold. Ultimately since she can't read my mind and since my perfectionism makes it hard to please me (I'm working on that), it will be interesting to see how this works out.

I started with my highest priority: my kids. Now I can give this letter to her, discuss it, and hope that we can accomplish even more.

I also try during difficult times to remember what to be grateful for; my Faith, husband, kids, family, clients, and employees. All of whom make my life what it is and who without I just wouldn't be me.

Please remember what is good in your life. We all have difficult times and problems in our lives. But I have yet to meet a person who didn't have at least a little to be thankful for. It is a shame that we get bogged down with the bad and forget the good.

Stay tuned. I have so much to tell you. Tomorrow I have 2 very important meetings. One personal and one for business. Both should be good for a lesson or two.

Until then . . . keep it organized!!