Organized at Last

Author Archive for Julie Clarke

Creating Space for What Really Matters!


Our friends at Decorating Your Life have had quite a year so far for their “Our Year of Wellness” journey! A beautiful year of inspiration, knowledge and community to influence us towards embracing wellness in all aspects of our lives including: nutrition, fitness, emotional health, finances, community, and spirituality. And here it is…Fall…the time when school begins and we can focus on getting a fresh start, developing better routines and habits, returning to regular mealtimes, and getting our life and home organized.

Please join me on Wednesday, September 27th, 7-9pm at the Squalicum Boathouse as we gather to unwind from summer craziness and to gear up for a more structured fall. Learn new ways to create space in your home and heart, and how focusing on just a few things can have great impact on your overall wellness. Mental health, rest and sleep, real food, and regular exercise are all important. Getting organized means that you’ll have time for what adds value–and years–to your life.

Happy Fall and I hope to see some of you there!

Click here to reserve your spot!

Organized at Last - Julie Clarke

Spring Has Finally Arrived!

Spring seems to have finally arrived in the beautiful Pacific Northwest and we are excited and ready to thaw out from a long and particularly cold, wet winter.

Organized at Last is growing and changing and I continue to learn and grow along with my business. I’m reminded daily of the importance of making smart choices on this journey of life. We are constantly bombarded with media that encourages us to buy more, bigger, better, nicer stuff. Somehow, it sucks us in and in the end we end up feeling empty, with homes, garages, storage units and lives so full that we can hardly breathe. We want to help you breathe again…to create emptier but much fuller lives!

In my last blog I mentioned that Becca was no longer with me because she was pregnant. She gave birth to little Bennett on May 1st and he is so wonderful! She will be focusing on him for awhile. Right where she should be. Sasha is working as a personal assistant to her husband now as he grows his financial planning business at Thrivent Financial. Their spots have been filled with amazing new talent which I shared a bit about in my last blog. I have also recently hired Jeannie Hayden who is leaving a 30+ year career in public education to join my organizing team and eventually partner with me in this business. More information about these new additions can be found here.

This is such a fun time of year to think about what might need freshening up in your life and we can help with all of it. Does your home need a makeover? We do that. Do you need someone to help choose inexpensive décor so that your home looks better? We do that. Does your garage need an overhaul? We do that. If you’re not sure if we can help you, give me a call or shoot me an email. Don’t delay, summer is full and fun and we all take time away with our families so if you’ve been thinking about calling us, do it now! Most jobs require about 3 hours. If you could change something about your life in just 3 hours, what would it be?

Can’t wait to hear from you!

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” -Alan Cohen

Starting Fresh

Happy New Year!

What excites you most about a new year?

Is it the opportunity to start fresh?

Are you looking forward to making healthier choices in 2017?

Do you hope to finally do something with all of your old boxes of photos and the thousands of digital photos on your phone?

Are you planning to get more ORGANIZED in the new year?

Whatever your dreams are for 2017 we applaud you and want to support you with hands on organizing help as well as some great classes if you need some motivation/ ideas to do it yourself.  

 The Simply Organized Home:  (offered quarterly for the past 28 years) will include  classroom instruction as well as a very personal tour of two homes to give you a clear, hands on approach to simplifying  your home and organizing your life.  Not Pinterest perfect, just real life!

“This class was exceptional. It gave me new perspective on an organized life. Julie walked us through how to organize each room in our houses with tips for keeping it simple and well thought out and then she showed us her own home and how she lives out what she teaches. It was the catalyst for a complete overhaul in my own home. I have implemented so much of what she taught me. Even as a working mom of 4 kids I can maintain a clean and organized home. Thank you Julie. We are all benefitting from a simpler, less cluttered, and more organized home.”  – Kimberlee Barnes

The Simply Organized Home class will also be offered in Puyallup on Jan. 28th. Email Julie for more information.

Meals Made Simple: This class will cover the basics for simple meal planning and preparation using just a few fresh ingredients and some clever short cuts that will have you cooking great meals in no time.

Organizing and Enjoying your Photos:  Do you feel overwhelmed by the volume of photos you have stashed in boxes and stuffed in drawers?  What about digital images stuck on devices and are not sure what to do with them?  This class will give you clear and easy solutions so that you can begin enjoying all of those photos!

REGISTER NOW FOR CLASSES!

Coming in March, we are offering a One Room Giveaway! We will spend one day with you transforming your space, finding practical solutions, and clearing the clutter. What better way to kickoff your spring cleaning? Look for more details coming soon!

Quiet the Holiday Chaos

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Quiet the chaos of holiday decoration clutter this year.  Consider hiring our team to streamline and decorate your home for the holiday season, while minimizing your current decor in storage containers as we go.  Experts say that we’re never more overstimulated by sights, sounds, and smells, than during the month of December.  Your home should be a calm oasis amidst that chaos.  All too often, our homes get so over-done, we feel the desire to un-decorate half way through the month.  We can get trapped into thinking that because we have a treasured collection from Great Aunt Alice, (along with many other collected items from years past) we must display everything we own during the holiday season. Overwhelmed, we often place holiday decor alongside our everyday decor and our homes burst with excess.  This leads to chaotic surfaces and makes our eyes tired, aching for a clean spot to land. Another consideration, is how often we get stuck in our own spaces, because we’ve always put the wreath in the same spot, or moved the furnishings just so, in order to accommodate the tree.

When our team arrives, we’ll have a fresh perspective and help you make the most of what you already have and love.  We might suggest arrangements you’ve not thought of, or new ways to display your treasures.  If you have a family tradition of decorating the tree together, we can do the rest and leave that part for you.  Our team will work with you and your budget, to do as much or as little as you’d like. If you have a special place where you typically place a beloved holiday item, we’ll work alongside you to carry on those decorating traditions. If you struggle with making your holiday home a peaceful oasis, we’ve even got you covered with a variety of package options, along with several add-on services such as gift wrapping and storage solutions.  Consider this a gift that will keep on giving all through the holiday season, allowing you the freedom to make memories unfettered by the burdens of too much clutter in your home. Want to learn more about how you can clear the holiday chaos? Join us for Julie’s class, Simplifying the Holidays, coming up on November 16th. In one evening, Julie will cover decorating, gift giving, entertaining, and making the most of your time with family.

The first ten people to schedule with us will be put into a drawing for a FREE after Christmas clean-up and re-decorating!

Packages include:

*The Stocking Stuffer:
 Halls, entries, front doors, kitchens. Perfect for the smaller spaces in your home that you’d like our team to briefly de-clutter, wipe-clean and decorate with just a touch of holiday festivity. ~$250
*The Jewelry Box: 
This is the one that gets your attention and rightly so. We’ll concentrate our efforts in your main living space, often a family room or living room. When we’ve finished adding our touches of sparkle to this space, it’s going to be the primary space you’ll want to gather in all season long. This package includes general de-cluttering, quick cleaning and then fully decorating the surfaces in your family’s living space.  We’ll pay special attention to things like fireplace mantles, furniture placement, wall hangings, fresh greens, window wreaths, shelves, bookcases, tabletops, etc.  ~$350
*The Santa’s Sleigh:
This is the whole space.  It’s ideal for the client who wants our team to tackle their entire home and create a calming, yet festive environment for them. We’ll work to minimize some of your everyday decor and store it away until after the holiday.  That will make room for your holiday items and help to make them the focus.  We’ll work in most of your spaces to arrange furnishings, clean a little as we add items, and place your carefully unwrapped treasures throughout while you simply enjoy the process.  ~$400

Add-on or stand alone decorating and services could include some or all (additional charges apply):

*Trim the Tree:
We’ll use your decorations and place them lovingly on your tree.
*The Bow on Top:
We can tackle additional rooms in your home such as guest rooms, bedrooms and even bathrooms to add festive touches throughout.
*Ornament storage solutions:
We’ll bring some containers and storage solutions for your items so you’ll be prepared to pack your ornaments away at the end of the season.
*Supplying Fresh greens:
Such as cedar garlands, mistletoe, wreaths, berries, etc.
*Pack up and put away:
Call us back in January and we’ll pack your holiday items away, wipe down dusty surfaces, and place your everyday items back around.
*Chalkboard holiday art/text:
If you have a chalkboard surface we can add a festive holiday message or chalk art as a custom add-on.
*Hot cocoa/beverage station set up:
 Three piece glass jar set filled with cocoa, marshmallows, candy canes or red & white straws.
*Gift Wrapping:
Simply set out your gifts, and include a post-it with the recipient’s name.  Choose from one of our three coordinated gift wrap choices, or provide your own.  We’ll take care of the rest and make sure your items are tagged.

Welcome Fall!

“There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness and truth.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

To welcome fall I have put together a list of a few really quick things that you can do today to make home and life a little sweeter!

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  1. Brighten your front door! (Add a ‘hello’ sign, I purchased mine at JoAnns for $2 on clearance).
  2. Reevaluate how you use your furniture. Can a dresser be repurposed and used in your entry to store items that you need everyday?
  3. Remove 10 things that you no longer need from your home and donate them to your favorite charity.
  4. Bin or hang your clean clothing instead of folding everything. I don’t fold anything that doesn’t matter…sleepwear, tanks, underwear, leggings etc.
  5. Clean your trash can by pouring 1 cup of bleach into the bottom and letting it sit for an hour. Then just swish and rinse.
  6. Rearrange your living room and add additional lighting (this is especially important as we head into the darker months).
  7. Choose an inspiration piece and do some simple redesign based on that piece. ( I love to shop for clients based on their inspiration… a small piece of art, a pillow or a favorite fabric).
  8. Paint something for a fresh new look. (I recently spray painted an ugly tray so that I can continue to use it.)
  9. Use hooks everywhere! In your bathroom, in your closets, in your entry. Hooks are much easier to use then hangers!
  10. Invite friends/family over for a simple meal and a special time of face to face connection.

If you are searching for ways to create a life with less stuff and more meaning than join me for The Simply Organized Home Class or Simplifying the Holidays Class.

If your home or office needs some freshening up the OAL team is talented and full of crazy redesign skills which can save you from costly remodeling mistakes! Contact us today!

Summarizing Summer

“If who we are and who we love doesn’t come before what we have and what we buy, then there can be no balance or peace in our lives”.    –Peter Walsh

You may have noticed I haven’t sent anything out in quite some time.  Summer was full of fun life events for my family.  In June my youngest son was married to his college sweetheart and in early August my middle son and his wife welcomed a beautiful baby boy into our hearts and lives.  Business continued throughout the summer, with just a few interruptions.

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As summer winds down and many of you gear up for a new school year, the pace of life increases.   Creating some end of summer order will keep chaos from reigning as we head into fall.  My boys are all grown now but my favorite tips for simplifying home/life continue to serve me well.

  • Eliminate extra clothing.  Believe it or not most of us only wear 20% of what we own.  Keep the favorites and consign or donate the rest.  A simple capsule wardrobe (found in the book “Lessons From Madam Chic” by Jennifer L. Scott) is so refreshing and easy to manage. 
  • Clean the pantry!  Summer’s end is the perfect time to clear out old crackers, snacks, stale nuts and anything else that has been sitting on the shelf far too long.  Donate the good stuff (your excess and extra’s)  to your local food bank.  It feels so good to eliminate when you are helping others!
  • Cull the paperwork!  A new school year means a whole lot of incoming paperwork.  Get ahead now by clearing out files, drawers, desktops and any other place where piles accumulate.  Recycle or shred.
  • Declutter the common spaces.  People often ask me “Where do I begin, my home is such a mess”?  My answer is always the same…begin with decluttering.  Clutter really can’t be organized, but simpler spaces with less stuff can be.  If it isn’t something you love or need then part with it!

Remember, spending just a short amount of time each day on these simple tasks will bring hours of peace as you head into a new school year.  If it all feels like too much then please contact us.  The OAL team is fast, efficient  and fun and most jobs can be completed in about 3 hours.  

If getting organized seems daunting then maybe a class is just what you need.  Join me as I share almost 30 years of my expertise for simplifying, organizing and decorating on a budget.  
Fall classes are are now open!