The New Organized at Last

Welcome to our new website and our first blog post!! This has been a long time coming and we’re so excited that it’s finally ready. It’s been a crazy year, to say the least (I’m sure we can all agree on that!). To sum up our year so far… Lauren had just purchased Organized at Last from the previous owner, Julie. We began the year hopeful about the “new” business and new beginnings. And then… Covid-19 struck. What a time to start a business, right?!? Everything screeched to a halt for a couple months but we’re happy to report that, despite the setbacks, we’re back in business and busy organizing, designing, and staging!

The one positive thing that Covid-19 has given us is time to reflect on our goals and dreams for this company. Family is at the core of our personal values and we have been so lucky in realizing that we can make family the core of our business as well.

I suppose this would be a good time to introduce the Organized at Last family…

Lauren: Lauren is the new owner of Organized at Last. She has been blessed with the gift of natural organizing skills and a creative mind. She’s been passionately organizing and designing her whole life. Owning and operating this business is literally a dream come true for her. 

Kyle: Kyle is Lauren’s husband and the company “handy man.” He is the person we call in when a client needs something built, assembled, or installed. His perfectionism and confidence make him an ideal addition to the team.

Lauren with her husband, Kyle, and their daughters, Sloane and Dilyn

Robin (that’s me): I’m Lauren’s assistant organizer/designer and I also happen to be her sister. I help Lauren execute her visions and I put my skills as a visual artist to use. I also enjoy writing, so I get to be the voice behind this blog!

Robin with her kids: Roman, Larkyn, Elektra, and Atticus

That’s a pretty basic introduction to the “new” Organized at Last family. If you want to learn more about us and our other employees, check out our “Team” page.

Check back here often for tips on organizing and design for your home and office, as well as projects we are working on. If there is a specific topic you’d like us to write about, please let us know! 

Julie’s Retirement

Julie Clarke with Grandkids
Just over 30 years ago a friend encouraged me to put my organizing skills and passion for simplicity to good use. No one really knew about professional organizing back then and sometimes people asked me if anyone would really pay for organizing help. I was already aware that there was a need (due to my mom’s long-term illness and my own chaotic childhood home) and that many people struggled with disorganization. However, I soon realized that I was pregnant and pairing a new baby and a new business would likely not be “simple”. Instead, I decided to teach organizing classes in the evenings at Bellingham Technical College, had 2 more sons, and when my youngest started kindergarten, Organized at Last was born.

Julie ClarkeThat was over 20 years ago. Today, I am grandma Gogo to 5 precious little ones (with one more on the way) and I know firsthand how fast these years pass by so I have decided to retire. I am looking forward to spending extra time with our kids, and their babies, as well as serving my family, friends, and others in fun, new ways!

Over the years I have developed lifelong relationships with so many of my incredible clients and leaving this profession is seriously one of my toughest life decisions. I have loved serving thousands of clients, teaching hundreds of classes, donating tens of thousands of items to local charities, decorating, staging and redesigning more homes than I can count, sometimes on a tiny shoestring budget.

I never would have been able to do any of this without my incredibly supportive and amazing husband and my talented team members who over the years totaled more than 20. Wow, what a gift to have had so many organized, caring, thoughtful and intentional women as employees! My clients often commented that I had the most incredible team of women working for me. It was so true. They made this work “easy”!

Organized at Last will continue under new ownership/leadership. My successor is Lauren Godfrey. She has a background in design, loves organizing and has a knack for staging and redesign. She loves living a simple and purposeful life with her handy husband and 2 young daughters. The OAL phone number and website will remain the same. My personal contact will be 360-410-3855 and my new email address is Gogojulieclarke@gmail.com. Please update me in your contact list. The Organized at Last Instagram and Facebook pages will remain the same, but you can follow me on my personal Instagram @gogojulieclarke account and on Facebook

I can’t thank all of you enough for your support these past 30+ years. My work life could not have been any better. I am so blessed. Now, I’m off for new adventures with my tiny loves.

Best wishes always,
Julie

Lauren and Julie - Organized at Last

Storage Solution Series: Sasha

Next up on the hidden spaces/unique solutions tour, is Sasha’s home.  Sasha has lived in her 1500 sq foot home for twelve years and her favorite thing is finding a solution on a budget and/or within a tight space.

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  As we tour her home, you can see that Sasha frequently places things on trays for easy cleaning and containing.  She also tends to use baskets for additional linen storage, especially in rooms with minimal storage areas like the guest room below.

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One of the places in her home with extremely tight storage space, is the main bath.  For this, she hung a couple of inexpensive shelves from Target, and fluffy stacks of towels are pretty and easy to grab.

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One of the continual issues in her home for years, was the drop zone. They all enter through a garage and then walk right into the kitchen. Everything used to get tossed onto the island which made the whole open concept space feel cluttered and chaotic. To calm the issue, she first stacked her washer and dryer and added upright cubby shelves next to them.

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Then, because mail and keys were still getting scattered all over the island, she installed some very affordable buckets from Ikea to the end and used vinyl letters to label them. They get used daily now. In the kitchen, she removed doors to the most used cabinet and then painted the back of it to match the island color.  It functions so well with an active family. She also rethought a nearby coat closet that was rarely used, installed some simple shelving from Lowes and turned it into a pantry space.

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Sasha moved their family computer into the kitchen/dining space for homework time converting an existing table and baskets for storage space.  With clear labels, everything has a home and seldom feels overwhelming.

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Though Sasha’s home doesn’t have a lot of extra storage spaces, the master closet is really large.  To organized this space on a budget, she purchased a dresser and cubby shelf from Ikea and then stacked them.

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 For her shoe storage, she purchased glass blocks at Lowe’s and pre-cut shelf boards and stacked them up.  It works so well and didn’t break the bank.

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Join us again next week for more unique and practical storage solutions!

New Fall Classes!

I know many of you have taken the class, The Simply Organized Home, over the years. It has been a keystone of what I teach and you’re able to see for yourself that living a simpler, less cluttered life is possible. This class is always being revised and this year it’s better than ever! I encourage you to please spread the word and consider taking this class again with friends or family members!

We’ve also got two other classes that are perfect to get you prepped for the upcoming holiday season – Entertain with Ease and Simplifying the Holidays.

Don’t wait – we’ve still got spots left. Register Today!

Storage Solutions Series: Kristin

We have shown the variety of personal spaces for the Organized at Last crew in the past. Looking back at our home tours and outdoor spaces, we thought you might also really enjoy seeing some of our more hidden spaces, along with some of our unique organizing solutions. We are kicking off this little tour with Kristin’s home. Kristin is the newest member of the team and she does classic simplicity in her home so well. She lives in a large home, and has two active boys. A fan of neutrals, she has created an environment of restful corners that invite you in.

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As you walk through her home, you can see that she chooses pieces with excellent storage, such as using small bookshelves instead of nightstands. And small dressers, instead of living room end tables.

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One of our favorite solutions in Kristin’s space, is the antique french toast caddy that she has put to use as media device storage.

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Kristin is a master at finding a great piece of furniture or simple bowl or container and repurposing it for maximum use.

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Toward the end of the tour we stumbled upon a darling way to display a simple collection in her master bathroom. Old shaving brushes and barber items get tucked into a wood shelf cubby that she picked up inexpensively from Target, and because the collection isn’t overflowing it’s eye-catching, yet not overwhelming.

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Stay tuned next week for a peek inside Sasha’s home and her organizing tips!

Favorite Back to School Ideas

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“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity they think of you.”
~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Hard to believe another school year is already underway.  My kids are grown and gone now but since I’m married to a school administrator, the school calendar still matters to me!

Here are a few of my favorite back to school ideas I found most helpful while raising my sons.

  1. Use a single, great calendar system for keeping track of all of your family activities.  Your phone might do the trick or you may still prefer a paper planner.  Either way, choose a system that works for you and learn to use it well!
  2. Clean up and clear out kids rooms including clothing, books, toys and electronics early on in the school year (do this with your kids if possible). We all function better in simple, less cluttered spaces.
  3. Plan simple, healthy meals based on your families schedule.  Learn more about how I do this in my new fall class Entertain with Ease.
  4. Do what you can ahead of time.  Pack lunches the night before, place all necessary items in backpacks and gather sports gear. Mornings will be oh so much nicer!
  5. Give kids responsibility early.  Responsible kids are made, not born!  Remember in a few short years your son or daughter will be someone’s roommate or spouse…will they make a good one??

Want more ideas? Our fall classes will help you get ready for the busy school year ahead and the holidays! Click HERE to learn more about the classes and to sign up!

Would you love some help getting organized now that the kids are back in school?  This week is totally booked but contact Organized at Last for openings next week!