Warning: 9 month old rotten onions may be found here.

Here’s the thing… I’m not the best at keeping things organized. It’s totally okay. We all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses. Where do I begin? Many will agree that I’m not a great driver, I’m terrible at throwing a ball, I’m not good at limiting my taco intake, I should not be trusted to create an excel spreadsheet… especially if it involves those fancy formulas. I am a creative thinker, using my right brain muscle more than I probably should. I’m quick to acknowledge my weaknesses because it helps me to continue to improve and work to be the best I can be. And, to connect with someone who can help me learn, grow and be better.

Cue the upbeat, intro music: meet Molly & Janelle, owners of “Get It Together Organization”.

Molly, Janelle & I… Getting it Together!

I’ve known Molly for over 5 years in a few different capacities, so when she reached out to let me know that she was starting a business with her friend Janelle, my heart did a happy dance. For two reasons:

  • Reason 1: Anytime someone tells me that they are following their passion and using their gifts to impact the world in a positive way, I feel a surge of warmth through my veins. When we discover what brings us joy and in turn, spread joy to others and change lives, it’s a beautiful thing.
  • Reason 2: I needed their help. I am quick to get rid of “stuff” and am happy when I get to de-clutter because my house is half the size of my daughter’s Barbie dream house, but I often don’t know how to create systems that maximize organization and efficiency (as you’ll soon notice).

It’s the right brain thing… for real! According to Healthline, “the right brain has a more creative and less organized way of thinking.”
I’m living proof.

Molly offered to have her and Janelle come to my house to take a look at some areas that could use fine tuning. I immediately thought of 5 spaces that could use their magic touch (including my garage, more on that here!) When they arrived, I felt as though two of my dear friends were coming to hang out. They were warm, enthusiastic, supportive and not judgmental in the least bit.

What really stood out to me was how they worked together; both equally excited about all of the possibilities, brainstorming ways to maximize each space, talking in their own language about measurements and organizational supplies.

Molly shared the many benefits of being organized, one of which really resonated with me:

Being organized saves you money and reduces waste. I often find that when things don’t have a place, people end up buying it again…even though they already have several of that item in their home. If it has a place to live, you will know where to find it.”

Molly MacMunn
Molly & Janelle making a plan for my Kohl chaos kitchen

They decided to work with the kitchen; since I had just renovated it less than a year ago and hadn’t really thought through where to put things. My much-needed rescue reorganizers began snapping photos, taking measurements and chatting about ideas. It was so fun to watch as they squealed with excitement every time they opened a drawer or a cabinet, just at the mere thought of what they could do to make it better for me.

Molly & Janelle spent a solid 45 minutes taking photos and measurements in order to come back with a plan for progress. After they left, they emailed me an Amazon link to a list they created just for me, with all of the items they thought would maximize my space and provide the ultimate organization. It was so simple – I ordered the items they suggested and had them ready to go for when they would return to transform my entire kitchen for the better!

When Molly & Janelle arrived to get the job done, they showed up with a hot coffee in hand for me, put on their cute matching aprons and spread a boatload of encouraging, positive vibes. As we started to sort through each and every cabinet and drawer, it became very apparent that I needed them in my life, in a big way.

So, I’m about to get really personal here… below are photos of my kitchen BEFORE & AFTER I invited these magical planning wizards to come over.

If you are wondering if I happened to have expired chips in the back of that shelf and a bag of rotten onions from 9 months ago sitting in an unreachable cabinet above the fridge, the answer is YES.

I was in tears when I saw the transformation. Not only because I was completely blown away by what they were able to do with my small kitchen space, but because I knew that they have made updates that will drastically improve my day to day life. These rock stars helped me to get rid of so many things I don’t even use and make the most of what I already have! No longer will I have to use my oven as storage for my pots and pans and will now be able to see all of my spices instead of only cooking with Old Bay because it’s the only thing I can see & reach.

Even my kiddos are thrilled with the updates! The fun containers, easy access to snacks, and including, but not pictured, the folding step stool that nestles perfectly between the wall and the fridge. With a house full of shorty’s, how did we not have that before?

When they left, they took all of the items I wanted to donate with them and left a card and a bottle of champagne to celebrate my “new” space. I look forward to once again being around their enthusiasm for their work and witnessing the joy they feel when helping others. I may call my house “Kohl Chaos”, but that no longer applies in my kitchen! Thanks to this power duo, my home is more enjoyable to be in and I feel like I am starting to really Get It Together. And that includes knowing exactly where I put my onions.

Get Molly & Janelle to help you tackle a space in your home! For more information, visit gitorganization.com

Power of positivity

I’m not like Iggy Azalea. I’m not fancy.

My closet is about the size of my big toenail. For real though, I am constantly purging clothing because there just isn’t anywhere to store it. I’ve already taken over my seven-year-old son’s closet with my “part-time TV gig clothing”. My clothing closet is likely meant to store a couple of winter coats and old bridesmaids dresses, but it’s currently a healthy combination of flannel shirts, various gray sweaters in 50 different shades (ok, maybe more like 11), sweatshirts and Ohana gear. I have closet envy whenever I see a closet that is the size of my bathroom. Bad example. Most walk-in closets are bigger than my bathroom. You know what I mean… those closets you can “walk-in” to. Why am I envious? Is it because of their ability to organize their stuff so nicely, or because they can do a pirouette between their color-coordinated blouses and shoe shelves? I remind myself that having more space often leads to having more stuff; which isn’t always a good thing, as I have learned from 2 men who decided to change their lifestyle.

I recently watched “Minimalism” on Netflix, and was so inspired by their desire to live more freely with less material objects. In an effort to help people end their obsession with stuff, minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus share that, “Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”

Sounds magical, doesn’t it? Who would have thought that getting rid of material things and living more simply would bring freedom. They share that, “Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less. We focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom. Clearing the clutter from life’s path helps make that room.”

I need to be clear: I am certainly not a minimalist. I store my pots and pans in my oven because I don’t have any room in my kitchen cabinets. In my defense, I don’t have many cabinets. But, I am inspired by the message and working hard everyday to live more fully with less things.

Watching “Tiny House Nation” with my kids has been a real eye-opener, too. It’s amazing how people can downsize so drastically and find themselves happier than ever before. My kids keep saying “We want to live in a tiny house!” Dude, we already do! It’s like a human pinball machine over here. I easily get wrapped up in what I need to have to feel complete or accomplished as a homeowner (I talk more about my garage envy here). Yet, I think these shows serve as a healthy reminder to change the conversation that our consumer-driven society is having. Change our focus from “I’m better & more successful with a big house and lots of expensive stuff” to “I’m better & more successful with the happiness in my life and the people I share it with.” I try to always look at my home as the cozy place where we get to share memories, holidays, life. It’s not much, it’s not fancy, and I will be making a dining room table out of my kids’ 2 desks for Thanksgiving because we don’t have a table to sit at. Nor do we have a dining room. I don’t even have matching dinner plates or fine china (because I’m not fancy) so I got some matching ones at the Dollar Tree. And, I got some plastic champagne flutes. Boom. Done.

This Thanksgiving holiday, we will all be minimizing what we normally enjoy due to COVID-19. Let’s turn our perspective towards all the many wonderful moments we get to share and enjoy. In Josh & Ryan’s words: Minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s important things—which aren’t things at all. Happy Thanksgiving to you & all the many things you have that aren’t things at all.