Scrolling through the last days of 2013 in my digital calendar, I thought “where did the time go?” I sat on the couch for the next few hours reflecting on all that I accomplished that year at work and the long hours it took to do it.
I scanned through all the fun things I’d planned to do (yes, those are on my calendar too). I managed to check off quite a few, but next to empty square boxes on the screen were reminders to put the first brush strokes on the painting of my youngest daughter, finish writing that murder mystery and accept some of those hiking invites.
Flipping ahead, my schedule was already saturated well into the New Year with workshops, school events, sports, and drill meets. Exhausted, I imagined flicking that little “time troll” off my shoulder and telling him I’ve got better things to do. Something had to give!
January took me from reflection to contemplation: what if? What if I started my own business? I had one before. It was successful — I can do it again! But what type of business? The problem was I had too many ideas, and I needed to narrow that down. Each one managed to commandeer its own digital post-it note on my phone and with it a list of pros and cons.
I found it ironic that I was contemplating a new career at the same time my teenage daughter was giving thought to college and her own career. I thought back to when I was her age. If I had to do it over again, would I choose something different? A resounding “yes” echoed through my cranium.
I told my daughter my stories and how I would have chosen a career that I had passion for. I repeated what I’ve told her for years – do what you love – or do what you’re great at, no matter what it is. I asked her to think about how others perceive her – “what do they say you’re good at?” I said I’ve known so many people who’ve chosen careers because they were prestigious or paid well, or they gave way to peer pressure and what others thought they should do for a living. So many returned to college, years later, to study what they loved.
The more we talked, the more my business ideas evolved or got deleted. One thing was certain: I knew this year I would be making a career change. Through it all, I considered what others said my strong traits were, and I kept coming back to “You’re the most organized person I know!”
So I’ve embarked on a new path as a professional organizer and a productivity specialist (my skills are more “digitally oriented”), and I’ve managed to leave some time to work on things I’m passionate about.
Each week, I’ll write about how I’ve helped others to organize personal or business tasks and provide tips on I’ve organized various aspects of my own life. Onward…
Medicines, Cosmetics, and Toiletries
The best bathroom storage solution I’ve found for organizing medicines, cosmetics, and toiletries is to use plastic mini pull-out drawer units (drawers that pull out completely and are clear work best). Whether placed in a towel closet, free standing linen cabinet, or under the sink, all your items will be stored neatly and out of sight. Before purchasing these units, measure the space (height and width) available. You may have room for more than one.
Sort through to categorize and determine what you have most of. In this cabinet, I’ve sorted and labeled drawers for soap, razors, ointments, eye care, first aid, hot and cold packs, toothbrushes/paste, travel items, and empty bottles I’ve recycled for reuse. The units are useful when buying in bulk and provide protection from anything that might spill.
In sink vanity drawers, I use kitchen containers to separate make up, fingernail polish, and sunscreens. In shallow drawers, office drawer organizers or silverware trays work well. Turn-style type kitchen organizers are great under the sink for tall items like extra bottles of shampoo. Be sure to child proof the door as needed.
Mary Anne “Mimi” Corwin is a professional organizer and productivity specialist with a B.A. in Business Management from New York Institute of Technology. She has organized many private events, reunions, public conferences and banquets, training workshops, and fundraising auctions. She specializes in document and digital data management, database development, and designing processes to keep tasks on track. She and her husband Todd live in Flanders and have two children, Brianne and Kiersten. Mimi can be reached at AProAtOrganizing.com.