So, how and why did I decide to start Managed Chaos, LLC?
It’s quite a tale, actually.
It starts April 1, 2013 when I resigned my position of almost 18 years as Director of Music & Liturgy. That position had defined who I was, supported my faith life, and been my whole identity for my entire time as a mother. (I started it when my son was six months old.) But, due to many factors, it was time to move on. At the time, my mom was in a nursing home, and she passed away three months later. Dad had passed a few years prior.
I’m from a large family and the only sibling in town other than me is my brother, so we were faced with going through our family’s home of 56 years with the majority of us living out of state. Many emails and some conference calls later, it was decided that I’d be the one to go through the house and organize it and get it ready for everyone to go through the contents. And somehow, I knew exactly what I would do and how to do it. (My in town brother was a great help during that time, and there were lots of emails between all of us, so I was never really alone, thankfully.)
I’ve been organizing things pretty much my entire life, save for a couple of rebellious teenage years. Before the music director gig, I was a classroom teacher for ten years, teaching first and second grades. This was back when computers were new, and when there were literally mountains of papers. I always had files for everything and bookshelves were always in order. As a music director, I had files and files of sheet music to inventory and a list of contacts a mile long of various choir members, music ministers, etc. Organizing just comes second nature to me!
So, when charged with doing our childhood home, I started with books. I figured that would be the least emotional thing to do. (Wrong! Our parents wrote inside every book who it was from, and notes from the giver to them, too!) I made a spreadsheet listing title, author, who gave it, what box# it was in, and then columns for whomever claimed it. We had established a system for dividing up the contents, so all of that was on the spreadsheet.
A few months later, as I was still working on the house (and still unsuccessful in a job search), I awoke at 3 in the morning and, basically, that’s how Managed Chaos came to be! I literally dreamed the entire business to the point that, I remember sitting up in bed, looking up to heaven and saying, “Seriously? THAT’S what You want me to do?” I had heard of and seen professional organizers on television shows, so I started doing my research and studying up on the profession. I looked at the website for the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and knew this was the path for me. Everyone I spoke to about the idea supported me and said it was a perfect fit for me. By January 1, 2014, I had my business license in hand and my LLC formed and registered, and was ready to go. What I hadn’t counted on was my husband of 22 years passing away unexpectedly in February. That has been a major setback. But, in hindsight, it’s clear that this is the path I’m supposed to be on, and this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m grateful to my nieces who have helped with naming the business and who have done my graphic design work, and to all who have believed in me as I get this dream off the ground. I continue to work towards joining NAPO in order to become certified.
NEXT: Why you need a professional organizer (or not)