Posts Tagged 'Carroll County'

Blog A Job! 2011 Part 3, The In-Home Consultation

If you have been following my blog, you met Jutz last week and you have gotten a glimpse of both her space and her personality.  This IS going to be a FUN job!

Life is Difficult for the Organizationally Impaired!

Always a girl with a sense of humor, during our 1st appointment, Jutz offered me a cup of tea. She handed it to me in a mug that read:

Life is Difficult for the Organizationally Impaired”!

But seriously, she is well aware that her organizational challenges are interfering with her productivity in her business.  And she is ready for that to change!

A Peak Inside!

Work Area is Lost to Clutter


We will be focusing on her studio space.  She works from her studio within her home, which houses her business, JCM Studio of Decorative Arts . JCM Studio of Decorative Arts provides Decorative Painting and Faux Finishing. This creative, inventive, and inspired studio space will be the focus of our organizing work and the 2011 Blog A Job!.  During the In-Home Consultation, Jutz shows me her studio space, which is literally crowding her and her business out. Because of the accumulation of clutter, she is not able to function as she needs to run her business.

The consultation is a time for me to ask many questions, as I get a feel for what she needs to accomplish in the space, how she works, what systems she currently has in place, and how we might improve on them or create new systems. At the same time I’m trying to get a picture of her vision for the finished project. How would she like this room to function? What tasks will be accomplished in this room? I take pictures, both to refresh my memory throughout the process, and to motivate us both along the way.

Surrounded By Her Flair!

Style Shines Through the Chaos!

As you can see, even in the midst of the chaos, Jutz is a woman with flair and style. As we were talking about her space, she said:

if given a choice between form and function, I choose form every time.

This is not a surprising quote coming from such a creative soul. In other words, she is almost always more concerned with how her space looks, rather than how it functions. So, clearly, my job is not just to strip it of all the “stuff”, but rather to create stylish, cool, and appealing organizing solutions that Jutz will be able thrive in. In the end, it needs to be both appealing and functional!

With this information in hand and pictures in my camera, I can begin to create a plan of action.

During our next appointment, the hard work will begin. Next week we will get down and dirty.

It generally gets worse, before it gets better. But, as you will soon see, the results are definitely worth it!

Check out  Blog a Job! 2011 Part 1: Watch a Professional Organizer in Action!, and Part 2: Meet Jutz!, and then check back next week to see how our work progresses.

Happy (and Organized!) Days!


Blog a Job! 2011, Part 2 – Meet Jutz!

Meet My Brave Client, Jutz……..

and her very unorganized, chaotic, super fun, soon to be organized, space!!

Jutz has graciously agreed to allow me to “blog” her first experience working with a professional organizer. I thought it might be eye-opening for you to see how the process plays out through an actual job. I would like to say this is a typical job, but in my line of work, there truly is no typical! Each job is different, because each client is different, with distinct personalities, styles, and organizing needs.

Jutz is a small business owner, a wife, a Mom of two busy children, a friend, a finder of lost treasures, and an artist of all things.  Asked to describe herself in one word, she responded, “colorful”. Even in the midst of her disorganized studio space, her colorful, creative style shines through. She works from her studio within her home, which houses her business, JCM Studio of Decorative Arts . JCM Studio of Decorative Arts provides Decorative Painting and Faux Finishing. This creative, inventive, and inspired studio space will be the focus of our organizing work and the 2011 Blog A Job!.

before pic

Before The Work Begins......

Jutz does custom decorative wall finishes and concrete overlay systems, murals, tromp-loi, textures and more. As you can imagine, this is not neat and tidy work! On top of that, she does not tend to be a neat and tidy girl! She is a super fun and creative soul. Her mind tends to be on 10 things at once, and she is artistic and innovative. As you might imagine, organization does not top her list of strengths. So, my goal is not just to organize her studio space. My goal is three-fold. First of all, I will strive to organize her space in a way that makes sense to her. Secondly, I will attempt to teach her organizing skills, tips and tricks along the way, so that she can, easily and naturally, maintain the organizing systems in place. Yes, organizing is a learned skill! Finally, we will strive to create a space where she is comfortable and where her creativity can flourish. It may not look neat and tidy, in the end. And that is not the goal. The goal is for her space to work efficiently. For her systems to hum along effortlessly, so that she can focus on what she is so good at and passionate about. And remember Julia Morgenstern’s excellent definition of organizing

the process by which we create environments that enable us to live, work, and relax exactly as we want to. When we are organized, our homes, offices, and schedules reflect and encourage who we are, what we want, and where we are going.

We certainly want to encourage Jutz in her artistic, creative and fun ventures!

Come On Along! This is going to be a fun job!


The Clever Container Company Has Arrived in Carroll County!

It’s Party Time!

Cheryl and In Order for Life, LLC have teamed up with The Clever Container Company, the nations first and only direct sales company focused entirely on Organizing Products and Learning Parties. Clever Container Company fits perfectly with my vision, learning realistic and easy ways to organize and simplify your life, your home and your family. The result will be more of what you really want: time to do the things that are important to you.  The Parties provide hostesses and guests with a light, fun workshop on organization while demonstrating high quality, yet affordable, items to make living easier.   I am thrilled with this new partnership and complement to my business!  You will be too!

Now is the perfect time to start the year out right!  Have a party, and gain inspiration, while learning simple tips on how to gain more time, and be more efficient!  Then, spend less time on the things that you have to do, and more time and energy on the things you long to do.  By hosting a party, you have the opportunity to earn free and discounted stylish, top quality, organizing products.

For several years now, I have been offering Organizing Workshops through the Carroll County Department of Parks and Recreation. I will now be teaching this same information in the format of Learning Parties in the comfort of your own home! These fun, informal, interactive Learning Parties combine high quality, chic organizational products with time saving tips and ideas to help you get your home, life and family “In Order for Life”!

I am currently offering 4 distinct Learning Parties:

Your Children Organized! Is your home overwhelmed with the overflow of your child’s belongings? Come learn how to clear the clutter, reign in and organize the present, and cherish the past. From setting up a childhood memory box and creating a school and art archive, to reigning in and organizing clothes and toys, you will be well on your way to a more organized home!

Clutter Cutter What is clutter? It is a state of disorder or to run and move with bustle and confusion. Could this describe your life and home? If so, come learn practical ideas on how to use our products to solve some of the most common household organizational problems and alleviate your clutter hot-spots. Cut the clutter, and learn how to move through your life and home with freedom and efficiency!

Closet Clean-Up Are your storage areas bursting at the seams? Do you feel the need for more closet and storage space? Chances are no one will be building you any more closets in the near future! Come discover tips, tricks, habits, and products to make the most of the space you have. Imagine peace and calm as you retrieve that perfect outfit, hang your guest’s coats, and utilize your storage areas, day by day!

Kitchen Organization Does the “heart” of your home feel more like the bowels of disorder? Come learn tips, tricks, and product ideas to tame the chaos on the counter, in the drawers and pantry, under the sink, and on the walls. You will rediscover the “heart” in your home, bring calm and efficiency to your busiest room, and revitalize the “Joy of Cooking” once again.

Your Opportunity:

Clever Container Company is an up and coming company and new to this area. You have the opportunity to be one of the first to introduce this new company, their Learning Party concept, and their excellent, high quality products to your friends.

Simply gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! It’s that simple!

Hosting a Clever Container party is easy, fun, and rewarding!  With an average of $65 in free products for hostesses, and 75% of the catalog under $20, how can you resist!?!  Cheryl will make planning your show simply effortless, from sending out paper invitations to evites, she’ll take care of the details.  Set a date, choose your Clever Learning Party topic and you are ready to party!

Now Scheduling Clever Learning Parties for March, 2011

Call or Email Cheryl Today! 410-259-1466,

Your Reward:

Your friends will thank you when you invite them to a Clever Learning Party!  Whether you choose to have me teach about organizing a household of children, cleaning out closets, perking up the pantry, or introduce our Clutter Cutter workshop, you and your guests will leave the show with fun, practical tips to use at home.  Plus, you will have earned FREE and half-priced products, too!

As a Clever Hostess with a qualifying show of $250 or more, start earning FREE products right out of the box!  It’s easy, fun, and rewarding!

Additionally, you can earn $40 in Hostess Rewards on top of the standard hostess program! It’s easy! You will receive $10 in hostess rewards for each of the following:

1. Keeping the original show date
2. Gather $100 in outside orders
3. Have 10 or more people at your show
4. At least one booking at your show
5. An evening with friends and family = PRICELESS!

The hostess rewards go toward the purchase of clever container products and are entered on your hostess order form in addition to the earned hostess dollars.

Clever Container Company, It’s an Up and Coming Company!

During July of 2006, friends Karen Eschebach, a professional organizer, and Jennifer Weaver, a stay-at-home mom, had a light bulb moment! Why not bring organizing tools and techniques to those that can benefit most from it; EVERYONE!

The Clever Container Company was created in August of 2006. After a trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the Direct Selling Association (DSA) training for start-up companies, the concept of Clever Container continued to unfold.

Clever Container joined the DSA in September 2006 and obtained full membership in June 2008. DSA is the trade association of the leading firms that manufacture and distribute goods and services sold directly to consumers away from a fixed retail location. Clever Container supports the Association’s “Code of Ethics,” a promise to uphold the highest set of business practices.

After many successful vendor shows, Clever Container introduced their Organizing Party format in January 2007. Then a chance article in the Business section of the Detroit News brought forth interest from various states across the U.S. and in March 2007 they launched their first consultants. Clever Container continues to grow as more and more Consultants join this unique business opportunity.

Clever Container Consultants provide organizing tips, techniques and products to help simplify your life in a fun, relaxed setting. We will demonstrate the products, provide multiple uses, and share organizing tips which you can use as soon as you get home. Clever Container’s motto is “It’s not just the product, it’s the process.”

Clever Container is committed to providing top quality, unique products and solutions to reduce the stress of an organizational task. We have products for the kitchen, crafts, closets, drawers, children, storage, offices, and more.

Check out Clever Container Company featured on Good Morning America.

Check out Karen and Clever Container on Mom Invented.

Read More About the Clever Container Company

Check out the Current Clever Container Company Catalog

Happy (and Organized!) 2011


Blog A Job! 2011 Part 1: Watch a Professional Organizer in Action!

Pic of Professional Organizer, CherylHave you ever wondered what a Professional Organizer actually does? Will she take over your home? Will YOUR mess shock her? Will she work for endless hours, working you right into the poor house?

You have the opportunity to have your questions answered, as you follow Cheryl Osterhouse, owner/operator of In Order for Life, LLC, in action. You will be able to witness the progress of a typical organizing project through each step of an actual organizing job. You will see first hand, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Let’s start at the beginning. When I get a call from a potential client, I am sensitive to the fact that it has taken much nerve, and often weeks or even months, to pick up the phone and make that call. Why is it so difficult to make that call? Why do we assume that everyone should naturally be organized? We each have gifts, strengths, and areas in life where we naturally excel. Organizing may or not be, one of your gifts.

I think creatively when it comes to organizing. Otherwise, NOT! I have finally come to terms with this fact. I’m on different teams and committees with some ridiculously creative people. They can brainstorm and come up with ideas, themes and programs in no time flat. Myself, not so much. I could come up with fresh and creative ideas, but at too high a cost. So, they come up with creative ideas, and I keep us organized. It works.

Gardening is another area where I do not excel. I enjoy gardening. I love the idea of gardening. I feel like I should be a gardener. After all, I live on 5 acres with great potential for beautiful gardens. Again, I have come to terms with the fact, that at this time in my life, gardening just is not one of my strengths. I simply don’t have time and energy for it. It’s OK. The stakes are low. I maintain the gardens around my house, and let the others go for now. Maybe one day………

So, what if you are not naturally organized? What if you simply haven’t learned organizing skills? Or, more likely, what if, in the midst of your crazy, ever-changing life, you haven’t had the opportunity to re-group and get reorganized? Well, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that the stakes of maintaining a disorganized home, family, life, or business are high.

Being disorganized costs you financially, in loss of time, and emotionally. NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) estimates that the average American spends nearly an hour every day looking for simple things. That’s for the average American. If you consider yourself disorganized, chances are you spend more than an hour a day looking for things. Think what you could do with that extra time each and every day. Aside from wasting time, being disorganized can quickly lead to financial loss as well. Do you find yourself paying late fees on bills that you had the money to pay, only because you had misplaced the bill? Are you purchasing duplicate items because you simply can’t find or don’t have time and energy to look for the items that you know are around here somewhere? Are you running to fast food restaurants and purchasing pre-made dinners from the grocery store, not because you want to, but rather because you have to? In your business, are you missing out on potential clients and work because you have misplaced critical information?

Finally, do you feel burdened and overwhelmed by all the stuff surrounding you?  Are you unsure of which way to turn, where to start, or do you feel stuck?

Organizing is a skill to be learned. My favorite definition of organization comes from Julie Morgenstern in her book  Organizing from the Inside Out:

Organizing is the process by which we create environments that enable us to live, work, and relax exactly as we want to. When we are organized, our homes, offices, and schedules reflect and encourage who we are, what we want, and where we are going.”

That’s my job in a nutshell. I work with clients to create processes within their homes and within their lives that work for them.  And at the same time, teach them the skills necessary to maintain those processes.

At times I am called upon to assist with a specific room, while other times it may involve the entire home. Occasionally, the request for help is in the area of time and life management. In each situation, the process remains the same. I begin with a visit to the client’s home, at which time they have the opportunity to show me, first hand, their current situation. I ask many questions, attempting to get a feel for how they work, what systems they currently have in place, and how we might improve on them or create new systems. I will then create a plan of action personalized for both their budget and style. Finally, we jump right into the work. We work together as we sort, purge, and reorganize, one area at a time. I usually suggest specific homework, jobs that they can accomplish on their own, reducing the number of hours that we work together. They may, however, choose to have me work alongside them throughout the entire process. The choice is theirs. Throughout the process, it is my goal to teach my clients new skills,  giving them the tools and tips necessary to maintain their newly organized space.

So, come along with me as I work through an actual job, from beginning to end. My client has graciously agreed to allow me to blog her first experience working with a professional organizer. I thought it might be eye-opening for you to see how the process plays out through an actual job.  So, come along with us. Keep posted. Next week you will meet my very brave client, Jutz, as we check out her, very unorganized, chaotic, super fun, soon to be organized, space!!


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NEW Home Learning Parties!

Organizing Just Got Fun!
Now Scheduling Home Learning Parties for Summer 2011
Gather your friends, choose a topic, learn, simplify AND earn free and half priced products from the Clever Container Company! To schedule your party, call Cheryl at 410-259-1466 or email

My Favorite Things

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Proud Member of:

National Association of Professional Organizers