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Archive for the ‘About’ Category

Interview on Ecopreneur Avenue

Last month (wow, time flies!) I was interviewed by the awesome Andreea Ayers for her Ecopreneur Ave blog.  Check it out!

1.    What is One Organized Life and when did you start the company?
One Organized Life is a Professional Organizing business that has become so much more! I started working with clients in the summer of 2006.

2.    What inspired you to start your business?
I find that there are two kinds of disorganized people (generally speaking): The chronically disorganized and the situationally disorganized. I was going through a situational disorganization of my own – a great job, but one I wasn’t passionate about, a relationship that should have been over, and so on.  I had a lot of mental clutter – junk in my head clouding my brain. I felt incredibly overwhelmed, depressed, and just plain stuck in life. This had happened to me at other challenging times in life. That mental clutter manifested itself in my space. I needed help tackling it so I started looking for someone to help me.  I spoke with several people and met with a couple. I could not find the right fit either in price or personality of the organizer. I finally decided I would work through it myself. It took a while, but I did it. I made a decision that I wanted to help other people who felt the way that I did. I wanted to help them change their lives and feel better about their space. I sought out my first client, and that is how my business was born!

3.    What makes your services different?
I really tailor everything I do to my clients. There is no one size fits all solution. Every client is different and so is their space. I talk in detail with my clients about what their goals are – and not just for organizing. Also, because I know what my clients are going through, I can relate to them on a different level than someone who has not been in their position.

Check out the full interview on Ecopreneur Ave!

Andreea Ayers, founder of Tees For Change, started Ecopreneur Avenue to share her experience of being an eco-entrepreneur and a mom-entrepreneur. This site provides business resources, interviews, product reviews and information for entrepreneurs.

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My goals for 2009

After writing so much about goals, including the New Year’s post yesterday, I have, of course, been asked what my goals are. Well here you go!:

Personal:

– Exercise at least one hour a week (not including all the walking I do).  Hey, like I always say, start small! The quickest way for me to fail is to say “exercise 3 days a week!”

– Read two books per month. One fiction, one non-fiction (It’s been a while since I’ve read any fiction cover to cover)

– Get 6-8 hours of sleep each night

– Have one FULL day off from work or ANYTHING work related each week.

– Get better at saying NO.

Professional:

– Work with clients 4 – 5 days a week

– Spend one day each week writing for all outlets I am published through

– Cultivate at least 3 joint ventures

– Delegate anything I possibly can.

– Consistently have a minimum of 2 events per month for my networking group.

– Create a marketing plan for the year

– Develop a semi-formal board of advisors

– Reorganize all my business cards

– Join 1 to 2 additional professional networks

– Drop out of 2 – 3 ineffective networking groups or groups that are in areas I don’t want to travel to

This is just a snippet of my goals list. I have a lot more! Some are way to personal for me to want to post here (sorry!) Some can be done in minutes, some will take all year. Others won’t take long, but they have to happen at a specific time. The key to the goals I set is that they are reasonable. I think it is fantastic to dream big – I do all the time, but the actual goals I set are attainable.

It is unrealistic to expect that I could buy a house this year. But I could start saving for one. I could say “I want to meet 10 new people every day.”  Certainly doable, but at what cost? How in depth would these meetings be? What quality of contact am I looking for? I could walk up to any Starbucks and introduce myself to 10 people in line that I have no intent of speaking to again. Or, I could sacrifice time normally set aside for clients to attend events where I can meet different people. A more appropriate goal for me would be “add two additional key players to my network each month that I would feel confident referring people to.” Another option “attend one event each month where I don’t know anyone in attendance.” Could I sort and purge every area of my apartment on Monday? Sure, if I cancel my client and meetings. Instead, why don’t I pick an area to tackle each day this week?

I’m excited about my goals because WHEN I achieve them, they all play a part in driving me closer to the ideal vision I have for my life. I hope you have some fantastic goals for yourself and that you really strive to achieve them.

– Alaia

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Happy Holidays – Stay Tuned!

Well, the holidays are here and I’ve already wished many a Happy Hannukah this week already.  Merry Christmas to those celebrating on Thursday.

Don’t forget to bookmark or subscribe to this blog and visit us after the holidays. Here’s a rundown of what’s in store:

– Getting organized for the New Year (business and personal)

– Ask Alaia (submit your questions about organizing, simplicity, or time management via comment or email info AT oneorganizedlife.com !)

…and more!

Enjoy your week !

– Alaia

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I’ve been blogging for a long time. It started way back in 2000. While it was not literally a lifetime ago, it certainly feels like it was. I must say, I have certainly changed a lot in (almost) nine years. I suppose you could say I came of age blogging.

Lately, I have been doing some new media/social media consulting for various small business owners. Most have asked “is blogging worth it?” The answer is not the same for everyone, but for me it is a yes.  While I can not pinpoint one major way blogging has impacted my life (a new job, a soul mate, or anything like that), blogging is just part of who I am.

I’ve been writing for a long time. Way back in kindergarten, I started writing stories. Sure, my writing was illegible back then, but I knew what I was trying to express! I was published when I was in elementary school and again in middle school. These were very very small scale publications, but to me, it meant the world.  When  I was 15, going on 16, my mom decided to move us across town, which meant going to a brand new school in a brand new city.  I didn’t know how I was going to make it. Sure, we lived eight places in one city before, but I never moved to a totally new place and played the role of New Kid. I was usually the one who helped the new kids get acquainted. That summer, on August 13, 2000, I blogged for the very first time. Good old LiveJournal. NONE of my friends even knew what LiveJournal was. I turned them all on to it – and after a while it became the way we kept track of each other. I joined groups, and sent and received postcards from other LJ users. While LJ helped me keep in touch with friends old and new when I was in high school.  In college, blogging really was a saving grace.

My college years can be summed up in one word: struggle. Or depression. Or frustration. Or….you get the idea. But I could vent on Livejournal and get support there. I could express who I really was while continuing to write, which was something that was always fun and therapeutic for me. I wrote about my many many insecurities. I wrote about my favorite Christian bands (I had a brief Christian music phase for a couple of years), movies like Boyz in the Hood, and what I wanted in a man (which, six years later is almost still the same). I grew up blogging. I blogged about my first kiss, my college life, my out-of-state internship.

I maintained the LiveJournal for years – until late 2005, when I created a blog on Typepad. I used this new blog to talk about pop culture, concerts, music, books – anything BUT the details of my personal life. I wanted another outlet to share what I thought about what was going on in the world. Plus, I wanted my writing to me a little more focused. As always, friends come and go in life, but blogging was always there. When certain friends disappeared because their boyfriends became their sole priority – I could blog about what was going through my head at 3am. I could write something down and an online friend across the country could read it and lend his or her support. Blogging always provided me with a support network. And I loved that what I wrote reached people and impacted them. I could be who I was and it was okay.

Blogging and I took a  hiatus for a while, when my life got so crazy that I couldn’t get my head on straight and tight enough to write. I left college. I had a great job, but didn’t love it. My life felt like it was in total chaos. I decided to start a business. Wait – I decided to start a business? I NEVER thought I’d be a business owner, working for myself in any way, shape or form. David Duchovny’s wife, architect, psychologist, film critic, media analyst, non-profit guru, Mother Teresa… these were the things I saw myself as over the years. But I did it. I started One Organized Life based on a passion for helping people feel better about their lives. I didn’t want anyone to feel stuck, lost, alone, or boxed in, like I did. That’s not so bad right?

My life has changed radically since I got my first “real” client back in 2006. I lost my boyfriend/best friend who was probably my biggest supporter (no, he didn’t die, he just dumped me). Part time jobs came and went. Friendships dissolved. Saw a couple of different therapists. I moved twice and downsized my living space. Went on dead-end dates. I started a networking group for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Most importantly, I felt like I had found my purpose in life and did not want to spend another day NOT living it out. And yes, that combined purpose is my business and my networking group.

My life would be so much easier and less stressful if I was working a 9-to-5 job. Go to work, come home, collect steady paycheck. I’ve never had a cushy luxurious life with college paid for or a new car after graduating high school (or college for that matter). I’ve never dined at a 5 star restaurant or taken a trip outside of the country (other than an overnight trip to Mexico…when I was eight…with my babysitter and her kids). My life is even less cushy now. I don’t think ANY of my friends would trade for my life. But you know what, I wouldn’t trade for any of theirs either (though sometimes it can seem tempting…). So, as I went along earlier this year, continuing to make sacrifices in my personal life so that I could attempt to continue helping clients, I thought, “what can I do to feel a little better?” I’m sure you know what it is… I came back to blogging. And that’s how this blog was launched. I wanted to write again, express myself, and hopefully help people with my words again. I figured, well, if I have to take on another job and just work with clients on the side, at least the posts will be out there for people to see.

My goal with blogging has never been to make money. My goal was not even to get clients (though it has happened a couple of times). What I really wanted to do was put information out there that would help someone out in the universe overcome a barrier. I’ve gotten a few encouraging emails and comments. I was interviewed on an internet radio show and got some great feedback. And you know what? Occasionally, I do get a phone call from someone on the verge of tears, calling to hire me to help them because they read my blog and they understand that I get it. And really, that’s what it is all about for me right now. You can get a Top 10 Organizing Tips article from hundreds of sources online. Whoopdido. I’ll probably even post one at some point. But if the content on this blog or any blog I’ve ever had inspires someone, motivates them, makes them laugh, or gets them to pick up the phone to get help (and no, it doesn’t have to be from me), I honestly couldn’t ask for more.

So when someone asks me, is blogging worth it? Well, my short answer is, “Absolutely!”

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Well,  I can’t believe that it has been a month since my last post. It has been quite a month, let me tell you.

My last post was on a Monday, my birthday, and the rest of the week was full of stress, broken sleep, pacing, and anger. By the end of the week I decided that things had to change – right here, right now. I made a decision to change, to not spend another day in a place that stressed me out and caused me to have to make decisions about things I never wanted to make decisions about. I guess you could say that because I had no idea what was ahead of me, I took a leap of faith.

Why? Because I love what I do.

I spent a lot of time leading up to that week thinking about how everything in my life was going in the wrong direction – except for two things: my organizing business and my networking group. I haven’t quite made up my mind when it comes to things like destiny/fate/meant to be/la la la po po, but I was reading Jonathan Mead’s blog, Illuminated Mind, just a couple of days after I made my decision to take that leap, and I saw a post I had to pay attention to.  It asked, “what’s right with your life?” I have to admit, I did not read the entire post right away. In fact, I went back over a week later to finish it – but what was important was that question.

Already thinking about the few things that brought me joy during an incredibly stressful period, the post felt perfectly timed. I was tapped by Jonathan to write about what was right with my life and I wanted so much to write the most amazing and inspiring post ever. But you know what? I got busy. And it has been great. I started charting out what I wanted to do – how to revive my business (it didn’t die, I just put it aside), and how I wanted to expand it. I thought about what I could do to offer more to my networking group. I thought about what I want to learn and what I want to teach. I started to take action – I had to. What have I been up to in the past month?  Here’s just a snippet:

  • I started working with two former clients again.
  • I’ve taken on 10 new organizing clients. Some didn’t fully commit, which happens, but most have. And as usual, it’s such a pleasure to work with them. I have awesome clients.
  • Four people have requested me as a guest or contributing blogger.
  • I’ve attended three workshops.
  • I took a few naps. And a few loooooong baths.
  • I purged A LOT of paper and donated a lot of clothes and shoes.
  • I’ve watched every episode of Dancing with the Stars (talk about joy and excitement!)
  • I’ve solidified the umbrella of services I plan to offer through my business (I just need to update my website!).
  • I’ve started planning additional events for my networking group – additional times and types of meetings, a couple of book discussion groups, etc.
  • I’m planning a workshop and reaching out to relevant experts who might be interested in participating.

Of course, there have been stressful moments, stressful days. Wondering if I was a total idiot. Yes, some days, I can feel a little miserable. I don’t make a lot of money, I’ve never taken a real vacation (whether I’ve taken a road trip or not is up to debate), and I’m sure all my friends think I lost my mind years ago and wouldn’t want to be me if you paid them. But every time I work with a client, someone thanks me for organizing a meeting, I refer someone to the service provider that they’ve been looking for, or I teach someone something new, I can’t imagine spending my time any other way.

I’m dead tired right now and I really have no idea what I’ll be doing next week. If it turns out to be anything like the past few weeks, I’ll meet some great new people, make new business connections, take advantage of some great opportunities and hopefully work with more terrific clients!

Tell me: What’s right with YOUR life?


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Dear Readers,

Fascinating!

I woke up this morning to find that the One Organized Life Blog is a finalist for the 2008 Black Weblog Awards! Who knew? No – I did not nominate myself! Thanks to those who did the nominating!

The One Organized Life Blog is nominated in the Best Business Blog category. Considering I started this blog as an extension of my business, the nomination is definitely flattering.

If you enjoy the blog, take a moment to visit the BWA website. Click the link to vote, and you’ll be on your way! While the process requires registration (to control voter fraud!) it’s very brief, and your votes would be very appreciated!

Have a great week,

Alaia

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Just doing a little blog update for you.

I was really pleased with the blog carnival that was posted yesterday. I’ve already received submissions for the next issue, which I will put out at the end of July. As long as I continue to receive quality submissions, I’ll run the carnival mid month and at the end of the month.

If you haven’t already noticed, there is a Recommended Blogs section here at One Organized Life. I recently added a few more links. Check out the following blogs for some great posts:

I have also added a Recommended Viewing section. When I come across great videos that tie in to content here, I will add them. Right now, you’ll find a video on segment about how to plan your day, hosted by me (which scares me to death!), and produced by CAM Productions. You will also find a segment by Julie Morgenstern, a top Professional Organizer. She always has practical, high quality advice to share.

(you can view these videos in higher quality if you view them directly through YouTube)

For future reference, the Recommended Blogs and Recommended Viewing can be found in the sidebar here on the One Organized Life Blog.

That’s it for now! Just wanted to point out some additional resources and information. Have a great week!

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