• Is clutter driving you crazy?
  • Do you feel like you’re drowning in stuff?
  • Do you have a hard time finding things?
  • Are you overwhelmed by paperwork?
  • Are you feeling stuck and frustrated?
  • Is the question “Where to begin?” cause for confusion or paralysis?
  • Do you wish you could turn some of your junk into a bit of cash…

If you answer “Yes!” to any of these questions, you could use my help.

I call myself a “simplified living coach” aka professional organizer.  An expert with over 20 years experience, I can help you simplify your life. Together, we will deal with the clutter.

I help you to improve how you interact with your stuff, so you can keep your environment peaceful and ordered. What I don’t do is go through your space and throw out everything – no giant garbage bags or dumpsters unless that is what you absolutely need and want.

  • You can keep things that are useful and/or bring you joy
  • Learn to love your version of “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
  • Finally discover that you actually need less stuff and CAN live more sanely!

I adapt to your unique needs;  my system is very flexible. Be one of the many people I have helped to get UNstuck.

I now do virtual organizing!

I offer a free one half hour consultation on the phone, zoom, Messenger or FaceTime – with tips on how to get started on the path to a more ordered, peaceful environmentFeel free to bring a friend or relative in on the call for the consultation; I’ll help them learn how to help you.

Learn more about my rates here.

Right now I am mainly doing this work via zoom, Messenger, phone, and FaceTime. virtual organizing coaching. With today’s technology, it is very easy for you to get organized while I coach you from a distance. Many of my clients have a challenging time lifting and moving, and thus I encourage to get family and/or friends to help you. Or, hire an unskilled worker who I can easily coach.

Call or text me at 479-313-0414 or email me at livablefutureproject@gmail.com

You can find me on Facebook here.

I Can Now Help You From a Distance!

If you are motivated, have a computer with internet access, the ability to take and send digital pictures, and a phone which has a speaker phone mode… YOU can take advantage of the NEWEST TREND in personal organizing and coaching:

Remote Organizational Support

Help is Available

Support is Sufficient

Friends& Family can Help

Your House, Your Home, Your Happiness

From Survive to System

Feel Joyous and Generous

I will show you how to:

  •  Let go of anything that does not bring joy or usefulness (see
  •  Help you figure out the best, and most personally comfortable,way to get rid of unwanted items. This can include: selling,donating, smashing, recycling, burning, sending into space,
  •  Find a place for everything – which may include a storage unit.
  •  Develop a labeling and container system that works for you.
  •  Create easy to use systems to deal with papers and otheritems which regularly come into your environment
  •  Effectively use an index so you can find anything
  •  Learn how to establish good, ongoing organizational habits

 Continue on as an independent ex-disorganized person on your own OR with ongoping support from me and friends and/or family that I have trained to support you. Enjoy a home that is always peaceful, clean and orderly, and where whatever you need is easily finable.

A JOYOUS, PEACEFUL FUTURE AWAITS: Words from a satisfied customer

“Because I knew that Patricia had assisted on one of the TV hoarder shows, I figured my space wasn’t actually quite as bad as that, so I didn’t mind sharing my long standing and worsening disaster with her. I started from a position as a skilled professional who helps other people with all kinds of problems but who was absolutely humiliated and embarrassed by my inability to cope with my own physical space, and frankly, the personal psychological pain and issues that disorganization represented.

I had my doubts about the amount of help chatting with someone in Arkansas by speakerphone while cleaning in NYC would be, but my sessions with Patricia have changed my life and my daughter’s for the better. It feels like a crushing weight is slowly and surely being lifted from my shoulders and my spirit.

Patricia NEVER judges, pushes very gently (but inexorably), and she is endlessly encouraging. Her system is practical, sensible, doable, and adaptable. The progress that has already been made after YEARS of increasing clutter and disorganization is hard to believe.

I’m one of those clients who will need to use the Simplified Living Coach “retainer” package for periodic and regular organizational “booster shots”. I’m just so grateful.

– Deb C in New York City

More of my experiences with unschooling

If I can help just one person make a decision to unschool their children, I would feel very fulfilled. Even if all they do is read this article and get inspired, I would be happy. I know that for me, the women in my life who homeschooled, had home births, and practiced attachment parenting, made all the difference. I feel so grateful for their inspiration.

That is why I am now offering coaching for people who choose to unschool. Parents need reassurance, guidance, and inspiration which I would enjoy offering as a coach.

It is really important for a parent to be able to be strong in the face of criticism. People criticized us because Chris (and our daughter, Maud) did not learn to read until they were 9 years old. People might also be critical if they think a child is not learning practical skills.

I believe that the most important thing that children need to learn are to learn how to think critically and creatively, have high moral standards, be able to work with others on a team, and be able to dream big and go after their dreams.

Chris’s experience with getting a Master’s in Communication, which included teaching public speaking, really showed me that he accomplished these goals. He emerged from college with the same values that we (his family) and his peers inspired him to adopt. You can read about his experience in college here.

I want to share a bit more about my son, Chris. I shared in a previous story that he had no desire to read. But he loved to listen to audio books. I’m glad that Harry Potter and other adventure stories he would listen to had characters who had good moral standards.

As I mentioned before, Chris did not learn to read until he was 9 years old. Here is an article that shares a lot of resources about why early reading is not necessarily beneficial. But I think that his voracious appetite for listening to audio books and stories on the radio–like Adventures in Oddysey– helped him to increase his vocabulary, learn grammar, and learn about how to formulate good sentence structure.

Even though Chris did not write that much before he went to college, he became an excellent writer. In his first English class, the teacher gave a test to the students to see where their skill level was. Chris didn’t do so well, and she advised him to take a remedial English class.

Cliff, Chris’s father, encouraged Chris to just take the regular English class. Chris ended up getting A’s in English, writing a paper that his professor used as an example of an excellent paper, and writing his Master’s thesis.

How much did listening to audio books help him be good at writing? I can’t say for sure, but I’m trying out the theory. I’m also encouraging parents to see that when their child really wants to do something–like graduate from college–or learn a skill–if they are motivated, they will achieve their goal!

When Chris was about 12, he decided he wanted to play the bass guitar. We had just started attending a small church where anyone could be part of the worship team. He had no idea what he was doing with the bass. He thought it was like the drums that he had been playing before he took up bass. Treating it like a rhythm instrument, the notes he played were completely off key, and he didn’t have the ear at the time to discern what was happening.

I didn’t want to discourage him, but when one of the participants in the service told me how awful Chris sounded, I knew I needed to do something.

Not knowing how to play bass guitar, I consulted a bass player friend who played on the worship team, and he kindly made a simple chart where Chris could easily see how when he would press down the string on a fret, a note would be played.

I knew enough about music to explain to him that when others were playing music with chords, he just had to play the note that was the name of the chord.

He immediately was able to do this, and play in such a way that was harmonious. Soon, he decided to take lessons and we found a good teacher. He only took lessons for a few months, and he was on his way.

He loved practicing bass for hours. We didn’t have to pressure Chris to be disciplined. We also bought him some software for recording songs, since he was starting to write songs.

The software inspired him to learn the keyboard and acoustic guitar because he wanted to have a nice background to the music. We were amazed at how many hours he poured into this passion.

I noticed that his voice was not as strong as it could be, and he would get a sore throat when he was singing. I gave him a few voice lessons, but we determined that he might learn better from a stranger. I interviewed some voice teachers, because I knew how important it was to find someone who was both kind and skilled.

Chris enjoyed voice lessons, and took them for a month or too. He learned voice exercises that still help him.

I was overjoyed when he decided to get a band together. Chris was the lead singer and played bass. Although the band never really took off because of various reasons, they had a handful of wonderful performances and the experience of practicing, recording a CD, promoting the band, working out conflicts with band members, writing songs together, and of course, the camaraderie, was a very rich experience for Chris.

You can probably see that being in a band helped Chris expand an array of skills.

I was so happy that Chris did not want to play video games very much, and watched TV minimally. In fact, at one point, he was allergic to TV’s and when we went to someone’s home where there was a TV, we would need to ask them to cover the TV. We decided not to watch TV (although we did so rarely) and cover our TV when Chris went through this phase.

We were very blessed to almost always live where there were other kids who were homeschooled or unschooled, so Chris had lots of opportunities to socialize. I think it is really important for parents to find a group or start a group so that parents can support each other and help their kids make friends.

I am glad that Chris never had the desire to go to public school, as some homeschooled children do. He experienced a very rich life for the most part. I feel overjoyed that he was able to focus on what he was passionate about.

I hope this was helpful. What are your experiences with unschooling, if you care to share?

I’m offering unschooling coaching

Since people are waking up to the fact that schools are a place where their children are brainwashed into believing all sorts of stuff that are harmful and unwanted, more parents are turning to homeschooling.

I want to help parents learn that there is an even better alternative: unschooling. Here is a very short definition.

“Unschooling provides a unique oppor­tunity to step away from systems and methods, and to develop independent ideas out of actual experiences, where the child is truly in pursuit of knowledge, not the other way around.”

This is an excerpt from this article from the Natural Child Project

The reason I believe I can coach unschooling parents is because I am an unschooling parent with a story that still amazes me. I want to share how my son, Christopher, got his masters in communication even though he was unschooled right up unto the time he entered college.

Cliff and I are the parents of Chris, and we knew from very early on that we were going to homeschool Chris. We were fortunate to have some close friends who had older kids who were homeschooled. They really encouraged us.

I always hated school–even though I got good grades and loved my friends and most of my teachers. I deeply disliked how I was forced to be so confined. High school was really boring for the most part, except for my elective classes. I lost my ability to do creative writing and be creative in general. Peer pressure influenced me in very negative ways that hurt me a lot.

We were also very fortunate to be involved with some wonderful homeschooling groups.

Chris had no interest in learning to read. We thought he should be taught the alphabet, and that we did. But he just had no desire, and intuitively, I just didn’t think it was right to force him.

I had heard somewhere that Tagore, an philosopher from India, said, “Children should be primarily outside until the age of 12.” That one sentence really resonated with me. And we were so fortunate to live in safe surroundings where he could be outside with friends and run around freely in natural surroundings.

When Chris was about 7 and still not reading, I read an article by John Holt about how the later a child reads, the better. I needed some support, because I was getting criticism from people who thought he should be further along. I realized that he was just fine, and perhaps better off than many children. Here is an article that explains some reasons I learned, and even more.

Chris did learn to read when he was 9 years old when he went to a Montessori school for a year. We knew the teacher, and trusted her, so we were okay with him going to school. Plus, the school was small, and he was one of the oldest students at age 9.

He learned to read in 3 weeks! That was easy!

Fast forward to age 18. Cliff encouraged Chris to get a college degree. I wasn’t excited about the possibility, but Chris decided he would like to try the experience, so who was I to stop him!

Cliff did the research on what to do. He had already done the work to get Chris a high school diploma through a homeschooling group.

Now, the only thing to do was to take the SAT test. Chris studied for 3 weeks. It was probably the most studying he had done in his whole life! But because he had learned that when he wanted to do something, he needed to focus–he was able to do the work with his father’s help.

He barely passed the test, and failed math–something we had not focused on. But many high school graduates failed the math part, so the college had made allowances for this. He would just have to take remedial math in college.

He applied to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Cliff was able to get grants for Chris because Cliff was in a low income bracket. The only thing he had to buy was books.

Chris enjoyed going to college. Cliff was an immense help to him. The math classes were the least enjoyable. Chris, for the first time, had to study. But he actually found a lot of satisfaction in going to college. It was a unique experience for him. I was in awe of how he could write term papers, give presentations, and be so disciplined in general.

When he graduated, I was happy for him. I was relieved, too, because I missed him! School took a lot of time. But one of his professors persuaded him to get a masters degree in communication.

Chris had to fill out the application and jump through hoops to get into the graduate program. He was accepted! He also got a teaching position and once again, he did not have to pay any fees because of grants.

Chris got his Masters in Communications!

He then went on to work for me for a year because I had funding from a generous donor to pay him to help me get the community Jesus Vegans going. My vision has changed. But the work he did to help me get started was really valuable. I was amazed at how he could learn just about anything he needed to learn in order to help me with social media, doing Youtube videos, and set up a website. He already had learned skills on his own, so of course that was helpful.

Now he is married, has a baby, and is working in logistics for a trucking company. It is not the job he loves, but he is learning a lot and building his skill level. I have confidence that because of all his experiences, some day he will find his niche.

I’m so glad he didn’t go into debt going to college, and for the most part, the experience was enriching. He was a great teacher, I think, and loved his interactions with his students.

These days, I would encourage parents to help their children figure out what they love to do, and find a way to help them make money without needing to go to college. I also would support them in helping their children learn how to be minimalists so they will not need to make a lot of money.

I have all kinds of ideas and resources on how to encourage parents. If you want a free 1/2 hour consultation, text me at 479-313-0414 or email me at livablefutureproject at gmail dot com

I would thoroughly enjoy exploring ways that you can make you and your child’s life very rich through unschooling.


 

I’m getting ready to work for a new client…and I feel excited!

I haven’t done a lot of organizing in the past few years. But whenever I do, I absolutely love it. This skills has enabled me to help so many people and of course I am richly blessed by getting paid to do what I love.

I’ve given my client a list of materials to obtain before our session. We had a great initial talk where we used FaceTime to walk through her house and I know what to expect. I’ve been praying for a good outcome, and answering her questions because she is a bit nervous.

I really love nurturing people in this way. One of the things that just about everyone says to me when they come to me is, “I don’t know where to start.” I have never failed to figure out how to start! I have an intuitive sense that gives me great confidence that we will make progress.

I love that I now have over 20 years of experience being a professional organizer. I stumbled into this profession when I was cleaning for someone, and she decided to ask me to help her organize a room. I found that I was very good at assisting her. I had always been good at putting things in order-ever since I was a kid.

But I hadn’t thought about offering this talent as a service.

Then, when the next door neighbor, who had the classic hoarder’s house–asked me to help, I said “sure.”

I didn’t know what I was doing in the beginning. I didn’t know how to make progress quickly.

Now, with hundreds of happy clients that I have served (I haven’t counted–but at least that many) I just have a sense of confidence that gives me a lot of joy to offer my clients.

Sure, I make mistakes, and we might go down rabbit holes some times–but I quickly can see where we are going wrong, and figure out how to move forward.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, or weary of clutter and too much stuff–why not call me for a free 1/2 hour consultation. I would thoroughly enjoy meeting with you. Remember–I can help from a distance now!

Preparing to de-clutter


Getting prepared for organizing

Get boxes together

Get marker and stickers together (keep in a small box)

Trash bag/or trash can

Mark boxes: 

Boxes

Kinds of boxes you need to have

  • Shallow-small (about 8×12–find at Aldi’s)
  • Shallow–large (about 18” x 2 1/2 feet–6 inches deep) Sams or Aldi’s
  • Medium–for flat stuff–heavy–about 12 x 12 inches
  • Large–banana boxes, apple boxes
  • Extra large–for lightweight stuff–moving type boxes

Places to find boxes: 

  • People leave out when recycling-you can find a variety of moving boxes
  • Aldi’s–sometimes you can score nice uniform boxes–look in the freezer section–they put the boxes in wire wagons
  • Also, you can take the banana boxes there–do a little rearranging of the fruit
  • I always take advantage of my shopping at Aldi’s
  • Sam’s club–seems like they have a variety of larger boxes

Check list for preparing to declutter

Labels: I have found that using the Post It Notes with full sticky back are the easiest way to label boxes. These are better than regular Post It Notes because they stay on for a long time, yet you can still remove it easily if you discover that you want to change the label. Find these at Amazon or Office Depot


Getting prepared for organizing

Get boxes together (see below for ideas)

Have your phone charged up.

Buy post-it notes–full back sticky. Here is the info (they are rather hard to identify). You can purchase at Office Depot or Amazon

Find or buy medium tip sharpies.

Large trash bags

Clipboard with paper for notes

A small box or caddy to put the markers, post-it notes, and clipboard. Be sure to always put this in a place you can easily find.

Packing material: If you have some breakable items you want to put into keep, give-away or undecided, you’ll want to pad them. You can use give away clothes to do this as well.

Boxes

Being able to sort into a variety of boxes is essential for de-cluttering fast. When you can fit things into boxes and stack them–it is amazing how little space they take up compared to how they were before. And it is frustrating if you don’t have enough boxes. I suggest that you get at least 5 of each kind, but more if possible. As you sort things, you will be emptying out bins and boxes, so eventually you will end up with extras.

Kinds of boxes you need to have:

  • Shallow-small (about 8×12–find at Aldi’s)
  • Shallow–large (about 18” x 2 1/2 feet–6 inches deep) Sams or Aldi’s
  • Medium–for books and other heavy stuff-heavy–about 12 x 12 inches
  • Large–banana boxes, apple boxes,
  • Extra large–for lightweight stuff–moving boxes

Places to find boxes: 

  • People leave out when recycling-you can find a variety of boxes including moving boxes
  • Aldi’s–sometimes you can score nice uniform boxes–look in the freezer section. They put the boxes in wire wagons. Also, there are boxes in the produce section that are almost empty and you can rearrange the fruit so that you can take them.
  • I always take advantage of my shopping at Aldi’s
  • Sam’s club–seems like they have a variety of larger boxes
  • Harps–often saves boxes

1/2 hour free consultation outline

I enjoy meeting new clients during this time, and I want to make our time as productive as possible. This is what you can expect.

Before we meet, we will determine how we will meet: Zoom, FaceTime,

Quick check in: How are you doing? How am I doing.

30 second reset: Let’s pause and take a deep breath and become present to this moment in time.

What is motivating you to do this work? This can include:

  1. Goals you want to achieve.

2. Feelings you want to have.

3. Values you want to live in alignment with.

What is the situation? You can show and tell at this point.

What is your biggest pain point? Your highest priority?

Where can you find time to do decluttering?

How can you make it meaningful and fun?

Do you have a place where you can place boxes that need to be sorted?

Do you have a place where you can store empty boxes?

I will give a quick summary of what I can do for you.

If you want to proceed, let’s set up an appointment for the first decluttering session.

I will send you a list of things to do in order to prepare.

Sorting Flat Stuff

This sorting system makes it super easy for your brain to make decisions about what to do with papers.

Get boxes that you will use over and over again-labeled and ready:

Some will not be filled–once they are filled, close up and make a new box with that label

Sort the flat stuff into these categories:

*Undecided Papers: magazines, junk mail, bills, receipts, etc.

*keep/file: Papers you know for sure you need to keep (you can figure out a filing system later if you don’t have one)

*shred/process: Papers that need to be shredded, or the labels removed so you can recycle

trash/recycle

*non-paper: (deal with later)

Decluttering an entire room

I recommend that you have these categories when you are decluttering a room:

Flat (papers, picture frames, office supplies, books, magazines–anything that can be stacked rather easily)

Keep: you know you will keep, but either need to find a home or has a home. If something is breakable, take some soft stuff and wrap it up. If it is large, and needs to be put into another room–set it aside–in the corner of the room if possible. Put it where it goes as soon as possible.

Give (you will probably need to sort this later depending on where things need to be given away). if you are short on boxes, put in trash bag

Undecided: This is perhaps one of the most important categories. Recycling can go in here for sorting later. All this stuff are things you just can’t make your mind up about.

Soft stuff–clothes, pillows, sheets etc. You can even pile this instead of put into a box if you are short on big boxes. Later you can put into a plastic bag for sorting later.

Trash: You can put a trash bag in a big box–if you think you will have a lot.

Set up for sorting:

clear away a bed, or couch or something that is really easy to clear so you can set the boxes in one place.

Label the boxes with the above categories, and place them in the sorting area.

If there is anything that you need to put away immediately (after the sorting session) place in a shallow box so you can see everything.

Sort everything

Put things away that need to be put away immediately

Take boxes to a staging area (some room that you do not use that much), or if no staging area is available–leave in this area until one can be created.

Just know that you will be sorting the boxes in the future, but for now you have a clear space.

You will also be decluttering closets, drawers and shelves so that you will have places to put everything. If you start putting things away now, it will be difficult.

Sorting Flat Stuff

Here is a system for sorting flat stuff. I recommend that you wait until all the flat stuff is combined. However, if you feel inclined to start sorting the flat stuff soon, here is the system:

Get boxes that you will use over and over again-labeled and ready:

Some will not be filled–once they are filled, close up and make a new box with that label

Sort the flat stuff into these categories:

*Undecided Papers: magazines, junk mail, bills, receipts, etc.

*keep/file: Papers you know for sure you need to keep (you can figure out a filing system later if you don’t have one)

*shred/process: Papers that need to be shredded, or the labels removed so you can recycle

trash/recycle

*non-paper: (deal with later)

Super Easy Vegan Black Bean Stew Recipe

One of my clients said she wanted to start making some vegan soups and stews. I know that part of being organized is to be able to save time doing such things as cooking. If you have a 3 hour stretch of time, you could make 3 different dishes and then you have to clean up only once!

If you don’t have that much time, you can make one dish at a time.

In either case, I encourage you to freeze most of this (unless you want to eat it every night for a week) I freeze the stew in pint, wide-mouthed glass jars and they do just fine.

Super yummy! 

Soak 2 cups of black beans over night or 4 hours.

When you are ready to make the stew, drain the beans in a colander

Place in the instant pot. 

If you don’t want to pressure cook–then cook the beans or buy canned beans–use 2 cans of beans–put in instant pot

Chop vegies: ½ inch to 1 inch–put in the instant pot

2 onions (cut in half, slice in ½ in slices)

3 medium sweet potatoes

1 red pepper

1 cup misc vegies if you have some left over (carrots, celery, corn, etc)

Chop greens–semi fine–put in pot

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch greens (kale, collards, swiss chard)

Add the following to pot: 

1 cup peanut butter–chunky

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp cinamon

2 quarts water

Stir everything

Pressure cook for 30 minutes

Natural release

If you slow cook, make sure the black beans are already cooked–cook for about 2 hours or more–slow cook–until sweet potatoes are tender

Add ½ tsp salt. (after all is cooked) Stir well so peanut butter is dissolved.   

Let cool, and put in jars–about ½ inch from top if you are going to freeze, and up to the top if you keep in the frig

My on-line organizing is working out SO well!

I am enjoying working about 3-5 hours a week with my client. Using Zoom is really great. Messenger and FaceTime could work as well. I am serving as a kind of virtual assistant because as she is sorting, she comes up with ideas of things she needs to do. I write them down on the list I have made for her on a google doc, and I am continuing to fine-tune her list so it is easy to deal with.

Here is what my client said:

“The work that I’ve been doing with Patricia has really helped create more storage and empty spaces throughout my house. She is great at creating lists of small tasks that I can do each day. It has truly been a big blessing to have Patricia’s help. I’m looking forward to our next session!
Heidi A”

I feel very hopeful that I could help other clients in this way, and that the systems I have created are getting even more refined as I focus on perfecting it with one client.

I am offering a 1/2 hour free consultation right now if you want to get a taste of how my system works for your specific and unique situation. I hope you will contact me. Text me at 479-313-0414 or email livablefutureproject@gmail.com