By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Over the last 50 years, I have spent a relative fortune on “how-to-be-organized” books, programs, filing systems, webinars, software, and precious time chasing down “my organized self” (whoever she is), with results that have been inconsistent at best. As an educator, I know that sometimes learning and implementing a subject can best occur when you take the risky step of having to teach it, and so a few years back I signed up to learn how to be a professional organizer! Anyone who has been in my Athens Now delivery truck is probably laughing out loud, but I have refused to give up on finding freedom from frustration and shame.
So, it seemed like a true answer to prayer when an invitation to a free organizing webinar hosted by Sonya Fehér of spaceWise landed in my bulging inbox two weeks ago, and I signed up before I seized up. Why? Because, number one, Sonya is herself a recovering clutter-bug who has more than 4,000 in-person hours of organizing work with diverse clients under her belt, and number two, her superpower is helping you find your unique organizing style so you don’t try to cram yourself into someone else’s mold in order to kick clutter to the curb. Part of that superpower also involves teaching you how to successfully maintain your space once you have triumphed, which, as it turns out, is the secret sauce of success.
The third thing that made me feel like I was in a truly “safe space” as it pertained to learning organization at last was hearing Sonya’s story, which is hilarious, endearing, touching, and empowering. I came away with renewed hope and have become a customer, and, not just a customer, but a raving fan customer to boot! I was gripped when, in describing her own fight with disorganization, she said so tenderly, “I felt broken.” I wish I could say that I have never felt that when it comes to managing my environs, but I have, I hate it, and I don’t want anyone reading this to suffer needlessly for one more moment. “Help that helps” is here to stay!
Sonya has been a high school teacher, a college professor, the director of two Sylvan Learning Centers, a wife, a mom, and she struggled to “keep it all together.” As she tells it, her office as a center director “was all windows,” and had a horizontal filing cabinet that had no files in it. At the end of the day, she would take her pile of papers and gingerly place them into the empty drawer, then take them back out the next morning. No one knew of her battle. It was having a toddler and not being able to leave the house because she couldn’t find her kiddo’s shoes that made Sonya realize she needed to do something, and fast, if she was going to maintain her sanity.
As had been the case with me, Sonya had fought valiantly to learn how to be organized through educating herself, with little consistent success. But desperation drove her to experiment until she found a place for everything and could pick up every room in the house in fifteen minutes or less. Most remarkably, she was able to maintain a more-than-modicum level of organization, her stress level went down, and she began offering to help others who struggled as she had. She began to work with people who needed someone who would help and not judge, who would listen, guide, educate, and support them in a way that worked for who they were.
That was in 2010, and now Sonya does one-on-one organizing, group lessons, has an organizing course that can be purchased online, a Facebook group for fellow “clutter kickers,” and more. She has gotten so good at what she does that her business is now international, she trains others to be professional organizers, has gone to become a successful life coach, and is also an author.
Here is a little of what Sonya says about Sonya, which I hope will serve to show you what a blessed gem she is:
I became an organizer and coach both by luck and design. I wasn’t always organized, but I knew my life would be better if I could learn to be. Depending on the day, the object of my frantic search changed, but the chaos of my home was overwhelming. I systematically applied all of my knowledge using a new strategy. I stopped trying to be a different person and started creating solutions for who I was rather than for my fantasy perfect self. Years of learning finally came to fruition so that I could transform my home and my life.
Combining organizing and coaching, I help my clients get to “enough” – a feeling of satisfaction, happiness, comfort, completeness – the life they want and their purpose for being here.
I feel so lucky to be living my purpose and love being able to help my clients do the same.
I sincerely hope that you will go online and book a free initial consultation with Sonya or take the free workshop that I did (spacewiseorganizing.com/5-steps), then let her spaceWise approach bring you some “help that is here to stay.” Go to spacewiseorganizing.com/5-steps today and get started. And once you do, let’s grab some coffee and compare notes!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner