I love this time of year.  As a Professional Organizer, I find great joy in celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of a shiny new year. I am always inspired to take some time to ponder – what went well last year and what could have gone better? And when I sit down a year from now to look back, what do I need to have accomplished to feel successful? I’m not a fan of resolutions. It always seems like they’re gathering dust in my subconscious by the end of January. Instead, I like to sit down with my journal and write it all down. What am I proud of from the previous year? What scared me a year ago that doesn’t bother me now? What challenges was I facing that seemed impossible to conquer? And did I conquer them? If not, what can I do differently this year?

Exactly a year ago I bought A Place for Everything from the amazing Sally Allen. At the time I had experience working in corporate America, running a team of employees and I had experience as an Independent Contractor working for other Professional Organizers. But I had no idea of the scope of running a small business. Instead of having a marketing department, a sales force, administrative assistants, an accounting department, IT support and a staff, there was ME! (Okay, and my amazing husband who stepped up and took care of accounting and IT. Oh, and he did some heavy lifting and assembling of IKEA furniture for clients! I wouldn’t have made it through this first year without him!)

This year I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. Along with a team of talented, passionate Professional Organizers, I’ve unpacked and organized dozens of houses for clients who didn’t know where to start. I’ve spent countless hours in basements, closets, pantries, and in garages – helping clients answer the eternal question, “What is this stuff and do I still need it in my life?” At the end of every job, when we stood back and admired our progress, I felt a huge amount of satisfaction – the same feeling I get when I complete a project in my own home. I think that’s what makes me so lucky – I genuinely love this work!

I’ve also worked on some jobs that have broken my heart. I usually get a phone call when someone has realized that their life is overwhelming.  Some have lost a parent or have made the difficult decision to move Mom to assisted living. Now, in addition to having their own life, job, house, kids, they also have their Mom’s house, full of decades of accumulated memories and clutter. It’s my job to lend a hand (or lots of hands) to help separate the junk from the treasures. My wish for every person is that they find the courage and strength to organize and edit the things in their life while they are still healthy enough to do so. If you procrastinate too long, someone else will end up making the decisions and they may not be able to distinguish your treasures.

So, what are my goals for 2013? First and foremost, I want to be a good Mom. After almost three years of trying, we finally managed to get pregnant in 2012. I’m 35 weeks along and our baby boy is due on February 3rd. Being pregnant has brought some things into sharp focus. For years I’ve struggled with my weight and losing weight has always been on the goal list. But this year is different. Now that I can feel my son moving around in my belly, I’ve had the realization that I want to live forever. I haven’t even met him and I want to do everything I can to be healthy and strong for him for as long as possible. In 2013, I’ll work to find balance between my life and my business. I love being a Professional Organizer. I want to find a way to continue to thrive in my business while also taking care of my baby. I’m incredibly grateful…I’ve managed to find work that is challenging and fulfilling and I have a wonderful, loving family to share my life with. Thanks to everyone who has supported me on my journey! Happy Shiny New Year!

What are your hopes and dreams for 2013?