Moving back to America

"Welcome home" said the customs officer as I passed through, returning from The Azores of Portugal, where I have lived for nine months, to spend the night in Boston, Mass., before the final leg of my trip back to Northern Michigan. I felt my face break into a smile and gave him a more exuberant "Thank you!" response than I even realized was there.

In the weeks anticipating my return, I learned the art of packing well to ship the bulk of my belongings overseas. My rooms were empty, but for six outfits and toiletries for two weeks. When I made the decision to move overseas, I had pilfered through my household and personal belongings quite diligently. Practicing what I preach, I sold more than half of what I'd owned, donated a quarter more and stored the remaining. As I packed up to return, I was surprised to find myself donating several large boxes to the locals in Portugal, but found it liberating as most of it was clothing that was now a size too big, and shoes I'd never worn and didn't love.

Assisting my fight through lingering jet lag, I have reorganized the kitchen, bathroom and my son's bedroom and a hall closet. As I am unpacking my clothing, shoes, toiletries and jewelry, I am, at the same time, re-packing household items for my final move to the northwest Indiana area in a few weeks, where I have several clients booked through the summer. Also successful in resisting the temptation to look through things I haven't seen in nine months.

I needed to get the house organized so that I felt freer and uncluttered preparing to leave my home of 15 years. Not a moment was wasted and I played some of my favorite music to keep the mood happy and light. Within two days, I am ready to live here for a few weeks as well as prepare to work with clientele that was booked while still overseas. I write this to demonstrate how much time is saved and how little stress there is in living an organized life.

Stop and think about WHY you want to get organized. The answer isn't that you want a clean closet or a great looking entry way. The answer lies a bit deeper. Do you want to get out of the house in the morning in less time? Do you want to have more time to cook dinner? Walk around your home and think about the why for each space.

Take a moment to set an intention. Intentions are a way to change your thinking. When you change your thinking you change your habits. A change of habits eventually leads to a change in life. Think about how you go about your days and at what points during your day you are creating clutter, failing to put things away or making choices that are leading to organizational challenges. Once you know where you are going awry, you will know when you need to be more present.

I am happy to announce that I have created a website as well. Visit for daily inspirations, stories and testimonials, or as the main venue by which to contact me to help you with your organizational needs.

Connie Huizenga, owner of Details, etal, is a professional organizer with 17 years experience in Northern Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. For more information, contact Huizenga on Facebook at Details ETAL or by email, Let's Get Organized appears on the third Thursday of every month.

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