What I’ve Learned in 5 Years as a Small Business Owner


“About 50% of new US companies fail in their first five years.” We have all heard that quote, right? Well, this business owner made it! I am thrilled to say I have been the Owner of Organized Impressions by Audra for five years now and am taking a minute to reflect on why I have been successful thus far. These are my truths but I share them with you in hopes of helping your business make it to five years, as well!

 

1. Specialize
Professional organizers have endless opportunities when it comes to how they choose to help clients get organized. You name it, someone is doing it. But, if you want to create your dream job, (which is probably why you started your own business) then choose to work with people you like. Not only will your days be brighter, but when you specialize on a specific market, it is easier to become the expert of that clientele. When you are the expert, you are the one people call!

 

2. Be Authentic
I was thrilled when seasoned professional organizers and productivity consultants drove this point home at this year’s national conference! You are your company, so it is a complete waste of time and energy to create a brand that isn’t you. Be you. Do you. This is what creates a vision and a company people can get behind.

 

3. It Takes a Team
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is vital to success. Of course, I urge you to continue learning and improving upon your weaknesses but in the meantime, it’s probably best to hire someone who won’t screw it up. Whether it be website development, bookkeeping or consulting another organizer on a job, go ahead and ask for help so you and your business can keep moving forward.

 

4. Dreams are Good; Focusing is Better
Man, do I have big dreams! There is so much I want to participate in, learn and accomplish in the organizing world. I am one of the lucky ones that have found a true passion. On the other hand, working from home has its challenges. I am still getting used to the freedom and the discipline required to focus my energy on certain tasks each week. There is so much to do and it can be overwhelming and even paralyzing. Making weekly and monthly goals is a huge help for me.

 

5. I Love Comfy Clothes
No one has EVER called me a fashionista. And that’s because I value comfort big time! Don’t get me wrong, I look professional when networking, meeting with clients, etc., but I’m still comfortable. Dress pants with spandex, no wire bras and flowy sweaters make getting dressed simple and pain-free. No business advice in this one, just a great perk of being my own boss!

 

Thank you to all those who have supported me! It’s been a fabulous five years!

Organize Your Garage in 6 Easy Hours!


I’m not sure anyone enjoys cleaning out their garage, but with a solid plan and a great team, it can be done in one day. Yes, that’s right! I recently organized a 2 car garage with mounds of trash, donations, tools and bikes in ONE DAY. How did I do this? I’m glad you asked! 5 easy steps, that’s how!


Step 1: Hire a great team and a junk hauler.
If I were to tackle this project alone, it would have taken multiple days. This is not something the client or I wanted to endure. So, I hired 2 fellow professional organizers to help out as my Assistants. Not one second did I regret this choice! With their experience and ideas as part of the team, we whipped that garage into shape! Another key team member was the junk hauler. They hauled away an old door, toys, paint, a huge tube TV and more. It was fabulous. We didn’t have to lift a finger, just point! They even came back later that day, knowing we would find more ‘junk.’

Before - Garage

Step 2: Take everything out and make a big mess! (9:00-10:00am)
My client was not thrilled when I informed her the day before that this was the plan. But, it is necessary. Trust me. The only way to appropriately categorize, get rid of stuff and organize the space is to empty it first. Also, it gives you a great chance to actually clean the garage with a power washer or simple broom.

Step 3: Toss, donate or keep? (10:00-1:00pm)
This is the step that takes the longest. Sorting through every item in a garage and subsequently making a decision about that item is the real work of professional organizers. Luckily, this particular client was fairly quick with decision-making but I could tell it was a long day for them. They were definitely motivated and hard-working, but many decisions had to be made in a 6-hour timeframe. They were left with some homework, which was a pile of items to sell on eBay.

Step 4: Contain and label. (1:00-2:00pm)
This will forever come up in my blogs…label! We used a label maker but anything that will stick permanently will do. The client purchased some clear containers of various sizes and they were used to sort and store tools, sports equipment and memorabilia. Just make sure the containers you use are secure, as well as water and dust proof.

Step 5: The environment. (2:00-3:00pm)
I love for things to have a functional purpose. I also love for things to have a home, a permanent place where they live. In a garage, this means getting most items off of the floor, using hooks and shelving. This client had multiple golf bags and bikes so they went up on hooks. The large containers holding holiday decorations were stacked but easily accessible. The weight bench was pulled out and the client can now park their car INSIDE the garage! Now, that’s a successful day! Lastly, we made sure we left the garage clean and in working order.

After - Garage

Are you surprised? Honestly, I was thrilled with the project we completed in 6 hours.   All of the pieces came together and everyone worked hard to complete our mission. I love transforming spaces!

Top 5 Money-Saving Tips for Kids’ Rooms


Who doesn’t like to save money? I am a big advocate of using what you have when it comes to organizing. So, take a look around your home, get creative and find items you can repurpose. You will end up saving money and creating a unique space for your family to enjoy!

 

When it comes to kids, there are some things you can’t skimp on. But the following 5 tips will save you hundreds when organizing your child’s room.

 

1. Shop for gently used clothing.
-Take advantage of friends, family, local consignment shops and online resources to save money on clothing.

 

2. Use tension rods in the closet.
-If your closet is lacking a complete system, simply use a tall book case and tension rods to create a DIY system.

 

3. Label, label, label!
-Use labels and clear containers to organize clothes by size. This will avoid buying things you don’t need or forgetting to use something before they outgrow it.

 

4. Dresser=changing table.
-No need to spend money on a separate changing table, just use the top of your dresser!

 

5. Switch out toys.
-Only give access to a few toys per week, then switch out to maintain interest and save money on new toys.

The Seasonal Clothing Shuffle


Is your daughter still trying to wear her summer sundresses in 40 degree weather? How about your son? He still wants to wear shorts, right?! Time to do the seasonal clothing shuffle! Put on some music to get you moving and follow these 4 simple steps to organize your family’s clothing for the colder months ahead.

 

1. Purge summer clothes

-Get rid of clothes that don’t fit or you/your children haven’t worn in months by donating or selling to local resale shops

*Organized Impressions by Audra can help you sort and take donations away for you!

 

2. Dry clean winter coats and comforters

-Be prepared for freezing temperatures and make sure everything is clean

*Organized Impressions by Audra can find an eco- and budget-friendly dry cleaner near you!

 

3. Store clothes for next spring and summer in clear, labeled containers

-You can find free printable labels on my “Clothing” Pinterest board

*Organized Impressions by Audra can bring labels and containers to your home!

 

4. Make a list of missing pieces in your family’s wardrobe while you’re thinking of it

-Avoid buying duplicates and write it down immediately

*Organized Impressions by Audra can even shop for you!

 

Last words: Pace yourself. Go through one drawer at a time, one family member at a time.

How to Build an Emergency Kit


Are you and your family prepared for a natural disaster? Sure, you probably have most of these items around your home, but in the event of an emergency, you need to be able to grab and go. Please take note of what I put in my personal emergency kit and don’t delay in making one of your own…

 

Survival Kit (containing 3 days worth of food, water and a blanket for 1 person)

Work gloves

Duct tape

Flashlight

Matches and lighter

Hand sanitizer

Bandages and tape

Swiss army knife

Copies of personal information (passport, birth certificates, insurance policies)

Cash

 

Store all of your supplies in a backpack near an exit and remember to check your inventory twice per year! Additional suggestions include medications, pet supplies, diapers and wipes, radio and batteries and a whistle.

 

It’s easy! Now get to it!