Toddler to College: a story of a college grad letting go.

Coming and going from college for four years can really cause some clutter build up. Every time I would come home from school, more boxes and miscellaneous items would wind up in the back of the my closets. My family also started using one of my closets, since I’m the only one with two, for storing things that didn’t fit in theirs. So when I graduated this May all of the accumulation really hit me and I realized that I needed some help.

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I have been fortunate enough to know Lynne my whole life, and I was thrilled when she agreed to help me with my closet problem.

Lynne & Jess 90's!

I couldn’t even see the floor in there anymore! I knew that having recently graduated, and planning to move in November, I needed to let go of some things and free up space.

Lynne is a close family friend, and at first I wasn’t sure how working with her as an organizer would be. Our relationship is similar to that of an aunt and niece, but as soon as the organizing process begun my reservations flew out the window. First she evaluated the situation, and we set up some goals that I wanted to achieve by the end of the day. Then we talked about things that I would be willing to get rid of, what kind of things we might find in the closet and what things I knew I wanted to keep.

Lynne & Jess

As we got to work on clearing out the closets so we could see everything that we needed to deal with, I realized more and more how overwhelmed I would’ve been without Lynne helping me. I think that it’s very easy to say “I can do it myself” or “I don’t really need the help”, but sometimes, you do! If I had tried to tackle the task myself, I think I would’ve quit about halfway through. Lynne kept me motivated, kept me on task with lots of piles, sticky notes and planning, and eased me through an otherwise daunting task.

Lynne was understanding about things that I wanted to keep, and caught on quickly about which items might be important to me and what things I wasn’t attached to. She was also great at delegating things that we could tackle separately, to get the job done more efficiently. At the end of the time, I felt so relieved and like I had done something really significant as a step forward in my post-grad life.

There were still some things that we didn’t get to, so Lynne left me with a simple list of tasks that I have been working on day by day since we did my closets. It is nice to have that written out, and its on the wall in between the closets. Checking one thing off of my list each day makes me feel accomplished and successful.

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Before when I opened my closet doors, I felt stifled and like I couldn’t breathe looking at them. Now I can see the floor in there again, everything is neatly in its place and all of the things that I really didn’t need will be donated to people who can enjoy them. I can’t thank Lynne enough for such a positive and rewarding experience. If this situation sounds like something you might be going through, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Get your post-grad life on the right track to being Wholly Organized.

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-Jess Antrobus

Friend and Director of Social Media Marketing for Wholly Organized!LLC

31 ways to be a better leader

Do you have 3 minutes to be a better leader? Grasp the 10 Truths!

 “The Truth About Leadership” by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner, was introduced to me by Ned Parks, the facilitator of the ’13-’14 Leadership Stow Group. Summarizing a book is the best way that I learn and a great way to defy the trap of having “smart shelves;” put that good reading you do to work! I am sharing 31 takeaways that stood out to me as great reminders on how you can be a better leader.

leadership

 Truth #1: You make a difference

  • Leadership is accessible to anyone who has a passion and purpose to change the way things are. 
  • Leadership is not a birthright. It’s not about position or title. It’s not about power or authority. It’s not about celebrity or wealth.
  • Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

 Truth #2: Credibility is the foundation for leadership

  • Being honest means telling the truth and having ethical principles and clear standards by which you live.
  • You don’t have to be the most skilled engineer to lead a high-technology company.

 Truth #3: Values drive commitment

  • You cannot fully commit to something that isn’t important to you- no one can.
  • In order to devote the time, to expend the energy, and to make the sacrifices  necessary, you have to know exactly what makes it worth doing in the first 
  • Leadership is a relationship, and relationships are built on mutual understanding.

 Truth #4: Focusing on the future sets leaders apart

  • Research on top executives show (sadly) only 3% of their time is spent thinking about 10 years down the road. Not enough time- we must be disciplined.
  • Be your “organization’s future department!” 
  • The best leaders defy the verdict that we are doomed.

 Truth #5: You can’t do it alone

  • Leaders are here to serve others. 
  • One of the reasons people want to follow a leader is because they know that they will be better off as a result of being in that relationship that they would otherwise.
  • Effective leaders understand that their role is to bring out the answers in others.

 Truth #6: Trust rules

  • People who demonstrate trust in others are seen as more trustworthy       themselves.
  • Someone has to start the positive cycle of trust.
  • “Can we trust you?”…”I can’t answer that for you, but let me tell you that I trust  each and every one of you.”

 Truth #7: Challenge is the crucible for greatness

  • There are no shortages of opportunities to change the way things are. View challenge as an opportunity and not as a threat.
  • Challenges can be harsh ways of reminding you of what’s important, what you value, and where you want to go.
  • Whenever you are making meaningful changes, you will sometimes fail.

 Truth #8:You either lead by example or you don’t lead at all

  • You have to model the way you want others to feel, think, and act. 
  • A big part of being credible is keeping your promises.
  • A willingness on my part to admit mistakes sets a positive example for others.

 Truth #9: The best leaders are the best learners

  • Learning is the master skill. 
  • No matter how good you are, you can always get better. 
  • The first thing to learn is that you can learn to lead.
  • Rough metric of what it takes to achieve the highest level of expertise: 10,000 hours of practice over a period of ten years. That’s about 2.7 hours a day, every day, for 10 years. 
  • Be careful that you don’t focus more on “looking good” than “being good.”
  • Leaders can’t lead alone. They can’t learn alone either.

 Truth #10:Leadership is an affair of the heart

  • Research indicates that the highest performing managers and leaders are the most open and caring.
  • Purely and simply, exemplary leaders excel at improving performance because they pay great attention to the human heart.
  • Exemplary leaders do not place themselves at the center; they place others there.

Pick one truth and develop it this week. “You can’t fast track your way to excellence.”