I realize that while many readers have been around for a long time (I know who you are and love to see the familiar names on comments and messages), I also realize that the declutter challenge brings lots of new people to my blog each year. I wanted to take a chance to say hello and introduce myself, and tell you a little bit about how this blog began. I’m Mary! Welcome!
I’ve been blogging for 8 years now on this blog, though I had different blogs before I started this one. And this one was called Mary Organizes for about 6 of those 8 years.
My first declutter and cleaning challenge actually took place about 13 years ago on one of those old blogspot blogs. It was a combination cleaning and decluttering challenge, which is kind of all that I remember about the actual content of the challenge. The details are kind of fuzzy. It was on a blog that only my friends and family read, but I still had about 100 people participate in that challenge. I wasn’t a professional organizer yet with lots of hands-on experience actually helping people work through their clutter, I was just a girl who had a reputation amongst my friends and family for having an organized house.
I still have that reputation. My nephew told my brother the other day “she’s like Mary… you know… organized and stuff” about his girlfriend. When my brother told me that, it seriously made my day.
The encouragement from friends and family really inspired me to start that professional organizing business 8 years ago. I started this blog when I started that business. This blog was supposed to just be a way of marketing the organizing business, but then it turned into its own thing.
All this talk about being organized doesn’t mean I’m perfect. I’ve got plenty of weakness and quirks. I’ve always had a thing for staying in my pajamas for as many hours as possible every day. Just last month I shared about things I hoard, and my favorite nightgown was on that list. This last year, I had a goal to get dressed more (and earlier) and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed being dressed for the day. I don’t think it’s ever too late to change courses and start new habits.
My life feels like a series of course changes! I was the textbook over-achiever most of my life. I graduated from BYU with some awesome degrees, then went to work at a major corporation right out of school (this is where I met Matt). But my career stopped suddenly 15 years ago when my doctor told me that my stressful work was jeopardizing the health of my twin pregnancy. I stopped working on a medical leave in May of 2005, my twins were born in August, and I have never gone back to a traditional 9-5 job.
I have four kids now and we live in the suburbs of Dallas. Matt works in the city at a job he loves. My days are pretty calm until the kids come home from school. I try my best to balance everything, but my family really does help me keep things running smoothly. I can depend on my kids to help me unload the dishwasher, clean their own rooms and bathrooms, and take out the trash. (That took a lot of training, but it worked!) Matt changes every lightbulb because I pretend not to know how. We have a quirky dog that eats our shoes and glasses. It’s a pretty good life.
I want everyone to share in this good life. I do feel like I’ve figured some things out over the years that I am constantly hoping to share with you here on the blog –
- like how to keep a clean house without feeling stressed about it all the time.
- how to stay caught up on laundry without a lot of fuss.
- how to organize a house that makes life easier.
- how to let go of mental and physical clutter.
- and most importantly, how to create a home that is a sanctuary.
This is what I feel passionate about. This is what I would talk about nonstop with anyone who wanted to chat. I think family is the most important thing, and since home is where we spend the most time together, it deserves our time and focus.
Thanks for being here. I hope you’ll keep sticking around for a while.