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Cure the Chaos!

cure-1A few years ago my sweet mom came into town and helped me setup my craft room.  I wanted my own space where I could do all of my crafting.

I bought a Silhouette machine and heat press and started to use my craft room a lot more.

Fast forward two years:

 The kids and I have TRASHED the craft room.  Things are everywhere and my ADD has kicked in and prevented me from fixing it.  I try to “clean it up” and the kids trash it within an hour.  I give up.

I would only use my craft room if I had to do a quick Silhouette project/present.  

I decided to put a TV in the craft room and bought a fire stick.  This would definitely get me to use the craft room more if I could watch my shows.


Fast forward to a few weeks ago

My friend Reagan decided to help me “Cure the Chaos.”  She knew that my craft room could be brought back to life and made even better.

Was I ready for this?


She asked me to send her pictures of my craft room and to not change anything.  She instructed me to take “AS IS” pictures and send them to her.

I will say that I didn’t realize how bad my craft room was until I sent her the pictures.  It was ridiculous.  How did I let it get to this point?

cure-4Reagan “We need to organize it and find a place for everything.  EVERYTHING MUST BE LABELED.  You cannot just throw things in random places.”


Step 1: First meeting:

Reagan came to my house to look at the craft room in person. She was super sweet and didn’t shame me like she should have.  

She interviewed me and asked me lots of questions about the space.  She needed to understand what my priorities were with my craft room.  What did I do in there?  What parts were important to me?

Step 2:  Creating a plan

Reagan took the information and created a plan based on our discussion and reviewing the space.  

She sent me the plan.  In the plan she went over the things she wanted to do with the space.  She also included an estimate of time that she felt it would take to complete the project.  I was very excited to get started.

Step 3:  Sorting and Organizing

Reagan came over and took control of the situation. I honestly didn’t know what to expect.  The only thing I could think of was all of the episodes of TLC’s Clean Sweep.  I remembered the host, Peter Walsh taking over and forcing people to purge. Raegan was VERY fast.  She forced me to go through this process quickly and we got it done in a few hours.  This is where hiring someone is definitely worth this step.  They force you to organize the stuff but efficiently.  This step is money well spent.


cure-5Step 4:  Implementing Plan

Suggestions from Reagan:

  1. I needed more lighting.  I needed a lamp shade for my small lamp on my table.
  2. I needed a cart to house all of my vinyl (I have a lot!)
  3. My wooden brown shelves were falling apart.  They needed to be fixed or replaced.  If we kept them, we needed to paint them white.
  4. The kids have ruined my peel and stick carpet squares.  Glitter and paint are everywhere.  I needed to get a rug that could cover up the stains.
  5. All of the containers needed labels.  
  6. I needed a wrapping paper station.
  7. I needed a few more plastic containers.  Charlotte needed her own little “craft caddy” to take downstairs and work on crafts.

Step 5: Buying items needed

  1. I bought two metal stand up lamps from Target for $15.00.  They had REALLY nice ones for $40 each but this was a craft room, I didn’t have to go fancy.  I bought a cheap shade for the lamp.
  2. Brad went to Ikea (because he works really close) and bought the cart for the vinyl.  The TV would also go on the cart and the mirror thing I had could be trashed.  I can now roll my TV to whatever part of the room that I want it.   My vinyl is now close to my Silhouette machine so I don’t have to go back and forth to get it.
  3. After several items falling on Brad, we determined that we needed new shelves.  If money would have been no object, we would have for sure gone with the NICE Container Store Elfa shelving unit.  We were on a tight budget so we opted for Ikea’s version of the Elfa shelving unit. (around $200)
  4. I found a bright pink rug for $30 at At Home (used to be Garden Ridge.)
  5. I bought chalk labels at Hobby Lobby and a chalk pen. ($3.99 for a sheet of labels)
  6. I spluged for the wrapping paper station from the Container Store since I think it is worth it and it was on sale (around $100.)
  7. I found some bright plastic containers and Charlotte’s craft caddy at the Container Store on sale.


Step 6:  Building

Brad installed half of the shelves.  We didn’t get enough so I went back to Ikea to buy more parts and installed the rest myself.

Step 7: Staging

Reagan came over to set the craft room up!  WOW!  Her talent is amazing.  I honestly can say that I could have set it up, but the way she set it up was VERY different from the way I would do it.  She thought out every item and space and organized it where it was visually pretty and very useful.  She was very fast.  She also labeled everything.


My thoughts:

I am VERY thoughtful in how I spend my money.  Some things are worth it and some things are not.  I feel that hiring an organizer is VERY worth the money for spaces that you need to work well.  I also appreciated that Reagan was fast.  She wasn’t wasting any time.  She had a job to do and she wanted to execute it effectively and efficiently.  I appreciated that!  I cannot express how in love with my craft room I am.  I will be doing all sorts of projects now that it is not chaotic! Having Reagan help me through all of the steps was completely worth it.  Think about all the money you spend eating out or wasting on other stuff.  Getting your house organized so that you feel good while you are at home is totally worth it.

Before I show the reveal, I want to share with you questions I asked Reagan (some before she started).

How much do you charge?

I charge a $50.00 consultation fee and an hourly fee of $50.00.  If you choose to have me write up a plan and implement it with you, I will credit you the $50.00 consultation fee to the hours billed.  

Furniture, shelving and supplies are additional, so pricing will depend on each room, the severity of disorganization and the vision involved.

Do you ever bid on a project instead of charging an hourly fee?

Yes.  I can give you a bid on a project and even if I go over several hours, you are still only charged for the bid.

What is better?  

Project basis is a flat dollar amount that ensures you have me from start to finish no matter how long it takes to complete the project, so you know what you are spending.  Hourly rate will vary and could take more or less time depending on the project, so it is a little less predictable.

I love the Container Store but that really isn’t in my budget.  Are there other possibilities?

Absolutely!  We can find a solution for your budget.


I need someone to just come over and give me suggestions.  How much will that cost?


I think that someone organizing my pantry would be awesome.  Approximately how much time would that take?

An organized pantry can save you lots of money in the future.  A typical pantry will take about four hours total to organize.

What spaces take the longest to get organized?

Definitely garages and offices.  Offices take longer because the homeowner has to go through lots of documents!

Average time for a room (the different ones).  I would say the average time is 6-10 hours for a light to medium disorganized room.  Offices tend to take longer as we go through tedious papers.

What are some of your organizing tips?

1) Don’t buy containers first.  It is important to go through your items, categorize them and find them a “home” in a specific room/shelf/drawer to see what you have before buying containers.  Some containers may not fit the space.

2) Don’t “zig-zag organize”, if you are organizing a specific room, lock yourself in that room so you don’t run from room to room putting things away. Get a bin for items that go elsewhere and then deliver them into the respective rooms to maximize efficiency.

What is your background in organizing? How did you start doing it?

Honestly, organizing has never come naturally to me, so I totally relate to those that struggle.  In 2004, my Grandmother started losing her sight and her tiny apartment was so cluttered that I was worried something would fall on her or she would trip on things, so I sat and organized her whole house. Once I saw the final look, I was hooked!  I then started reading every book imaginable about organizing.

What experiences have you had?  Have you done a hoarders house?

I started my business in 2004 very part time, “Cure the Chaos Organizing”.    I was a member of National Association of Professional

Organizers and wanted to really help others create systems that help them find things easily and stay organized.

I have done several hoarder’s houses.  I don’t judge and I will never judge anyone with a messy house, and I ask that my customers NOT clean before I come over so I can see where the trouble areas are. Hoarders typically have underlying issues that contribute to the disorganization (typically depression or losing a family member). It’s something I can help work through.

What is the most common problem you see?

Most common problem I see is “surface abuse”.  I’m also guilty of this, which means setting things down on any surface.  I can quickly tell where the trouble spots are in each room, so depending on the needs of my customers I ask questions based on what room they want tackled.

What are the advantages of hiring an organizer?

 An organizer provides motivation, a plan to tackle the clutter,  and the advice that you need as you go through your items to see what should be kept or tossed. Spatial planning is also important, and since most of us are emotionally attached to our things (including me), an organizer can help bring your vision to life so it works specifically for you. Personally, I get more accomplished when I have help, and having someone trained to assist eliminates frustration. An organizer can also work with downsizing, those selling a house, couples combining households and those who have just moved and need help unpacking.

Success Stories

My favorite organizing project was a middle aged couple looking to put their house on the market so they could move to a larger house because their girls were getting bigger.  A good friend of mine was a realtor and she reached out to me to assist.  Their basement was wall-to-wall boxes piled 8 feet high.  We went through every box, and eliminated a lot of garbage and items to donate and other items to shred.  When all was said and done, they sold their house in 1 day and for full asking price.  This was the most gratifying project I have ever had the pleasure to be involved with directly, and this couple has become lifelong friends.

If you would like Reagan to help, you can contact her at the following information.  (If you live far away, she can help you via skype/facetime/internet).

Reagan Phillips



Here is my big reveal!







My question for you is this: What room/area do you need to organize in your home?

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  • Reply
    October 7, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    I’m impressed!

  • Reply
    Missy Vuyk
    October 7, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    My office closet is my next project. I have travel documents, client gifts, mailing supplies, and more…plus family stuff too.

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