For a couple of years now; Maggie Megenbir the owner of Calm, Cool and Uncluttered, an organizing service provider in Victoria BC has been one of my strongest secret allies. Maggie has helped us with many projects – Organizing and packing our clients homes before we start renovations, and re-organizing clients when they move back to their new homes. We, and our clients have always been amazed as how much Maggie has brought into the table with her suggestions and her ability to maximize storage while keeping spaces uncluttered.
Maggie’s background as a social worker has been a great asset for her business, and I have to say that has set the bar high in her own industry as she truly understands the personal struggles that an individual can have and how to resolve this struggles to achieve a functional and well organized home or even a work environment.
Last year, we hired Maggie to help us with our own storage at Meade Design Group. Even when we had a decent system, her suggestions and the fact that she implemented these suggestions helped us to create a storage system that after a year is still organized and functional like the day she finish it. Perhaps we had the ideas, but not the time to implement them, but what we found is that her time was totally worth it.
I think I have been a bit selfish keeping her all for us, so I needed to share what incredible services she offers to our community, and how much she has helped me with our clients and our own needs. Being organized brings a sense of peace and tranquility.
Iván Meade – Let’s be honest, there are not many people who actually enjoy organizing other people’s clutter. What is it you love most about organizing?
Maggie Megenbir – First and foremost the people. Because of my background in social work I’ve always experienced great satisfaction helping people transform their lives. Now I help in a very tangible way as I work with people in their living and work space.
Organizing is not necessarily an expensive undertaking. It’s more a frame of mind. Once a person has intuitive organizing systems in place it becomes easier to live an organized life.
Iván Meade – Why do you think people have difficulty getting organized?
Maggie Megenbir – Basically, I think people have too many belongings. By the time they realize that they have too much stuff, they are completely overwhelmed and have no idea where to start dealing with it all.
Complicating matters is that we are a very busy society and people don’t often have the time to deal with clutter. The organizing systems people have in place aren’t always easy to use and so things just don’t get put away.
Iván Meade – How has being organized impacted your own personal life?
Maggie Megenbir – For me it was a need. I wasn’t always organized in my life and often felt very scattered and overwhelmed. I had areas of my home that I didn’t even want to use.
The turning point for me was when I lost someone very close to me. It provided a form a therapy, you might say, in that it allowed me to feel some control over my external environment when I felt in emotional chaos internally.
On a daily basis being organized now allows me to live with clarity. I know where to find all my belongings and don’t hang on to things that don’t serve me well.
Iván Meade – Do you have an organizing story that you would like to share with our readers that has really encouraged you to keep going in this line of work?
Maggie Megenbir – I worked with a woman who had moved into a lovely new home and simply wasn’t able to enjoy it because of the disorder. She had limited storage space and was feeling totally stuck when it came to organizing her house.
I visited her in her home and we consulted and planned, at length, to make sure we had nailed down all the details. It was crucial to her that she have easy access to everything she owned and that we increase her storage capacity. Any shelving, bookcases or desks that we chose had to provide maximum function.
Working together, as a team, we purged all the things she no longer needed. We found homes for everything she owned and created an intuitive flow throughout her whole house that she loved.
She felt such relief being able to find what she needed and she now felt good about having guests come to stay. Being organized, for her, freed up energy to pursue her numerous creative passions. Many people I work with are creative types and they need that energy to flow.
I have many similar stories that capture how powerful the act of organizing can be in someone’s life.
Iván Meade – What did this particular client find helpful when it came to letting go of clutter?
Maggie Megenbir – Together we clarified her vision for her space. I was then able to use this as a reference point when she struggled with letting go of clutter. Part of my role is to hold people accountable to their own vision and I do this with a lot of patience and understanding. Because of my background in social work I bring a particular skill set that allows me to offer clients a gentle approach with the results they expect. I know it’s not easy to let go of clutter and it’s important to me that my clients feel supported throughout this process.
This particular client also really appreciated that I helped her find a charitable organization that was meaningful to her. It helped her let go of things she had been hanging on to.
Iván Meade – It seems that your social work background makes you stand out within the local organizing profession. What are the benefits that your clients get because of this?
Maggie Megenbir – Many people can be a professional organizer and help declutter and create organizing systems. What we bring through Calm, Cool & Uncluttered is a greater level of understanding of the client’s personality and needs. We take great pride in the level of care we offer. Throughout the process we enjoy the working relationships with our clients and we have a deep level of satisfaction seeing the results both emotionally and in their physical environment.
Iván Meade – When we hired Calm, Cool and Uncluttered to help us organize our storage room we had thought, as designers, that we could create the best solution for our needs, but we didn’t have the time. You came in with some ideas we hadn’t considered and your suggestions have improved the function and the use of our storage space immensely. We love the systems you implemented for us. I know you did this as a favour for us, but have you considered expanding into small business organizing as well?
Maggie Megenbir – I love a challenge so, yes, I’m always open to any organizing projects that are presented to me. It’s fun for me to come and do “spot checks” at your studio to make sure you’re staying on top of your organizing. I’m happy to say that at this point I’m impressed! I very much enjoyed working with you and your team at Meade Design. It was lovely to be surrounded by all that creative energy and find a place for it. It would be great to do the same thing for other companies, particularly designers.
Iván Meade – What are your 5 favourite tips to stay organized?
Maggie Megenbir –
1. Let go of any possessions that you don’t love or find useful.
2. Exercise the “one in, one out “rule. If you buy a new shirt, let an old one go.
3. Don’t make impulse purchases. When considering buying something new, ask yourself, “will this add to the vision I want for my life or take from it ?”
4. Make sure everything you own has a home.
5. Stay on top of clutter. Regularly purge unwanted items and donate them to a good cause.
I invite you to vist Maggie’s website and to learn more her incredible services.