What’s In It For Me? Not ME ME. But you, the reader, AND me. All of us.
Isn’t that what we want to know? How can we benefit from the decisions we make or the opportunities that avail us? Even when we sacrifice for others, or when decisions have been made for us because of events out of our control, we hope for outcomes that will benefit our well being.
That’s what I want to bring to my clients. How will a personal assistant benefit them? As a personal assistant, my tasks are as varied as the life you’re living right this minute. Sometimes my task is combing through an Amazon account to identify work expenses or assisting with an event, or maybe freshening up a front porch for a new season. Other times I might be sourcing a new nanny or landscaper, assisting after a surgery, or managing monthly expenses for an elderly person. Often, I find myself organizing.
People's spaces fascinate me, because our space is crucial to our well being. There's good reason for the architect's rule of thumb: Form follows function. This is a good mission statement for any home. If you struggle with managing your belongings, it's okay to add a plaque over your dresser or a Post It Note on your mirror!
Why is functionality important? Because there’s something in it for you. Functionality of our space is time and money, and that equates to peace, clarity, and choice, which is essential to our well being.
The Webster’s definition of functionality is this: the quality of being suited to serve a purpose well; practicality. Does your space serve you well? In order to save time and money, we must be able to access (or find) what we are seeking.
If we cannot see or find the silk scarf that reminds us of the warm breeze and sparkling lights in 1997 when we walked a street in Paris, what satisfaction does that scarf bring us? When we can't find the packing tape to seal the gift we’re sending to Uncle Bennie, we can experience a number of outcomes. Frustration, defeat, self loathing, anxiety... the list goes on. Peace, clarity, and choice have been displaced.
I can’t tell you how many duplicates (and quad duplicates!) are discovered in an organizing job. My client will proclaim, “Oh, that’s where that was! Darn, I just bought a new one.” And then we find another, and another. We are silent. There are so many, and it’s already been said.
Once your space is organized, it often means a change of habits or behaviors. The single most beneficial behavior of maintaining organization is this:
Put things back where you found them.
You wouldn't return from a friend's house and remain at a stoplight with the expectation that someone will drop you at your home eventually. Everything has a home. Do yourself a favor, and return the silk scarf to the drawer where it belongs.
Once your space is functional, what will you do with your time and money? Do you have friends you’d like to see? Do you have a bridge tour you’d like to take?
Have you imagined writing a song or a book? How about that cool diner you’ve heard about on the rural Eastside? Do you have a cause you’ve wished you had more time to give? Would you like to know more about your government? Do you have a non profit you’ve dreamed of starting? Do you have a sick relative who could use some TLC? Does your son need more one on one time? Have you opened the Jamie Oliver Cookbook with five ingredients or less? Could you start a college fund with $50 a month for your new grandchild?
What are your secret ambitions that have been neglected? The ambitions you thought were prohibited because you didn’t have time or money?
"Often, "What's in it for me," translates to “What’s in it for others,” because you have so much more to offer, to give, to do, than looking for that “stupid thing” you can’t find and buying another one.