Chaos into order

Lynne Ring has been organized her entire life. “I can remember organizing my Halloween candy when I was a little kid,” she said.

Lynne Ring

Lynne Ring has been organized her entire life.

“I can remember organizing my Halloween candy when I was a little kid,” she said.

Ring’s affinity for structure and neatness served her well as a mother and homemaker, as a partner with her late husband Don in Mid-Alta Motors and as sales manager with direct sales clothing retailer Weekenders.

Now it’s the basis for her current business: The Organizing Guru.

Operating since January, The Organizing Guru helps clients turn chaos into order. Ring shows them how to declutter, space-plan, improve work flows, sort and store belongings, and manage information and time.

A Red Deer resident, she is among the more than 500 people who belong to the Professional Organizers in Canada. Yet her service is a relatively unknown one.

“So many people don’t know what a professional organizer is,” said Ring.

In fact, she wasn’t familiar with the vocation when she stumbled into it late last year.

Ring had decided to leave her job at a bank, but before leaving offered to organize archived documents and other material.

“At the end of the week, I had two of the staff come up to me — one asking if I would organize a home office for her and another asking if I would organize their storage room.”

She discussed the possibility of working as a professional organizer with a friend, who introduced her to a member of the Professional Organizers in Canada.

In addition to being an association through which members can network and share resources, the Professional Organizers in Canada offers 18 courses on organizational skills, said Ring. Topics range from helping seniors to dealing with clients who are chronically disorganized.

Ring has taken 12 of the courses, and plans to complete them all. She’s found that her past experiences prepared her for her new career.

The more than 20 years she and Don operated Mid-Alta Motors taught her the importance of keeping a business organized.

“Taking your stuff to the accountant in a shoebox costs a small fortune, because they have to organize it all,” she said.

During her time with Weekenders, which lasted nearly 20 years and saw Ring end up in charge of 120 salespeople, an organized office was also critical.

Not everyone shares her commitment to order or has the mindset to achieve it, she acknowledged. Creative people, for instance, tend to operate in cluttered surroundings, and many seniors who have gone through hard times are reluctant to part with possessions.

“I always assumed, and it’s probably because I have a linear brain, that everyone would have that skill set of organizing. But there are many people who don’t.”

Plus, she added, it often helps to look at a business, home office or home with a fresh set of eyes.

“So many people are so close to the situation, they don’t see the forest for the trees.”

When new clients retain Ring, she begins by assessing their surroundings.

“An hour is usually what it takes,” she said, adding, however, that the time varies with the situation.

She likes to have clients group their belongings into four categories: treasures, which have an emotional attachment but no practical function; tools, which have a function but no emotional attachment; toys, which have both functional and emotional properties; and trash, for which there is no justification to keep it. The decluttering process proceeds from there.

“It’s the treasures that are usually the most challenging,” observed Ring. “People get really attached to things.”

In the case of businesses, she’ll discuss operations and paper flows. Solutions must be customized to the client’s personal needs, she said.

“Filing systems are only as good as the person that’s using them. So you really need to develop that system for the person that’s using them.

“Everyone thinks differently.”

At the end of the day, clients usually find themselves with increased space, improved efficiencies and a better frame of mind.

“The feeling of guilt is gone, and that’s huge with my home clients,” said Ring.

Additional information about The Organizing Guru can be found online at www.organizingguru.ca. Other professional organizers can be contactred through the Professional Organizers in Canada website at www.organizersincanada.com.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Red Deer officials will allow Calgary to trial alcohol in parks

The result could determine if local rules are relaxed

Red Deer city council could provide more clarity around closed-door meetings, says review

Confidential matters were found to be handled appropriately by city

Special lift improves Lacombe patients’ therapy

A new mobility lift is helping physical therapy patients at Lacombe Hospital… Continue reading

Red Deer group is pushing to create a local ‘international village’ to promote unity

A city made up of immigrants has no place for intolerance, say group members

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Most Read