Susie Marsh, LBSW
Professional Organizer/Social Worker
"Simple Home and Office Organizing tips to Reduce Stress and Create Greater Well-being with Susie Marsh."
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[00:00:05.730] – Laura Cicholski
I am Laura Cicholski. Welcome to the finding balance in your business, career, finances, Health and Life podcast. Today, we are thrilled to have Susie Marsh as our special guest. Susie is the owner of Susie’s Organization Solutions and former co-owner of Moxey Life Organizing. She is a 14 plus year veteran of the organizing and productivity industry, as well as a licensed social worker. She is an active Golden Circle member of NATO National as well, and a residential specialist.
[00:00:38.460] – Laura Cicholski
She is also an active member of NAPO, Michigan, where she served for years as liaison. She has been featured in Senior Perspective magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, Fox 17, and on the team of two episodes of Season seven of Annie’s hoarder’s Family Secrets, Susie helps clients to eliminate the chaos and clutter in their lives. That’s so neat. I didn’t know you were a TV star as well.
[00:01:03.970] – Susie Marsh
A couple of episodes. It was a great experience.
[00:01:07.770] – Laura Cicholski
That’s so cool. Thanks so much for being here. We’re really happy to have you. How are you today?
[00:01:12.690] – Susie Marsh
Great, great. Great. I’m awesome. Glad to be here too.
[00:01:16.560] – Laura Cicholski
Thank you. And that’s Tony. You’ve been on the News Fox 17. We watch those local news channels and it’s neat to kind of be able to have your organizing secrets to help all of us out. So tell us today, how did you go from being a social worker to an organization expert at such a neat transition?
[00:01:34.520] – Susie Marsh
Yeah, so I had been a social worker for about 18 years working in mental health and, you know, health funding streams. Ah, and the mental health system, you just never know. It’s kind of that up and down thing. And I was just looking for something different. And I was doing an administrative role at the time and my social work job. And I was like, OK, I like organization. I like I like all the aspects of it.
[00:02:00.590] – Susie Marsh
And I thought, well, I’m just going to Google it. So I Googled it and I found there’s a couple of ladies in the area that actually did training. So I got trained in 2007 and started my business and at that time to start these organization solutions. And then I as I got into the field, I did a lot of mentoring under them and just really got my feet wet in the field. And then I realized that there was a whole niche of organizing, which is where you have what’s called chronic disorganization.
[00:02:34.400] – Susie Marsh
So people that they have ADHD, anxiety, depression, hoarding disorder, physical challenges and seniors and that fit. Right, exactly where I wanted to be as far as being an organizer and social worker. So I kind of mesh the two together and here I am today.
[00:02:54.920] – Laura Cicholski
That’s so neat. I love kind of what you’re talking about in the different things. And I like the S.O.S reminds me of like you’re the safety net or the emergency helper. For people that have disorganization issues, which we probably all do is to be a lot of us, even the most organized person. You keep getting the papers and. Right. It’s hard to keep everything organized.
[00:03:14.530] – Susie Marsh
Oh yeah, it’s continual for everybody. You know, it really is about maintenance and how you set up your system. So.
[00:03:20.690] – Laura Cicholski
Exactly, which is fantastic. Now, our audience, a lot of them could be health care providers and so on. Health care managers, obviously, they have busy days seeing patients dealing with handling employees and different staff issues. What are some tips that they can use in the workplace and at their homes to kind of help reduce stress through organizing?
[00:03:40.670] – Susie Marsh
Yeah, so I did want to share with you a few a few statistics about about organization and clutter, and seventy two percent of Americans believe that they would gain more space in their homes by purging unused items. But forty one percent have it decluttered in over a year. So that’s a lot of people that have clutter that’s building up, you know, in the age of Amazon. And just click a button and you got things coming to your house. The overwhelm can happen pretty, pretty quickly.
[00:04:09.080] – Susie Marsh
One in seven, seven Americans have a room in their home that they cannot use because it’s filled with things they rarely use. And a lot of people just don’t ever think about how they can how they can. Just having that room where they don’t want to go into can be anxiety causing and stress stressful. So, you know, just having that room there is is, you know, just noise in the back of your mind, that subconscious. And you’re just kind of thinking, OK, now what?
[00:04:37.430] – Susie Marsh
But there’s there’s always a lot of things that you can do to you know, that it’s an anxiety causing thing to clutter is overstimulated. Our system. It causes our senses to work over time and stimuli that aren’t necessarily or important. And it frustrates us by making it hard to find anything and a lot of times we can spend a lot of money, buy things in order to find those items again. So we just wasted some money. It makes it hard to relax both physically and mentally.
[00:05:13.740] – Susie Marsh
And then it just causes anxiety of just knowing that you have to go through those things. And it can be overwhelming. And a lot of heart, too, is that there’s can be guilt and overwhelm when it comes to anxiety pieces of organizing. So just having doing the process of organizing itself can be overwhelming for a lot of people. But I always say start slow, start very specific and start small, slow, smart and slow and smartly doing it and slow.
[00:05:46.650] – Susie Marsh
So you’re not overwhelming yourself and then you are able to do it in small increments. So let’s say you want to take a closet and you want to organize that closet, give yourself two to three hours and don’t think you’re going to get it done in a half hour because you’ve got to make decisions. And that that can apply also to like even going through a file drawer in your office and having to go through papers. Papers are a whole nother animal and usually it takes time to get through papers.
[00:06:16.350] – Susie Marsh
But let’s say you’re going through that closet. You know, take take the lower level first. Just take things out of it and go through and do a sort system. We as organizers usually set up a system called like donate and then sell and then a family friend box know some you need to return to somebody and then relocate. So you’re bringing things, putting things into a box that is coming out of that closet that belong somewhere else in the house.
[00:06:43.080] – Susie Marsh
But you don’t want to go run around and go put it away right away because then you’re going to have your rent going down that rabbit hole and you forget what you’re doing and then always have a trash bag handy on site just to kind of throw as well papers, make sure to recycle or shred on site. And so you’ve got that handy.
[00:07:01.290] – Laura Cicholski
These are great tips for giving you that. You could be either doing these at home, whether it’s on your your desk counter, whether it’s a desk drawer, it could be a closet or could be even like these medical practices. It could be like a medication closet or something, whether it’s that or a hospital someplace where they need to organize things. And so would you suggest that maybe they like it, maybe an administrator or something, maybe goes through things once a week and kind of goes through and tries to organize or just you’re saying once a month for that matter?
[00:07:26.450] – Susie Marsh
Yeah, especially the supply closet. You know, you can go through those. And just like I said, take it slow and give yourself enough time. Don’t don’t try to do it all. Like in that forty five minute, you know, it’s going to take your time to decide. And even if you have to inventory while you’re going through it and you’re going through those items, you know, that’s, that’s going to take you a little bit of time to get through it.
[00:07:47.420] – Susie Marsh
[00:07:48.510] – Susie Marsh
And I don’t everybody underestimates that. Everybody underestimates their time when it comes to that. And I always tell people three to four hours even for a closet just to get through a closet because you have all the other steps that go with it.
[00:08:01.880] – Laura Cicholski
Yeah, and I love how you talk about the fact that not only can be decluttering and organizing, can reduce stress. It can save you money, but it can also just kind of make you feel calmer as a person. And so that goes back to, like you said, have you ever lost something and you’re looking for it? Usually it’s the car keys when you need to be somewhere important and you’re looking for those. And those are hard to replace sometimes.
[00:08:23.120] – Laura Cicholski
But I think you’re right. You can spend a lot less. Maybe you have more time as well being able to do that. But in your own life, you’ve noticed that having like less clutter has kind of helped you with stress throughout the day.
[00:08:34.070] – Susie Marsh
Oh, yes, yes, because everything if everything has a purpose and a place in your home, right. And if everything has that home in your home, in your home, you have a you have that sense of knowing. You have this sense of knowing that, OK, if I need to go find my hammer, I know it’s in my toolbox. I know where I’m going to be able to find it and I can go get it. I can use it.
[00:08:56.720] – Susie Marsh
And then I put it back because I know that that’s where the home is for that. And the next time I need it, I can find it easily enough. So I’ve really set up my own home the same way, really, and working as people’s stuff for 14 years. I’ve really come to my own recognition of what things are important in my life. And I actually moved almost four years ago. And you really, really reevaluate what things you want to keep and not keep at that point because you have so much that you have to go through.
[00:09:30.260] – Susie Marsh
So that’s another life transition that I tend to work a lot with people. Is would that change up with moving, moving and just downsizing and declutterin ahead of time? So just. Yeah, being mindful of everything that you have in your home, that’s that’s just a lot of the part of being organized to knowing what you need and do you really need and what you don’t.
[00:09:50.480] – Laura Cicholski
And I think you mentioned when we originally talked, those are all great tips you’re bringing up, like whether it’s in the hospital, having all of your teams on board with the whole system.
[00:09:58.700] – Laura Cicholski
And I’m sure they are the hospital, they probably are very organized and doing this already. But then, like in your homes, maybe getting your if you have kids, maybe getting your kids involved. Right. Like this is kind of a group mission. We’re all together on this one team. Right. And we’re all going to put up with one spot. And I know people get busy and now my kids will get busy and things kind of get left here.
[00:10:15.950] – Laura Cicholski
And then on the weekend, we’ll try to regroup and try to organize it. What do you suggest for whether it’s health care leaders getting their teams kind of on one? Kind of like knowing what’s going on, where they’re going to put things and same thing with families and their kids and different other family members,
[00:10:32.710] – Susie Marsh
it’s it’s all about communication. And actually labeling is really a very good technique for using, too. So, like, if I’m working in somebody’s office space and other people go into that office space, what I would typically do is we would put labels up, I have a label or a label machine.
[00:10:54.010] – Susie Marsh
And so like where the paper is kept or the the office, the office supplies or filing folders or anything, just everything gets labeled. So everybody knows that’s where things go. And that can apply to the home, too, because one example of where things can go off the off the rails really quick is a pantry. You people just start stuffing stuff into pantries and you don’t know where to find things. And stuff gets pushed to the back end.
[00:11:23.080] – Susie Marsh
And if you haven’t gone through that space in any you know, if you haven’t gone through it, let’s say even six months, you know, things are so outdated. So just putting labels and having things baskets in baskets and containerized can really help just to keep things organized. And people understand what goes where. Sometimes when people have kids and they’re busy professionals, just having a basket lower on the shelves, that’s for their kids to have snacks so they know that they can go grab the snacks and not have to ask necessarily every time where something is and then having it labeled kids kids snacks on the same shelf can kids drinks and, you know, just something basic like that.
[00:12:05.620] – Susie Marsh
And then higher up on the shelves can be just know that there’s canned goods and condiments and rice and pasta. And so whoever’s doing the shopping knows that when they bring it home, they put it right on the shelf.
[00:12:17.200] – Laura Cicholski
And so it’s organized. And then when the person is cooking as well, they can kind of find where things are. Those are really good tips. Now, when you talk about like that, some of the health care providers and how they’re able to kind of do this, you talk about like even like they have emails. I’m not sure if a lot of the providers do emails or if they’re still doing faxes. But you had told me about and I just started to do this recently, starring emails.
[00:12:36.580] – Laura Cicholski
Right. Is that a good way that you. Because it changes the color and Google like in Gmail has you have you found that to be helpful with keeping track of you like your emails?
[00:12:43.990] – Susie Marsh
So this is my my one screen from one of my emails. So if you look on this left side for Google, so like these little stars right here, they change colors. And so you can make importance of what that item is just by clicking on it over and over. And then you get to a certain point where it starts going into little symbols to like. So you got to remember that. You want to you want to know about these security settings.
[00:13:08.830] – Susie Marsh
You can click on that and it will give you those things, those options to start. So you can see like this was a Greenstar that I was just putting on as an example. Now maybe I want to turn it purple. And so it makes it so it’s a visual reminder and you can see exactly how you want to prioritize things. You can also make these these are making things important. So they’re going to come up in your feed higher if you have these kind made as an important kind of email compared to the others.
[00:13:42.310] – Susie Marsh
And I was going to say, too, there’s a there’s a way. So if you don’t want to see all of these emails all the time, what you can do is there’s a site called Unroll. Me. So unparallelled that me. If you go on there, this is a cool like website kind of email control system that will put all of your emails together into a digest. So and you’ll get a Digest’s email from unrolled on me every day and I’ll have like all these things all put together into one email and then you can check it and you don’t have a thousand emails pummeling your inbox and you always have the option to add to it or unsubscribe from those emails and or keep it in the inbox if you want to see it.
[00:14:31.630] – Susie Marsh
So it’s just a really great, really great way to use Google mail and email and then just lessen the amount of emails that you have.
[00:14:42.520] – Laura Cicholski
Right. I’ve heard those are good tips I’ve heard and I like to start with and I didn’t realize it changes color the more you click on it. So that’s kind of cool. So you could have purple be a certain thing or I could be maybe business and then maybe something else green could be something different, whether it’s an outside practice or something in value. I like that. Now you to also talk about like ways to be able to tell the paper coming.
[00:15:02.890] – Laura Cicholski
And obviously that’s kind of the email version of paper. But paper coming in, I think you didn’t you have like three different buckets that we could put that in. And I’m sure health care managers, health care leaders are obviously doing a great job seeing patients and taking care of patients. But then you’re also getting different things and that you have to address or whether it’s your home life as well, kind of goes into your purse or into your business life.
[00:15:23.290] – Laura Cicholski
So what do you recommend for those? Three buckets, when you have the papers that are coming in, whether it’s mail or or different, could even be lab work that doctors are looking at or yeah, yeah,
[00:15:33.470] – Susie Marsh
we’re pummeled by paper every direction. And it is important to to, like, really handle it once it comes into your hands. There’s a method called the Ohio method to where it means only handle it once. OK, so as you as it comes into you, so let’s say you’re at work and you have some paperwork that comes into your hands, there’s going to be these categories that you should look at having for home and at work.
[00:16:01.190] – Susie Marsh
And the first one is called the action. That means that something that you need to act upon and make sure you can have a bin or a basket or something, a file folder that holds on to those action items. And it’s something you’re going to be revisit quite often, probably every day. The other the other categories are file. So this is something that you don’t want to let go of, but you want to file it away. But it’s not anything that has to be acted upon, but it may be used for reference.
[00:16:30.110] – Laura Cicholski
And then you want to have make sure that you have a shred or shredder nearby so you can shred things to come right in. You don’t necessarily need to file it. You don’t need to it. But it’s something that needs to be shredded. And then if you recycle, recycle or toss is the next category. And so you can use those categories for at home. So if that piece of paper, you look at it and you think, OK, this is an action item that’s going to go directly into your your action area.
[00:16:59.660] – Laura Cicholski
So a lot of people use file folders to help with the action items. And then if it’s a file item, then make sure that that filing gets into your filing cabinet or you just scan it and you get it scanned into your your cloud so that you can use that as a reference later. And then you can either throw away or recycle or shred that that particular document. And for homesteading, what I usually tell people is right when you’re walking from the mailbox to your house, back to your house or in the door.
[00:17:31.880] – Susie Marsh
Right. You’re doing a pre sort right there in your hand, like, OK, this is junk mail. This is not junk mail. This is action. And then when you get into the house, you’re going to be putting it right into your bin. That’s going to go in the filing, the next piece of paper and the other all the other stuff is going into the recycle bin. And so you’ve just dealt with it and you did that while you were walking.
[00:17:52.880] – Susie Marsh
So you can chew gum and walk at the same time at the same time.
[00:17:56.780] – Laura Cicholski
Plus you getting exercise while you’re going through a to things that be testing. Those are good thoughts. And I know I’m famous for that. Like I’m a very organized person, but I will have on my bar all these papers, whether it’s business, it’ll be home, the kids. And so a lot of times, like you said, I’m wasting time because I’m going through things multiple times, like I saw this last week, but I need to deal with it.
[00:18:19.130] – Laura Cicholski
So it’s still there. But I should have a short little action been and then something else for filing and file it away. And then I know where it’s going to be. I can go look at it if I need to keep it on the bar.
[00:18:29.300] – Susie Marsh
And the important thing with the action the action folder bin is to keep looking in that bin because once it goes into action, it means that it needs to be acted upon. Right. So that you can prioritize those items in it. I’ve had clients do several different methods for doing that. So either they attach a number like number one means is the most important all the way down to number 10 to the least important. But then on the outside of the file folder, they may write all those different action items down that they need to do.
[00:19:00.170] – Susie Marsh
That’s inside of that folder. And it may just just be a blurb on there, but then they can see it all in one spot knowing that that’s an action item. Others like to use an alphabet system where they like to do ABCDE, EFG just to prioritize those items. And so people really enjoy once they get done with that item, being able to cross it right off the list or take that item and rip it and then go put it in the shredder, they’re like, yeah, I got that done and I’m done and I did it great.
[00:19:30.260] – Susie Marsh
And now I can move on to the next thing on the priority list. But you don’t want to let it just set and deal with that action folder. So a lot of times they say make that review of your action folder, the first thing you do in the morning and the first thing you do before you leave your desk, you have to kind of keep it all organized because there might be things in there, like you said, you need to address.
[00:19:49.130] – Susie Marsh
And I like what you said about the letter system. I’ve heard people say so, whether it’s obviously health care providers are running between patients and patient rooms, are doing a great job with patient care. Health care leaders are doing a great job as well. They’re they’re more on the administrative side. And so they could have many different things on their to do list. And so I like what you said about maybe do you do like what a one two, a three could be priorities then the B ones.
[00:20:11.210] – Susie Marsh
Right. And C aren’t as big of a priority. Correct. Task throughout the day.
[00:20:15.290] – Susie Marsh
Yes. Yes. Just prioritizing it according to how your brain works. That’s how I do it with my clients when they get tailored to what works for their brain.
[00:20:24.890] – Laura Cicholski
Yeah, it’s easier if you have 10 things on your to do list that makes it hard because your brain I don’t think I know my brain can handle this like two things all at one time. But if you do it in bigger chunks or smaller chunks, I you do these two things first and then after that, this is more, less of a priority. But I need to focus on I think we can handle that. Right. Versus having everything to do at one time.
[00:20:44.030] – Susie Marsh
Yes. Yeah. I got to break it down or you get overwhelmed.
[00:20:47.210] – Laura Cicholski
I agree. I agree. Now, we talked a little bit about the Pomodoro method. And so obviously for health care leaders, that’s going to be a little bit different. Maybe talk about that first. They’re doing a lot of administrative tasks and then go into how health care providers that are seeing directly the patients, the nurses, how they can use the Pomodoro method to make sense between their busy patient care day.
[00:21:07.940] – Susie Marsh
Yeah, yeah. So the premature pomodoro method, it’s actually just a balanced focus with deliberate breaks is actually how it’s defined. So what you have to do for the Pomodoro method is so you’re essentially you’re choosing your task to do and then you’re setting a timer for twenty five minutes. So let’s say you have an Apple Watch or some, some other thing that will remind you that twenty five minutes is up. So you’re going to do that task and you’re going to try to take up any reminders or bleeps or beeps or anything like that.
[00:21:37.940] – Susie Marsh
So you’re ultra focused on doing that item. You’re going to have twenty five minutes and until that a timer goes off and then it goes off, you’re going to take a break of anywhere between one and three minutes. And that can be like if you’re a busy health care professional, it can be stepping outside for that one to three minutes, taking a deep breath, doing a quick prayer, doing mindfulness or grounding why you’re doing that. So you’re just kind of doing a reset to your system and you’re taking some of that anxiety off.
[00:22:12.350] – Susie Marsh
So and then you go right back into repeating the the twenty five minutes and then you set your timer again and you’re supposed to do that for like four cycles. And then after that, then you take a longer break, anywhere between 25 and 30 minutes a break. So that gives your brain really a good chance to refocus after you’ve done those for twenty five minute segments, which is essentially almost two hours of time. And that’s when a lot of professionals, time management professionals say your brain needs a break.
[00:22:46.190] – Susie Marsh
So the Pomodoro method can be used for a busy professional that is trying to be productive during their day. Right. And just trying to keep their ultra focus on their project at hand and not get sidetracked by everything else going on in the world.
[00:23:04.040] – Laura Cicholski
Exactly. Those are good tips. And those are even if they’re busy, like health care providers, seeing patients, they can take, like you said, maybe a minute or two. And I know a lot of sometimes if they’re an E.R. physician or nurse, they may not be taking that full half an hour lunch break, but they can kind of hopefully take maybe a little bit longer break than the one or two minutes. But no, I love that.
[00:23:20.150] – Laura Cicholski
I’ve had some people say as well, try to do the breathing, kind of do the reset, step outside for a minute if you can. Otherwise also just kind of like doing a mindfulness thing where you feel the top of your head, you feel the back of your head all the way down your body, you know, I mean, see where there’s stress. And I think it’s really neat what you’re saying, because it brings you back to the present moment versus worrying about what you have to do in the next few minutes.
[00:23:40.070] – Laura Cicholski
Right. It takes you that one moment brings you back and then you can handle what’s going forward, don’t you think?
[00:23:45.440] – Susie Marsh
Yeah, it kind of reduces that brain clutter. Yeah. That comes in when you’re when you’re overwhelmed or you got that anxiety that keeps going up or you’re just super busy. So you just kind of do a reset and it helps.
[00:23:57.530] – Laura Cicholski
I agree. It kind of helps you to go through the rest of your day. Right. And be productive and also make a difference for the health care providers, their patients. So I know Dr. Celeste Hamilton, I’m going to interview her in a few weeks and she talks about making space and kind of your mind and your emotion. And what’s so interesting is I love how you talk about creating space to make space for others like in your home. So when you talk about the whole creating space, we’ve talked a little bit about how I can reduce stress.
[00:24:25.490] – Laura Cicholski
What have you found like in your life? And you think for health care providers, the whole creating space thing, how it can make things more simple, make their days better? Are there ways you can talk about that?
[00:24:36.560] – Susie Marsh
Yeah. So creating spaces, you know, you want to spaces that produce either calmness or energy for yourself to be able to function in those spaces. So if you’re dealing with a lot of clutter in a lot of things that are out of place and don’t have homes, that’s going to cause that’s going to cause anxiety and worry and then guilt and embarrassment. But if you have a home for each thing, so everything has a purpose and a place and you like you have the area set up in your home, let’s say that bring more calmness like your bedroom, let’s say, as an oasis away.
[00:25:16.880] – Susie Marsh
And you’ve made sure that you’ve cluttered everything in that space and you’ve made it a home color and. So you know that you feel as soon as you walk in that door and you go, oh, that feels great and I have everything in its place, so maybe I have minimal, minimal tchotchkes around in the space then, because everything everything has maintenance. If your items, you know, it all takes responsibility for cleaning it, housing it, storing it, know having it there in your space.
[00:25:51.800] – Susie Marsh
So I just tell people to just be really specific about the things they’re keeping and then what’s the purpose and place behind those items and why why is that important for you to keep in that space? If it is important, then that showcase it, show it off. Let’s put it in the cabinets, let’s make a place in a home for it so that that space continues to be a calm and peaceful and just desirable space to be in. Because most most of my clients tell me it’s not a desirable space if it’s a space that’s overwhelmed with clutter and things that are out of place and they just don’t know where where to go with it.
[00:26:27.410] – Susie Marsh
So a lot of the brain clutter and the physical clutter goes hand in hand. And so to deal with that brain clutter, you have to create that sense of peace and flow in the physical environment to reduce that physical clutter.
[00:26:43.370] – Laura Cicholski
That’s really good. Those are great points you’re bringing up. I love it. It’s interesting now. Yeah. When because when you talk about, like, if their brain feels cluttered because they’re looking at everything, it kind of makes your whole body feel more stressed. I can see where the stress hormones would get kind of activated because you’re thinking, oh, and then it affects you physically. You could have pains or different symptoms here and there. Those are really good points.
[00:27:04.100] – Laura Cicholski
Now, I health care, I’ve talked with my stressfully upstairs. I’ve talked with different experts about doing like break rooms where they can be relaxing and they could go there during whether it’s a hospital or a practice, be able to go there. And, you know, in between seeing covid patients and they’ve been doing such a good job with all that, being able to go and relax, being able to kind of regroup, whether it’s having candles in there, depending on if you have allergies in your hospital, whether it has books, whether it has some gentle music, a nice comfy chair, would that help as well to have a room like that that was very, you know, had minimal stuff, but yet relaxing, but it wasn’t very cluttered for them to be able to go to the middle of the day if they wanted to just relax.
[00:27:40.850] – Susie Marsh
Oh, yeah, for sure. And lighting is a big one, too, not having the overhead, huge lighting, fluorescent lighting, that’s dark and like. All right. You know, a lot of times just having a low light, you know, even just table lighting and that kind of thing just brings the environment down the atmosphere just to a more calm, comfortable, calming level. And that’s a really great space to be able to do that mindfulness and just having that special time to yourself for this health care aspect, too, because, you know, to to have that mental balance to bring in with the physical balance is just really important for everybody going to get through their days.
[00:28:25.280] – Laura Cicholski
Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Last question. Do you think how do you think they could health care providers and others in their homes could kind of with time management, how can they reduce their time management so they’re not spending so much time on, you know, whether it’s organizing? And they also make sure that they’re taking breaks so that even when they come home at night, you know, that they’re not spending the whole evening organizing their house. Does that make sense, making sure that they’re almost like the Pomodoro method at home at night or whether it’s in the office before they leave?
[00:28:52.700] – Laura Cicholski
So they’re doing it in a good way for a time, but then they’re not spending their whole time on that. What do you suggest for that?
[00:28:58.850] – Susie Marsh
Yeah, so everything comes down to maintenance and they find that people that are organized to have some specific specific habits that they do. And those habits are like when you take something out, you put it back you don’t like leave it on a tabletop or anything like that. So it’s second nature, it’s habit. It’s like an automatic thing that you do. You put things away once you take it out. But the other thing, too, is so at the end of the day, both even in your work environment and your home environment, there’s something that I call the clutter cleanup.
[00:29:31.890] – Susie Marsh
And that’s where so let’s say with your desk environment, that’s where the last fifteen minutes of your day, you’re going through everything that’s on your desk right now and you’re prioritizing that, either putting things into your action folder for the next day. You’re looking at your to do list. You’re clearing your desk of old coffee cups or water bottles. Right. You’re getting right clear and ready to go for the next day. You’re doing a reset, so you’re doing that reset.
[00:29:58.670] – Susie Marsh
So when you come in the next day, you know. Exactly. You go through your go to your action folder and you have your desk is all clean and clear and you’re ready to go. You’re not having to shuffle through a whole bunch of things, trying to figure out what you got to do for the next day. So you’re doing a lot of prep work right then and there. Now, at the home, this is where you enlist the family.
[00:30:18.260] – Susie Marsh
So if you have a family that can do this clutter cleanup with you, you give them a basket, a family member. It’s a basket, you say, OK, we got 15 minutes. I want everybody to walk around and if there’s something out of place, like an art project is sitting on the table still or the kids games floor puzzle that’s on the floor, or we have dirty dishes that are sitting on the countertop. Everybody is going to take something that that was their responsibility and go pick it up, put it in the basket and then walk it to where it needs to go.
[00:30:49.570] – Susie Marsh
Laundry is a big one, too. So I really like having their own laundry basket kind of thing so they can take it, walk it up to where it needs to go so it becomes everybody’s maintenance at that point. And then you’re kind of doing a reset for your house at that point, too, and it puts the responsibility on everybody and just not you. Right? The mom, the dad having to do all of that. So it’s kind of brings it all into practice.
[00:31:13.960] – Susie Marsh
But it also is even if you don’t have a busy family and it’s just you in your house that just is making it so that you have that reset for the next day and that you’re starting off with a clean slate and it feels good.
[00:31:25.510] – Laura Cicholski
Exactly. Yeah. You can kind of maybe take a break, then go home, take a break and think about maybe enjoying your family or just some time exercising whatever you like to do in your spare time and not having to think about everything the next day. And I like the to do list the how you say that for the night the next day. So whether it’s health care managers trying to figure out their next day because you can have it all down so you know it’s there and you’re not wondering the next morning, what are we going to do.
[00:31:47.710] – Laura Cicholski
You already kind of have it. And of course, for providers there, have their probably their patients schedule up on their their computer wherever they look at that. But it’s a kind of a nice way. And I think also it’s good when they have their meetings with their teams, if they can talk about like, OK, what were wins for this week, what were things we need to work on? Did we get to everything we needed to do where we have room to improve and where have we done?
[00:32:08.470] – Laura Cicholski
Well, you know, kind of like almost like organizing your your teamwork. How is that going? I think, yeah. Yeah. Preparation always has a way of reducing anxiety and stress because you’re prepared, you know, you understand and you are ready to go for that next next to do.
[00:32:26.080] – Laura Cicholski
Exactly. Well, thank you so much for being here today. It’s been a pleasure having you. Now, where can our audience find you?
[00:32:33.350] – Susie Marsh
Yes, I am. Yeah, my website is SusiesorganizationSolutions.com And then you can also find me on Facebook at Susies org, and that’s linked right into Instagram as well. So.
[00:32:52.880] – Laura Cicholski
OK, now, do you real quickly, do you help people in their homes along with organizations? Are you mainly in people’s homes?
[00:32:59.970] – Susie Marsh
And I’m primarily in people’s homes at this point. I do their home offices as well. If they’re if they’re still working from home or they always work from home. So I do a lot of work there. So but I do general residential organizing. So it’s anybody that needs help with their chaos and clutter. And I help them figure out how to get that peace and calm back into their lives.
[00:33:22.730] – Laura Cicholski
But you’ve helped. Have you helped a lot of people lately with people are working from home now with the covid. How do you I thought well, last question ask you this kind of important for people that are working from home, how do you have them separate out the fact that they’re working from home? Sometimes if you have your computer in the kitchen when you’re cooking, you can’t ever you know, I mean, you’re always looking at that computer thinking you’re always working.
[00:33:42.800] – Laura Cicholski
Do you recommend them having their office space in a separate room? They can, yeah. Or especially even just a desk. If they don’t have another room , just have a specific desk area that they can work at and, you know, kind of keep those activities separate if they’re cooking dinner, cook dinner, if they’re doing work, do work, and if they need to take breaks from the doing the dinner thing and they need to go check their emails and kind of thing, just have a set system set way of doing it.
[00:34:08.420] – Susie Marsh
And instead of having that anxiety and stress all the time, while you’re trying to do both things, because they show that studies show that we really aren’t multitasking very well, we are actually just doing multiple tasks and probably not doing either of them very well or not giving them the attention they need. So neither one of the main focus.
[00:34:27.290] – Laura Cicholski
Right. If you’re over here and you’re over there, then you’re here to try to fix those are good, good tips.
[00:34:32.060] – Laura Cicholski
And I think also, like you said, doing the Pomodoro method, maybe stepping away, making sure that because when you have your computer at home, it’s so easy just to be working all the time. Right now we’re trying to get off and you need that break. You need the break for hobbies, exercise your family. You need that.
[00:34:48.330] – Susie Marsh
Yeah, know, I personally make sure I have the I turn off my computer every day after I get done working and that’s it. You know, if I check my emails or whatever, that’s only on my phone and, you know, I just set my boundaries. You have your boundaries on what when when you’re going to be doing work and when you’re not.
[00:35:08.250] – Laura Cicholski
I love that. Yeah, they should do that. As far as checking emails, I think I’ve changed now where I check emails usually a couple of times a day, although if I have like an interview set up or something with the speaker and I want to be in contact, I’ll check it just to make sure they have everything they need. But usually otherwise, I’m trying to check it twice a day just to keep kind of some of the boundaries. And does it mean that I’m not available via phone or text all the time, but it’s nice just to be able to give a few boundaries and let people know I’ll get to you later in the day unless it’s an emergency.
[00:35:32.760] – Susie Marsh
[00:35:33.840] – Laura Cicholski
Exactly. It was fantastic to have you here with us today. Thank you for your tips. I think they’re amazing. And I really think you helped a lot of health care providers and others with not only organizing their office space, but also their home space. And I think you’re going to make a great difference and help them lower their stress. Thank you.
[00:35:49.290] – Susie Marsh
Great. Thank you for having me.
[00:35:51.180] – Laura Cicholski
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Susie Marsh, LBSW is the owner of Susie’s Organization Solutions LLC and former co-owner of Moxie Life Organizing, LLC. She is a 14+ year veteran of the organizing & productivity industry as well as a licensed social worker for 30+ years in the mental health system of Kent County. Susie is an active Golden Circle member of NAPO National as well as a residential specialist Susie also is an active member of NAPO Michigan where she served 4 years as Vice President and volunteer coordinator. She currently is the West Michigan Liaison. Susie is also a member of the Caregiver Resource Network and Institute for Challenging Disorganization. She has been featured in Senior Perspective magazine, GR Business Journal, Fox17 and on the team of two episodes of season 7 of A& E’s “Hoarders:Family Secrets”. Susie helps clients to “Eliminate the chaos and clutter in their lives!”
NAPO member (since 2008) / NAPO MI Chapter member (since 2013)
NAPO MI VP (2016-2020)
ICD member- 10 years
Caregiver Resource Network
Gun Lake Business Association
Website and Contact Page