I call 2002 my “terrible twos.” My husband lost his job as an attorney at a law firm, my dear father died of heart disease, I underwent a double mastectomy AND my four-year-old son was diagnosed with ADHD, Executive Dysfunction and many learning issues. This was enough to put anyone in the fetal position! But it got worse. Four months after my surgery, the not-for-profit agency I led as Executive Director for seven years folded. My husband was now struggling to make it as a lawyer on his own. I was desperate to come up with a new job that would afford me the flexibility that would allow me to take care of all my health issues, my son’s and support us while my husband built his practice.
When my son was diagnosed, I immersed myself in research. I devoured books and magazines, scoured countless websites and attended every conference, and seminar I could. I wanted to learn all I could to help him manage and organize his tangled-up world. I redid my house top to bottom to accommodate his needs. I soon realized that I could use my newfound expertise as the basis to launch the next chapter in my professional life. Parents were coming to me in droves for special needs education as well as ways to organize their and their children’s environment. Out of that realization, I launched Order Out of Chaos with a mission to provide organizing services to the chronically disorganized as well as individuals with organizing and time challenges.
As the years have passed, my business has grown beyond my wildest imagination. Since its inception, I have worked with several hundred families, students, and individuals with a variety of organizational challenges ranging from the merely clutter-filled and overwhelmed to individuals with severe hoarding behaviors. I have also expanded my business by developing my first product – a new Academic Planner – that teaches middle and high schoolers time management. Introduced last year, it is now sold on my website, Amazon.com and regional stores. Although the planner started as a necessity for my student clients, it benefits even the most able learner!
I have been profiled in national media including ADDitude Magazine, More Magazine and Better Television as an organizing expert. I am a nationally recognized speaker on special needs and organization. I have also appeared as an organizational expert on TLC’s hit show “Hoarding: Buried Alive” and the Cooking Channel’s “Stuffed: Food Hoarders.”
But the most rewarding aspect of my business is that I have become a champion of special needs students. Whether it is developing products that match their academic needs or presenting one of my many workshops to parents; being able to provide resources, guidance, comfort and information to this hungry population keeps my passion for my business going.
And to think, it all started with my son!