About Melissa Schmalenberger

Posts by Melissa Schmalenberger:


Boxing Up A Life

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on August 17, 2014 in Family, life, Moms |

As I prepare to pack up my middle son and send him on his way to college 250 miles away, I am reminded by some advice a friend of mine gave me when I did this two years ago, if I was to cry, it could only be tears of pride and joy. I am trying my hardest but it is not working as well this time around. The tears are being shed in greater frequency and I have taken to wearing my sunglasses in the house so nobody sees my tear stained face. I have warned my son that I will be crying, but it is only because I am happy for him. Please don’t get me wrong, I am so happy for the adventure that he has lying before him. I am so proud of the young man that he has become. However I am grieving the change of our family dynamic. I remind myself that when I moved from home I moved 370 miles away, 250 miles is nothing! But sometimes I wish he was going to school over a bridge and only 5 miles away.


I get that my son is alive and healthy and not going off to war and that I am lucky and that this is what we raise our children for. But it is still not easy. There still is a grieving process that we need to go through. Nobody explains this to you. Nobody has written the book, “What to Expect When Your Child Moves Away.” Nobody prepared me for this. When I sent my oldest away, I was blissfully naïve. I was excited for him and his new adventure. But when I got home I had to close his bedroom door as each time I passed his room it reminded me of his absence.


But you may wonder what this all has to do with organizing? You see, I not only pack them up for college but I also pack up their rooms. I know, I am probably a crazy person. But what I have learned from my clients is that if I don’t do it now, I may never get around to it. It is like ripping a band aid off. I just want to do it and be done. So we are going through every drawer and every nook and cranny and cleaning his room and packing everything up. We vacuum and wash walls. Everything goes into four different piles.


1. Take to college: This contains all of his clothes he wears or intends to wear again. He has books that he wants to keep as reference. Small mementos and decorations like his mini zen garden and his toilet coffee cup.


2. Donate: Clothing that no longer fits or interests him. He was able to purge most of his graphic t-shirts with logos on it. A belt that no longer fits is going to be taken to the consignment clothing place.


3. Garbage: Sometimes there is no salvaging something and it needs to go. When we moved his bed from one area of the room to the other we found a pack of gum under his bed from our dog that we put to sleep in March. He would sneak in my purse and grab my gum and snack on it. We all paused for a moment of silence as we saw that pack of chewed up gum.


4. Save for your future life: This is a large rubber maid tote that I will store for him for when he lands in a permanent place. He has placed in here the t-shirts of his high school that mean something to him. His graduation party guest book. I have limited this to one large tote. I am hopeful that we don’t need to expand this.


It is important to sort this stuff now before they leave home. Why you may ask? Well we come to resent the room and the clutter. Most teenagers have messy rooms. I am not wanting to go in and clean and organize once they are gone. I don’t want to close the door and ignore the space. This is a project for us to do together. If I wait for some school break it will be a chore and not exciting. He will want to hang with his friends not clean his room. And I do not want to be that mom who nags. I have been that organizer who has helped parents organize the young adult’s room who has left home. It is very difficult. Most of the room is in a pile called “ask the young adult” and we don’t get much done. By doing it now, they are excited for their new adventure and this is not seen as a chore.


Added to my anxiety is the fact that he has a chronic disease that he needs to give himself an injection every two weeks. He has to line up the delivery of this drug and make sure that it is stored properly. He has all the numbers to call and line this up, but part of me wants to visit every two weeks and hand him the drug to inject.


His bedroom is now our first guest room. I will not paint the walls and I will leave the guitars hanging up but he has sold his drum set. The dresser is empty. The closet is void of his clothes. The room is more spacious now that the drums are gone. The sheets will be washed and clean for our first guest to arrive. Extra bedding will be placed in the closet as well as a guest basket with towels and toiletries.


My kids all know that when they move out there is no coming back. They are more than prepared for life and I am proud of them. I keep on chanting, ”only tears of pride and joy….only tears of pride and joy.”  So if you pass me in the grocery store in the next few weeks, I will probably still be wearing my sunglasses, but please don’t judge as I am a work in progress.


To Joyful, Organized Living,


MS. Simplicity


Serving the Fargo-Moorhead area as well as North Dakota and South Dakota. Also seeking new representatives for Clever Container in all areas of the country.

Tags: , , , , ,


Lack Of Time Getting In Your Way?

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on August 12, 2014 in Family, life, Moms |

There is a proven fact out there that we all have the same 24 hours a day in a seven day week. This is where it becomes interesting, we all have the choice to decide what to do in those 24 hours. My biggest pet peeve, and I mean biggest, is hearing people say they [...]

Tags: , , ,


To Multitask Or Not Multitask That Is The Question

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on August 4, 2014 in Family, life, Moms |

“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.” Steve Uzzell   As women, we pride ourselves with being able to do a million things at once, but can we really? It seems to me that we have been sold a bunch of lies when we were told that [...]

Tags: , , , , ,


Would You Buy This Again?

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on July 29, 2014 in Family, life, Moms, money |

The reasons that we have clutter varies by person to person. Just like the ability to get rid of it varies from person to person. For some it is easy and they can rid themselves of sentimental items without a blink of an eye. My husband could donate my wedding dress with no problems but if I [...]

Tags: , , ,


Dorm Room Packing Essentials

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on July 22, 2014 in Family, Moms |

  I have reached that time that another child is about to leave the nest. This child going is much harder than the previous one….because I know how I will feel afterward. With my oldest I was excited and told by a friend to only cry tears of pride and joy. And I did. But [...]

Tags: , , ,


What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized |

I had an interesting conversation with a family friend last week after she pointed out that I “made” my son carry my supplies to my car for an organizing party. She told me that he was mad at me and that I should be able to do it myself. What I saw and heard was my son sitting in [...]

Tags: , ,


Life Will Start When My To-Do List Is Done

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on July 8, 2014 in Family, life, Moms |

For the last three months I have had one long to-do list. It seems like every single day I needed to work through it just to get to the next day. If I skip a day nobody did it for me. It lands right on me and my perfectionistic ways. I know exactly when it [...]

Tags: , , , ,


Organize Those Darn Kids

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on July 1, 2014 in Uncategorized |

There is lots of finger pointing when I work with clients. Mostly the mess in the house is blamed on children. I would agree that children create about 85% of the clutter in our homes. But how we deal with the clutter is 100% our responsibility. Children are not born to organize. Well, maybe a [...]

Tags: , , ,


It’s In The Bag

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on June 24, 2014 in Holidays, life, Moms |

I don’t know if you are like me, but I can not wrap a gift to save my life. Every holiday when I need to wrap a gift I hand the gift to MR. Simplicity and he takes it and makes the perfect cuts so that he doesn’t have that lop sided section that I [...]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Simple In Seattle

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on June 17, 2014 in Uncategorized |

One of my favorite places to visit and just relax is Seattle. I have had the opportunity to visit nine times since I started visiting in the fall of 2010. I have read the guide books, I have talked to the locals and I have experienced most of the ”touristy” things to do. So here is my simplified [...]

Tags: , ,

Copyright © 2010-2014 MS. Simplicity All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.0.3, from BuyNowShop.com.