by Edie Moser
Spring has finally arrived in the region and with that comes the urge to purge, organize, clear and cleanse clutter from our winter-weary living and working spaces. With the clever business title of Rose Knows Where It Goes, which was founded in 2010, Rose Prendergast Miller has a rare approach to organization. It goes beyond putting things where they belong, but rather, according to the uniqueness of the individual to whom the items belong. She is a local treasure, having grown up in Hunterdon County, NJ and now living in Bucks County, PA. Her work has gotten national visibility and she has won awards for her home organization and staging skills and she has been featured on several television and radio programs. Read on to see what Rose said about how to stay clean this season:
How did you get started in the space organization field?
I have always been passionate about time management, planning, de-cluttering and organizing, so essentially after my boys were born I turned my love of organizing into Rose Knows Where It Goes, sharing my wealth of knowledge by coaching clients through the decluttering process and getting to the root of the clutter once and for all. My teaching degree certainly comes into play. As soon as I can hone in on my client’s learning style I am able to create effortless sustainable solutions to keep them organized. I am devoted to helping people create a lifestyle that is more manageable, joyously livable with no more house and life of regret.
Being an entrepreneurial business owner also gave me a more manageable schedule to be present as a wife and mom. Prioritizing what matters the most is key to time management, so I always go back to who and why I am making certain commitments on my calendar or in my life.
Were you a messy kiddo?
Yes, I was a messy disorganized kiddo. Oh boy, my bedroom looked like a bomb went off! I do believe this helps me truly understand my clients and is all a part of the journey. As I went through life I became the opposite, since my coping skill to eliminate stress was to be highly organized with easy sustainable solutions in place. Also, many of my jobs and people paved the way, such as being a conference coordinator for J&J, teaching, and being married to my husband Jon who is highly organized, neat and tidy. All of these set me up for tremendous success.
Is organization a learned skill?
So yes, 100% organization is a learned skill, though one that comes naturally to some. It also has a lot to do with learning style. If you are a creative thinker who is more right-brained; a visual learner, you can tend to pile and struggle with organization, along with executing daily mundane tasks and staying focused on them. An analytical left- brain person must have organized spaces and they tend to file and have less clutter.
Knowing your worth, possessing strong emotional intelligence and clear understanding of what matters the most is important. Having a strong sense of worth is the key to life. No perfect outfit will make you feel beautiful if you do not believe you already are.
Many times, if your house is cluttered so is your mind. If you declutter your unloved stuff you can uncover your true self. When you let go of the clutter that does not matter, you discover the things that truly do. More often than not, the root of clutter is procrastinating, the cost of clutter is quite vast. It costs time, money and our mental wellbeing. Moreover, being organized is not about being perfect. It is about customizing your life to work for you, progress and not perfection. One system that works for you may not work for another, so do not compare your life to others, as that is a joy killer.
Almost done after we add new window treatments & new art! #sundayfunday #declutter #staginghomes #lessismore #stagingsells #roomdesign #realestate #realtors #professionalorganizer #homestager @roseknowswhereitgoes #hunterdoncounty #westamwell #lambertville #delawarerivertowns #newjersey #gardenstate If it does not matter get rid of it. #donate #recycle #shopyourhome #repurpose
Do you work with those referred to as ‘hoarders’?
I do work with people who are chronically disorganized. I do not use the word hoarder as we are not what we struggle with. For example, if one has cancer we don’t call them cancerous or if one has autism some prefer not to be called autistic. When people hoard there are so many underlying factors, such as OCD ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, or a tragic event. There is also a large struggle with executive function, so the first thing is keeping them out of defensive mode, so we discuss the solutions and not the diagnosis.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The most complex part can be what I also love, which is the emotional piece in having clients taking ownership to letting go of their internal and external stuff. Many times, a cluttered house can also be a sign of a cluttered mind of emotional keeps that tend to block us, and we don’t even realize it. More often than not I can be an accountability coach as some clients don’t always need advice. Sometimes they just need a hand to hold, an ear to listen and a heart to understand them.
So, without a doubt I truly believe I was born to help and heal. It is beyond rewarding to help clients create a positive internal dialog, an external environment they love and find to be productive, by positively coaching them through letting go of what no longer serves them and helping them see their best authentic self.
Once our space is more in order, how do we maintain it rather than letting things re-accumulate and clutter again?
Being honest with yourself about why you keep what you do is the first step. If you have a closet of ‘I may fit into that someday’, or keep pieces handed down from loved ones that have passed that we do not love, only creates a house of regret. Love yourself enough to let go of what does not serve you. You cannot reach for our best self with a handful of yesterday’s stuff or someone else’s, for that matter. If your thought is to put it in the basement, garage or attic, please rethink if you are just procrastinating and not making the choice to let it go.
You mentioned working with Menzfit.org. Please tell us about the organization.
Menzfit is my current drive. I am collecting men’s accessories, ties, belts, new socks etc. and only accessories currently. The movement is to empower low-income men to make a positive and lasting impact in their lives, by providing professional clothing, career development and financial literacy services. The organization is breaking the cycle of poverty one suit at a time.
Rose has a few pointers to get in the Spring Cleaning Spirit
The goal of spring clearing is to ultimately reduce the demand and cost of your clutter, and simplify, along with shifting habits that lead to the consumption, accumulation and letting go of what no longer serves you. She said to get started simplify, purge and donate and make a plan.
“Create a list, timeline and allocate enough time and schedule dates to de-clutter. Have a plan for your trash and donations, rent a dumpster and a place to drop off your donations or schedule a pickup, keep in mind most local charities are at least 3 weeks out.”