Our Village: Erin and Organizing Your Home

You may have noticed the gradual rebranding of the Fit4Mom franchise, which is exciting in so many ways, but most specifically with regards to the direction we are heading with it. We are becoming "Our Village: Fit4Mom of Bellevue", and this is also our goal. Around the world, the culture of motherhood is always based on the concept of " a village" of mothers, children, fathers, and everyone living in around one another, where everyone participates and aids everyone else as best they can. This leads to less stress on parents as they try to raise their children properly and keep up with their daily responsibilities. Our westernized culture has shifted us away from this style of living, thereby placing more stress and hardships on parents as they try to do it all, sometimes without any family around to help in providing guidance or free babysitting!

We aim to change this and make a new village, and no we aren't moving your family to the house down the street! We want to have Fit4Mom be the kickoff point to the village you've always wanted, with companionship for yourself and your children, but in addition, resources, people, knowledge and assistance to help your life run more smoothly as a mother, the way it should at its most basic.

Each week we will be featuring a new mom, one of you, and her story. Maybe she will share tips on raising multiples, on cooking for a large family, on real estate tips, on managing family finances, on education and so many more possibilities as we pick the brains of YOU, our wonderful, talented and knowledgeable members. Please email us at Erinhoug@fit4mom.com or lagallow@gmail.com if you have an idea to contribute! This week we start off with Erin Houg, our fearless amazing leader and her additional helpful tips not just about being healthy, but having a healthy level of organization and order to your home and life, and how to achieve this just a little at a time. Read on!

->Many of us know your amazing history as a Jane-of-all-trades working in a variety of jobs thus far. What do you feel you have gained either overall or as specific skills or knowledge from some or all of these jobs that you find valuable today?

It is true. I have had just about every job under the sun. I think the one thing I didn't realize till I moved to DC was that I am good at administration. I have what I call an Admin Brain. My brain thrives in scheduling, organizing, really anything admin related. I don't think I really embraced that part of me until Brian and I moved to Washington, DC. In DC it SHINED! My organizational skills and scheduling skills might be the one thing that really keeps my house running like a well-oiled machine. I am ORGANIZED and that keeps my family organized. It just makes life easier knowing when and where to find something! Here is the problem with being organized. It doesn't happen overnight and it is a process to GET organized if you aren't already! BUT the effort pays off! There is something about being organized that makes being a mom a little bit easier. And it has been so beneficial for my business. Being a "stay at home mom" and owning/running a company is hard! But it would be a thousand times harder if I weren't organized! I would like to start another company to assist people in getting more organized!

- Could you share what tips or tricks from one of those trades that you believe we might find helpful in our day to day lives?

Back to the organizing side of me. People come to me all the time and say "My whole house needs an overhaul!" That is hard to accomplish without a plan. First, talk with your spouse and set up a budget for organizing. A budget?! For what? For many trips to Target and The Container Store (as I wipe drool from my face)... You are more than likely going to need to invest in some items to get, and KEEP, you more organized. I suggest setting a budget. There are too many cool things that you will NEED to have, ahem The Container Store, in the moment. Setting a budget before you start lets you know you limits. So yes you might need some magazine storage but is having the super cute printed holders worth a bit more in your budget than a plain colored version? That is why you set a budget. Figure out your end goal and stick with your budget. Second, lay out a plan. If you are moving around closets and rooms, know where everything is headed. Don't just start in the middle and be left with a whole closet worth of stuff and have no home for it. Because if it doesn't have a home it will create a giant pile. The one thing you are trying to get away from! Third, start small. One closet at at a time. One drawer at a time. Something that will make you feel accomplished but that won't take all day. If you are overhauling a closet, take inventory first. What is staying in the closet? What needs a new storage solution? Start there before you start ripping stuff out of the closet. Set a budget, have a plan and start small.

Pick her brain for more tips the next time you see her at class!

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