What’s Helena up to? October 27, 2012

DIY Personal Organizer

Creating a Life that Works for You


I hope you are having a beautiful weekend and that you’re enjoying the preparations for a fun treat-or-trick. If you are anything like me, you wait until the very last minute possible to have your home taken over by pumpkins, scary faces and sticky spiders. I have three boys and of course they LOVE Halloween time, so I try to find a happy middle for all of us.

As I’m the one in charge of decorating the house, buying the candy and Addie is the one who carves the pumpkins with the boys. We enjoy having the time to spend with the kids creating daily memories and if feels good not to be overwhelmed and be able to be present.


diy personal organizer Helena Alkhas Professional Organizer San Diego

Being available for what matters most, creating a life that works for you.


And as I mention “overwhelm” and “being present”…

Going back to summer time, what some of you may know is that my husband had a knee surgery and that one of our boys got sick. It was a tough time for me to go through seeing Addie recovering and to see our son in pain, going through so many tests and medical appointments. I got scared, very overwhelmed and I decided to push the pause button and review my schedule, my routines and most importantly my priorities. I also felt quite overwhelmed having to do so much alone since Addie is my right arm and great helper around the house.

One of the biggest steps in being organized – and that’s a pillar on my work with my clients – is to be clear on what is important to us, to know where our hearts live and how we want our lives to be. And with that in mind, we set forth to establish what needs to get done first to accomplish that goal. Knowing my priorities helped me create a new place to be and to create a life that works for me at this time in my life.

So, if you too are feeling overwhelmed and looking for a way to change the pace in your life and create more meaningful times with yourself and your loved ones, what can you do?

  1. Accept what is – I believe this is the most challenging part of any change in our lives because as long as we don’t deeply accept “what is”, as long as we don’t surrender to what is in front of us in bold colors, we will resist and honestly, I believe that in life resistance is futile. I believe that until we give up resistance no change can happen because the focus of our attention isn’t on what can be done, but on what is “wrong”.
  2. Review what is in place – Identify what is working first because as we say, “if ain’t broken, don’t fix it”! One of my first organizing readings was Julie Morgenstern’s “Organizing from the Inside Out” and that’s an advice she gives for organizing that I apply in my projects but that I also started paying attention when it comes to my daily life. I focus first on what is good and then I look for what’s not working to see how I can change it. For example, I was scheduling clients 4-5 days a week and that wasn’t working anymore for me and my family, so now I have a new scheduling routine and I created ways of working from home as a virtual assistant. Another example, instead of having the house chores fit in my daily schedule I now have one full day just dedicated to the house and with that out-of-the-way I can fully focus on my family, my work and my learning activities.
  3. Commit to change – One of my biggest personal challenges is to incorporate time for myself in my daily routine and as we all know exercising, eating well and having time for spiritual activities not only makes us healthier, but also happier. And I want that! :-) So, I committed to stop for lunch daily, to go twice for a 15 minute walk and to go back to my spiritual readings instead of … (you name it!). In less than 2 weeks I felt better, my sleep was sounder and I find myself calmer and yes, happier!
  4. We are never done – I believe one of our biggest fears is that our decisions are final, almost like a sentence. But you and I know that they aren’t, that life goes on and that we’re free to review and re-start. I am deeply blessed (lucky or whatever you want to call it) to have an amazing family and strong friendships that are supportive and generous with their time and hearts, and in this moment of change they were the ones who reminded me that “Helena, you too can stop”. And, it’s so true if we just allow ourselves to do it, because we are never done.

My biggest take away is that when I listen to my heart and am clear on what matters most, all falls into place – the right place!

I hope you use this wonderful time of the year to see what’s working for you and what’s not, to be generous with yourself and make the changes you think will bring back your joy, your time to rest, your time to connect with your loved ones and with yourself.

I look forward to hear from you and to learn how you are making the changes you want in your life!

Have a fabulous week.

Much joy,


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    • says

      Hazel, thank you for coming by!
      I am happy to see months have passed since the many changes I’ve implemented as a DIY personal organizer and that I’m steady in my efforts to create a life that works for us! It also makes me happy that you use these steps and how they build on each other. Have a great weekend!
      Helena Alkhas recently posted..Fall in Love with Your Life Again

  1. says

    Love that picture! Precious! I really appreciated your first step…Accept What Is. That requires a moment to stop and be thankful for “what is” – the good and the bad and the challenging and the simple or complex! Great post!

  2. says

    On the way to coaching greatness we have to pay attention to our own needs and values. I applaud you taking this courageous stance on what is most important to you. What a model for the overstretched and over committed! You see the connection between strong personal foundation and being the best coach you can be.
    Best, Cam

    • says

      Thank you for all your support and for the wonderful experience through Coach Approach, Cam. I’m looking forward to a nice end of the year, with much love, family, quiet time and be recharged for a brand new year.

    • says

      Nancy, thank you so much for your comment. I have to agree that it can be an overwhelming thought when we think “never ever done?”, but as you say I find more comfort than worries about being able to pause, put it down and come back to a project, to a decision when I’m ready for it, when I feel the time is right. The most important part is how it makes us feel as I believe feeling well is a priority to each of us.

  3. says

    Helena- What a truly lovely post! I cannot take my eyes off the gorgeous photo of your beautiful family. The joy, love, and fun come shining through. While all of the points you make are apt, #4 speaks to me especially so. Opportunity is something we can activate at any point..the next day, the next hour, the next minute. Taking time to pause, appreciate, and plan along the way are essential. We will never finish the lists of to dos or the possibilities that await us. So enjoying that journey and knowing our limits, and perhaps stretching them at times are all part of the wonderful life journey.

    • says

      Dear Linda,
      thank you for your generosity and for coming by.
      It’s good to be in a new place where I can look at what is and learn from it. Understanding that we can re-start where we left is so liberating and gives us so much room to enjoy what is now.
      Thanks again!


  4. says

    Fabulous post, Helena! All points are spot on. For me, numbers 3 and 4 resonate the loudest and go hand in hand. We have to make the effort to commit to changes or they won’t happen. It’s also good to know that life is constantly evolving and that we can re-fashion it whenever we want. That however, requires the commitment mentioned in number 3. Life is what we make it. Thank you for sharing!

    • says

      thank you so much for coming over to the blog!
      It’s so true how we are the “weavers” of our story and how being committed to do it will shape our days.
      I am happy to see that the learnings from my personal experience resonate with you. It’s quite a motivation to keep sharing!

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