Tiddy Boogaloo?

So, I arrive at a client’s today and she greets me with, “Amber? From the Tiddy Boogaloo?” Obviously, I’m confused.

In Arizona, there are gated communities galore. Apparently when I gave my business name to the gate guard, he did NOT hear The Tidy Bungalow.

I usually say, “The Tidy Bungalow. As in neat and clean, not small and cute,” as so many have heard Tiny, not Tidy.

But Tiddy? And Boogaloo? Well, that’s a new one.

#thetiddyboogaloo #areyouserious #enunciationiskey #guessimumbled 

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Behind the scenes of Tidying Up on Netflix

The behind the scenes you didn’t see on Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? Certified KonMari Consultants! While the families did a great deal of work, they were supported each step of the way by those trained in the KonMari method.

And, while there is only one Marie Kondo and she probably won’t be in your home any time soon (sorry!), there are over 200 Certified KonMari Consultants around the world who are happy to support you side-by-side in your tidying festival.

Is there a Certified KonMari Consultant near you? Visit www.konmari.com/pages/consultants!

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'Tis the season for...way too many address labels!

‘Tis the season when all of the nonprofit organizations you have ever supported start mailing you end-of-year appeals. This is a fantastic time to give to your favorite charity but sometimes enough is enough.

I reached out to Jarrett, the Nonprofit Nerd (@nonprofit_nerd), at The Rayvan Group to share some wisdom. Here's the inside info since a girl can only use so many address labels a year...

Did you know you can contact the organization and request to customize the number of times they contact you? That's right - you can request they ONLY send you a letter 1-2 times per year or ONLY send you emails.

That's a win-win for the organization AND for you because you won't be tossing away (or recycling) mailings and they won't be spending money on postage.

Contact (call or email) the nonprofits that send you mail and:

1. Request they update their donor database record to ONLY mail you when you want.

Note: SNOWBIRDS - make sure you share with them the months you’re in your AZ home and the months you're in your summer home. That way their database can reflect that change, too.

2. Let them know if you'll be making a donation this year and if you know the dollar amount, feel free to share that with them during the call.

3. Update your email records with them and ask they start emailing you instead of sending mail (to help them save on postage).

Thanks for supporting all the work nonprofits do!

Amber Ehrlich & Jarrett Ransom

#thetidybungalow #declutter #organize#createjoyfulspace #keepwhatyoulove #soulgood#sparkjoy 
#konmari #konmarimethod #organizetheworld#fengshui #phoenix #arizona
#nonprofitnerd #therayvangroup #jarrettransom#nonprofit #fundraising #makeadifference #charity #boardmemember #npo #bethechange #askmeanything #raisemoney

-photo credit: Curmudgeonly Ways


I couldn't have said it better...

The to-do list. It’s never ending and I swear I add at least 10 things for every one thing I cross off. They tend to be scattered between email, post-it notes, starred items in my planner, on that hand out from a meeting and occasionally in an iPhone reminder I’m snoozing for the millionth time.

But, no more! You know where my to-do list has been for a while now? ALL IN ONE PLACE. The best part? That one place IS NOT MY HEAD!!!

The system works. I’ve tried it. My clients have tried it. It’s saving people time AND sanity.

Here’s what Deborah had to say. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

"I needed to be more organized at my desk and to do lists, phone calls, emails, etc. I had piles of notes and paper and was overwhelmed by what to do with it and how to not lose track.

If you want some serious help getting organized and making work flow much more easily, get Amber to help you.

For the first time in years, my desk is clean and I’m not worrying about what I forgot or where I put that piece of paper with the phone number on it. WOO HOO!!!"

-Deborah Johnson, Principal, High-Stakes Communication

You owe it to yourself to have a more peaceful mind. Call me. 602 885.5588. Schedule a Tidy To-Do Lesson. Save yourself time AND sanity.



Happy Birthday, Little Bungalow!

The sun has set and my heart is full. Today I reveled in the fact my dream has been alive for one year. It was 365 days ago, a few days into my 'Tidying Festival' a la The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, that I "went on a Google" as I say. If I was going to KonMari my home, I had to know as much as I could. There was more than the book, right? I mean, what is the internet for if not to go down giant black holes of hyperlink upon hyperlink.

It didn't take long before I clicked through every page of Marie Kondo's website. What? I can  BECOME A KONMARI CONSULTANT? What is this magic? Seriously? People do this FOR A LIVING? I could tidy another closet, maybe ten, maybe a million? Sign me up!

Then came a bit of a reality check. Oh, to go to this seminar, to see and hear from Mari Kondo herself, I have to KonMari my whole home IN THE NEXT 10 DAYS?!? AND SUBMIT PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE?

There's never been anything more motivating in my life than a deadline. From the time I was little, I would procrastinate then cram everything into the wee hours of the morning. My mom would go to bed saying, "these were your choices." Soooooo not what I wanted to hear, but so, so true. Apparently, I had been preparing to meet a crazy deadline like this my whole life...

I was determined. I was going to make this happen. But first, since I determined right then and there this would be my path in life, I had to take the first step for my didn't-even-exist-yet business...register a website. Thank you, internet gods for saving www.thetidybungalow.com just for me!

I didn't hem or haw about my business name. The Tidy Bungalow was the only thing it could be! Tidy since it's so key to the KonMari Method and Bungalow because, well, I have this love affair with MY bungalow. It was as natural as naming my favorite stuffed animal, Blue Bear, because he was blue and a bear. Welcome to my logical creativity...

There have been so many adventures, and yes, so much to celebrate over the past year. But, for now, I am going to enjoy the last few hours of The Tidy Bungalow's first birthday.

Cheers, Amber

PS. This also happens to be Happy's 18th birthday. She's my first cat and oh my, how I love her.

It's not what I do. It's who I am.

When I say I'm a professional organizer, it really doesn't say a darn thing about what I do. So, here's a long, emotional post not really about what I do but who I am.

In a professional organizer group I'm in, someone asked, "Does anyone have any tips or resources for organizing with (older) ladies dealing with the death of their husbands? "

Here's what I shared with her. Hopefully, it will give some insight into my day-to-day and how lucky I am to have found my purpose and to be able to live it every day.

"Not all organizers are ready to go to this emotional place, and that's ok. It's simply not who we all are. If it's horribly uncomfortable, find another organizer in your area you really like and trust and share business. I actually know an organizer who really prefers to not talk with her clients much. But, if you are a person who can float in the deep abyss of emotions, be yourself and help these women.

This seems to be my specialty, taking care of people while I happen to be an organizer. They want to be heard and their feelings validated. They are soooooo tired of, "Everything will be ok. Time heals all wounds. Just think about the happy times. He lived a long life."

I had a client who lost both of her parents. One day she looked at me and said, "I'm just in a shit mood today." I told her that sounded pretty darn reasonable. She kept apologizing and I let her know I knew she wasn't mad at me, she was just pissed off that her parents were gone. She was having an angry kind of day. I said, "I'm pretty sure I'm going to really damn angry at the world too when I lose my parents." She really appreciated the validation of her "negative" emotions.

Sometimes life just hurts. And it's ok to feel all of those emotions and let people know you will be there for them no matter what. It's not exactly an unconditional love kind of relationship with a client, it's unconditional acceptance and support.

I also spoke with a woman yesterday whose husband is terminal. It was an introductory call, so I'm not sure how long he has, but I can tell she is preparing herself for his death. When I told her, "My process will take care of the stuff, I will take care of YOU. My whole job is to support and take care of you," she broke down. She cried and couldn't speak for a minute or two. And, I let her. I let that horrible silence be there. And then I said, "Oh, Kim, you have so much to take care of right now. Let me take some of that for you."

I can't wait to meet her next week for her consultation. Of course, it's lovely to have a new client but what I really love is that she is going to be cared for. Her life is still going to be pure hell most of the time, but there will be a few moments that it feels lighter. In a few years, she'll look back and think of how things were so stressful and painful but she'll remember there was this woman who came into her home and brought a little light and we laughed about absurd things, a woman who got tears in her eyes whenever she did and her day was just that little bit better.

This is what we professional organizers do and it's a privilege."

Twelve seconds to a more tidy closet

If you have 12 seconds and want to make a quick and easy change in your home today, you can create a more tidy closet.

Only 12 seconds? Yes. That’s it.

So, I’m curious. Do you typically keep unused hangers in your closet, the laundry room perhaps somewhere else?

Oh, you are a closet keeper? Now is the time to step into your closet and remove every single unused hanger. If it isn’t holding an item of clothing, it needs to be taken to the laundry room. Now. Right now.

Your closet will instantly appear to have more room. And, when it’s time to do laundry, you’ll have what you need at hand.

Better yet, outsource the job! If you do the laundry in your home, ask your partner and/or kids to be in charge of hanger collection. It’s a simple chore for any age.

As promised, twelve seconds and voila!


Tell me the story of...

When working with my clients, the time is filled with stories. My clients are my teachers just as much as I am theirs. Our conversations range from serious to hilarious. Some of my favorites begin when I say, “Tell me the story of…”

Here goes…

First, a little background. Being a purist, my closet is devoted to clothes. Just clean clothes. No shoes, no storage, just clothes. Turns out, I’m pretty rare. People keep all sorts of stuff in their closets, some out of storage necessity and some because where the heck else would is all go? Since the closet is such a personal space, I often find meaningful things as we are removing everything to make the giant clothes mountain.

Recently I came across something completely unexpected. Picture this: a Harkins Theatre cup half full of nuts. A variety of nuts, still in their shells. Not sure what to make of it, I reach for my old standby, “What’s the story of these nuts?”

I received the sweetest answer. “Those are a Czech Christmas tradition.”

It made perfect sense why they were in the closet. They were gifts of an incredibly personal nature. Year by year, a few had been added and it simply became where they lived.

What’s YOUR family Christmas tradition? Tell me your story!


Take 15 minutes to start your year off healthy and prepared

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to go through your medicine cabinet. Take everything out and check the expiration date or every bottle, box, and tube. If it’s expired, dispose of it properly.

The FDA advises to mix expired/unused prescriptions and medical products with something undesirable such as used coffee grounds, cat litter or dirt. Place everything in a container, seal and dispose of it in the trash.

As you put everything back into the cabinet, consider grouping like-items such as cough and cold, allergies, wound care, etc. Take note of anything you need to replace. If you discarded something that still had quite a bit left, buy a smaller amount this time around.

Wishing you, your family and your friends a healthy 2018. For those times you aren't feeling so well though, I'm glad everything you need will be close at hand.



After quite the overhaul. Not only is everything safely inside the expiration dates but organized by ailment.

After quite the overhaul. Not only is everything safely inside the expiration dates but organized by ailment.