Nancy VorsangerToday I’m super excited to introduce you to simplify 101’s newest contributor, Nancy Vorsanger! If you’ve taken simplify 101’s online classes, then you probably recognize Nancy and know her as NancyV. Nancy has taken many of simplify 101’s online classes, and she is now one of our community leaders. Best yet, she is in the process of launching her own professional organizing business! (Woohoo!) So I’m super excited to have Nancy contributing to the simplify 101 blog.  Here is Nancy’s get-to-know-you interview. 

What topic will you be blogging about at simplify 101 and why is that topic important to you?

My topic is The Journey (Back) to Organizing. For most of my life I’ve been very organized, but I did experience a pretty disorganized stretch a few years ago. So I’ll be writing about issues that I faced, how I dug myself out of the clutter that overwhelmed me, and lessons I’ve learned along the way. I think that my experience helps me better understand the issues other people face in their own organizing journeys.

How did I become disorganized, you ask? Well, in in a short period I moved from a one-bedroom apartment to a much bigger house (twice), got married (to a man who does not share my love of uncluttered spaces), became a stepmother, and had two babies, one of whom barely slept for more than two years. All of this was great (except for the sleeplessness!), but it was a lot to adjust to. Along the way, I let most of my organizing systems slide.

I used the workshops at simplify101 to get back on track. I loved the content, and I also loved the forums. The accountability, camaraderie, and advice were great! (I’m still participating, as one of the community leaders.)

How do you spend your time when you’re not blogging?

For my whole working life, I’ve been a writer and editor, mostly for nonprofit groups. But I’m about to start something new: my own home organizing business! It’s very exciting, but also a little scary.

I live in suburban New Jersey with my wonderful husband. We have two girls, ages 12 and 17, and a nine-year-old boy. I wish I could say that I had exciting hobbies or interests, but I don’t. I spend too much time on the Internet, and I must constantly fight the temptation to play online word games.

What areas of your life have you simplified, and how did you do it?

I have to echo Lauren on this: simplifying my life by having less stuff has made the most difference. I think this is a really big issue, with philosophical and environmental aspects, but it also has a huge practical impact. It saves money, of course, but it also saves me so much time, energy, and anxiety.

I’m also always on the lookout for ways to do things more efficiently and make my life easier. For instance, at some point I figured out that much of our laundry doesn’t need folding or even sorting. It’s so much quicker to put a finished load away now! I think about where I use things—so now the stain remover is near the hamper, not the washing machine. I arranged my spices in alphabetical order on a turntable, so I can find what I need fast. Little things like that really add up!

If you received an extra hour today, how would you spend it?

I would make a big cup of coffee and read a stack of magazines.

As a child were you messy, tidy, or somewhere in between?

I was always pretty tidy, except for a brief period during my teenage years, when I went through that classic “But I like my room to be messy” phase.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to being organized?

Paperwork has always been hardest for me. I really don’t like dealing with it, and in the past I set up overcomplicated systems. So that’s another area of life I’ve simplified! The tickler file, which the paper clutter class introduced me to, was also a big help. So was moving my file cabinet. Now I can file without getting up from my desk, which is where I read my papers. But the biggest help has been using my computer and, more recently, my smartphone to handle things I used to do with physical paper. It feels much less burdensome to me now.

Tell us something on your bucket list.

I want to live in Hawaii for a year. Actually, I want to live there forever but I don’t think I could be so far from my family for long.

What’s your favorite social media and why?

I am really behind on social media—I need to drag myself into the twenty-first century! The exception is Pinterest, which I love.

Tell us five random fun facts about you.

  • I can’t whistle.
  • My favorite colors are hot pink, fuchsia, and magenta. I’m not always sure which is which, but I love them all.
  • I used to live a block from the diner on Seinfeld.
  • I love crosswords and other word games, but I’ve never been able to complete a Sudoku puzzle.
  • I can hardly believe that there was once a world with no Starbucks.

How can readers keep in touch with you between posts?

Please join me in welcoming Nancy! 


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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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