Trained Professional Organizer and Educator
It really is amazing to look back and see all the choices you had in front of you and decisions you had to make when life threw challenges your way: Did you continue to feel lost or stuck or choose to take on life's challenges? Were you able to embrace change and turn it into something positive that took you down a new road? Were you able to accept and celebrate a new life path?
Hi, I'm Katherine! I never would have thought 10, 4, or even 2 years ago that all the choices I had in front of me and decisions I made along the way would lead me to become a stay-at-home parent, start my own business, and lead me to the Trained Organizer profession where I get to connect and collaborate with incredible people from all walks of life, share my passion for organizing, and see my clients change before my eyes as their space transforms into what they had always envisioned for it. I am truly enjoying this new life path I am on.
The project that really put me on this path was after I was diagnosed with cancer, one month before my 31st birthday. After treatments, I looked back and remembered how I felt sitting in an oncology room being told I had cancer and watching this revolving door of specialists placing pamphlets, requisitions, and forms on my lap. I felt so overwhelmed and lost that I didn’t really hear anything about side effects and infertility and medication and…and…and…, so me, being the organized person that I am who appreciates a sense of stability and calmness, went home and made a folder to store all of the paperwork, so that I could look at it and deal with it once the dust had settled. Having those papers in a labeled folder that I could share with my family and my doctors brought such peace of mind during a very stressful time. I thought about how I would never want anyone to feel like I felt in that room, so I started making folders for other cancer survivors, free of charge, to help them organize their endless medical paperwork, and I have thus handed out over 100 folders with the hope that it has provided them with direction and support as they navigate such an overwhelming time.
Not only did these folders receive a lot of positive feedback and stories of positive impact from patients and their families, but The Canadian Cancer Society recognized these folders by giving me an award “Celebrating Impact in Community Prevention, Outreach and Advocacy’. Recognizing that these folders brought more to families and patients' lives than just organized information, I began to explore how organization could bring clarity and stability to others and soon realized there was a career opportunity down this path.
Fast forward 4 years later from my diagnosis; I had taken a leave of absence from teaching and was traveling with our foster child (now our daughter) to family visits and spending a lot of free time at a library (an organizer's dream spot). With some research, I found Professional Organizers in Canada and became a member in 2018. I took the required courses, wrote and passed the exam, and became a Trained Professional Organizer in 2019. I started my own Professional Organizing business, Ten Four Organizing, working with over 40 clients so far, on everything from kitchen cupboards to paperwork to craft supplies to toys to furniture layout. Leaving clients with space they can enjoy truly brings me joy and is why I continue to do what I do.
Through my career as a teacher, opening and closing a dance studio, to a cancer diagnosis, to infertility, the adoption process, fostering a child, adopting our daughter, and starting my own business, I can say that being on top of things, being organized, feeling in control when a lot of things were out of my control, provided me hope, confidence, and reassurance that things would be okay. As my clients and I transform their spaces into beautiful, efficient, organized areas, I often see their optimism grow, a sense of calmness come over them, and a feeling of empowerment encouraging them to keep moving forward. Through organizing, I have not only felt a change in my space, but in myself, and that is my hope for my clients.
Ten Four Organizing is named after the date that my husband and I adopted our daughter, but also references ‘10-4’ as in, ‘I understand’ or ‘okay’ or ‘I hear you’. Wherever you are on your organizing journey, I would love to be a part of it with you. We’ve got this!