Founder and ” Declutterer Emeritus”
Having officially retired from Breathing Space in 2011, this page isn’t as important as it once was. Breathing Space is now in the kind and competent hands of Sue Venman! Before you read another word– if you want to know what I am doing now (in 2012) please visit me at www.SustainableAging.org. If you want to read about how I started Breathing Space in 1996 – keep on reading here.
I’d been on the search for someone who would keep Breathing Space in operation as the need for organizing help has only expanded. I wanted someone who would not only continue to care about the personal wishes and dreams of clients but would also move Breathing Space technology into the next decade. After a wonderful time working together with Sue as a team, part 2 of the plan has come to pass! After 15 years I am no longer the owner of Breathing Space and am no longer involved in it’s daily operation. Sue is calling me “Declutterer Emeritus” a title I accept with gratitude.
Here in brief is my story.
Professional Organizer ? Passionate spacemaker was and is a more accurate description. For me this work was always more about soul than straight lines, about making spaces that support your priorities and who you are, about systems that you can rely on to get you through.
As far as how I got into this work, you might say that I started organizing when I was four. I’d spend hours building farms out of blocks, then carefully placing the little plastic trees and the farmer family, plus horses, cows, chickens, ducks and admiring the result.
As a kid, I rearranged my bedroom every few months, and friends were always getting me to help them with their spaces. During and after college, each relocation meant discovering a new funky place and seeing what kind of magic could be done on a shoestring budget.
When I became a daycare teacher and director in 1976, the classrooms got the same treatment. Sometimes I’d finish a day’s work contentedly straightening up a room or two in the doll house. Can you believe it? After my master’s in social work, my therapy office became the new ‘canvas’. I loved hearing clients say, “Ahhhhhhhh- I feel better just sitting in here .”
In 1996, my education, life experiences, and space-making hobby turned into a business – Breathing Space! Hurrah! In those days the idea was pretty unheard of but as you know, that has changed. Now Professional Organizing is a well known service. It was the perfect work for me – where my belief that people CAN DO and my joy in creating comfortable friendly spaces came together.
I wrote the mini-guide Decluttering 101 after seeing that a very specific set of actions did the job again and again regardless of who I was working with. People are still contacting me to say how helpful the guide is. I’m so glad.
And now I am very lucky that Sue will continue to make Breathing Space available to you. It really is possible to have a space that HELPS you!!! Don’t give up – call SUE!
With all best wishes,
Joanna Rueter, MSW
p.s. I would love to have you visit me at www.SustainableAging.org You will how it all fits together for me.