Organize Now-the real story and a chance to win!

So last week I received copies of my newest book: Organize Now! a week-by-week guide to simplify your space and your life. Now if you have a copy of my first book, you may be thinking isn’t this the same book? Well, not exactly…this is the NEW Updated & Expanded version. Which means that is a revised edition. In this book, I have added more organizing tips and resources to every single chapter plus 4 NEW CHAPTERS including:
Organize Your Morning Routine (a big one for all of you parents)
Organize Your Evening Routine
Organize Your Grocery Shopping
Organize Your Meal Planning

Having my first book sell over 140,000 copies has truly been a dream come true for me. It’s been 2 years and I STILL have a hard time believing it! But having my publisher ask me to do a Revised Edition AND now writing a 3rd book- even more unbelievable! I am SO thankful to God and each person that bought my book for making my dreams come true. Believe me if I can do it ANYONE can make their dreams come true 🙂

One of the best parts about seeing my new book was showing my kids their quotes in print. My daughter has her quote on page 74 and my son has his on page 155. Their little faces just lit up when I showed them! What was even better was reading my dedication to them in the front of the book. I LOVE being able to do that and I hope it is something they can pick up and read someday when they are far away from me. I hope it will be a little reminder of how much I love them and that they have the capability of making their own dreams come true.

Speaking of dedication, let me just say it is soo hard to write up the acknowledgments page in a book because there really are SO many people I want to thank. So for those that really do support me but I didn’t have room to mention:

Sara Lewinski-A true friend and constant support for me. Thank you for going to NYC with me when I spoke at the Learning Annex-I will never forget that trip!

Cara Webster-You have always been there fore me and you really did go above and beyond to help me promote my first book. You really should be my publicist!

Jessi Boardman-Thank you for taking time out of your own busy schedule to help me with my book release party and for always helping me bounce ideas around. I am so glad you came into my life.

A HUGE thank you to those people that really supported my first book and/or are always cheering me on: Cindy Pyfrom, Lesley Salman, Anna Pooler, Donna Geitner, Michelle Kelsey, Sue Kautz, Lisa McIntosh, Grandma Van, Michelle Ford, Carrie Ford, Nikki Kmicnski, Lynn Berry, Janis Berry, Ashley Cox, Luke Pariso, Shirley Ford, Shannon Ford, Sherry Ford, Gigi DeGaine, Don Vergils, Karen Valle, Rachel Harmon, Brandy Nicastro, Amanda Gallo, Molly Haungs, Jennifer Meadows, Sara Coryea, Peggy Ford and Mary Audsley. I love you guys!

Now on with the contest:
Win an Organizing Price Package (3 winners will be drawn)
Price package includes:
A Signed Copy of My New Book: Organize Now: a week-by-week guide to simplify your space and your life (The Updated & Expanded Version)
Hardcover, spiral bound, 256 pages that include a step by step guide to organize everything in your life including your time, your space, your things, your storage areas, your special events and your routines! The book includes checklists, tips and goals that will let readers organize quickly and see immediate results!

A personalized Holiday Organizational Tips booklet from yours truly!
(This booklet is available only through this contest).
Four Ways to Enter to Win!!!
(each one gets you an entry so enter as many times as you’d like)
1. Comment below with your e-mail address. If you have time please include a favorite organizing tip.
3. Join my Facebook page and comment on the post about this contest OR share this link on your Facebook page and tell me about it.

***Contest ends December 3rd, 2010 at 5 p.m. EST. Winner will be chosen by and will be announce on December 6th.

My Story-I Hope It Inspires You!

my story

I am knee deep in research for my next book: Organize Now: your money, business & career. The book is not only about how to organize your physical environment/things for these topics, but a lot about mental organization. Especially for goals, priorities and dreams for your future. I truly believe both are equally important and I am excited to share my tips and ideas with you.

While writing today I realized that maybe sharing my story would inspire others to follow their dreams…so here goes:

About nine years ago was when I decided to pursue my passion for organizing as a career. Due to the affects of 9/11 I was laid of from my corporate job. I have to be honest here… I was kind of happy because

A) I did not love the job

B) my daughter was 6 months old so this gave me a good excuse to stay home with her (and get paid for it)! About one month into the Stay-At-Home-Mom-Routine I realized two things: 1) I did love having more time with my child and 2) I still needed to do some sort of work for my own mental satisfaction.

I had always made good money in Corporate America so I felt like that is where I SHOULD look for work but I had always had an entrepreneurial spirit inside of me and I knew deep down that working for myself would be much more motivating and rewarding. Not to mentino my schedule would be more flexible for my daughter. I decided to do some research.

I had been on a serious spiritual path ever since moving to North Carolina 3 years prior. I had a couple of great mentors in my life and I was very serious about finding my calling (not JUST a pay check). After much thought and work on myself I realized that I was most passionate about organizing. But, wasn’t sure I would be able to make enough money doing it as a career.

I came across a book, Do What You Love and The Money Will Come, and with a hopeful but skeptical attitude started reading it. Soon after; I started my website, a newsletter called Weekly Organizing Tips and advertising for my new organizing biz. The first day I was actually PAID for my organizing services (not just doing it for free for a loved one) I knew I was where I was meant to be on this earth. Little did I know that my little newsletter was building a platform for my future writing career-another HUGE dream of mine.

Fast forward 9 years: everyday I wake up to not only doing work I love (writing and organizing) but more importantly I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am living my purpose. I am doing what I Love and guess what, the money did come 🙂

Why did I share this story with you when I started out writing about my new book? Because…if I can have my dreams come true so can you! I am not going to say any of this comes easy, it takes endless motivation, hard work and perseverance. Oh and NEVER take no for an answer the first time 🙂

I hope to make this book not only useful but inspiring. From this point forward I will share pieces of information from the book here with you. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, stories and feedback.

“You must stop and reassess your priorities and values. You must be willing to be yourself, not what people want you to be because you think that is the only way you can get love. You can no longer be dishonest. You are now at a point where, if you truly want to live, you have to be who you are”.

This is advice that Cancer therapists Carl and Stephanie Simonton give their patients. I think this is advice we all could use. Why wait until we have a life threatening disease?? Live your dreams now!!

Jennifer Ford Berry

Building an Organized Home from the Ground Up

So my dream is coming true, I get to build an organized home from the ground up! My husband and I will soon be building our new house. My goals are to make every square inch count, to use as many green products as possible and of course to make sure there is a space for everything we own. I want the house to be simplified and comfortable. I will keep you posted on any products I try along the way and will share my tips. If you have a product you would like me to review please email me or comment here. My hope is to use all of my research and suggestions regarding this building process in a new book!

Goodbye Reece: a tribute to our dog

This month we had to put our 12 year old dog, Reece, to rest. We had many people tell us how difficult this would be, but nothing could have prepared us for how hard it really was.

Reece was not just any dog. He was truly one of a kind. Right about the time I was graduating from college my, then boyfriend (now husband Josh), and I thought it was time for a dog. Someone to be responsible for other than ourselves. I felt strongly about rescuing one, so every weekend I would search the local animal shelters of Palm Beach County (we lived in South Florida at the time). There were many great dogs, but I just couldn’t find THE one. We really wanted a black lab. A few weeks went by and after another disappointing trip to the shelter, I went for groceries. I’ll never forget walking through the parking lot of Publix in Boynton Beach feeling sorry for myself because I STILL did not have a dog when I saw him. A tiny, black puppy sleeping at the foot of an older woman. The sign read “Pets in Distress”, a local animal rescue. I said to the woman “Is that a black lab mix?” She said “yes.” I said “I’ll be right back!” I ran to the phone and told Josh to come down right away. Twenty minutes later he was ours. His foster mother had papers we could sign on the spot. We were in love!

That day started a life we would share for 12 years with this little guy. He was the BEST behaved puppy in the world! Easy to train, didn’t chew and loyal…I could see in his eyes that he was thankful we had given him a home.

Four months later he was ready to go wherever we took him, when I strapped him into the backseat of my car for the 12 hour trip to North Carolina. We were moving and Reece slept back there almost the whole way.

Josh had always trained Reece to protect me and I will be forever grateful to him for possibly saving my life one day while I was home alone. Two men tried to break into our home and I was very preoccupied talking on the phone with my sister, ironing curtains with our stereo blaring. If not for Reece’s “Danger” bark I would have never noticed the strange man on my porch trying to get into my house while his friend played “look out” at the end of our driveway. Only when I saw the man trying to shush Reece, so that he could get through the screen door, did I realize how badly he wanted to get into our house! Not with my body guard though-no unwanted visitors were aloud in our home with Reece at the door.

This same guard dog was as gentle as could be the day we brought his baby sister home from the hospital. One sniff and he knew she was ours. He marched right down the hall, behind my husband, to the nursery and parked himself next to her bassinet. Just another part of the family that he would vow to protect. Four years later when our son came home, I swear his face said “Geez! Another one? How will I keep an eye on both of them at the same time?!”

After 5 years in North Carolina we moved back north to our home state of New York. Reece was nervous on moving day but when the vehicles started up he hopped in the passenger seat of that big moving truck with my husband, for another 12 hour ride. (This time he was feeling pretty proud of himself for riding shot gun)!

Over the next 6 years Reece would be extremely tolerant and protective of our family, especially our two children. He was their best friend and he really loved them too. I felt confident with Reece around, knowing he would always protect us.

This past summer we were told that Reece had an incurable disease called Degenerative Mylelopathy. As soon as we got home I started researching this disease only to learn that there was nothing that would stop it. This horrible disease attacked his spinal cord and ruined all of the nerves in this back and legs. Like any deadly disease, it is bitter sweet because you cherish the time you have all the while knowing it will soon be cut short.

Like I mentioned earlier, Reece was not just any old dog. He played on the doggy beaches of South Florida (the same one as in Marley and Me). He camped and hiked in the mountains of North Carolina and rolled in the snow of New York. He rode on boats and flew on planes with us. He did more in 12 years than some people do in a lifetime! That makes me happy. He was never JUST a dog to us, he was a big part of our family and we treated him as such.

Our home is not the same without Reece. We miss the welcome home he used to give us. Whether we were gone an hour or a day, he was elated to see us. Sometimes I stil think I hear him. I feel a little less safe and a little less loved. But I also feel very blessed to have had him with us for so long. I will be forever thankful to Reece for teaching us the true meaning of unconditional love and loyalty.

Jennifer Ford Berry

Happy Holidays from The Berry Family!

From our family to yours I would like to wish each and every single one of you a very Happy Holiday season! I hope this message finds you full of peace, joy and love. My wish for all of us is that we will have time during this hectic time of year to stop, relax and be reminded of what this season is truly for. Let us remember the things that matter most during this time of year. God bless all of you!

The Innocence That Lives Within Us All

So the birth of my nephew has me experiencing a new “Light Bulb Moment” as Oprah would say….
Why do we all love babies? Or puppies? Or any newborn? Sure it’s because they are cute and cuddly but I think it’s something more: its their innocence. 
They are such NEW beings that they haven’t irritated, disappointed or aggravated us.  They haven’t made choices that we can judge yet.  They haven’t broken a promise to us yet.  They haven’t made a mistake that we can’t forgive….yet.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could look at every human being and remember that they too were once a newborn with an innocent soul.  And maybe just MAYBE life grew them into an irritating, disappointing, aggravating human being.  Maybe if we remembered that we all start out as babies we would see the good in everyone and be much more understanding and forgiving. 
The amazing light bulb moment I’m talking about? God starts us ALL out with a clean slate.  The same blank canvas.  Sometimes, as life goes on, all we need is a second chance in order to receive another clean slate. And at that moment we get to choose differently.
Jennifer Ford Berry

He’s Here!!!

Yes, that’s right…It’s A Boy!!!!

My brand new nephew was born Satuday night at 10:40pm.  He is absolutely precious!  I basically spent all day yesterday staring at one picture after the other that my brother in law sent us. God I love digital technology!  It is so fantastic they were seeing up to minute pictures of him!!!  My mom flies out first thing this morning and then my sister’s in laws so as soon as the grandparetns are done I am heading to see that little face. I can not STAND the wait.