Happy New Year!

Jan 8

It’s 1am. 5 hours ago I returned from 7 magical days in Maui. I should be asleep, but instead am sitting in bed…laptop screen on bright. My kids need to awake by 6:30am to get ready for school tomorrow after a long 3 week holiday break. I have little-to-no food in the house, but did manage to scrape together dinner = mac and cheese, nachos, apple slices. I have breakfast items = bagels with cream cheese, cereal, frozen waffles. I ordered everyone a hot school lunch for tomorrow…ummm, today. Just happy I didn’t have to hit up the market tonight. The washer and dryer are humming. I have 2 suitcases emptied of clothing, but full of sand. Dishwasher is running. My email inbox is overflowing. I’m afraid to open my computer and calendars tomorrow to face reality. It’s cold and rainy – a far cry from the 80 degree, sunny beach life we’ve been living the last week.

Life is good.

Or I should say it WILL be good.

Determined 2019 WILL BE incredible.

2018. Oh my God. If I could only have you sit next to me to hear me unleash the whirlwind of a year it truly was. Ugh. I can’t even recount everything that happened. Everything I experienced.

Truly, with the shitty year I endured (the end of my marriage being finalized)….I had so so SO much to celebrate in 2018 as well. A mix of emotions I can’t possibly explain in just one blog post.

To celebrate A BRAND NEW YEAR, on a whim my best friend and I found the most incredible deal for a trip to Maui. We literally booked the trip, packed and were out of town within hours on New Years Day. We left our worries behind for the most incredible week I will not forget.


I savored every sunset. Every laugh. Every smile. Every kiss and hug. Every bite of food. Every cocktail. Every argument. Every tear from an emotional, dramatic 8 year old.

Every cup of coffee each morning with this view while working and saying good morning to our bird friend who was missing one foot…

I loved my time with more friends who were also vacationing on the island. So great to finally connect with people I treasure but yet can’t align schedules with at home.

Even ran into a few of my favorite people randomly on the beach.

I return from this trip energized and ready for a brand new year.

On the flights both to and from the Bay Area, I made the most of that time by airdropping photos from my phone to my laptop. You guys are in for some serious organization catch-up. I have projects spanning all the way back to October 2017 that have yet to appear on the blog.

I can’t believe the thousands upon thousands of images that were held captive on my phone all this time.

Not just client projects. Scrolling back I realized I have still yet to share my experience being the keynote speaker in November 2017 for the Professional Organizers in Canada Conference.

Seriously Sam? Really??? Really?!

What about the 2017 Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker event in Brooklyn?

Nope – that event never made the blog either.

*smacks forehead*

In 2018 I had a short-lived and stressful experience as a Contained Home Organizer with The Container Store. I was too busy to share the projects I completed for their clients…or the story behind why that deal came together and promptly fell apart.

I haven’t had the opportunity to explain my new role with Meredith Publishing as a Field Editor for Better Homes & Gardens Magazine.

*pinch me*

I haven’t shared the experience of the editor of the magazine coming to visit for a week last Fall. A week of driving him around to see client projects and shooting a garage I organized in 2017. The magazine feature is coming this Spring and can’t wait to see it…and share all of the behind the scenes details.

There are podcast interviews not shared.

I haven’t really taken a deep dive into my partnership with Lowe’s…who just added us in for another 3+ months this quarter. Yay!

It’s been off the charts amazing yet also sad this last 15-24 months.

But this is a new year. And I’m embracing the fresh start. A new chapter. Everything positive I have to look forward to. And so much more that I can’t wait to share with you!

2018 may have been the year I went heads down into my work…and also heads down personally as I navigated my way through a divorce (and all the expenses that came along with that – yikes!)…but 2019 is the year I open up and share more. I’m going to be a little more honest and look forward to connecting with you. And reconnecting with myself through writing / sharing here.

I am so grateful to have started this blog nearly 10 years ago. Who knew that when I started writing about organizing all those years ago it would turn into a full time job with contractors. Who knew I would have a 2019 goal of hiring organizers and a personal assistant to help me manage and stay on top of this monster I’ve created.

Scrolling through those thousands of images I had to truly let it all sink in. I am grateful to be where I am.

Even though I am faced with having to sell my home this spring…and move AGAIN (!!!)…and I’m suffering from debilitating stress and anxiety from everything that is yet to come (I mean that – I am awake most of the night in a panic)…

I’m grateful for you. To have you here…joining me on this journey.

2019 is already proving to be the biggest yet. And I can’t wait. Can’t wait to help all of the families who reach out and can’t wait to inspire you….with big and small projects.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Ready to kick off a new year on SO…and ready to finally get up to date with blog posts and client projects.

Thank you so much for being here! Should probably go to bed now…it’s nearly 2am. Ha!

Back soon guys!! Happy New Year!!!



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  1. Tiffany says:

    May 2019 bring you peace, joy, and success. From a momma who should be asleep as well! My word, those pics are gorgeous. Glad you kicked the year off right!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      Thank you so much! It truly was a perfect trip – gorgeous weather and incredible memories! Glad you enjoyed seeing a little glimpse into our time there. Love this area of Maui so much!

      Happy new year to you!!

  2. Kristine says:

    Happy New Year, Sam! Glad to hear you will be “back!” Can’t wait to see all of the great projects and listen to more podcasts!

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Kristine,

      Thank you so much! It feels GREAT to be back! I really can’t wait to dig in and share SO much this year. Lord knows I already have 15 months worth of content here…can you imagine all the blogs yet to come? Really excited!

      Happy new year!

  3. Tami Shaffer says:

    You will rock 2019. Guaranteed.

    • Samantha says:


      You are so sweet! Thank you!! I see you e-mailed me…slowly digging my way back to reality over here and will respond soon!

      Happy happy new year friend!!

  4. erinsunnysideup says:

    Love you Sam! I have no doubt this will be a better year for you! I’m so happy you were able to kick it off the right way enjoying some down time you so deserve in Maui (my favorite spot!). All the best to you in 2019 and fingers crossed we can spend some time together this year!

    p.s. If you’re relocating I hear San Diego is a great place to live.. 😉 xo

    • Samantha says:


      Oh my gosh, so great to see you here! Thank you so much for leaving this sweet comment. Means the World to me to have your friendship and support.

      Of course YOU AND ME getting together in 2019 MUST happen! I am more than happy to come down your way. Love San Diego! I may be worried I will never return because I can see you and I having WAY TOO MUCH fun organizing everything in your house. haha! But it would be the very best time…let’s plan it!!!!

      I’m not relocating – am staying here in the Bay Area but am excited to see where the kids and I end up. New chapter…scary but I’m going to focus on embracing it and making it a positive.

      Love you and will text you soon!!!


  5. Marianne Hickyly says:

    Hang in there Sam it does get better. You are doing something I’m terrified of persuing myself. Thank you for sharing. All good things in 2019.

    • Samantha says:

      Awe, I’m sorry! It is terrifying…I’m not going to lie. And I’m going to share more about those feelings too. You aren’t alone there.

      Thank you very much! And yes, all GOOD things in 2019!!!


  6. Winnie Tinney Annison says:

    Sam, I truly hope this year is good to you.
    I have read your blog since you lived in Arkansas and showed how you categorize coupons and “fake make “ a child’s bed!
    Congratulations on staying strong and true to yourself!
    As a mother if 3, Grandmother of 6, retired teacher after 20 years and now I own a promotional product company, I admire you, your honesty, and all your achievements!
    As I always quote the movie A League of Their Own, when she refers to playing baseball, “It’s too hard.”
    The response is, “Of course it’s hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The Hard …is what makes it great!”
    As a mom, I am proud of my children and their accomplishments. I am sure that your family must be very proud of and for all you have done. Keep up the good hard work!
    Best wishes for your success and Happy New Year!
    Winnie Tinney Annison

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Winnie!

      Oh my gosh – what an incredible comment! Wow. Means so much to me and I can’t thank you enough! Thank you!

      I love the movie reference / quote – this is something I totally agree with and it’s true.

      Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful new year as well. Thank you for joining me here and again for your very kind words / comment! Love having you here!!


  7. Shannon says:

    So happy that you were able to get away and ENJOY for a while. May 2019 be one of peace and positive change for you and your children! Looking forward to all you have to share with us!

  8. Nancy says:

    Thanks for this. I know you have high hopes and an amazing amount of drive for this new year….your business will be awesome and your success incredible, I’m sure! But Sam, get enough sleep. Try. Put yourself first on occasion. The business will grow, but you need to be healthy and strong enough to keep going. I hope you will be as kind to yourself as you are always to us 🙂

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful, caring comment. I agree – I do need to put myself first sometimes. I need more sleep. I need to see a doctor. I need to spend time talking to a therapist. But right now I in hustle-mode….paying off attorneys, getting staff on board to help me (which costs money – so painful but important to help this business grow so I can let go of things a bit), and have money for the kids and I to rebuild and start over. Writing here is going to help a lot…I’m going to journal more as well.

      Thank you so much again and thank you for your reminder…keep reminding me!!!!


  9. Tanya Grovum says:

    Hi Sam!

    Congratulations on all of your successes in 2018! Can’t wait to see what you have in store of 2019! I loved chatting with you after your keynote speech at the POC Conference in 2017! You should definitely post about that experience! 🙂

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Tanya!

      Thank you so much! Last year was off the charts amazing with this little business. I still can’t believe it has grown to where it is…and I absolutely LOVE doing the work. I wake up SO HAPPY to do this job and help families / companies. Love it!

      Hope you are doing well and having a great start to 2019! Be on the lookout for that conference blog post…so embarrassed it’s happening over a YEAR later though!


  10. Lorena Toro says:

    Happy New Year Sam. Looks like the New Year’s trip is the way to start with a bang! Can’t wait to see all that is wonderful and organized in the SO world. Hugs to you and the family. Hope we can connect with all us girls again.

    • Samantha says:

      Hi friend!!

      So great to see you here! Yes, let’s plan another girls dinner. Was such a great time!

      Thank you for the beautiful Christmas card and happy new year to the Toro family!! Love you!


  11. Jessica Brown says:

    Glad I just renewed my BH&G subscription! I am looking forward to your content. ????

  12. Jill Fallon says:

    Hi Sam,
    Wishing you all the best in 2019! So many great things are happening! Those photos are amazing and it seems like that’s what you needed. Looking forward to all that you plan to share.
    Take care of yourself xo.

    • Samantha says:

      Hi Jill!

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment! I’m so excited to share everything and get caught up. So many good things are happening and feel so grateful. Especially grateful to have such amazing readers! Like you!!!


  13. Brandi Turner says:

    Wow! Just wow! I just found you recently and I am completely blown away. I am looking forward to all that you plan to share with us, and so grateful you are taking us on this journey with you. I love to see moms using their talents and gifts to excel in their career and be fulfilled in life! Keep going and don’t let anyone or anything stop you Samantha!!!!

    • Samantha says:

      Awe, SO sweet! Such a sweet comment – thank you!!!

      So grateful to have you here and really excited to keep loading in this content. So much to share with you guys!!!


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