July IPO Feature – Christine Dornbusch
It’s the thick of summer, and you can (literally) feel it in the air!
This month I’m honored to be the featured member of Iowa Professional Organizers. While I am new to the IPO Association, I am no stranger to organizing. Helping others take back their space is my absolute favorite thing to do. I find it incredibly rewarding to partner with clients as they assess their own strengths and weaknesses to develop a strategy for sustainable organization systems. I really geek out on this stuff!
Where it all started…
I was born and raised in Prior Lake, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis). Since my earliest memories, I was organizing. I can even remember regularly rewinding and alphabetizing my family’s VHS and cassette tapes when I was just 6 or 7 years old. What can I say – I’ve always been a stickler for keeping things in order.
Throughout my school-age years, I maintained a close-knit group of girlfriends who are my best friends to this day. My idea of a good time was when they would let me go through their bedroom closets. I could spend endless hours helping them downsize their clothing and accessories and consolidate like items. Without a doubt, having those friends as my first “clients” really solidified my passion for helping others organize.
School and more school…
My besties and I parted ways after high school graduation to pursue higher education across the Midwest. I attended Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN where I majored in Biology and Dance. My knack for being organized was critical to my academic and extracurricular success as an undergraduate. I maintained a rigorous course load all while staying active in theatre, community service, Greek life, and working on campus. Time management came naturally to me, and it helped me squeeze every last drop out of my college experience.
After Gustavus, I served as an AmeriCorps member with a nonprofit college access organization in Saint Paul, MN. I worked with a cohort of nearly 40 low-income high school seniors as they applied for college admission and financial aid. I enjoyed this helping role so much that I decided to head back to school to pursue a graduate degree at Minnesota State University, Mankato. After two years, I earned my Master of Science in Counseling and Student Personnel with an emphasis in College Student Affairs. I attribute my success as a one-on-one consultant to the counseling skills I honed throughout that program.
A whirlwind of jobs and places to call home…
Ever since graduate school, I haven’t stayed in one place for very long. I lived in Germany for three months as a private English tutor while studying the German language. After returning home once I realized I really wasn’t a fan of traveling alone, I worked in higher education, child care, dance instruction, and tutoring. I ended up falling into a corporate job completely by happenstance (an actual career development theory, by the way). Much to my surprise, I am still working in corporate and just celebrated my 4-year anniversary with Ameriprise Financial.
In May of 2017, I took a leap of faith and moved from the Twin Cities to small town Iowa to be closer to my extended family. I left behind all of my friends, my beloved condo, and the familiarity of a state where I had lived the majority of my 30 years. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to keep my job and now enjoy the luxury of working from home. I have become involved with community theatre and band as well as multiple volunteer opportunities. Perhaps most notably, I have finally started my organizing business! Needless to say, the move to Iowa couldn’t have been better for me.
Well, I can already hear fireworks in my neighborhood at night. That means it’s time to help my family prepare for their annual 4th of July weekend garage sale – an organizer’s dream! I wish you a safe and happy holiday.