Greetings & Welcome!
Howdy! Welcome to my brand new website and blog! This is a culmination of a lot of years of dreaming and an entire year of hard work to put everything together into the package you see here. I thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce myself, this blog and my intent in writing it. So.. here goes..
My name is Kathryne Reed and I am a Chemical Engineer by education and an Operations Engineer by profession. I worked in Aerospace Manufacturing for 10 years before quitting to focus on raising my family. Now, 10 years later, my youngest has started going to school full time, leaving me with some time on my hands. I wanted to take all those skills and the knowledge I gained during my working years and do something with them other than go back to working full time in Manufacturing. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE manufacturing, but in this chapter of my life, my priority is still my kiddos and working 40+ hours/week just isn't in the cards for me right now.
So.. before I explain how I got to this point, let me explain what I actually did while in the Aerospace Industry. I started out at Raytheon Missile Systems as a 'Project Engineer'. This pretty much meant that I did whatever it was the manufacturing floor needed in order to support them in getting out their weekly product goals. Once I had finally figured out what this whole Manufacturing world was about, I started making small improvements.. just moving stuff around, 'organizing' it so it made more sense. These improvements led to bigger projects until someone looked at me one day and said 'you know.. you really should go to Lean Manufacturing training.' I had zero clue what the heck they were talking about, but I went anyway. Thus began a 10-year path of solving problems, re-organizing factories and creating balanced, optimized flow. I LOVED it. At the risk of sounding like a TOTAL nerd -- there is nothing more fun than taking a struggling factory, implementing some basic Lean tools and watching them transform into an efficient production team.
When I ended up quitting 10 years ago I had a thought in the back of my mind that went something like 'hey.. all those Lean tools would be super useful for moms and professionals trying to manage busy lives.. maybe you should adapt them and write a blog'. It was a fleeting thought, but one I never forgot. Then, the craziness of young mommy-hood took over my life. I have no problem admitting now that I was a pretty hot mess.
By baby #3 in 3.5 years, my house was a depressing clutter magnet that was never clean and I spent most of my time chasing kids, doing mind-numbing housework and picking stuff up -- ALL the time. I'm sure most of you can relate... right?? Anyway.. about 5 years in, I had a total breakdown and decided something HAD to give. It was about that time that I remembered that voice in my head.. the one that tried to convince me so many years before that I had tools and knowledge that could help me dig out of this hole.
I didn't trust it at first, but I started digging out that knowledge and those tools and I started really examining where I was wasting.. uh.. I mean spending my time. I identified all kinds of 'junk' -- both of the clutter-type and the time/soul-sucking type and started systematically creating systems and processes to manage my household and my time.
And you know what?
It worked!! By systematically eliminating the 'junk', I was able to streamline all the stuff that 'had' to get done, and give myself time to focus on what really mattered -- my faith, my family and my hobbies. It's been an up and down journey and so many days I still end up cluttering things up. However, I now have tools and knowledge that lets me take control and get back on track.
Fast forward 5 years and my youngest went off to school. I started thinking 'gosh.. I'd really like to go back to work' and, once again, that crazy blog idea came floating back to me. My husband thought I was nuts, and I explored a LOT of other options, but this is the one that stuck.
Then, as I was doing some research into whether or not it was really a viable thing to do, I happened upon this organization called the 'National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals'. Wait.. What? There are folks out there that do nothing but organize and help folks be more productive? Those are my people! This started this year-long journey to start my own organizing and productivity business. The coolest part? It gave me an audience and a purpose for my blog and my Lean tools-turned-productivity boosters!
So here we go my friends.. Join me as I take all those tools that worked in manufacturing and teach us all how to apply them to our lives. As we hunt out the 'junk' that's holding us back, I'm hoping that we can help each other find more joy and focus in our lives as we free up our minds and our time to focus on those things that truly matter.
Away we go! :-)