Cutting Through the Clutter to Live Your Dreams (Guest Blogger!)

Hi There!

Organization is not my forte. Anyone else? Even though I may not have been born with the organization gene, I know it’s a skill I can continue to learn. In fact, I’m constantly in the process of simplifying my life from clutter so I can hone in on what’s essential. Today I have a treat for you (and me). I’m bringing in my friend and professional organizer, Holly Southerland, to share some tips on decluttering our lives so we have the space and time for what’s most important to us. Enjoy! Love and Blessings.

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I’m thrilled to share with Bailey’s wonderful crew about organizing today. I’m Holly Southerland, a licensed Organize365 professional organizer who comes alongside people to create order and beauty with home organizing solutions. I have bases in Waco, TX, and Ann Arbor, MI, and I travel to help families and business owners all over the country get their spaces back and find their sparkle.

Bailey and I connected a year ago because I was inspired by her blog. I noticed we had tons of mutual friends in Waco and I wanted to meet her! I played it cool for a while and kept reading her story, and then I thought, I have just got to connect with this amazing lady.

I’m so glad I did! We had a life-coaching consultation and as it turned out, we were both in a period of transition. Bailey was moving toward speaking and I was moving toward full-time organizing. I’d organized on the side for nine years, but was ready to relinquish the title, “Queen of Part Time Jobs,” and give full-time a go.

We met for coffee and discovered kindred spirits in one another. Bailey has a way of making you feel like you’ve known her forever. Some of her thoughtful and pointed questions became tools I now use with my clients as I’m coaching them through clutter issues. Within the past year, I have focused solely on traveling and developing my home organizing business. I got rid of 80% of what I owned (and had a couple meltdowns in the process), but I haven’t looked back.

What I realized is that our attachment to possessions runs deep. It manifests an emotional state— a cluttered space can reflect a cluttered mind. Often when a client calls, they’re tired of it all and ready to wave a magic wand to make it go away. I’ve been there, too, so I know how it feels! Other times, they’ve been through transition or loss and it’s too much to deal with alone.

A common theme emerging lately among many of my clients is dreams that have been put on hold because of the mess in the office or house. They have a passion project in mind and tell themselves, “I’ll get to that someday,” but in the meantime trip over the stuff gathering in the floor of the study— the very place their dream would take wings.

I’d like to offer a few pieces of hope and practical advice if you find yourself in these positions. If you’ve been through the loss of a loved one, it is common to take around five years before you’re ready to part with their things. Give yourself space and grace to grieve. After five years, you might want to think about a special way to preserve their memory, such as a leather bound coffee table photo/memory book full of pictures that tell their story.

If you’re a young mom or busy professional, one linchpin to staying organized in all areas is staying on top of papers. Check out The Sunday Basket™ system for actionable paperwork— the first tier of paper organization. The next tier is a binder system for occasional reference. The final tier is a filing system for seldom reference.

If you’d like guidance on getting your papers organized, my Waco team is hosting Sunday Basket™ workshops every Thursday this July, as well as some Monday lunch mini-workshops and Friday “Girls’ Night Ins,” because sometimes getting organized is more therapeutic than a spa day…sometimes. 😉 We would love to have you.

As you create systems, both for papers and other areas in your home, think in terms of how often you use the items and then sort and organize accordingly, giving the frequently used items the prime real estate. Give yourself permission to create a space you can thrive in, so you can reach those dreams that are in your heart to achieve!

For more resources and the full summer workshop calendar, visit www.hollysoutherland.com.

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Thank you so much for joining us today, so grateful for your time. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week! Love and Blessings.

PS – Need an extra dose of Courage? Check out my TEDx talk: https://youtu.be/f2icabWsRgk

PPS – Back in 2015 when I published The Ellie Project, a book Andrew wrote and illustrated during the the final months of his life for our then two-year-old daughter, Ellie, I had no idea the impact it would have on families all over the country. It’s sold over 6,000 plus copies, and continues to leave a lasting impression on the hearts of those who read it. Get your signed copy here.

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