BW 25: Reorganizing Your Space and Finding the Right Time to go Through Your Spouse's Belongings - with Laura Sinclair

industry interview Mar 14, 2023
 

Watch the video here or on YouTube; listen anywhere podcasts are played (Apple, Spotify, Google…)

The Transcript is below.

 

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Laura Sinclair (@flourishorganizing) is a professional home organizer and the owner of Flourish Organizing.  She works with clients one-on-one, helping guide them through decluttering their belongings and reorganizing their spaces to maximize their storage and increase efficiency in their homes.  Laura has taught students and adults of all ages and enjoys working with clients individually, as well as in groups, to teach skills for creating spaces in which they can thrive. 

 

What Laura loves the most about her job is connecting with people.  She is honored to walk alongside her clients as they reflect on their lives, their homes, their memories, and how their belongings can help support their current goals, responsibilities, and desires.  Laura brings the tenants of her Christian faith, such as gratitude and joy, into her work.  In her spare time, Laura volunteers as a prayer minister.  

 

We talk about:

~ When is it time to go through your spouses belongings

~ How to get started in home organization

~ The importance of finding a home for your belongings

~ Utilizing prayer

 

Quotes:

~ "Are there items that don't have a home yet? Because they're going to be clutter. If something doesn't have a spot in your house, then it's really hard to put it away because now that item has decisions that go with it as you don't know where it goes. But if everything already has a home, it's pretty easy to run through for example, put the dishes away because everything has a spot."

~ "I would say there is no right answer. It's kind of like the grief process. Everybody is going through that process differently. And so I would always encourage people to give themselves grace, give themselves time not rush into it, wait until they feel like it's the right time to do that."

 

You can find Laura at:

Website: https://www.flourishorganizing.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flourishorganizing/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flourishorganizing/

Email: [email protected]

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The Brave Widow Community is a place where you can connect with other widows, find hope and healing, and begin to dream again for the future.  Learn more at bravewidow.com.  

 

Hey guys, I’m Emily Jones

I was widowed at age 37, one month shy of our 20 year wedding anniversary.  Nathan and I have four beautiful children together.  My world was turned completely upside down when I lost him.  With faith, community, and wisdom from others, I’ve been able to find hope, joy, and dream again for the future.  I want to help others do the same, too!

 

FOLLOW me on SOCIAL:

Twitter @brave_widow

Instagram @brave_widow

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bravewidow

YouTube@bravewidow

 

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 Transcription:

Emily Jones: [00:00:00] Welcome to episode number 25 of The Brave Widow Show. Today we're gonna talk about things home organizing related, and I'm really excited to be able to introduce you to Laura Sinclair, who's our guest speaker today. She's a faith-based home organizer and her passion for helping people for understanding each individual and how they live their lives is really very evident. So I'm excited about this. Also wanted to let you know that with Laura, we're partnering to provide a free live event on March 28th. So if you're listening, between the time the podcast comes out and March 28th, it's a free to the public live event that's happening.

Where you can join. Laura's gonna give us some actionable items that we can implement to best organize our home and our life. And if you can't attend at the specific time of the live event, if you [00:01:00] sign up, you have free access to the recording. And then in April we're gonna do a deeper dive with all of our members of the Brave Widow community on life and home organizing.

So if you're not a member of the Brave Widow community, It's time for you to sign up because we have multiple courses that are loaded in the community, and this is a free live event for our members only in April. And again, the live public event will be March 28th. So let me introduce you to Laura.

Laura Sinclair is a professional home organizer and the owner of Flourish Organizing. She works with clients one-on-one, helping guide them through decluttering their belongings and reorganizing their spaces to maximize their storage and increase efficiency in their homes. Laura has taught students and adults of all ages and enjoys working with clients individually as well as in groups to teach skills for creating spaces in which they can thrive.

What Laura loves the [00:02:00] most about her job is connecting with people. She is honored to walk alongside her clients as they reflect on their lives, their homes, their memories, and how their belongings can help support their current goals, responsibilities, and desires. Laura brings the tenants of her Christian faith such as gratitude and joy into her work.

In her spare time, Laura volunteers as a prayer minister. You can find Laura [email protected]. We'll have the link to her website and all of her social media in the show notes.

All right guys. I am here with Laura to talk about all things home organizing, and I'm really excited to have her on the show and to share some of the things that we have coming up for you in the future. I love the appearance of being organized and any tools that could help me get organized. But I definitely need someone like a Laura in my life to help keep me [00:03:00] organized. I'm looking forward to learning some of the things that I know she's gonna share from her heart with us. So Laura, welcome. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and for participating.

Laura Sinclair: Thank you. I'm really happy to be.

Emily Jones: Good. Well, if you don't mind, I think everyone would love to know a little bit more about you and what types of things you do and just a little bit of your background.

Laura Sinclair: Yeah my name is Laura Sinclair and I'm a professional home organizer in Houston, Texas. I do work with clients both in person and online, so I do have virtual clients in other places as well. And I can be found [email protected], and it's flourish as in helping you flourish in your life .

So helping set up your space and your belongings and systems in your home to help you be able to live the life you really wanna be living.

Emily Jones: Awesome. And for those of you that are listening or driving and can't write down her information, we'll make sure that we [00:04:00] have all of her links and ways to reach her in the show notes so that you can access that.

I'd actually found Laura through an online search. I was looking, for someone who is faith-based, who does home and life organizing. And believe it or not, that was a little difficult to find. But I was really glad, I felt like it was a God thing that I'd connected with Laura. And we just talked about specifically what we felt like would be helpful for you, our audience today and our folks that we have coming up in the future.

Laura, I'm very curious. What got you interested in home organizing? Like were you a small child and thought, I just really wanna be an organizer? Were you someone who like had everything color coordinated or how did this all come about?

Laura Sinclair: That's so funny you ask because when I was a little kid, whenever I would ask, could ask, what is your favorite color?

I would always say, Ooh, the rainbow. And like, that's color.

Emily Jones: But the fact that the rainbows like orderly, like it was [00:05:00] split by color, was that what attracted you to it?

Laura Sinclair: They're just really pretty. I do like pretty things. The aesthetics of it is nice. But so I did like organizing as a child, but I didn't actually, think that was going to be a career.

I don't even think I knew it was a career. But I would organize closets and mostly the junk drawer as a kid. And so I was always frustrated because if you pick the junk drawer, of course it's gonna get messy again. And lots of people are using it. So I was kind of, bound to fail there. But I loved reading about organizing and in the magazines they'd have different tips and I would try them out.

. Yes, I did always enjoy it. My background is actually in teaching and so I had a colleague and we shared an office space and she was, she kept, she would always tell me, people could, would pay you to help them organize. And I, just kind of. It was just maybe planting the seeds. I was teaching.

I, I wasn't really considering it. But I ended up stopping teaching and I was caregiving for a family member and she brought it up [00:06:00] again so it just kind of, business group from there.

Emily Jones: Awesome. Yeah. I will love to get things organized, but then they become unorganized fairly quickly.

And I think about just, for our folks in the widow and the grief community, life just feels so incredibly overwhelming and it's hard to keep up with things. And the thought of organizing things could be just laughable in some cases, but I know that does help bring order and structure to people's lives.

So I think this is something that would really be helpful for people as they're thinking about how do I set up systems that are sustainable where I feel like I have sanity in my life? I know where things are at it works for me in a sense like I'm living in my house. I don't feel like it's just a museum where things are put up and I can't really access them.

Yeah, that's really interesting. I wish one of my children was like that with the junk drawer. I think I have two junk drawers and it's like the black [00:07:00] hole, like all the socks go there or something and we never find them again. But what is it for you that you really like about organizing?

Like what is the feeling that you get from doing that and from maybe even helping other people do?

Laura Sinclair: I love working with people and I love helping people. And it's more than just the items. So you were talking about systems, and that's one of the pieces I really like about organizing is not just making the items look pretty in the closet, but can you find things?

Do you know where they are? Are they in the place where you actually can use them? And so a lot of what I do is helping people think and reflect on what do you need in this space? What do you use this space for? And then helping, okay, well can we have the items you actually need to be able to do that here?

And setting things up like that. So I like both the creative part of making it, look nice, but I also really enjoy the systems behind it and the process behind it. And how you live your life in your home. So there are multiple things that I'm [00:08:00] kind of working on with clients as I'm doing that but for me it's really the people. I mean, I'm privileged. It is such an honor to, to be able to come alongside a client. Because when you go through items, they're not just things, they're talking about memories and their hopes, their dreams. They're really, it's, that's a vulnerable place to, to let someone come and walk with you looking at those things.

And so it's truly just an honor to be a part of it and hold space for that and be able to witness that for people and hear their stories and be there. So I, I love that. And then I'm also a teacher at heart, so I only work with my clients, you can get an organizer that will come in and you leave and you come back and it'll look really nice.

And I am more focused on helping the client to learn skills so that they can continue on. Because our house is never really static. Our lives are always changing, hobbies and where we live and who we're living with. Those things kind of shift over time and we get gifts, Christmas or [00:09:00] birthdays.

And so items are coming in and out of the house, so it's not just kind of a one and done. And so I love helping people to have the skills to, okay, if I need to reorganize my clothes or my jewelry or my shoes, how do I do it? Like, where do I start? And, what questions can I think about to help me think about what items I wanna keep or not?

And I love hearing from, clients that I had worked with before where they'll. say Hey, I reorganized this closet, this weekend, and, or they'll send me pictures and I love hearing that because they're able to do it and they're always proud of themselves.

I'm always very proud of them, and so I really just it's a lot of fun.

Emily Jones: Oh, I love that. And I definitely can hear in your voice, the heart that you have for people and the heart that you have to equip them to be able to have a system or the education needed or the tools needed to create a life that's sustainable and things that they can do on their own.

So they're not calling you every six months like, oh, storage closet's a [00:10:00] disaster. Again, come wave your magic wand and fix it for me. I think that's really important. I actually had started the process of looking at building a house and as I talk to a couple of builders, I ask them, who can I talk to?

That just helps me think through how I live my life, right? Because I might think like I know what rooms I need, but I have pros and cons with how I would want to set them up based on how I live my life. And that's one of the things I heard you say is you like working with clients and figuring out, okay, yeah, maybe this is technically the mudroom, but what are you doing when you walk through here?

Like is this really the spot that the backpacks get dropped and you're using it for that or using it for something else? And maybe, I'm guessing that helps them kind of abandon the shoulds, like, I should be doing this in this room or that room. Is that a fair assessment?

Laura Sinclair: Yeah. Or shoulds about items, well, I should keep this, but I never use it or I don't really [00:11:00] like it.

A lot of that kind of thing comes up too.

Emily Jones: And do you come across people that are like terrified to hire you because you're gonna come in and make 'em get rid of things?

Laura Sinclair: Well, and so part of my business model is I don't tell people what to get rid of. That's always the client's choice. And I mean, it's it's much harder to do it yourself, right?

If you're going through your belongings. It's very emotional and it's much, much harder. Even me, it's so much easier if I can bring someone else to help me think about items.

Emily Jones: You're helping them maybe think through, okay. If they wanna hold on to things, why, is it because someone else thinks they should? Is it because it's sentimental to them? I heard someone said it at one time. Sometimes we're afraid to let go of things because we're afraid that means we lose that memory and that's not always true, but you know, you're probably helping people just come to those realizations as you're talking with them about the importance of why they wanna hold onto stuff instead of [00:12:00] walking in like on hoarders and saying, okay, all of this has got to go and you can only have three bins worth of stuff in this room.

Laura Sinclair: Yeah. And well, and everybody has a different idea of what they want their house to look like, and some people really want things visible where they can see things. And some people really want it hidden behind doors where it's not visible because that, that visual part of it makes it harder for them to kind of think like that clutter is there.

So everybody's got different ways that they work. Some people, they have to see it other ways. They forget it's there and they forget to do those things. So it's very personal. But yes it can also be a very emotional process, which is why it's helpful to, to have someone else there.

Because all sorts of things come up and memories and a lot of fears do come up. People are scared. People will say, oh, they're scared. I'm gonna tell 'em to get rid of all their things. And I reassure them, that's not my job. My job is to help you reflect and you be able to make those choices.

Because it, and it gets easier, but we usually will [00:13:00] leave things that are, have more emotional attachment until later on. So they start the process and start gaining those. It's basically decision making skills along the way, and it gets easier and then you can use those to make some the harder decisions later.

But I'd say if you talk about like fears when people, hire a professional organizer it's often more they'll be embarrassed about things and well, don't look too hard at the things I have or don't judge me for, what my house looks like right now. And I actually, I always tell people like, please don't clean up for me.

Because I wanna see how you're using the space. And so if there's always a pile on the floor right here, I wanna see it because then we can talk about whether A, you want that pile there? Usually the answer is no. And B, like, why is it there? Like what are those items? Where can we create a space for whatever that is?

And so that helps me actually to do my job, to be able to see, what are you using the space for and how can we make it better so that you feel good in that space?

Emily Jones: That is such a good point. And I think [00:14:00] especially for us as widows, sometimes we really delay getting help because we wanna get incremental help.

We don't want, like remedial help with things. So for example my kids did not clean up the kitchen like they were supposed to last night. And I have somebody that comes once a week to do like all the deep cleaning, right? Like the mopping, the cleaning, the toilets, all that dusting. That kind of stuff. Like the heavy stuff.

And so we have people coming to clean the house today and before we go to school, I make 'em come down and wash the dishes cuz I'm like, yes there's someone here to clean my house, but they only need to clean so much. Like they don't, there's some stuff they don't need to be doing or that I don't want them focused on and that can hold us back because then we just think, we just keep putting it off.

Cuz we think, well, I'll get around to it eventually. We don't, maybe it gets worse and worse instead of just trusting the fact that we're not gonna be judged. We have people like you out there who can help us. And I [00:15:00] imagine the relief is probably just immediate. Like people think, oh, well that wasn't as bad as I thought it was gonna be, and I am starting to feel like this weight off of my shoulders just in those first couple of interactions.

Thinking about the person who's going through a tough time and they just feel really, they're just overwhelmed, right? Like, they're like, I have four kids. Say their house is a wreck. They don't have a good routine with the kids cleaning their room, them organizing their parts of the house, maybe they have stuff from their spouse or the person who passed.

Where do they even start when they're just feeling so overwhelmed? What would you tell somebody in that situation?

Laura Sinclair: Well, we can talk about some tips on things that you could do to get started and we, we touched on one of them earlier is that leave more emotional items to the end.

Don't try and start with something that's gonna be really hard right off the bat. So [00:16:00] pictures mementos, things like that where, they have sentimental value to you. And so that's gonna be a much harder decision. Most of the time recommend that you organize by item. So for example, let's say we're talking about coats. So to look at all of your coats as a group, instead of just, I'm just doing the coat closet today, and there may be five coats in there, and you pull 'em out and realize, okay, yeah, I need them for different kinds of seasons and I wear them all, so I'm keeping five. But if you were only doing that closet, Now you realize, okay, well I have two more coats in, my bedroom closet.

And then I actually stored a couple over here and eventually kind of realized, oh, I really have 10 coats. But if I organize the bedroom closet, I only have two coats, so I'm just gonna keep them. And then, if I was going through storage somewhere else, maybe I found a couple more and you didn't maybe realize, oh, I really have 10 coats.

And so if you kind of collect all of one kind of item and bring it out, then you can see, oh, I have 10 and really two of them are kind of the same. I [00:17:00] don't really need them both. This one's old. How many do I really need to be able to go through it? That kind of process. can be really helpful cuz often we spread items out around the house and so then you're kind of redoing work and not realizing how much you have.

Often we can that fear, there can be fear of what if I don't have enough thing? You know what if I don't have enough coats, I need a coat, right? And so seeing, oh wow, I have 10, I don't really need this many. You're starting from a place of abundance and that makes it much easier to say, okay, how many do I really need?

And. Again, so you're doing flower vases, it might be the same. You've got some in the garage, you've got some in the dining room, some in the kitchen, there's some under the sink. But if you bring 'em all together, you can see, oh, well I have, I'm never gonna put this many out, and this one's chipped.

And I had these extras from when I got some flowers that were just, I didn't really like it, but I kept it because it's a vase. Right. So looking at them all as one thing. So that's a big tip.

Emily Jones: That is a really good one. [00:18:00] And I'll share a personal example. I have a linen closet and you might be shocked to know it wasn't just linens in there, but I had organized the closet.

 And I did have some sheets in there, but then I was, I'm like going through the house, I'm like, well, there's sheets in this closet and there's sheets in this closet and there's pillowcase over here. And you start putting 'em all in the linen closet and you start running outta room and you're like, why do I have so many sheets

So yeah, I think I hadn't thought about organizing that way. That's just how that turned out. I guess I was on a rampage that week about organizing the sheets, but you know, thats such a good point about the fear of not having enough or not knowing where they're all at. Or one of my kids, why are you not changing your sheets?

So where are your sheets? Oh, they're in someone else's closet. So yeah, I like that. Organizing by item. I think that's really helpful. And thinking about items that are sentimental and items that have a lot [00:19:00] of meaning to us especially for the widow community. One of the biggest questions is when and how should I start going through my spouse's things?

And again, I think this is one of those things they balance with should and what people tell them because there's so many misconceptions about grief and how to handle it. And culturally we're just really not educated about grief and loss. But what are your thoughts from organization aspect of when people should start looking at those types of things?

Laura Sinclair: Well, and it's another should, right? I would say there is no right answer. It's kind of like the grief process. Everybody is gonna go through that process and it's gonna look differently. And so I would always encourage people to give themselves grace, give themselves time not rush into it, wait until they feel like it's the right time to do that.

For most of the time, it's not gonna be a necessity right away. Now it might be if they were moving, you're moving into a new place and you don't have space, then it might kind of move up the timeline. But I think much of the [00:20:00] time, , you really could take time. Whether that days, weeks, months, there's no end time that says at this point, you have to do it.

Do it when you're ready. It's okay. That, that's an emotional category, right? This is probably gonna bring up a lot of memories and that, that loved one's belonging. Probably just switched into that. These are, now they have emotion attached to them, even though they might not have before because that person has passed away.

And that makes it harder and it changes it. So I would just help people to have lots of grace, give themselves lots of grace and whatever space they need. And then when they are ready to go through those things to make sure you're in a good place that you slept well that you have eaten breakfast, that you are drinking water.

And that's something I tell all my clients for whenever you're organizing, it's hard work. It brings up a lot of emotions and you have to be, you can help yourself by doing all of those things to make sure you're taking care of yourself so that you are in a good place to be able to [00:21:00] think about that.

Cause it, it is hard work. And it's hard. It can be hard mental work aswell.

Emily Jones: I definitely agree. And in fact, I saw someone yesterday post on Instagram, a screenshot of their favorites on their phone. , and had their dad on there. They'd lost their dad, and they said, at what point am I supposed to take my dad outta my favorites on my phone?

And I just responded and said, well, why do you need to. Leave 'em there forever. What does it matter? and they were like, well, okay. Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I'm kind of coming around to that line of thinking. And not saying that you should keep all of your spouses things forever, but it is hard.

Nathan, my husband, he was a tornado. I knew from one point of the house to the other where he walked, it's like walk, kick off a shoe, kick off a shoe, drop a shirt, the belt goes here, the wallet goes here, all the cabinet doors are open. And it drove me insane. Drove me insane, but when I did start putting all of his shoes up, then what's the first thing I noticed when I walk into a room is like, oh, well his shoes aren't here anymore.

It's just [00:22:00] a reminder that he's not there. So I think that's such really great advice around. When is the right time for you and is it something that you have their belongings and it holds you in pain. And so then maybe it is time to put it in a bin or put it in a closet and just see how that feels or move part of it.

I would also caution people not to give things away too quickly, so if you're in your first few, weeks or months. Some people give away a lot of stuff really quickly and then they regret it because there was something that was sentimental. Or maybe they wanted to make a quilt out of the shirts or they wanted to, make a teddy bear out of the pants or whatever.

So there doesn't have to be a rush, and it is really difficult work. When I first organized Nathan's closet, I wasn't, I don't know why I wasn't really expecting it. Like I'd already cleaned up a lot of the stuff outta the bedroom and everywhere else in the house. So I had left the closet and I wasn't [00:23:00] really expecting it to be as difficult cuz I had already packed up a lot of other stuff, but it was because I just, uncovered more things or things that I'd forgotten about.

And it does bring back a lot of those memories. I think that can be really difficult.

Laura Sinclair: If you can take photos. So I often will encourage people, you can take photos of those items that are sentimental before, you, for example, donate them somewhere.

For some people they really like that because then they've still got a, that memory. And then also trying to help it's hard to sometimes separate a person from a memory, from an item like the item isn't the memory of the person. That's not all, that's not everything that you have and it can be hard to try and separate those things out.

But just, even just thinking about it can be helpful. And I love what you said about taking time, and I'll encourage people too, let's say you, you're ready and you go through that your spouse's closet and you've packed things up. Put those [00:24:00] boxes away for a little while, and see how you feel about it, and just make sure that you really are ready.

There's nothing wrong with that either. Taking that time and that pause just to make sure. And I would also have people think about like, who else loved that person too, and might be wanting something of theirs. Are there things, you've got kids that you know you wanna keep for them, or family members or friends, you can invite them into that process.

And it, it might be in a way that says, calling someone's brother and saying, hi, I'm gonna go through their things. And is there something specific that you're, you would like? You don't have to, I mean, you can invite them to come through things. You could also just ask them to think of something themselves.

So some people need more distance. So that's something that you can do as well as you're looking to go through things. And then you can also think about where you want, if you're donating, where you might like to donate things and picking a place that's particularly meaningful to you or that was meaningful to your spouse.

And that just, it shifts the perspective [00:25:00] a little bit because then you've got in mind, I have these clothes and they're going to a specific group of people. And that really helps too because you know where they're going and, it's nice to be able to support them as well.

So those are some other things I would think about as you're going through your spouse's things.

Emily Jones: And the thought of kind of that item getting to live on, instead of just living in the box or getting tossed, in the trash or whatever. It still has almost a life of its own, or someone else is able to enjoy that in the future.

That's really cool. Laura, I have to ask, what does your Christian faith have to do with home organizing? I know people earlier were probably like, why was she looking for someone who's Christian based to do organizing? What does that even matter? But tell me a little bit about your thoughts on that.

Laura Sinclair: Yeah. Well, and it fits really well with what we were just talking about because that, thinking about where, generosity, where are you donating things to and who are you [00:26:00] helping? And that's part of it. But for me, I feel like it has everything to do with it. But the, one of the very first things the Bible talks about God creating order out of chaos.

And that's what organizing is we're creating order and helping doing that creative peace while we're here and trying to be good stewards of the things that we have. And , all things come of him and so being a good steward of the things that we have, first of all, taking care of our belongings and then also being able to bless others with our belongings. Often we have more than we need and we're living in a place of abundance. And what a neat place to be like, oh, I have 10 coats and I don't need 10 coats, but I can also help other people who really do need them and don't have one. That I can be generous that way and I can be giving and I would much rather have somebody have a coat than me, have 10 extra in my closet that I, that are just sitting there and I'm not even using them. So just being good stewards and being able to bless others is one big piece of it. And then gratitude, thanksgiving [00:27:00] giving thanks comes into it a lot and just being able to thank God for what we have for having more than we need for the all the ways that he's blessed us. And you can, I love adding prayer during organizing. You can pray before you start. You praises as your going through items. You can, I loved this coat, but I haven't worn it in three years and I know I'm not going to.

But you know, you could say a quick little prayer, like, thank you for this coat. It kept me warm. I loved it. And just thank you. It shifts. It just, it shifts the whole feeling of it. And, you can pray for guidance in the process. You can you can pray for the people who are going to be receiving the donations.

You could say, Lord bless the person that gets this coat and bless them with good health. You can add little prayers for people as you go along which is fun. And of course you can say a little like, help. I don't need to, no, I'm stuck. I wanna pull my hair out. It can be a tough process, so we all get there at some point.

So being able to throw out, any kind of prayer. And I'm also a prayer minister and I love praying with people and it's [00:28:00] really special for me to be able to pray with my clients. And so I love kind of weaving all of that in there. And then Joy is another one, so just being able to be able to look through the items in our homes and think about, well, which ones really bring me joy? And it might be just joy to look at, but it might be joy in the fact that it really works. You have a spatula that actually works and you've so they're useful items. And also, it's not just about doesn't look pretty but having what we need being able to have joy in our life because we have the things that we need to be able to do all of the different things that we're doing.

So those are some of the things that come into it for me.

Emily Jones: Oh, it sounds like such a beautiful experience. So much more than someone we're just to hire coach to come in. Tell them how to get things organized or do it for them, but really to just emotionally, mentally, spiritually walk through the process and understand a clear picture of who it [00:29:00] is that you're serving and working with, and how can they organize and have a home that's less stressful and better suits them and their lifestyle.

That's just, I think, such a great way to look at it.

Laura Sinclair: And everyone's different. So everybody you go into. You go into their home and everybody's got a different idea of what they want. Everybody has a different style of clothes. Everybody has different things that are important to them. I mean, it's funny, I've gotten calls before.

Can you just come in and just throw a whole bunch of things out? I'm like, well, no. That's not really what I do. That's what my clients get to do and I help support them in doing that. But I couldn't, right. I don't know what's, which one's your favorite shirt?

I don't know which one is, I have no idea what's got a sentimental value attached to it. So it's kind of one of those, one of those things. But there are lots of different kinds of home organizers and that's just the way that what I offer with my clients. But I'd love to share a couple more tips .Yeah.

For kinda how to get started. And you had talked about the linen [00:30:00] closet and so just as an example, or let me say two things about the linen closet. So some people will have one linen closet where all of the extra sheets and things are in that one space, and I would recommend you label them so you know, if it's a queen or a king or a twin or a can get really messy if you forget.

But some people will keep sheets in the actual space where that bed is. So if there's a queen bed, they may have like sheets on the bed and then an extra pair just in that room. And so each room would have just what it needs for that bed. So that's a different way of organizing sheets and things. But I would say if someone's kind of not sure where to start, pick the thing that will have the biggest impact.

For example, if you've got, 10 extra pillows stacked that are just old pillows in the closet, that's physically gonna make a much bigger dent to go through than if you go through a stack of papers. So it's much quicker to go through the bigger items first. [00:31:00] And so I would not start with like photos or paperwork that can take forever, but pick something where you can make a dent, right?

It's an easy win. Pick a place or a spot that gonna make a big impact for you that, oh wow, I'm gonna feel great now because this, maybe the counter in your bathroom or something. It's just pick a spot that's really gonna make a big impact for you, either in how you feel or what it looks like, or you think it'll be pretty easy for you to do.

And then now you've got positive reinforcement because that feels good. You're kind of on a roll and it's less hard to do the next small project. But small projects are easier. You can try and make it fun. You could do it with a friend, you could, turn on music, different things like that.

Once you're on a roll and a different kind of tip you could look for, like, look for clutter. So you could go into a space and just kind of look around. And we had talked about, is there always a pile over there and, look for the things that are not really supposed to be there.

And so the first thing [00:32:00] I would do is clean up the space. So put away the things, where they go, and then look and see what's left. And are there items that don't have a home yet? Because they're going to be clutter. If you, if something doesn't have a spot in your house, then it's really hard to put it away cuz.

Now just that item has decisions that go with it cuz you don't know where it goes. But if everything already has a home, it's pretty easy to run through and like, for example, put the dishes away because everything has a spot. Whereas, there might be piles of things around that you don't really have a spot yet.

So then it's not just an easy cleanup anymore. So doing a room like that and visually looking for, okay, can I find homes for things? And then this room is gonna feel much better. Is kind of one, one thing you could do. And just a little trick for, coffee tables and side tables by your bedside and different things like that is that having a container for things can kind of trick your brain to helping it look neater.

And so it might be a basket or a tray or a bowl or something like that, [00:33:00] just to give you some ideas. Like you, you walk in and there are keys on the table versus maybe there's a bowl that the keys go in, or the keys in the wallet go in. Or just, imagine like bananas on the counter versus in a bowl.

Or if you've got, three or four remote controls on the coffee table, if you put them together in like a little tray or something those kinds of small changes can. Really help your brain to feel less cluttered, even though you still have to have the three or four remotes that are out on the coffee table, they now have a home basically, and it looks better.

And that just, we know clutter, kind of physical clutter affects how we feel and how we are able to think about things. And so it really does help us to feel less stress. To have less clutter around. So doing some little things like that can help just with the overall feel of things can really help you to feel better and help you to have that motivation to keep going and do a little bit more and a little bit more.

Emily Jones: Oh yeah, those are great tips. And I [00:34:00] think about like just the remotes and having them in a specific spot, like makes your brain think, well, that's the home of where those things go. And like the outer lines are clean and together versus, well, the remotes got thrown, two got thrown on this end of the coffee table and two more over here.

Like, oh, this is where they go. They're put away. It's not just that they're out and scattered, . Yeah, that's a great tip.

Laura Sinclair: And it's almost like your brain sees one item like that tray instead of three remotes.

Emily Jones: Yeah, I definitely agree. Well, Laura, remind everyone where they can find you and you work remotely with people, like do you do FaceTime or Zoom or they kind of walk you around their house?

Laura Sinclair: Yeah. And actually the best setup is if they've got two devices so that they can, see me and then they could also show me around. So often I'll be on the other side of an iPad and they can walk around and yes. So I do work virtually with people usually on Zoom. And I do all [00:35:00] different kinds of organizing.

Sometimes it's papers, sometimes it's lots of places in the home. Sometimes it's a particular issue. Or spot. So yeah, and my website is flourish organizing.com and I'm also on Facebook and Instagram is flourish organizing.

Emily Jones: Awesome. And then if you guys are watching this before March 28th, we're actually gonna be doing a free public live event, and Laura's gonna help us dig a little deeper into some actionable things that you can do to start organizing your home and life.

So keep an eye out for those signups and be sure to join us on March 28th. We'd love to have you. And then if you're in the Brave Widow community, we're gonna have a member-only event in April. So Laura, thank you so much for partnering with me to help share your insight and wisdom here and for what we have coming up in the future.

I loved having you on the show today.

Laura Sinclair: You're very [00:36:00] welcome. Thank you for having me. It's been a lot of fun.

Emily Jones: Hey guys. Thank you so much for listening to the Brave Widow Podcast. I would love to help you take your next step, whether that's healing your heart, binding hope, or achieving your dreams for the future.

Do you need a safe space to connect with other like-minded widows? Do you wish you had how-tos for getting through the next steps in your journey, organizing your life or moving through grief? What about live calls where you get answers to your burning questions? The Brave Widow Membership Community is just what you need.

Inside you'll find courses to help guide you, a community of other widows to connect with, live coaching and q and a calls, and small group coaching [00:37:00] where you can work on what matters most to you. Learn how to heal your heart, find hope, reclaim joy, and dream again for the future. It is possible. Head on over to brave widow.com to learn more.

 

 

 

 

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