Today, I interview home organizing specialist and Founder of The Baer Minimalist, Maria Baer. Maria has worked her magic in my home and she has a knack for making a process that can feel daunting, smooth and methodical. This episode is packed with useful tips for preparing for a move, organizing, and revitalizing your space.
[03:36] OBSESSED WITH ORGANIZATION FROM A YOUNG AGE
Maria has always loved organization ever since she was a kid. Her organized ways carried over into her career when she started out in sales. In 2015, she got serious about starting her business. Maria talks about how the pandemic has encouraged people to reevaluate their things and reinvent spaces in their home.
[08:23] 60 COFFEES IN 60 DAYS
We talk about where we started when I began working with Maria in my home. She recommends starting with non-sentimental items first, in areas like the pantry or the bathroom. Maria shares the networking strategy she used when starting her business. She took it seriously and it was important for her to make everything legit, so that it wasn’t viewed as a side hustle.
[14:35] WHERE TO START
Knowing where to start can be a difficult part of a project like this. Maria has a system to get the organization flow going. If a client is planning to move, the organization and decluttering takes on a different tone. She asks people to consider if the item is something they would like to pack up and see in a new space. Just asking the question can be so helpful when deciding. Purging through your stuff is a gift to yourself and to your kids.
[23:28] MAKING IT A FAMILY ACTIVITY
It can be fun to go through memories and heirlooms as a family to decide what to keep. Together you can make space for new memories, instead of using it just for storage. Maria recommends getting started early if you have a move approaching. Do a little bit each day over time. By sorting through your stuff before the move, you can save a lot of money without having to pay for the expense of moving it.
[31:48] THE ORGANIZER’S ROLE
An organizer is there to hold you accountable and help you move through the process without getting so sucked into a box of memories. Maria shares more tips for preparing for a move, delegating tasks among the family and donating the possessions you are parting with. An organizer will help you approach things in a more methodical way.
[38:28] DONATING YOUR ITEMS
When Maria and I were going through my home, I found it so much easier to get rid of stuff knowing which specific donation centers they would be going to. Maria speaks about where to donate different kinds of common household items. If a client is unsure about something, she gives them time and space to decide on a later date. She’s never had someone regret parting ways with something.
[43:27] THOUGHTFUL SUSTAINABILITY
Organizing is a constant process because we are always consuming. Though going through the purging process encourages more intentionality when buying new things. Maria shares a resource for clothing rental which allows her to have fun new items in her closet, keep the clutter down, and also be more sustainable with her wardrobe.
[49:45] A PARTING TIP
When you are in your new space, Maria recommends taking all of the organizing products that you have and laying everything out in one area. Approach it like you’re at a store and anything can be used anywhere. It’s a fresh space. You don’t need to be tied to using things in certain rooms. Give it an opportunity to fit differently in your new home.
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