Micro Blog


Organization Is Self-Care

There is a huge point that most people miss when thinking about self-care. Most people think of getting a massage occasionally, or doing nails or a face mask treatment. My definition of self-care is more expansive than that. Self-care definition: Paying attention & listening to my own needs as a person, in this particular moment, then attending to those needs. This is important because it means that my self-care looks different from your self-care, and my self-care I need NOW looks different in this phase of life than when I was in a different phase (i.e. now as a work-from-home mom, vs. when I was in the office full time, vs. when I was on maternity leave).

The huge obstacle to taking care of ourselves in the ways that will actually nurture our well-being? It takes intention, planning, and pushing to ensure it is possible. A massage or fitness class usually involves a money and time investment. There’s reserving the appointment, whether it’s calling or going online. There’s the driving to and from the appointment/class in traffic. There’s arranging child care.

How is organizing part of the solution to finding the self-care we crave? Well, all of the above is easier with a routine to look at the upcoming week and plan the HOW (details) of the me-time to be added to your schedule. Enter the Sunday Basket, from Organize 365. In fact, the five (5) Pink slash pockets included with the system are designed to be just for the self. I love this, because as moms, we do not take our own needs into account nearly as often as we should. I capture my self-care/me-time ideas in a slash pocket labeled “Self-care”. This means physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. On Sunday, I’m able to literally put this time on my calendar, and plan accordingly. Budget, time, information, child-care, accountability, and boundaries – all these factors are taken into account. The result? I, as a human adult, am happier, refreshed, renewed, and better able to serve my family, my workplace, and the community. What does self-care look like for you? Do you use a system to keep track of those ideas of ways you can take good care of yourself? I would love to hear from you! 

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.

Work-Life Balance --> Work-Life Harmony

"Work-Life Balance" is an unattainable goal. Can we really be completely 50-50? Most people spend the majority of their time working. And would we even want a schedule where our waking leisure time is exactly equal to our work hours? We might have to choose to give up sleeping if we thought it had to be 50-50 at all times. I think we should flip this idea on its head, and obtain "work-life harmony" instead. That could mean a bit of imbalance one way or another at various times. However, I choose to hold this as a possibility too:  work is harmoniously included in my life such that it can be enjoyable, aligned with my values, and contribute to a larger aim. Also, I can also make enough time to do things that I'm passionate about, whether it's on the paid clock or not. 

For me, I'm planning my week holistically, so that I have an interesting mix or "harmony" that integrates my work and personal aspects of my life. So, there are instances like: social time (virtual coffee dates, water cooler chats) at work, writing down goals/ideas for my job while I'm on the couch watching mindless TV, in the bath watching webinars, on walks listening to a self-improvement/career/lean podcast, an enneagram & money webinar sponsored by my company, engaging with employee resource group communities at work, taking a nap mid-day if I need it, reading Brene Brown in bed as I get ready to fall asleep, etc. etc. This, infused with healthy boundaries (I don't have work email on my phone, for instance), seems to be a formula for great fulfillment in my work and life, that I highly recommend. 

How about you? What do you think about this idea of work-life harmony? What are your tips and tricks that you have tried, or would try, for obtaining it? 

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.


What are work-life boundaries and why are they needed?

Especially if you're multi-passionate like me (making career, family, home, and interests/hobbies work together in one packed schedule), work-life boundaries are how we take care of ourselves in the midst of all the things going on. I encourage you to sit down and think about the boundaries and the structure you need to keep things flowing as smoothly as possible. It's time to focus on your routines and assign things to specific days. Mind you, this is a simple, but not easy exercise sometimes, especially when we are overwhemed. But when you are overwhelmed, that is precisely the time to stop and examine how we can set a boundary, or two, or a whole list.

Step 1: take a note card and on the front, write a list of beautiful boundaries for yourself! Here are some of mine, for some examples:

Step 2: On the back of the note card, write Sunday through Monday and assign a loose focus for the day. Make sure there is time for planning, time for rest, time for focused work on implementing tasks/projects.

Step 3: Hold loosely to plan, give yourself grace, and enjoy the rewards of having a more balanced, harmonious, and boundaried life. 

Easier said than done, but I'm on the path with you, and can help cheer you on. Make sure you get in touch on my Instagram page, as I continue to talk through this type of stuff on my page in videos and posts!

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.

Decluttering before there's clutter


You've probably already made a habit of unsubscribing to junk email, but what about snail mail? Do these easy, inexpensive, and preventative steps to take care of paper clutter before it even enters your home.  Especially if you own a house or have kids, then your paper clutter is out of control! I have personally used these three things, and it makes it so I don't get mail every day, and the mail I get, is mostly wanted or welcome.

Note: It takes several weeks after opting out before you won't see the mail arriving any longer.

Hope these tips are helpful! I always tell clients to "stop the bleeding", and slowly but surely, the paper clutter will get under control!

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.

Prevent mail from coming in, then your future-self will thank you - you don't need to organize what's not there!


Use a Sunday Basket to GTD (Get Things Done)

I always think of David Allen's quote "Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them". This is a concept that is so simple, but so impactful. To reduce the mental load we carry around all the time, we have to get it all out on paper. But then how do we keep track of the paper???

Enter the Sunday Basket®, from Organize 365. I tried to do Allen's GTD method without the system of the Sunday Basket® and it didn't quite work. I tried with trays, folders, bullet journals, and binders, to no avail. There were missing pieces to the process, and it was just hard to figure out - it was also out-of-sight-out-of-mind. But once I got a Sunday Basket® and learned the system, I figured out that it was basically a tangible, pretty, color coded, and visible way to implement all the great ideas that GTD had to offer. 

With the Sunday Basket®, you will find that these concepts from GTD are doable!

*A weekly review

*a tickler system (weekly)

*Project planning and grouping project support material (into slash pockets)

*Next action steps, separated by contexts (Errands, Computer, etc.)

*Waiting For (pending)

*In-tray (In-basket) for new items

*Capturing and containing open loops


*Calendaring time-specific and batching tasks

*Quick reference information

*To read/review

*Separate pieces of paper to capture individual thoughts or ideas

*Checklists to streamline recurring tasks

*Processing, making decisions to gain clarity

*Delegating, deferring, deleting, and doing

And the benefits of working this system are the exact same - 

mental clarity

decreased decision fatigue

defining the work that needs to be done

increased capacity to work on bigger dreams/goals

It works for both personal and work responsibilities

more time to have fun and enjoy yourself

Have you tried GTD? What's your experience? I'd love to hear your ideas on how to make it work, or any painpoints you've discovered in the process of implementing it.

Find out about Allen's GTD method* here.

Find out about the Sunday Basket* here.

*Note: I'm not affiliated with David Allen, the GTD method, Organize 365, or the Sunday Basket. I just use the systems to better my life, and free my mind and countertops from clutter!

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.

You need a space for YOU (your passion projects)


Where in your home are you claiming for your things that are important to you? Let's keep it simple - if you don't have one, this is your priority! For what lights you up, for what gives you energy because you get into a flow state, for the thing you feel is your purpose in this lifetime.  Mine is this home office. I have my Sunday Basket, workboxes for my corporate manager role and my side organizing coach business, my binders, my books, my supplies/tools, and yes, my kitty who likes to hang with me.

The space needs to be functional, have enough space for the supplies AND have enough space for YOU to do the activity in it!

Examples from my friends and clients include:

Your turn! If you have a space like this, let me know on Instagram!

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.

cat sitting on a shelf with binders, bins and books neatly organized around.

A place for everything, and everything in its place...


Self-proclaimed enneagram nerd here! Click above for more musings on this and other personality results and resources to get to know YOURself better.

Know Yourself to Treat Yourself

How do you take care of yourself if you don't *know yourself*? As mental health awareness month wraps up, I wanted to get personal and share. I remember one time my son was young, I was running myself ragged, and was in a state of total overwhelm, resentment, and confusion about where to go from here. Crying, I confided in my husband feeling guilty for taking time for myself but it reached a critical point where I was constantly taking care of my family and neglecting myself. His conclusion? "you do you", meaning, take time for yourself and do whatever you need to do to feel better. How the hell do I do that? At that time, I had no idea what self-care meant. The secret I've learned over the last couple years, I can see it clearly now, is that I still needed to find out that self-care is personal, for my needs at this particular moment in time. It's my personal brand of self-care that I was yet to discover. And that meant really knowing myself, finding my little voice inside telling me what I need, trusting that voice is real, and then providing it to myself. That's real self-care. It's not necessarily a monthly massage (although it could be). It's not necessarily a bubble bath (although it could be). 

The best tool I know of, to learn yourself and the personal brand of self-care that you need, is studying and integrating the enneagram.

I found the enneagram, actually, by listening to Organize 365 podcast in 2020 about it as an intro, then talked more about it with their listener community at a conference, and then could not let it go and I became obsessed (in a good way). It was interesting and hard, and broke me open but there has been much healing since then. It helped me realize my core motivation for calm, peace, and harmony. It helped me realize my core fear of conflict and separation. All that leads to better clarity about why I make the choices I make and why it's so dang hard to pay close attention to my core self telling me what I need, desire, and prefer. There was the problem right there... I was so scared of conflict and what others thought of me (hello, self-sabotaging mixture of perfectionism and people-pleasing), that I could not embrace and implement a version of self-care that was actually restorative, restful, and helpful. These learnings helped me find that self-care, for me, has to include healthy boundary setting that feels scary. It has to include really going for things and showing up authentically, that feels scary. It has to include standing up for myself, advocating for myself, letting people support me, and letting people see the vulnerable and emotional inside, without worrying about burdening them. 

Well, what does this all have to do with organizing? Well, what self-care requires of me is to have my thoughts/ideas down on paper, compartmentalized, and organized so that I can retrieve them easily and use that to advocate for myself, and set any needed boundaries. It involves planning to ensure that I get the time and space to journal, to think, to dream. It requires my physical space to be able to be easily decluttered and organized, so that I can use this space efficiently during me-time. 

 You can go to this page and read 9 fun facts about me including my enneagram type, other personality insights I've had, and listen to podcasts episodes talking about organizing as self-care. There I also list some favorite resources to learn more. I would love to hear any thoughts - Go ahead and contact me or head to instagram to engage with my post or DM me!

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.

Finish. A. Project.


You know  how I mentioned you can  set up a space for your passion projects? Well, typically "projects" are always in flight in most homes, and sometimes it takes a while to actually finish them. If you're like me, starting things is somewhat easy, but finishing it is a problem...and as a result, all of the clutter involved in the project is out, in process, not put away (i.e. not organized). It may motivate you to know that finishing the project counts as a decluttering and/or an organizing project. Think about that, when you look around, and there is a puzzle that you're working on, a craft that is partially done, pictures (with the wall mounting supplies) that haven't been hung yet, or a webinar with a workbook still open to the page you were when you got distracted (it seems as though I'm speaking from experience, huh)? It's helpful for me to think of each "unfinished" task" as clutter and that if I *finish* it and put it away, that counts as decluttering. 

Time blocking will help you reserve a spot for the project on the calendar, during your Sunday Basket time. Of course, be very mindful about knowing what capacity you have, when you consider the non-negotiable appointments and meetings you already have planned. Each project deserves dedicated time to complete it.

What about you? What projects are lying around in your home, let me know on Instagram!

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.

Time to finish the project!


Productivity for the Work From Home Parent

After 3 years of continual working from home every day, I still love it. But it comes with caveats...sometimes I don't love everything about it. I have to get creative and be intentional about my time, ruthless about my priorities, and deal with the juggling and balancing act that results from all the responsibilities in this one space. Don't get me wrong, I do not have this all "figured out", however, I wanted to share what I have learned that could possibly help other work-from-home parents like myself. 

Physical space: The #1 thing is having a SPACE for the work to occur. Meaning, for long-term working from home situations to be successful, I have found that it's essential for me to have my own dedicated office where I can have the door shut, to have meetings, my equipment, my supplies and Friday Workbox planning system, ready at hand so I can do my work efficiently. It's important for me to not have other/family or home-related functions within this space. I will still frequently eat at my desk, but in resetting my space at the end of the day, the dishes go back to the kitchen. I will still keep my family's important documents/paperwork in the space, but it's sitting on the shelf and not cluttering up my workspace.

Schedule (Time) space: At least for me, my schedule is so flexible that I can take care of (in a reasonable manner) tasks and mini-projects for my home/personal life, I start work earlier or stop working later but may have a mid-day school event to catch, or facilitate a play date for my (only child) son. Every Friday I have laundry day so make it a habit to start that project before work, switch it during work, and take it out after. I might be so bogged down with the day-to-day work and meetings during the week that on Saturday or Sunday morning I am doing my weekly workbox planning session on the weekend. But that's fine with me, because, it all evens out in the end.

Rest: Work and family/home both take a lot of WORK...we definitely cannot forget about rest, fun, and self-care, which NEED to be a priority! So it's always on my mind to put those in my calendar when I'm planning my week. When can I... take a walk, take a nap, get 8 hours of sleep, do some yoga, take a bath, play soccer out in the back with my son, play Uno, watch a movie with my husband, do Zumba, listen to a podcast, organize something? :)

Would love to hear your own tips/hacks for working from home, with or without kids/pets! Do you have your own space? How do you structure your time to separate duties and get them completed? 

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.

Work-Life Transformation (+ major life-lessons)


In my late 20s, I was struggling with clutter in all of the spaces in my home and in my brain. I had been working full time in a corporate job, about 5 years into my career. Things felt more chaotic than ever before, and I didn't feel like I was showing up as my best self. Not only that, but I felt like I wasn't worthy of adulthood. Here I was my brain still believing I was a child that didn't know the first thing about maintaining a home, and I was starting to taking care of this child of my own. Paperwork had been lost multiple times over in those first few months of his life, and it was a huge struggle to turn in the application for his birth certificate, with everything that was required for it.  I felt myself swallowing anger and resentment, choking back tears most days. Looking back, I can see that I definitely needed to go easier on myself, and likely had the baby blues more than once in that timeframe. It isn't easy having a kid, and it takes a village. I also know now that no one would have blamed me (and actually might have applauded me) if I asked for downtime and time out for myself. Yet, I persisted to operate as if I had to be superwoman and take care of any and all needs of those around me before I gave myself a chance to rest. I remember after giving birth my husband basically had to force me out the door for my first walk post-partum to Safeway to get groceries. I spent all my "downtime" researching how to cloth diaper and how to clean them. I spent it listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos about how to get my life and spaces organized. I looked at a wide variety of content about setting up household management binders, using different solutions & systems for budgeting, mail, receipts, coupons, pantries, baby bottles, toys, memorabilia and random stuff. I quickly learned that you cannot organize chaos. You have to declutter first. Once I cleared through the junk and got on the other side of this giant overhaul of my home, I realized there's more to life than constantly organizing and decluttering physical clutter. Life Lesson #1 complete: I have learned to declutter, and I've learned the process of organizing what I had left. Now I could help people do the same. Life is a whole lot easier when things are in order. Everything is calmer and in control when you know where to find things.

Now comes Life Lesson #2: I broke down exhausted and burnt out, after the 1st year of my business. I had not considered what it was doing to my mental and physical health, as I continued to overbook my calendar with any and all things to help family, clients, and friends. During my 1st year of business, my grandmother was ill. She had a huge part in raising me when I was young, and I was so connected to her. Devastated that her health took the turn for the worst, I was going over to her house every weekend to help her manage her to do list, appointments, and paperwork. This was what I spent my "downtime" on now. So much felt out of control, but this was one thing I could do to, A. be with her as much as I could before she passed, and B. feel like I had some semblance of control over the situation. Meanwhile my own stuff was not getting addressed. I needed to get back to myself. This is where the pandemic lock-down forced me to shift. When this happened, automatically my calendar was empty (well- besides the plethora of virtual meetings, at first, in the attempts to stay connected and prevent chronic lonliness). It gave me a chance to use my "downtime" to follow my interest and start studying something else - personality and archetypes. I found a very helpful tool in the Enneagram - Nine personality types that describe our core motivations and fears, and the automatic patterns that drive our everyday thoughts, feelings and behaviors. For once, I turned my attention inward and started to understand what I long for, and what is preventing me from what I desire. I discovered my true essence and what I'm made of. Pair that with learning some more particulars from my astrological birth chart, I learned that for me, growth looks like looking inwards, trusting myself, stepping into my power and lean into being practical and use a grounded routine to work towards my goals and priorities.  What gets in my way...crippling fear of conflict and making people mad at me. This makes it extremely hard to set healthy boundaries with work and family...let alone even to just simply ask for what I need, in case that bulldozes what someone else wants.  As part of my self-reflection and work on undoing these conditioned patterns, I've had to really overcome this people-pleasing tendency, and assert myself more, even if it is scary and I can feel myself wanting to run away leading up to it. I lead with type 9 (Peacemaker), by the way. Note: I'm an enthusiast of the enneagram and astrology, not certified. But I cannot deny the power and potential in learning about these tools, so I encourage those that I work with to look into them as well. If you want to listen to more of my learning journey with these tools, I was interviewed twice by Kimberly Eclipse, host of The Enneagram 9 Show podcast.

This led to Life Lesson #3, which I'm still in the process of learning. I started to discover I had a massive capacity and passion to serve other people by providing ideas, resources, systems, solutions, and shortcuts to others, to help them make transformative shifts in their lives. I didn't necessarily need to fix things for them, or work with someone for years, but instead just embark on a journey of transformation with them and provide them with gentle guidance and support along the way. I'm learning that the people I speak to every day in this work, are going through similar trials in life, and that I can offer my perspective as someone who's been through it myself. My business is now my creative outlet, and when I am spending my time on it, I feel the most alive and aligned with my purpose in life. This, alongside the fact that I still have a "9-5 job" that's more like a "7:30 - 5 job" most days, with breaks for walks and food. I also show up as an engaged mother, wife, and homeowner. Lucky for you, a fair portion of my "downtime" is spent on my business now, where I can share what I learned with you. Don't worry though, I am committed to recognizing when I need a break, this time. ;)

Hear me talk in depth about this process, from being a timid, primarily other-focused individual to leading, business owning and generally feeling like the boss of my own life, on this podcast with Kimberly Eclipse on the Enneagram 9 Show!

-Holly, April 2024

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.

Paper and productivity is a process, but a worthy one. It means I can spend more time doing what lights me up! 

If you'd like personalized organizing coaching where I help multi-passionate solopreneurs in service based businesses free themselves up to do more of what lights them up, learn more at this page.