Guest Post by Sarah Giller Nelson :: As I was laying the groundwork for opening Less is More, my professional organizing services company, I found myself encountering the same two pieces of advice over and over again: a well-chosen niche is a great way to market a business, and start with what you know. At the time, I’d been spending most of my days running after my two-year old son trying to wrap my head around how I was going to comfortably fit baby number two and all related gear into our small apartment. Since I simply did not have time to learn about the most highly sought after niches, like downsizing empty nesters or moving and relocation services, I chose to focus on organizing busy families. My logic? That I’d get my feet wet with moms like me and then move on to a more lucrative specialty.
Turns out that my “busy mom” status has been one of the secrets of my success. Clients contact me because they know I get it: I understand why a mom can’t get rid of outgrown baby clothes. That every toy storage system needs room to grow. And why getting out the door can be challenging. Although the systems I design are very much based on my clients’ preferences, the parents I work with appreciate that the advice I offer is culled from my own family’s organizational successes and failures.
In that spirit, here are five things I’ve learned that will help you keep your family organized while successfully running your own business:
1. Create a dedicated workspace for yourself. Even if it’s just a zone in a room that shares many functions, all you really need is a flat work surface, a chair, and a few drawers and shelves.
2. Establish boundaries. Make a schedule and stick to it. Let everyone know that your work hours are sacred. Be fully in the moment when you are playing with the kids. Don’t do the laundry on company time. Let work calls go to voicemail when you’re at the park.
3. Label everything. That way everyone in the house knows where things go.
4. Put things away. Teach your children to put things away, too.
5. Always be organizing. When you come across a broken necklace while playing dress up, throw it away. Each time you open a file folder, quickly sort through its contents and recycle or shred any paper that’s outdated. Good habits are the keys to staying organized.
Sarah Giller Nelson is the owner of Less is More, a Chicago-based professional organizing services company driven by a passion for order and beauty. Less is More specializes in getting busy families organized. For simple organizing tips that will make your day easier, subscribe to Less is More’s free monthly newsletter here.