goals

Creative People in Business: Kaylee Whitworth

 

I have always been a minimalist who enjoys organizing my surrounded environment to create balanced, functional and sophisticated space. I know that my lifestyle, neatness, and need for everything to be well organized played a strong role in my growing success as a headshot photographer.

When I first moved to the US, I was in a culture shock from how much stuff people had (especially clothes!). I witnessed closets breaking apart, garages that were filled from floor to ceiling without any room for a car,  and hundreds of pillows on couches and beds...

I met Kaylee at a Wealth Entrepreneurs Event and learned that she is a professional organizer and owner of CLOSETED. I was very interested to find out how she transformed her lifestyle into an exciting business. We live in a heavily consumerist era. It is so easy to become a slave of materialism, and to get trapped in the disorganization of everything that you didn’t need in first place.

Here’s what Kaylee says in her bio:

“I was interested in interior design because I loved the idea of curating an inviting environment for a family to come home to.  But after being in dozens of beautiful homes and seeing inside their messy private areas it felt like a sham.  How could an individual feel relaxed when their closet, home office or bathroom cupboards were in complete disarray?"  

Kaylee’s business philosophy resonates with my lifestyle and I can’t wait to share this interview so you can benefit from having less clutter and more room for creativity.  I’m thankful that Kaylee found time to stop by my portrait studio for my Creative People in Business project and share her knowledge of organizing.

©   2016 Valentina Sadiul Photography

© 2016 Valentina Sadiul Photography

Time you wake up: Between 5-6 A.M. 

Morning routine: Shower, make-up, cook breakfast while I empty the dishwasher, eat, brush teeth, style hair, get dressed. 

Best habit: Meal planning.  I always recipe search, shop and cook ahead of time so when it comes time to make breakfast or pack lunch I always have options to choose from.  I make healthy food choices and never skip a meal which allows me to stay on my A game.

Worst habit: Worrying.  On some level I know my clients appreciate that I worry about things so they don't have to but spending time worrying doesn't change an outcome.  I know I'm capable of handling problems big and small so someday I'd like to evolve out of the worry-about-it step.

Personal philosophy: Be kind, do the right thing.  Being nice to people is free AND easy.  People who choose to have a bad attitude waste a lot of time and energy and that is not a way that I want to spend those precious resources.  I find that I can diffuse difficult situations with a vendor or installer by staying calm, respectful and friendly.

Book you are reading now: I just started The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan.  I like to switch between novels and informative literature rooted in subjects like organizing, nutrition and personal growth.

Most used apps: I am not a big app downloader but I use Uber and Lyft a fair amount as well as Pandora and Whole Foods.

What you do before going to bed: Wash my face, brush my teeth and pack any items I will use the next day at work.
Time you go to sleep: 10 P.M.

How and why did you decide to pursue a career as a professional organizer?

My degree is in interior design and I was working for a designer (turned friend/mentor) who handed me my first organizing job because he noticed I was good at it.  I organized as a side job for several years and then my husband pushed me to make it a full time business.

From your experience, what areas of people’s homes most need help with decluttering?

It's really different for every home but I like to start with smaller areas because usually once a client sees how much we can accomplish together they feel excited about moving on to larger areas. 

Whether it’s donating, gifting, or trashing, how do you help your client let go of their clutter? 

Some clients are extremely mentally ready to purge their homes, they just need a little hand holding and someone to validate that their instincts are correct, for these people my advice is to trust yourself.  Others need to really talk through each item, with these clients I ask them a lot of questions about why they feel the need to hold onto specific items or an excessive amount of stuff in general.  I never make anyone give anything up but I will make strong suggestions.  If we are sorting a lot of sentimental items I ask clients to share their memories with me, sometimes re-living a memory about an object is enough to make you feel ready to set it free.  My clients see that I am passionate about what I do so they learn to trust that I have their best interested at heart.

What is your advice for shopping while avoiding becoming trapped in a heavily consumerist society?

We are already trapped in a heavily consumerist society.  I try to remind people that shopping is fun but it becomes not fun when you have no where to put the things you buy and/or you can't find things you know you purchased.  That's a sure sign you have a problem.  I think being more aware of what you are buying (online and in stores) is part of the process, the other part is to always be thinking of what you don't need anymore.  I have a "donation box" in all of my clients homes, as soon as you realize you don't need something you throw it in the donation box, when the donation box is full you seal it up, put it in your car and take it to be donated, then you start another donation box.  

In a shared environment, how do you compromise and maximize space for roommates or a whole family?

I try to use wall space as much as possible to get things off the floor and I also like using furniture that can double as storage.

Very often, highly organized people marry partners who are okay living in an overwhelming mess. How would you approach the conversation about decluttering and inspire a “messy” person to see the benefits of being organized? 

Sometimes couples use me as a wedge, they want me to help gang up on their spouse and shame them into an organized lifestyle, I don't go in for that type of thing.  Itry to develop a bond with each family member and that means asking everyone about their goals for the space.  Knowing that I have multiple interests at heart makes clients more amenable to hearing my ideas and doing the work to clear their space and make room for a plan that encompasses everyone's goals. 

What storage solution is “a must” to stay organized in the long run?

Files are a non-negotiable.  If you are an adult person you need a way to manage your paperwork (I created my personal filing system at age 11.)  Some of my clients run a business out of their residence, they are probably going to need a tall file cabinet or a chest of drawers dedicated to files. For clients like home makers I can get away with smaller solutions but when you consider the paperwork you need to run a house (insurance, taxes, each family member's medical/school records just to start) it adds up fast and if you want an organized home you need a system for paperwork.

The other thing I do for almost every client is to organize their bathroom products in clear plastic shoe boxes.  I sort like items then I label each box so when you cut yourself all you have to do is grab the first aid box and your band aids will be right there or if you are going on a trip then you pull the box that says travel toiletries and anything you may need is at your fingertips.

What is your best advice for overworked business people trying to stay organized?

Hire me!  Organizing is not a magic bullet, it's work and at some point something's got to give and if you spend so much time working that you have very little time for organization then it might be time to admit to yourself that organizing is not your favorite thing and it's worth it to you to hire someone to help.  For my clients that go through the initial organization process and still have trouble taking time to stay organized I offer "touch-up" sessions which usually happen quarterly.

 I know you love to organize, but I am sure you feel overwhelmed after a work day decluttering for your clients. How do you recharge?

I love to cook.  If I feel too tired to cook an entire meal then I just prep my next meal and when I go to make it the next day my job is much easier.  If I am feeling very overwhelmed I will organize something small like the fridge or my desk.  That small achievement helps me clear my head and prepare myself for the bigger achievements that await me in the near future.

What daily habits allow you to stay organized?

Always unpack as soon as you get home.  If it's your gym bag, purse, groceries, the clothes you bought online and received at work, unpack everything right away.  If you spend a little time picking up after yourself daily you save a lot of time in the long run because you have less picking up to do and you don't spend time trying to find things you failed to put away.

Contact Information:

Website: closeted.net   

E-mail: kaylee@closeted.net    

Phone: 415.235.1253

Creative People in Business: Italina Kirknis

My name is Italina, and I’m an Online Presence Expert & Speaker. My team and I specialize in helping the Real Estate Community’s Top Realtors and Lenders upgrade their presence online via Social Media & Email Newsletters. 

Our Online Branding & Marketing Firm helps such business owners by relieving them of the time consuming task of managing their social media accounts and email newsletters. www.ItalinaImage.com

©   2016 Valentina Sadiul Photography

© 2016 Valentina Sadiul Photography

What time you get up: I applaud people who get up at 4 and 5 in the morning. I’m just not one of those people…yet. I’m a young woman, I play tennis competitively and work out on a regular basis. Plus I enjoy my social life. So I maintain a regular sleeping schedule of 10:30pm - 6am. 

All my life, I described myself as not being a morning person. Today, I am a morning person. When my eyes open with the realization that it’s morning, I’m excited at what the day has instore for me. 

 Morning Routine: I immediately hop out of bed excited to get started. My 1st stop is the kitchen where I drink a full glass of water with apple cider vinegar. Then I’m off to enjoy an outdoor run. 

My morning ritual also includes affirmations, meditation, visualization, reading, and journaling. In getting these things done before I hit the shower and start my work day, I already feel accomplished, empowered, centered and grounded. I basically feel like Super Woman, lol.

Best Habit: Mastering My Calendar is my best habit. I schedule things in my calendar, and I live by that schedule. I do not let seemingly pressing things interfere with that schedule. For example, every Monday and Wednesday morning, 1 or 2 hours is blocked out for making prospecting calls. Nothing interferes with that, and I schedule everything else around that blocked out time. Mastering my calendar is my best habit because this prevents me from having a hectic schedule, it prevents me from being stressed (which affects every other area of my life), and it prevents me from needing to cancel or accidentally forget meetings with others. 

Worst Habit: My worst habit is eating and drinking a little heavy at night, lol. I have a fun social life.  

 

Philosophy: My philosophy is to create your own rich life. I also believe that in order to do that, we must affect others. Affect others and create your own rich life. But what do I know, lol?

Your story, why did you leave corporate world?

Like a lot of people, I started off on the corporate path. I thought I wanted to be an Attorney, but you don’t really know what something is like until you actually try it. 

During law school I had great internships working with Attorneys and Judges. But the truth is, I didn’t love it. I thought I should just push through, give it a fair shot, in hopes it would grow on me. 

Then I got sick, literally. One day I was in the office by myself, I put my hand on the edge of the desk, and I bent over in excruciating pain. I clutched my stomach, the source of the pain. I had an ulcer that continued to flare up with each week I tried to give this job a fair shot.  

That day in the office all by myself, I decided I’d pursue another path. Not wanting to be stuck with debt and no degree, I stayed in school, completed my degree, and then taught law long enough to pay off my law school loan. 

Being a law professor, teaching classes, captivating students (I had no disciplinary issues in my classroom) groomed me for being a public speaker now. 

I also worked in a tax firm in their Marketing Department. That’s where I got a lot of hands on experience creating compelling marketing campaigns. When it became clear to me that online marketing was an essential addition to other forms of marketing, I decided to go out on my own focusing on Online Branding & Marketing.

Now with my law degree, Juris Doctorate (J.D.), and marketing experience, I get to work with fun people, helping them create and promote their brand online, providing them more visibility on sites like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Yelp.  

And I haven’t been sick since. 

Your everyday passion?

My passion is creating brands from scratch. The journey of helping an individual discover and hone in on their brand has been a delightfully creative and inspiring process with the individuals I’ve had the fortune of working with.  

Once it’s time to promote their brand online, I’m just ecstatic. I love Branding, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Marketing your brand.

What is special about your company? 

When I first started this company, I thought I would just be making a living and living my life under the radar. Then I started getting calls, emails, and facebook messages from people saying how I’ve inspired them to leave a job they hated but felt they needed to keep for all kinds of reasons- this is what my family expects of me, this is what I went to school for, I need to finish what I started etc. 

That’s when I realized this business isn’t about me. I was inspired to create a Mission Statement- To Inspire others to become aware of and act on their ability to accomplish.

The work I do with Realtors, Lenders and other Business Owners inspires other professionals to take a step beyond what they thought they were capable of. I’m showing audiences that they really can create the life they truly want for themselves.  

Create your life by design, not by default. As a Public Speaker giving over 40 talks per year, I blend this message in with the ‘Leverage LinkedIn for Leads’ and ‘Facebook for Business’ talks I give. Through my business and the way I live my life, I convey this message. 

The problem today is most professionals are on LinkedIn, but don’t know how to use it for Business. Business owners should be using LinkedIn to Promote and Market their services, versus merely accepting Connection Requests and Endorsements from people you don’t even know.

Here is a quick VIDEO giving you 3 Powerful Tips for networking with professionals who have the Power and the Connections to help you come in contact with the opportunities you're looking for.

See VIDEO here!

Naturally, there are people who’d rather just have their Online Presence managed for them, rather than having to post or market on social media themselves. This is why we offer 3 Done For You Services:

  1. Profiles - Most people just slapped a profile onto LinkedIn. We’ll recreate your profile so it clearly conveys the services you offer, what set’s you apart from your competitors, and ensure it’s Search Engine Optimized (SEO) so you show up higher on Google.
  2. Posts - For those who don’t have the time, desire, or know how, my team and I create customized posts/content just for you that no other person will have and post for you each week on your social media sites.
  3. Email Newsletters - my team and I create customized content for your email newsletter and send it out for you either monthly or quarterly. If you don’t have an email newsletter set up, we’ll set you up and even help you organize your database.
  4. Coaching - If you enjoy doing these things yourself or if you have an assistant that you want to have trained in best practices in these 3 areas, Profiles, Posts, or Email Newsletters, you can take advantage of Coaching Calls with me directly to better your Online Presence and increase your social media skills.