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Solo to Squads: Organizing Leadership & Expert Tips

In this episode of Talk Clutter to Me, I dive into the world of professional organizing with the dynamic duo of Matina & Kristina, the masterminds behind Two Tidy Tinas, and Kat, the force behind Badass Homelife. Together, we unpack the secrets of professional organizing leadership, our different business structures, and some great organizing tips for a clutter-free life!

About Two Tidy Tinas

Two Tidy Tinas is based out of South Carolina. Matina and Kristina consider themselves besties and boss ladies! Matina, teaches greek dance and Sunday school when she's not organizing. Kristina, loves to travel and scuba dive with her husband when she's not working on the organizing business.

About Badass Homelife

Badass Homelife is based out of Sacramento, California. Kat is a Phillippino professional organizer and an ADHD organizing specialist. Her fun fact is that she is always cold and is even getting a tattoo about it.

Solo Organizing vs. Squad Organizing

I wanted to take some time to go through the differences between owning an organizing business solo like Kat with Badass Homelife and owning an organizing business as a duo, like Two Tiny Tinas. Matina started discussing how she wanted to get into the organizing business but didn't know to start exactly. Once she got together with a professional organizer who gave her some information she knew she couldn't do it alone so she reached out to Kristina to be her business partner. Kristina was all for it despite not having any prior organizing experience. They started their LLC business in 2020 during the pandemic.

Kat goes into why she chose and continues to be a solo organizer. She's been in business since 2017, about a year after she moved to the United States. She was an interior designer in the Philippians but discovered she had a love for organizing. She is currently working on some coursework so wanted to stay solo.

I also chose to stay solo because my of a past experience in my family. I got my entrepreneur gene from my father. He was in business with a friend and something happened that caused a rift in the friendship and the end of the business. This drove me to be very avoidant of starting a business with friends to preserve our friendship.

A Day in the Life

A day in the life of a professional organizer can look very different between organizers. I thought it would be fun to dive in to what a day looks like for each of us.

Both of the Tina's are available to do jobs. Matina does usually do a lot of the on sight jobs, but Kristina does a lot of consultations and the back-end work. They both do a lot of other admin work. Matina also likes to do a lot of writing so she helps out with captions and blog posts and Kristina likes to do the editing, so they really have a great balance. They also employ a marketing manager to help with the social media items.

Kat, as a solo owner, doesn't have a day-to-day but has a weekly structure. She offers 3 days a week for in-home sessions but those only happen Thursday through Sunday. She spends time Tuesdays and Thursdays for admin items. Kat likes to make sure she is balancing things so she also makes selfcare a priority as well throughout the week.

The Biggest Stressor

I asked everyone what the biggest stressors were as business owners. We all deal with a lot of stressors as business owners and with the Tina's as co-owners.

Kristina mentioned that they've done a great job of separating their business relationship from their friendship and have had to form boundaries. They found that sometimes they'd be meeting up for a business meeting but would end up talking about personal things. Now when they plan a business meeting, they stick to the business and save the personal stuff for another time. They have also created a system with Slack for communication so they have a better work/life balance. If something is super urgent they will text one another but if it's a regular level of importance, it gets sent in slack.

For Kat, it's the feeling of FOMO. She gets a lot of interest with people sending in resumes. She's always questioning whether she making the right choice by not expanding the team. She also worries about missing out on jobs because she limits her time for in home sessions to three days a week. She has some imposter syndrome when it comes to whether she is doing things right.

I agreed. I am always questioning myself. I often bounce ideas off of my husband because I don't have anyone else to bounce this unique scenario off of. Both of the Tinas urged me to reach out to them! There are so many professional organizers I do have connections with and forget that I can reach out to my professional organizer community!

Tips on the Fly

I thought it would be fun to roll a die to give us topics to give tips on!

Storage Tips

Kat: Don't buy the bins before decluttering!

Tinas: When decluttering, take it one step at a time and use a timer. Slow and steady! Also, add some shelves!

Amanda: Label the bins so you know what's in them!

Sentimental Items

Tinas: Kristina isn't a sentimental person so she declutters. She also recommends saving the sentimental things for the end. Also, snap pictures of artwork to keep forever! Keep it if it's really important.

Amanda: It's not serving a purpose being in a bin so display it in someway or form (shadow boxes).

Kat: Get creative with your stuff. You can make a stack of clothing from a loved one into a bear. Turn it into a positive force. Display the items so you can relive the memories.

Small Bathroom

Tinas: Use tiered under sink organizers to take advantage of the heigh of the cabinet and make things accessible.

Amanda: Use the wall space in bathrooms. Floating shelves-- gives you additional organization space but still looks great.

Kat: Zone your bathroom. Put things where you use them.

Digital Organizing

Amanda: Utilize folders in your email. Use your inbox as a to do list. Put all read/done emails into a folder.

Kat: She moves items into a "to read" folder. She also recommends a CRM, like HoneyBook to manage clients.

Tinas: Create "rules" so that emails automatically go into a folder. For receipts, have them automatically go to QuickBooks when you receive an email with a receipt. On the photo side of things, if you're looking to clean things up, you can search for each day and then delete the photos you don't want. They also utilize google to organize documents.

Team Structure

The Tina's predominantly do team jobs, where as Kat does solo, and I do a little bit of everything. I wanted to hear why each of us chose this team structure.

Kat mentions that she definitely prefers to be solo. If she ever needs a helping hand her husband is glad to help. She also loves the one-on-one relationship with her clients. She does a lot of work with ADHD clients so building that trust with her clients is super important because of the vulnerability her clients display. She's not sure how that level of trust would be with a team. I agreed that a lot of my neurodivergent clients prefer just a singular organizer and will even request just one person.

The Tina's started by doing organizing sessions on the side of their regular jobs. As soon as Matina left her other job, they had someone who was interested in working for them. It was perfect timing! Having more people also allowed them to be able to get jobs done quicker since they had more hands on deck. Matina even said it was life changing to have an additional team member when it came to jobs. They've had great success with hiring and even took a course with Kat Waldo on how to build teams that they found super helpful. Matina also mentioned that they are so blessey and d to have great team members who put the client first.

When it comes to my structure, it's a little more fluid. Sometimes we have one organizer and sometimes we have a team. We are structured so that the client can be involved as much or as little as they want to be. When the client doesn't want to be involved a lot or at all, I can bring more people to help out with the load. I've also had clients who are concerned about too many people asking them questions. The way my process is designed is so that even if we have a team of people come in the help, the client only speaks to one person. The other team members just work behind that lead person and the client. This structure helps ease client's fears of being too overwhelmed throughout the process.

What is Currently Cluttering your Life?

Matina: Being constantly busy and working on doing less.

Kristina: Her Pantry. She's going to hire Matina and the team to come and organize it. Also worrying about all of the moving parts of the business.

Katrina: Books! The guest bedroom has a lot of items she needs to go through. Goals she hasn't reached yet but are within reach.

Amanda: The garage! It's cluttered with recycling and product for jobs and her husband's new road bike.

Looking to the Future

Kat at Badass Homelife is working on getting her Neurodiversity Coach Certificate! She really loves helping the neuro-spicy community and is looking forward to helping people not only in their homes but in their everyday lives with a coaching program as well.

Matina and Kristina at Two Tiny Tina's are working on some exciting things like a pantry guide, a soft-staging package with a designer, and dipping their toes into concierge moving.

Certifications and Professional Development

I wanted to pick everyone's brains about their opinions on getting certifications and professional development.

The Tina's think it's super important to get certain certifications, especially if you want to help certain clients. You never want to do a disservice to someone so it's also important to know your target client and when to say no. Continuing education and networking is super important as well. They currently do not have any official certifications but again there are none required to be a professional organizer.

I also do not have any official professional organizing certifications. The majoring of my knowledge comes from experiences. I did just get my LEAN Certification though. I'm also a couple of organizations as well.

Kat mentioned that she used to be hater on certifications because again, you don't need one to be a professional organizer. She did become a member of a couple of organizations and found the value in getting certifications, especially if you're dealing with people who are hoarders or the neurodivergent community. She also says if you're just starting, don't get bogged down by not having a certification.

Want to know more about the Two Tidy Tina's or Badass Homelife??

Two Tidy Tina's

Badass Homelife

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