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Of Space + Mind: An Organizer’s Perspective

Of Space + Mind: An Organizer’s Perspective

 We love the name, “Of Space + Mind”. How did you come up with it?

Of Space + Mind was actually inspired by a song title from one of my favorite bands! We believe organization is not just about transforming environments, but transforming lives – so I wanted a name that reflected the value that we provide people. We believe that a home designed with intention makes room for creativity, productivity and mindfulness – so our name is about the impact organization has on a person's life. 


Can you tell us a little about your company and the work you do?

Of Space + Mind is a full-service professional organization company for homes and businesses. Our goal is to create spaces that complement our clients lifestyle, helping them live better and do more of what they love. By considering people’s current and future needs, we build systems in homes that can reflect people's lifestyle and can grow with people over time. We organize everything from garages to nurseries, kitchens, pantries and closets. We also provide moving services – helping families unpack and create systems in their new homes. 

How did you get into professional organizing? Have you always been an organized person?

I grew up in a big family in a home that was always full of people, pets and chaos. Organizing whatever space I had to myself was the one way I could create a sense of order and feel calm. I started my career in the startup world, beginning as an Executive Assistant and working my way up to Director of Operations for a young, fast growing company. That company moved me to New York where I went on to lead Marketing for another startup company. Organizing was a huge part of that job – coordinating people, defining our brand identity, organizing events, running campaigns and helping the company design and build offices across the country. I was living in New York City at the time but even though my apartments were tiny, I cared about making them functional and also a place I liked to come home to. People would come over and make comments about how I’d totally transformed my apartment, how well I’d organized my kitchen or how cool my closet system was. It was in those small comments that I started to realize this was a skill and something I could offer the world. 


What would you say your organizing ethos is? Is there anything about you or your team that sets you apart from other professional organizers?

Our mission is to help people free their mind by organizing their spaces. We take a holistic approach to organizing, considering all aspects of a person's life to create spaces that are not just pretty, but reflect the needs of their lifestyle. I started my business in New York where our work is all about space optimization and getting creative about how to live well in small spaces. A couple years ago my husband and I moved to New Jersey and we now have two kids. Having both that urban and suburban view helps us really understand what our clients need - whether we’re organizing an 800 square foot apartment, or a 5000 square foot home. 


What is your typical client looking for?  Do you have a favorite space to organize?

Our typical client is a busy person who appreciates how important a well functioning space is, but doesn’t have the time or energy to do it themselves. We are either tackling a problem area in their home - like a kitchen that doesn’t function well - or giving them permission and space to edit belongings so they can be more intentional with what they have in their space. We also work with a lot of people during life moments and transitions – moving apartments, building a home, bringing home a new baby or a couple moving in together. My favorite space to organize is the kitchen because I love to cook and it’s often the center of a home. A well organized kitchen can have such a big impact on your daily life, so it’s my favorite space to work on. 

 Ashley La Fond, Flex Bins in Carbon


What’s the most important thing to take into consideration when organizing a playspace?

The key to organizing a playspace is to create simple systems that keep toys accessible for kids and are easy to maintain. Often this starts with a good storage piece and the right accessories (bins, baskets and labels!) to make it function well. For younger children, we like to opt for low storage systems so kids can access toys on their own. We also like to designate zones in a playspace to help kids stay more focused – zones might be building toys, cars and trucks, imaginative play, dress up, games and puzzles, arts and crafts etc. 


What do you think about organizing with children, as opposed to organizing for them? At what age does this start?

From the very beginning it’s important to organize and tidy up with children, to create a shared sense of ownership and accountability for their environment. Even babies benefit from seeing that spaces don’t magically organize themselves – so rather than tidying up during naps, we encourage Moms to clean up with their children - even if they are too young to actually participate. 


What is your favorite thing about being a business owner? What’s the most difficult thing?

I love the build aspect of being a business owner - constantly trying new things, solving problems and finding solutions – I love the variety and that no day is the same. I also love that I get to work with real people, and solve everyday problems that can really transform people’s lives. But probably the most difficult thing is that even though I love what I do, I can never really turn-off. I didn’t really take maternity leave after either of my kids were born and even when I am on vacation I am always connected. This comes with being an entrepreneur, but pushing myself to disconnect is something I am working on. 

Flex Bins in Carbon Ashley La FondFlex Bins in Carbon


If someone is feeling overwhelmed in their space, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them to help them start?

Start small! Pick an area of your home that doesn’t hold a lot of attachment for you and begin there – one drawer, under a sink, one single pile. Getting started and staying focussed is the hardest part, so set a timer for a manageable amount of time – even 10 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much you can get through and the sense of accomplishment will help build confidence to tackle other spaces, or keep going. 


If you had to pick one, what’s your favorite SortJoy product?

If I had to pick, my favorite SortJoy product are the Sculpted Bins. I LOVE how structured, durable and versatile they are. They can work in any space – a closet, a playroom, a pantry - so I appreciate how multi-functional they are.  


Tell us about your goals for the future:

I have so many big dreams for Of Space + Mind – expanding into new markets, building out the team and scaling our business! I would eventually love to collaborate with companies like yourself to design products – while new solutions are constantly coming into the market, there are still gaps that we as organizers see when working with clients. 


What is your favorite thing to do outside of organizing?

I love to cook, eat and be outdoors. I am from Canada, so I am happiest when I am in nature! 

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