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The Courtney Collective: An Organizer's Perspective

The Courtney Collective: An Organizer's Perspective

If you only had a few moments to interact with someone, what’s the elevator pitch for what you do?

I create systems and flow through organizing to build confidence in families to make their homes a sanctuary for all who walk through their doors. 

What was your path to this line of work?

It was most definitely not a straight line. Ha! My educational and vocational background is in physical therapy. I received my doctorate in 2010 and practiced for a few years before having my children. I transitioned into the CEO of our home at that point and a few years into being a stay-at-home mama, I needed something of my own. I began my own personal styling business in 2015 which lended itself to full access to women’s closets. As clients would invite me in for styling needs, I simply couldn’t help myself and would end up re-organizing their closets in the meantime. There came a point where I knew that what I had to offer through my organizational eyes and efficiency-minded brain was something that these women and their families needed. A professional organizer didn’t exist in my community and I decided, if there was going to be one, it needed to be me! So in 2021, I secured a business license and launched The Courtney Collective


 The Courtney Collective with The Sculpted Bins by Whitney Stephenson Photo 


Have you always been an organized person?

Organized, yes. But I’m a little messy… ha! And I think that surprises many. I have always needed my belongings to have a specific home and for there to be order in my spaces, but my personality doesn’t fit the mold of “don’t put it down, put it away.” Sometimes life is just too busy for that to be a consistent reality. I tell myself and my clients that having an organized home and organizing systems in place allows the freedom to actually LIVE in your homes. When you’re living, your making messes (and memories), but by having an organized space, your messes don’t have to stress you out and can also be cleaned up fast and easily. 

Do you like organizing your own home as much as organizing client homes?

I do! I am my own best client! The reason I am able to help my clients’ so well is because I share their same blessings and gifts that can also bring struggles and frustrations. Multiple children, two self-employed parents, sports schedules, school projects, time spent serving in our community. I get it! My home has to support all of that! And the same is true for my clients. They deserve to come home after full days and exhale and experience stress-free mornings as they prepare for those full days. I want that for my family as well. And if I can’t create that in my own home, I’m not sure that you’d want me in yours! But I can and do, and because my clients know this, they know they can trust the expertise, experience, and empathy I bring into their spaces. 

What’s your number one tip for staying organized with children?

Creating simple systems that they can maintain themselves is key! If a child can’t implement the system, then the system is too complicated and needs to be simplified more. This may include avoiding products with lids, using labels with pictures instead of words, and making sure you have plenty of margin for the big items. 

 The Courtney Collective with The Sculpted Bins by Whitney Stephenson Photo 


How early do you think it’s reasonable to involve children in the decluttering process?

I will only speak from personal experience here, but for my three children, I really saw the ability to make judgement calls on what they want to keep and what they can let go of happen around age 5. Prior to that, they are little hoarders who want to keep EVERYTHING! My youngest will turn six in May and he will now bring me items out of his room and say, “Mommy, I think I’m done playing with this now. We can share it with a friend.” And my 11-year-old boy/girl twins now just grab trash bags on their own, fill them, and toss them in the back of my car. They’ve watched, learned, and now do. Kids are smart. They are always watching and modeling what they see. 

Do you have a favorite space in the home you like to work on, or a type of client you like to work with?

While I don’t have one in particular, I do love organizing spaces that lend to daily rhythms of the home and family the most. So personal closets and bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and pantries. My goal isn’t to just make a space pretty, but to enhance the efficiency of the home. I want your daily household tasks to be less cumbersome because you have the support of an organized space. Dinner should be easier and more enjoyable to get on the table because your pantry and kitchen are in order (lunch-packing too!). The never-ending laundry can feel less overwhelming when the right system for your family is in place. Getting dressed in the morning should feel just as awesome as coming home and changing into your sweats because you can easily see that which you love and feel confident in. The spaces that can make or break your day… those are the ones I love to be in!

What’s your favorite SortJoy product?

Hands down, the Sculpted Bins! In my own home, I use them for toy storage and clothing storage. But I also really love my Handle Bin. It serves as my bag for gathering returns and for snacks and blankets for the ball park. It comes with me to the beach and on road trips. It’s my “everything” bag. 

The Courtney Collective with The Sculpted Bins by Whitney Stephenson Photo 


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

Flexibility. My family is my number one priority and being available for them is a non-negotiable. I wouldn’t be able to be present for the things that are important to them if I wasn’t the boss. And I don’t take that privilege lightly or for granted. Wearing all the hats is the struggle. I am constantly being humbled when I drop the ball, miss something important, have to learn yet another new skill on the business side of things. 

Is there a challenging area for you to keep organized? And how do you manage that space?

My garage. It’s the spot where fast exchanges happen and also an area I don’t have to “live” in so it gets the short-end of the stick and often overlooked. But we do edit seasonally, removing items that are no longer needed, and do a deep clean. 

Tell us about your goals for the future:

Right now I’m a one-woman show and I would love for that to change. I love community and also having two sets of eyes and hands on a project is far better than one. 

The Courtney Collective with The Sculpted Bins by Whitney Stephenson Photo 


Who has supported you along the way and who inspires you? 

I am so thankful for my very first sets of clients who blindly trusted me. The foundation they helped lay with me was so necessary and I could not have done it without them. They are have also been repeat clients and a wonderful referral source as well. On a day to day basis, I have a tiny (but mighty!) cohort of three other professional organizers that I chat with weekly (if not daily) to troubleshoot, encourage, and process with. Aubrey, Lauryl, and Anna are life-giving to me and give me that community that I need as a solopreneur. 

If someone is feeling overwhelmed in their space, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them to help them start?
Declutter. Always. Creating visual space will always create mental space allowing you to breathe a little easier. 

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