This month we're so excited to be spending some time with Katherine at Tidy Milso! Katherine is a very hands-on home organizer and works alongside her clients utilizing the KonMari™ method in her tidy sessions, which we'll learn more about below. Recently, when Katherine was looking to add some organization products to her own home, she ran a poll on Instagram to help her select the pieces. We're so happy that her followers selected SortJoy for her closet! In this interview she'll talk to us more about her business and how she maintains order in her own closet!
Follow Katherine: @tidymilso
Pictured: The Handle Bin
How did you get into professional organizing?
While I launched my business in June of 2020, Tidy Milso was in the making long before that. In February of 2017 my now husband was away at basic training for the Army. During this time, I came across a book called "Live More, Want Less" by Mary Carlomagno and it was so compelling that I finished reading the book in a matter of days. With motivation from the book and in pursuit to stay busy, I re-organized and decluttered our home.
My mindset was that this would not only occupy my time as I waited for his homecoming but it would be beneficial in case we had to relocate. Through several phone chats and video calls we managed to get rid of 20+ bags of clothing and miscellaneous items. I can still remember the freeing feeling in keeping only the things we each desired. So when I stumbled upon "Tidying up with Marie Kondo" on Netflix and she defined that feeling as #SparkJoy everything clicked. After my husband and I paid over $84,000 in debt, my gift to myself was my KonMari Certification Course by Marie Kondo. The course started in September 2020 but I became a Certified KonMari Consultant in August 2021.
Have you always been an organized person?
Yes, I’ve been organized for as long as I can remember. My mom still keeps my school notebooks so she can show her future grandchildren how immaculate the pages are. lol
What would you say your organizing ethos is? What sets you apart from different organizers?
My goal as a professional organizer is to help people organize where they live regardless of size. If you were to look through my portfolio you will notice that there is no defined aesthetic and it’s because the aesthetic is chosen by clients. Through decluttering I assist my clients in gaining clarity and empower them to make decisions. In doing so, I assist them in becoming aligned with their ideal lifestyle.
Who has supported you along the way and who inspires you?
My husband is my biggest supporter. From the time I told him I wanted to quit my job he has been rock. He pushes me to do better and be better. Anyone who pushes through the adversities of life inspires me.
Pictured: The Sculpted Bin - Wide with Lid
How would you define your personal style?
My personal style is a cross between Grand Millennial and Asian Zen.
Do you have a favorite space to organize?
Lol. I am often asked this question and to be honest, I can’t pick a favorite. I simply enjoy helping others transform their lives… and the look on my clients face at the end of a tidy session is avocado on toast for me.
A favorite type of client you like to work with?
My favorite client to work with is someone that knows they need to get organized but doesn’t know how.
What is the most common misconception about professional organizers?
We come to your house and put your stuff in pretty bins. Lol
What’s your least favorite organizing trend?
The reverse hanger trend is my least favorite. If someone is already having difficulty with being organized, they are going to have difficulty maintaining this method. Even if you are able to identify the clothing that you haven’t worn you still have to determine whether or not you are going to keep it.
Any bad organizing advice you’d warn against?
There is so much organizing advice out there and I think all organizing advice begins with good intentions. My best advice is to ask an expert. Getting advice from someone you know or are influenced by is great but they can only speak to what works for them. An expert speaks from their experience of working with multiple people and therefore can provide you with a custom solution.
What’s your advice to someone who lives with another person that is messier than they are?
If you want to see lasting change, be consistent. The moment you stop is the moment the other person(s) will not see the value.
Ex. You and your partner agree to work out 3 days a week. You go to the gym on the first day and the second day but on the third day you decide not to go. Your partner doesn’t go at all and you decide to ask them about it. You say something like, “I thought we were doing this together”, Your partner responds with, “Well you stopped going so I figured we weren’t doing it anymore.”
Moral of the story is keep going.
If someone is feeling overwhelmed in their space, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give them to help them start?
Start with your mindset. Write down what you envision for the space then commit yourself to making the change. You’ve got this!
If you had to pick one, what’s your favorite SortJoy product?
The Sculpted Bin Wide with the Lid is my favorite. It’s so versatile. I use them for undergarments mostly but I am considering adding a few in our guest bedroom.
Tell us about the closet you organized. Are there any specific tips or tricks you used in your closet that you’d like to share?
The closet system in our bedroom was here when we purchased the home. When I saw it, I immediately wanted to change it. My husband on the other hand loved it so we made a deal that we would see how it works for a year and then decide if we wanted to change it. My biggest tip is to use what you have until you get what you want. In doing so, you will find exactly what you need.
- I used bins with lids to conceal my delicate items like intimates and swimwear.
- I folded all my hoodies and sweatshirts to make room to hang my light jackets.
- I used the bag in bag method to store all my purses/bags and I displayed the two bags I use most often.
How often do you find yourself getting rid of articles of clothing or decluttering your closet?
I evaluate my clothing on laundry days. It gives me a better idea on what I’ve been wearing and what I haven’t. I have a designated bin in our room for donations. The bin I use for donations is the Handle Bin by Sort Joy.
Can you tell us about the name “Tidy Milso”?
When I decided to start the business, the thing I struggled with most was my business name. I knew I wanted it to relate to my experience as a military significant other. After all, I wouldn’t have started my own decluttering journey if my husband didn’t join the Army and therefore I wouldn’t have discovered my passion for organizing. The business name was very close to being named the Tidy Nomad but after I came to my senses, I decided to name it Tidy Milso. Tidy meaning arranged neatly and in order and Milso standing for Military Significant other.
Tell us about your goals for the future:
My goal is to add commerce to the Tidy Milso brand. I have a few ideas!
What is your favorite thing about being a business owner? What’s the most difficult thing?
My favorite thing about being a business owner is that it is ever evolving, no one day is the same. The most difficult thing about being a business owner is that success of the business solely depends on the decisions you make.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of organizing?
I’ve really gotten back into fitness. Cycling is my thing!
However, I’m hoping that I will be back in shape by the Spring so that I can get back to playing ultimate frisbee. I haven’t played in years.
Have questions or want to connect with Katherine?
Follow Along: @tidymilso
Work With Katherine: www.tidymilso.com