5 Tips to Declutter your Space and Mind with Amy Kennedy
Professional Organiser Amy Kennedy knows that a clear space leads to a clear mind. Through her business, The Organising Bee, she helps her clients organise their homes while teaching tailored strategies to keep their spaces clutter-free and their minds stress-free.
With a Bachelor of Communication specialising in Advertising and Marketing Communications, Amy applied the skills she learned at UC and her work as a marketing specialist to start her own flourishing business.
We spoke to Amy to find out about her journey from marketing specialist to running The Organising Bee and to get five tips on how to declutter your space and mind for the New Year.
Amy, The Organising Bee
As a four-year-old, Amy loved tidying up but would often put items in places where her mother couldn’t find them. Her then frustrated mother would tell her to stop tidying until it became a habit not to. Only when Amy carried that habit into her married life, did she notice how clutter can have a negative effect on a person’s stress levels. In the process of changing her habits, she rediscovered her love for organising.
“It’s funny how the skills you have as a child naturally come out later in life,” she said.
After much research into the professional organising industry, Amy received private training from Sarah Cottman, a well-known professional organiser in the industry who helps behind the scenes in Peter Walsh’s decluttering segments on the Living Room.
She then applied her skills in marketing and business to jumpstart The Organising Bee.
Since then, Amy has won the Best of Houzz award for Service in 2017 and 2018. This year, she was also invited to speak on behalf of the Institute for Professional Organisers at the HIA Home Show in Sydney.
On top of all these achievements, Amy’s number one success are her clients.
“I love witnessing a change in a client,” she said. “I can see the mental and emotional load they are carrying lighten.”
Amy is committed to community outreach, taking the items from her clients’ decluttering sessions to various charities around Canberra.
“With a lot of my clients who are struggling with clutter, it’s easier for them to let go of their unused items if these items go to a place where they’ll be valued,” she said.
Amy has donated many items, including LEGOs for use in socialisation programs at primary schools. She has even helped a client donate a car to Kids Under Cover, an initiative to help prevent youth homelessness. This year, she volunteered to help Roundabout Canberra streamline their collection processes.
“When I first started The Organising Bee, it was because I love organising,” she said. “Now, I do it to support people.”
Here are Amy’s top 5 tips for the New Year:
1. Stop clutter from entering your home.
Be selective in your purchases and avoid bringing anything into your home unless you have a genuine love or need for it.
2. Don’t rely on your memory.
Use a calendar, diary, etc. to record your commitments and action items. For couples and families, sync your online calendar (Google, Outlook etc.) with your family members for a quick and easy way to keep track of family commitments in one place.
3. Declutter before purchasing anything.
It’s natural to feel the need to go purchase more storage if your cupboard is overflowing with stuff, but that can lead to further disorganisation. The key is to reduce the amount of unused or unneeded items. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find that you may not need to purchase more storage.
4. Set clear goals on what you want to achieve.
If you are going to reorganise your home or have a decluttering project, it’s important to find the reason why you want to declutter and to understand what is challenging about reaching your goal. If you can outline the desired function of the space that you want to organise and what the end result looks like, this will guide you through your decluttering process.
5. Keep it simple.
The more complexity you add to an organising system, the more difficult it is to maintain. That’s why I teach my clients to build one-handed systems, where you only need one hand to get something out or put it away. For example, using pigeonhole-type shelves or drawers over big plastic tubs with lids stacked one on top of the other.
And if you’re overwhelmed by clutter, remember to start small. It’s important to be mindful that if you have a lifetime of belongings (or clutter) in your home, it’s unrealistic to be able to declutter and re-organise it all in one weekend. Organisation is a learned skill. Take it step by step.
If you need help, Amy and other professional organisers are there to assist.
Words by Aline-Mwezi Niyonsenga, images courtesy of Amy Kennedy and Smashing Panda Photography
Bachelor of Communication in Advertising and Marketing Communications, University of Canberra (2000)
You can visit her website or email to find out more about The Organising Bee.