What It's About
A Hollywood actor takes on a new role helping others clean up!
Words of Wisdom
Okay, you’re a highly organized person, and you want to help others organize their spaces. Awesome! But Regina says that you need to recognize that it requires more than just being an organized person.
Can you also be a teacher? Can you recognize where your clients are hooked into chaos and help them detach from that? You have to be a coach, a mom, a therapist, a spiritual guide, and an organizer all wrapped into one. Why? Because when you’re working with people’s stuff, you have to understand that there is an energy associated with all of the things that they accumulate. You’re unearthing all of that.
To help people get organized, she follows six repeatable steps:
1. Address that the task is overwhelming.
2. Break it down into small, manageable increments.
3. Eliminate what you don’t need by being brutally honest with yourself.
4. Make categories to create order, like different types of clothes or documents.
5. Eliminate within those categories, and maybe get rid of some of them entirely.
6. Realize that maintenance is part of life, and to keep on top of your organization.
These steps can be used to organize anything. Whether it’s a five-year old’s bedroom or your office’s filing cabinet.
Notes from Chris
Episode 793For Regina Leeds, organizing is more than what you do at the start of a reluctant spring clean. It’s a way of life. It all started with her mother who, she says, could have been a U.S. Marine. Everything in the home simply had to be organized. As Regina grew up, she realized she loved organizing just as much as her mother did, but for wildly different reasons. For Mom, it was all about what visitors would think when they came to stay. For Regina, it was an expression of self-love and self-care. A well-organized life, in its own way, can be a well-lived one. When she left home to pursue a career in acting in the 1980s, she used organizing as a way to better understand herself and improve her skills. It didn’t just bring a calming feel to her surroundings, it gave her time and space to explore who she was. With this deeper understanding of herself, Regina started to pick up roles in shows like Married...With Children and The Young and the Restless, where she was a recurring actress for three years. But there were constant ebbs and flows in her work, and some months she really struggled to pay her bills. She also began to feel some resentment towards the industry and the way they treated people who weren’t at the top of the pay scale. Regina decided she needed a second source of income. It would give her the money she needed to pay her bills in the slow periods, and the freedom to avoid “just for the money” roles with people who saw her as expendable. She wanted to be the director, producer, and actor in this role, with full control over the work she took and how she treated people. So she set about turning her skills into a freelance service. At the time, organization was a new concept to society. There were only a handful of books on the subject and few people had ever heard of a “professional organizer.” She offered to organize a friend’s house to see if she could really apply this to other people. Regina went in, did her thing, and her friend was stunned. So much so, that she began to refer her services right away. Regina spent the next ten years growing this business part-time through word-of-mouth referrals, earning enough to supplement her acting work. There were no real startup costs, except for a few business cards her clients could pass on. She also developed a name for the business, The Zen Organizer, after one of her clients referred to the process of getting organized as being “zen-like.” Regina has now also published a number of books about organization, including a New York Times bestseller called One Year To An Organized Life. She initially started self-publishing, which were eventually picked up by publishing houses. Regina says the process of writing and publishing the first book was the hardest project she’s ever worked on, but it was also a domino which gave her the momentum to write the rest. The Zen Organizer has also began to build an online presence. Regina created a website using Wix and uses Instagram to show the more visual aspects of the organization process. Pinterest has also played a central role and allows her to start conversations with the community she’s growing. Looking to the future, Regina wants to focus more on speaking and teaching seminars. Her goal is to spend less time working on projects herself and more time enabling people to organize their own lives. Looking at her track record, she’ll have no problem organizing that for herself!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Regina Leeds | The Zen Organizer: Clean up your act—head on over to Regina's website to learn more!
- Wix: The online website building platform that Regina used to set up her website for The Zen Organizer
- Yoga Teacher Cleans Up with Home Organizing Business: After attending a live podcast taping, this longtime side hustler starts a new project that helps people declutter while donating items to local refugees
- College Student Earns $20,000 a Month Cleaning Houses: A Washington, D.C. student identifies problems in the cleaning industry, then starts a customer service-driven company
- Hungover Accountant Starts “Morning After” Party Cleanup Service: Hungover after a night of hosting a party, an Australian accountant comes up with an unusual cleaning service that goes on to earn $30,000/year part-time
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