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Meet Kathy Vines of Clever Girl Organizing in North Shore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathy Vines.

Kathy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I launched Clever girl Organizer in early 2013, after ending a 20-year career in Human Resources. Becoming a Professional Organizer had been my ‘Someday, Maybe” career for a long time, and when the opportunity to start came my way, I took it!

I’ve always been good at helping other people figure out the most efficient and effective ways of getting things done. I’m the person who can look at a pile of boxes and know exactly how they’ll fit in a closet or the trunk of a car. If there are leftovers for dinner, I know which Tupperware is the perfect size. While all of those are great skills for an organizer or productivity consultant, where I really excel is in applying my years of coaching to working with my clients. The blend of my skills helped me create a great foundation with my clients early on.

So, with my natural ability to organize, and my ability to ask questions and help guide someone through the process of analyzing their space, their stuff, and their habits, I help people every day to meet their goals of living a more organized, less stressful, less chaotic life.

After a while, my business expanded. I blog, and people who follow my blog but don’t live in the Boston area wanted to work with me, so I launched my Virtual Organizing business, and have clients all over the globe! I began speaking to large groups much more frequently, both community-based groups and corporate audiences, on topics related to organizing and productivity. I run an annual Organizing Challenge with members who sign on to work together and support each other as they tackle specific goals related to getting organized.

And in July, 2017, my new book, Clever Girl’s Guide to Living with Less, helping people understand why letting go of items can be so hard, and how to move past the barriers they’re building, arrived in paperback and kindle on Amazon.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Mine is an industry that needs a vision for the future… where do I want to be in a year? How busy do I want to be? What are the best kinds of clients for my style? How can I find them, or hope they find me?

Being a small business owner, after decades of being someone else’s employee, meant that I needed to come up with my own vision, my own plan, and my own path. That can be scary!

It also means having to do things I’ve always been able to rely on others for: IT, marketing, finance and accounting, etc. I had to decide what I wanted to be good at (or at least competent at) and what I wanted to bring others in to do… I’m a big fan of “I’ll be good at what I’m good at, and YOU be good at what YOU’RE good at!”

I also joined a mastermind group, which helped keep me accountable to my plan, and expand my horizons on just what I can accomplish if I put my heart and mind to it!

Please tell us about Clever Girl Organizing.
I work with people in residential and business settings to help people get a handle on their stuff, their systems, and their habits, making their lives more organized and less stressed.

I work with people in a variety of ways:

– Side by side, in person organizing. We might work together once, or we might work together for months, depending on the client’s goals, strengths, and challenges
– Virtually, through skype or facetime. This is a great way for people who are good at the DIY approach, but need to have some guidance, collaboration, and accountability.
– Speaking engagements. I work with community and with corporate settings to discuss all sorts of topics from minimalism to time and email management.
– Organizing Challenges, which allow people to get guidance and structure, but join in a supportive group for motivation and encouragement

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up on Long Island, but my parents were able to save and splurge for one big day in NYC every year. One year, when I was 8, we had an amazing day in the city at Christmastime: tickets to see Annie (the first Broadway production), and then go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the King Tut exhibit, which was world famous at the time. We topped it off with dinner at Mamma Leone’s, the quintessential tourist destination Italian restaurant.

The show was fantastic, especially for an 8-year-old girl who loved to sing. The King Tut exhibit was just about the most exotic thing I’d ever experienced. Dinner was probably in the fanciest restaurant I’d ever eaten in by that time. Plus, NYC at Christmas is about the most beautiful as it gets!

It was just about the most special outing I could even imagine at that age. I’m sure it cost them a FORTUNE. I hope they know how well I remember it, almost 40 years later!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Primary photo/Headshot: Black Thumb Studio

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