Ep 230 Organizing Your Life to Decrease Your Stress and Increase your Energy – A Conversation with Becky Blackburn AKA The Hoss Lady

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Today I have the privilege of sharing a recent conversation with Becky Blackburn.

Becky is the HOSS Lady and in this weeks episode we discussed how organizing your life can help you decrease stress, increase your energy, increase time efficiency, and help build the relationship you have with your present and future self.

Tune in to gain a new way of looking at how doing the simple things daily can change your life.

In This Episode:

  • The importance of setting realistic systems in your life
  • Having compassion as you find ways to separate life and work
  • Every space has a function
  • The connection between mindset and organizing
  • How organizing in advance allows your freedom to do more fun things in your life
  • 3 Rules – No judgement ,don’t cheat, don’t give up
  • 3 Steps – Clear the space, commit to a function for the space, Reset
  • Contact Becky – The Hoss Lady podcast and www.thehosslady.com/getstarted
    the_hoss_lady on IG

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Episode Transcript – Transcribed by OtterAi with minimal edits

You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque, and today’s episode, I’m discussing organizing your space, organizing your life with Becky Blackburn. Welcome to the Its Your Time Podcast, the podcast. We’re busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule so you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.

Michelle Bourque 0:39 Welcome back to the podcast. Here we are with another one of our amazing March lineups. Remember, my birthday is this month and I thought it would be so much fun to give you a gift each week and share conversations with powerful women who can help you in a variety of ways. And today, I have the honor of sharing a recent conversation with Becky Blackburn. Becky is the hos lady. And in this week’s episode, we discussed how organizing your life can help you decrease stress, increase your energy, increase time efficiency, and help build the relationship you have with your present and future self. She shared some great ideas around doing simple things daily in order to make big changes in your life. So without further ado, please take a listen. 

Thank you so much. First of all for letting me be on here. Michelle, this is fantastic. So I’m Becky, also known as the Hoss lady. That stands for home organization simplification specialist. I am a home organizer. And that’s my that’s my my fun thing to do. I’m trying to turn this into a full time business. And I’m very excited about that. But basically, I got started. And this is this is my, my Get Started story i My mom passed away in April of 21. And she had been telling me for years leading up to this that I needed to do this thing, Home Organizing decluttering helping people out full time. And I just always kind of put it aside and thought oh, it’s a great idea, but it’s not going to pay the bills. And I realize there were so many things that were left unfinished in her life. And I refuse to do that for my life and for my own children. So that’s how the Haas lady got started. But I do a podcast I actually do in person decluttering I do some coaching all the things. So it is

Michelle Bourque 2:53 needed. So I think yes, it could definitely be a full time business. It’s so funny. I was actually driving up to my family about an hour and 45 minutes away. And as I was driving, I’m like, there are so many storage unit buildings like we pay to store junk. Right?

3:10 We really do. And that’s really funny, because this weekend, I’ve been helping my ex husband, my my children’s dad, declutter his house because he is moving in a few months or a few weeks, I guess now, but he went and got a storage unit. And I’m like, Just get rid of the things. Like, I know, you’re trying to like downsize the house so that you can show it and it looks open and airy and everything but what’s gonna happen when you move into the house, and you have all this other stuff, it’s it’s gonna be crammed again. And he’s, you know, I wish I could break through to him. But again, we’re divorced. So that might explain some things.

Michelle Bourque 3:50 That’s funny. I also think that a lot of times the organizing or lack of has to do with mindset, and I know for me, like it might be the home, but it might also be the car I remember this one time a doctor followed me out to my car, and he saw the back of my storage area. And he was like Burke, is this an indication of what goes on in your brain? I was like, kind of Yes. So can you maybe talk a little bit to the listeners about what you see as far as the relationship between organizing and mindset? 

4:21 Yes, so we subconsciously register everything that we see. Like if we sit down to a desk that’s got papers stacked up and post it notes everywhere, and little gadgets and pictures and everything all over your desk, your brain, when you sit down to work, you’re subconsciously registering all of this thing. So you’ve already sat down into a chaotic environment, to try and make sense of your job that you’re doing. So it’s harder for you to stay focused in on the work that you need to do. And that’s true for me anything if you’re trying to die it in your pantry is stocked full of everything from chips and it’s all in organized and everything’s in different places. And if you walk in and you’re the first thing you see I level are the snacks, you know dieting, you’re just making yourself much more prone to, to fall off of your diet and you know to do the things fall into those old habits. And the same is true for, like, if you have anxiety, if you constantly lose your keys, and every morning, you wake up to leave, and you’re frantically walking around trying to find your keys, you’re just setting yourself up for more anxious feelings throughout the day. So it’s getting these little systems in place, like having a spot for your snack food, having a spot for your keys, always putting the trash from your car, take it out the minute you walk out of your car, and put it in the trash bandage, before you even walk in the house kind of thing. Those are the things that I really feel like they match, everything we do has to do with the environments that you’re around. And if your environments are crazy, your brain is just gonna like spiral.

Michelle Bourque 6:19 Yes, and people can’t see us on camera. But when you were saying that about the keys, I almost fell over laughing because I feel like I am always saying where are my keys, I will find them like I have a place because in the household, my husband is always saying if you put them in the same spot every time you would know where they were. But when I’m going to an appointment, and I’m like maybe running a little bit behind, I’ll just grab the keys, I’ll throw my my bag, and then I’m searching for them afterwards. So I think what you’re saying is also, the stress and overwhelm can be part of it. But then also maybe some time efficiency could be made up if we were a little bit more organized, 

6:56 right, there’s the same that the less stuff you have, the more time you have to do other things. The less stuff you have, the less time you have to clean, the less things you have to clean. So like the key example, I don’t know if you can see over my shoulder, but there’s a hook by the door. And that is my walk in the door hanging up my keys. Now sometimes that is ideal. Sometimes I’ve got my hands full of groceries or the dog or other things that I cannot physically turn around and put the key up there. So I have trained myself that if I see my key laying on the kitchen counter or in the bedroom or wherever I end up putting it down. I immediately take those keys back and hang them on the hook. Because I know myself my ADHD brain and I’m gonna be like you Where are my keys? Where are my keys, because I do it all the time. Very funny story, actually, my son and I, I had put my keys in a box in the car. And we were taking things to donate to the little thrift store down the road. And so I had my keys in there, we had driven all the way over there. And I have the push start car, right? So it doesn’t, I don’t need the keys in the ignition. And as I’m about to turn off the car and go inside, I realized my keys are not sitting in the in the cup holder. I’m like where are my keys? We spent like, I don’t know, 10 minutes on the side of the road pulling everything out of these donation box till I find my keys, guys. It happens to me too. So don’t feel bad. It’s it’s just one of those things that it just happens. But yeah,

Michelle Bourque 8:32 yeah. And I think sometimes I, for me, I would love to know your thoughts, I feel like it can also go to a deeper level and affect your identity. So for example, for years, I would always say my company, I would say like Medtronic is not taking over my car because I have equipment in the back. And then sometimes if I’m like running from case to case to case, and I’m sure this is a lot of people listening, then I have stuff in the backseat. I mean, my nieces would come over and be like, Do you have any room for us? And I think that just kept reinforcing like the job takes over my life. And then that just becomes the result. Right? Because you don’t take that time to clean out the garbage. What do you write? 

9:12 Yeah, I think a lot of people hide from social gatherings and having people over to their house because they are embarrassed of their clutter it has taken over their life. A lot of times, even if it’s even if someone reaches out to me, I always get apology and apology and I’m so sorry. And I can’t believe it got like this. And that’s kind of my my first rule is that we don’t judge. I mean, it really doesn’t matter how it got this way. Because we’re going to move forward from the spot on we’re going to start where we are. And that to me, is where you kind of have to take it so like when you’re nice want to get in your car and it’s your work has kind of taken over your physical space. You just have to make that commitment to yourself, you know, and don’t judge it. I mean, you’re a successful business person, of course, you’re going to have your business overflow into your personal life. That’s just the nature of the beast. But I think considering what we do, it’s just a matter of being compassionate towards yourself. And if you can separate it, and you have a really good system of doing that, you know, that’s the best way to go. But if not, you just kind of have to go with it.

Michelle Bourque 10:32 Yeah, and I think for me, it finally just became a decision like, now this is really going to be different, because Mark would always joke around and pick on me because every, like, started the new year, or started the new fiscal year, I’d be like, Okay, this is this is going to be the year. And he’s like, okay, and then finally, it just finally clicked. And I’m like, that is enough, right? And then that’s probably where people are, when they get to call you

10:55 those when people come in to talk to me, and they’re, you know, they’re so overwhelmed that they’ve said, Well, I’ve tried to start here, and I’ve tried to start doing this, and then I just, I can’t finish I can’t seem to follow through. And that’s where I come in. And I just say, let’s, let’s start with the obvious areas. And then let’s get a little deeper and deeper and deeper. And once we get the room, to where it needs to be in the spaces cleared out and organized, and much better. I feel like people can kind of see their their future change, like, oh, wait, this is possible, this impossible, horrible mess that I have just been shutting the door on for the past 10 years or whatever. Finally, I have this space that I can use, and they are relieved, the overwhelm seems much less, and we can go in there. And like I’ve had so many clients who have hired me to come in, and I just do one room for them and get just a little bit started. And then they start texting me, they’re like, look what I did in my bathroom. Oh, my gosh, look what I did in my office. And so it’s just that getting started and getting past that overwhelming sense of like, dread and impossible illness. So

Michelle Bourque 12:14 yeah, I think that’s so important. And I think it’s a meta skill that we need in so many areas of our lives to not feel like we have to do all of it at once to your point, like take a room and start there. Because when we think we need to do all of it, then we have the stress and overwhelm and don’t do any of it is that what you see is maybe some of the biggest challenges

12:33 right, and a lot of the gurus out there, they they promote that they say go in and take everything at once and do everything, all your clothes, the entire house and put it in the living room, and then we’re gonna go through and we’re gonna put everything back. And then six months down the road, you’re like, oh, wait, I’m overflowing again. And so the method that I teach is much more spaced out, I have a 12 month like monthly challenge, it’s free, anybody can join this, they can get on my email list and get on my monthly challenge list. And so we go through each space of the house just a little bit of time. And I always go back to this, like dieting reference, where if you want to drink cucumber water for three weeks to lose 40 pounds, that’s fantastic, you’ve lost 40 pounds, but that means you have to drink cucumber water the rest of your life. If you want to maintain a clean house, you cannot purge in three weeks, and then expect your house to never gain any more items. You can’t buy anything, you can’t bring anything else. And it’s kind of like that diet mentality where you think once I’m here, I’m going to be happy. And it’s not, it’s a lifestyle, like, you just have to learn that as your breed items in the house, you’re going to have to get rid of other things. And I teach it on the base of every space and your house has a function. And the only thing that can be in that space relates to that function. So like, I guess, a coffee table, for example, if the coffee table is supposed to hold, like the centerpiece, or the remote controls, and you look over and there’s books piled up, and there’s other things like that, these other things that are on there are no longer in that function. So they need to be removed and put back into the space of their function. So it’s kind of a system if you will, and it’s just about perceiving what you have and where it needs to go.

Michelle Bourque 14:37 yeah, and I think to that point, and something you said earlier about like seeing the keys and putting them back I think a lot of time we waste brain energy thinking Oh, I gotta remember to put that away. Oh, I gotta remember to put that away as opposed to like, Just do it. 

14:50 Yes, yeah, just do it in the moment because the longer if you think about like a if you think that way for everything and you’re like, I’m gonna lay my jacket down, and I’m gonna lay my keys down, I’m rolling my purse down, I’m gonna take off my shoes, that’s four things now that you’re going to have to remember to put away later. And let’s say you have another activity and you come in and you put more things down on top of that, and more things on top of that, then you have 12 Things that you have to remember to put away. When really, it takes 30 seconds to hang up keys, it takes maybe 30 seconds to put your shoes away, you know, during, and we just, we we think that it’s going to take so much time in the moment, we just don’t have time for it right now. And that’s so not true. We absolutely do have time for that right now.

Michelle Bourque 15:39 And I think we waste time thinking about what we need to do when we’re not doing it. And we could be thinking about some other more fun things maybe to do. Unknown Speaker 15:47 Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that’s one thing I love about it is that, you know, we, as a child growing up my mother, I love her to death, bless her heart, when she passed away. I saw I learned so much from her. But when we were growing up, she was a single mom. And we we struggled a lot. So she would come home, and she would just be completely depressed, completely sad and tired and exhausted. So the dishes would pile up, and the laundry would pile up. And, you know, we didn’t put things away where they were supposed to go. And it just became like this thing that throughout the week by Saturday, Saturday morning, you know, after she had rested, she’d wake up and Saturday was cleaning day. And that’s just kind of how we did it. And I realize how much we missed by doing it that way, when we could have just loaded the dishwasher every night, unloaded every morning. And you know, Saturday afternoon, we could be going to the park or we could be doing all the other fun things that we want to do. And a lot of times people will do it this way, they’ll let things pile up, they’ll let things pile up. And then Saturday comes and they’re like, well, let’s go do the fun things anyway. And that’s, that’s what it is. But now you’ve got double work to do. And it just, it just piles up. So it’s getting that in there. And like setting out your house, resetting your house from the beginning, starting with that clean, organized space. And just maintaining it over the time is going to literally change your lifestyle. And it’s going to make things so different Michelle Bourque 17:29 100%. And I think it’s also so much more of an empowering feeling when you know that it’s all done versus that overwhelming stress and dread of like thinking about what has to be done. Right? Yeah.

17:43 So like, if you’re, if your dishes are piled up in the sink, and you want to come home, you want to relax, and you don’t want to worry about anything else. And your dishes are sitting in there, your subconscious is always going to be thinking about those dishes, even if you’re not absolutely thinking about it. It’s, it’s definitely in the back of your mind. So when you make this routine, that you don’t get to sit down in front of the TV until your dishes are just put away. And a lot of people are like, Oh, I just don’t have time, I’m so tired, it takes so much effort. A lot of that comes from you have too many dishes. If it takes a long time to unload the dishwasher, then either a you’ve used too many dishes, and be you’ve got too many dishes in your cabinets, that it’s a little more resistance to put things away. So if you have a whole lot of glasses, for example, and you have to remove the glass and stack glass and put the glass back up, versus take the glass out and set it down. It’s just because you have too much stuff. If you’re having to shuffle things around and put things away, then you’re you’re constantly dreading it, because it’s not a super, super easy task. So yeah, when you think about how many times you put things off, and hope that it takes care of itself or whatever, you’re, you’re basically just setting yourself up for failure.

Michelle Bourque 19:18 Yeah, and I think as you’re talking, it’s making me think about self care, and how it’s not a priority. Right? If you’re not taking care of that stuff. And you you do have enough time to sit and watch TV. Like what is it saying about your own self care routine?

19:34 Yeah, like the future self montage. If you have a if you’re going to put it off today, if you’re not going to go ahead and just load the dishwasher today, then your future self is going to have to do it for you. And that is basically saying that I don’t care for myself enough right now that I’m going to put it on my future self who I also don’t care for enough. Yeah,

Michelle Bourque 20:01 no. Yeah, that’s so interesting. I’ve just thought about, like, when I put the Christmas decorations away, I’m like, oh, future, Michelle is not going to appreciate this because Unknown Speaker 20:11 there’s a meme going around about that. Like, every, every November, I’m thinking when I put this up, everything’s gonna be so organized. And when I put things away, everything’s gonna be so organized. And then it comes around November, you’re like, dang it. I wish I did put that in a way better. Yes.

Michelle Bourque 20:28 Yeah. One other question. So you because you’ve talked about your mom. And I often wonder if people keep things because of the memories of them? Do you see that with your clients? Like we keep clutter? Because we hold on to what we think is the memory? Yeah, Unknown Speaker 20:42 very, very much. So. A lot of the things that I see are, and I have one example, where a client had all her dad’s old VHS tapes of like, B rated army movies that probably 10 People saw, you know what I mean? Like they were just off brand movies. And she didn’t have space for it. And I wanted her to really consider getting rid of them. And so I had to ask her, did your dad buy these for you? Did he purchased them in the 80s and 90s, with the intent that when you are in your adulthood, you’re going to sit down and watch these movies. And if not, they’re not yours. You’re not getting rid of your father. By doing this by getting rid of these movies, if anything, maybe you’re getting rid of the movies and donating them to like the the veteran societies or whatever like that, for the people who really will enjoy them, and your dad would really want to watch them. You’re not getting rid of your father’s memory. And I use another example of like, when we were cleaning out my mom’s things, and she has this, we’re from Tennessee, she’s in Kentucky, or she would live in Kentucky, and I’m from Tennessee. She had this huge winter jacket that was so unnecessary, it does not get cold down here. And but she had it because every Christmas, she would go up to Michigan and spin with my sister. Right? So that jacket kind of had a sentimental, you know, that’s my sister’s jacket kind of thing it was it was all kind of pushed together with this thought and memory of my of my mom getting on the airplane going to Detroit. But right now, I’m having that memory of my mom getting on the airplane with that big jacket on. And that jacket is nowhere near me. It’s, it’s gone. But yet the memory is still there. So that’s how we know that jacket is not going to bring back that memory. I can cue that up anytime I want to. And there’s another story and someone actually sent me this because they were kind of pushing back on me about that they were like you don’t understand you cannot get rid of things because it will take away their that memory. And it was a story about a woman who during the Great Depression was blessed enough to have like, was able to feed large groups of people. So she would think these giant pots of meals like beans or stew or whatever. And she would take that pot and she would put it out on the front porch. For the community. If anyone didn’t have food, they could come and take food from this pot. Well, it was just a cast iron pot, you know. And the woman writing the article basically said that she could not get rid of that because that was getting rid of that memory. And yet, we all envision right now the story, we can see it in our minds, that memories there, we’re all kind of got that warm and fuzzy going on. But none of us are holding that pot. That pot has nothing to do with it. It’s just the story of it. So if something is very sentimental, and you want to keep it and you want to keep it on display, by all means, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, behind me I’ve got this antique typewriter. That was my grandfather’s and I keep little things like that because first of all, it’s beautiful. And second of all, like I I love to write, it’s very it’s attached to me and it’s a nice little sit and nice conversational piece. Right. But I don’t have to have that in order to think of my grandfather. Yeah, I Michelle Bourque 24:53 think that is so important to remember that we hold the power of the memory in our own mind. It’s not the external so important. Have we missed anything today? Unknown Speaker 25:03 I don’t know, I’m, I’m excited to have been here. I do, I do want to talk about that I do have three rules. I’ve mentioned the first one earlier about the no judgment. Number two is that we don’t cheat, we don’t cheat ourselves out of a life that we want. And by cheating, this could be anything from finding that little tiny bobby pin and shoving it in a drawer. Even though that’s not where it goes, the hairpin goes in the drawer with the hairpins, we don’t cheat. So we make sure that we’re staying consistent with our routines and our systems. And my third rule is that we don’t quit, because this is going to be something you’re going to do the whole rest of your life, it does not have to be that, you know, three day purge where you’re, you know, it’s exhausting, and blah, blah, blah, if you just keep going and removing things that you don’t need or don’t use, don’t shove it into a garage or a storage unit, just go ahead and get rid of it, someone else is going to need that item. So we just don’t quit. And we do it for the rest of our lives. And which parallels into the three steps that I have step one, we’re going to clear out a space completely, right. And step two, we’re going to commit to a function for that space and only putting back in that space. What fits. So if it doesn’t fit, we don’t keep it. And then rule number or step number three is we reset. So the reset is when you put it back in there it has to fit everything else goes. And the resetting is where we don’t quit. Every day, we’re going to reset our spaces every every afternoon, when you’re done with your desk, you’re going to reset it, you’re going to put everything back in the drawers, clear it off, when you’re done with your your meal planning or your dinners, you’re going to clean and reset your kitchen. And so those three roles, three steps, they basically mesh together. And that’s what I love to teach. I think that’s simple enough to where people can understand it. And it applies to every single space in your house from from the tiniest little bin to like an entire room.

Michelle Bourque 27:20 yes, and I think you and even speaks to such a larger purpose as far as building that relationship with yourself. Like when you say we’re not cheating. It’s basically you’re not cheating on yourself. Right? You’re not cheating on your future self and it’s building that relationship. 

27:36 Yeah. 100% Absolutely. Oh, good. Now,

Michelle Bourque 27:40 where can people find you and where can they get your free? Challenge?

27:45 Yeah, absolutely. So I am actually have a podcast, the house lady. I’m on Apple, Spotify, Amazon, basically, I think anywhere. So the podcast, you can also go to my website, which is www the Haas lady.com. And if you go to the Get Started, tab, or it’s www dot the hos lady.com/get started there, you can sign up for the monthly challenge. I have a private Facebook group that anyone can be invited to. And it is 52 weeks to a clutter free life. Actually, I just changed the name this week to clutter free and 23 so Oh, yeah, clutter free and 23. And I’m on social media as the house lady. I think Instagram is the underscore hos underscore lady. Tick tock Tiktok I have a couple of things out there. So the hot lady, that’s all it is h o s s Michelle Bourque 28:43 perfect. And we’ll put all of the links in the show notes as well. Thank you so much. This has been such fun.

28:48 Absolutely. Michelle, thank you so much. It’s great talking to you. Michelle Bourque 28:51 Well, there you go. I have to tell you, I have some work to do myself in some areas. And I don’t know if you follow me on Instagram @Michelle Bourquecoaching you should totally be following me. It’s so much fun. But I did a short video after our interview of the area that I was working in. And let’s just say it was not my most stellar Look, no judgment. Remember that was one of her rules and I can be all about a good rule. I would love to know what you are going to start with after you listened to this. So please tag me on Instagram @Michelle bourquecoaching and tell me what resonates. I always love hearing from you. Okay, that’s what I have for you today. Friends, take what works leave what doesn’t and let’s meet back here next week for another opportunity for transformation. Make it a great day take care

Michelle Bourque 29:50 Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one. Go to Michellebourquecoaching.com and click on get started to begin

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