MP Local: Kathleen MacAinsh
In today’s MP Local blog, we are shining the light on Kathleen MacAinsh, a professional organizer here in Waterloo. We couldn’t be more thrilled to interview Kathleen because she brings so much insight that we can all use in our daily lives, as well as being so relatable.
Kathleen is a beautiful example of someone who completely changed their life and hustled to make it happen. She shares her story with us and we were itching to hear more.
We can all relate to wanting to clean and organize the spaces in our lives, but sometimes it’s a daunting task and we don’t know where to start – therefore, we push it aside. Kathleen has so many tools to get started and also offers her services from start to finish.
So, without further ado… meet Kathleen:
Name: Kathleen MacAinsh
Title: Professional Organizer aka The Tidy Guide by your Side
Your elevator pitch:
I help busy families organize their homes so they feel at ease in their space and have more quality time to spend together.
One word to describe yourself:
Why did you choose that word?
I have a natural ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s a real blessing which helps me feel their pain and frustration so that I can come up with a solution to whatever is causing that discomfort.
It’s a bit of a curse too. When I was growing up, I used to have to turn off the TV because I’d feel what the character was feeling in whatever show I was watching. For example, sitcoms like Frasier, are hilarious, but those characters are always getting themselves into embarrassing situations, that would make me laugh but I also just couldn’t bare to feel that embarrassment!
Why did you start the business that you did and what was the inspiration or reasoning of how it came it life?
Simply put, I love working with families. Children bring me so much joy and I'm a parent myself, so I know how difficult it can be sometimes to raise them, work full time and try to keep it all together.
Giving parents the peace of mind that comes with a beautifully organized space and giving their family more quality time together is my jam! That's why I became a professional organizer.
Organizing is liberating and helped me unlock my best self. I'm living proof it's a skill that anyone can learn to improve their quality of life. I haven't always been organized, in fact, I was well known for my messy room and often late to class and handing in assignments when growing up. I struggled to manage my time well and didn't see the value in tidying.
Once I became a mother I knew I needed to clean up my act. I did all that I could to manage my time and household. It was okay when I was staying at home but once I went back to working full time, managing my time and keeping our house organized became a huge challenge. I felt I had no extra time besides working and taking care of my family.
Then, something changed my life forever. My family had a house fire in 2011, due to poor wiring in our home. This was a setback but reminded me that the important things in life are not things, instead, they are people and experiences.
It was the day we moved back into our re-built home, that I vowed to take this opportunity to learn how to organize our home. I wanted it to be functional and beautiful for all my family and friends to enjoy. I picked up every organizing book I could get my hands on and even studied professional organizing online.
Now, I'm known for my ability to organize and streamline anything that comes my way. I can manage my time very effectively which allows me to volunteer, work full time and run a side business all while still having time to enjoy with my family and friends.
First thought when you officially became your own boss:
This is going to be hard, but I’m up to the challenge.
When you’re not hustling, what do you do in your free time?
Crafting, hanging out with my family and friends, board and video games, playing with my dog Kobi, watching netflix and enjoying a good book.
Describe a day in your life:
Everyday is different, depending on what projects are on the go and what phase they are at.
All projects start with an assessment of the space, by chatting with those who use it and taking measurements and photos. Documenting what’s working and what isn’t and the desired functions of the room.
Then, comes space planning. Creating a few layouts of the the room with suggestions for potential solutions that could work in the space. Along with a plan for the project with milestones and due dates to keep it on track.
Decluttering is often the very first step in any space. I help my clients with this process and will deliver the donations for them, or arrange for pick up.
Next is sorting all the items and finding homes for them, a space in the house where they live when not in use.
Then comes putting the design in place. Moving furniture or putting new furniture together, placing items into containers and labeling them.
Finally, I follow up with clients once their organizing project is done, since organization is a process. It isn’t something you do once and it’s done forever. During the follow up, we see if any tweaks need to be made to the system we set up for them.
My day could be a decluttering session, setting up a space or at my computer coming up with organizing plans to name a few.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Raising our amazing children with my husband.
What are your top 3 bucket list items?
This may sound strange, but I don’t have a bucket list. I just want to try my best to live by my core values and knowing that I did that I will be happy. I like to take things as they come, so when opportunities come up I will take them, but I don’t have a list of things I want to do before my time here is up.
What or who inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing?
It’s an ongoing theme. My family inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing. Seeing how organization has helped us in our own lives, makes me want to bring that same joy to families who are struggling with clutter and disorganization.
What is your spirit animal and why?
A dog. They are so easy going, friendly, kind and forgiving… but can have a bark when they need to stand up for themselves. They can get really hyper and silly when they are excited, while also are completely happy to just lay around the house with family. All of that kinda sounds like me!
What is your daily mantra?
I’m smart, capable and can ask for help when I need it.
What are some tips and tricks you use to stay motivated?
Set goals and look at them daily. Checklists are great, set 3 goals for each day and try to do them all, it’s so motivating to get to check that box! Meditate, I do this because it helps me slow down and focus on what’s important. Find like minded peers who are working towards similar goals to connect with.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Just get started, like Marie Forleo says, everything is figureoutable. Meaning, don’t worry about trying to know everything right away, just get out there and start doing what you want to do and if something comes up that you don’t know how to do, don’t worry… you’ll be able to figure it out.
What’s next for you?
Developing online courses on how to declutter and organize your home, which people can take at their own pace. This gives them something they can continually reference back to when they get off track. Since no one is perfect, we all slip up and having a tool like that can really improve the rate in which someone gets back on track. It’s also going to allow me to help more families enjoy more peace of mind and quality time together through organization.
How can our readers find you?
My website: https://yourorganizerkathleen.com/
We are so happy that Kathleen was part of our interview series on our blog because she is filled with so much inspo for so many people. It’s humbling to hear stories of others in the community bring their business to life, especially when it’s a passion that they live by. We are so excited to see what’s in store for Kathleen this year and we will be taking full advantage of her online courses when they are available.
If you’ve ever thought about organizing a space in your life, big or small – Kathleen is more than happy to help.
We are constantly looking to promote local businesses and freelancers in the community, so if you are interested in sharing a bit about your life and your journey, send us a DM or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.