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Listen in bi-weekly to Organized Sav, 
the podcast. 

Join host Sav, a Professional Organizer, and guests, as they laugh, cry, and cringe, with the best and worst of organizing tips and tricks. Designed to actually get you organized, Organized Sav: Savvy Solutions to Get Organized, is a podcast that pulls from true stories, giving you a behind the scenes look at what it takes to finally get organized, once and for all.


S1E3Tiny Home Living with Audrey

Do you need to own a storage unit to live in a tiny home?


[00:00] Sav: Do you need a storage unit to live in a tiny home?


Audrey: Absolutely not!


Sav: How long have you been living in your tiny home? 


Audrey: For about a month and a half.


Sav: Are you loving it?


Audrey: It’s a lot. There’s a lot less that you have to keep track of. 


Sav: What do you mean by that? 


Audrey: Like there’s less stuff, so you really don’t have to remember what you have because you have so little. And everything has a place it goes so because there’s so little storage that it’s just like okay well that’s there, unlike…there’s just so much less to keep track of


[00:42] Intro Music


[00:46] Intro: Hey! This is Sav your host


Audrey: And Audrey Lambidakis.


Sav: Today, we’re talking about tiny house or tiny home living. We have two parts. Part 1: Sheets, Towels and no Linen Closet, and Part 2: Maintaining a Decluttered Space. Something that I glean you’ve become quite the expert at. So before you moved into your tiny home,  I know that you had to downsize drastically. Walk us through that. What was your one, like number one tried and true track? 


Audrey: Detachment. I had to detach all emotional value to things and just really keep what I actually needed. There were a lot of tears. 


Sav: So what are like the things that you could not part with but you almost did? 


Audrey: Uhmm. Oh that’s uh


Sav: Is there like anything that you went back and forth with or you said “No I’m not gonna waste my time with back and forth, I’m making my decision”


Audrey: I mean I really. So I was dealing with a mold issue. So for some things they really just couldn’t be saved, I just had to get rid of them. 


Sac: Give me two things that couldn't be saved that you were devastated by.


Audrey: Uhm like 


Sav: Like printed photos?


Audrey: Printed photos, well some printed photos


Sav: I say that because Audrey is a photographer. 


Audrey: Printed photos yes, but you know it really take, you have to like do a whole, just the steps involved in saving them sometimes it’s like not worth it at that point. A lot of like [02:27 *inaudible] knicky-knacks but like things


Sav: [02:30 inaudible] keys is a common term. Is that what you’re referring to? 


Audrey: Yeah or like things that you have, you have an idea that you want to use them but you never really use them. And so it's just like okay I just gonna get rid of them. And you like it, you’re attached to them because you like them but you don’t have a use and so it’s just...yard sale. 


[02:53 crosstalk] Sav:  Facing reality. Okay So you did a yard sale, did you do multiple days?


Audrey: I did multiple days, multiple places too.


Sav: How many days?


Audrey: I did two, two yard sales, two different months. It was quite fruitful. I had some good stuff, people liked it. 


Sav: Nice, nice! And then I also know that you listed a bunch of stuff online on Facebook marketplace.


Audrey: Oh yeah.


Sav: Did you feel like that was a success there too?


Audrey: Absolutely, I would, I mean I wish I would have been a little bit more aggressive with posting stuff on Facebook marketplace, because I think I could’ve made a bit more money if I had been on it a little bit more.


Sav: Word to the wise,  if you are in the bay area, Facebook marketplace is where it’s at if you want to move something. Yeah, I have like ten client postings right now. So recently you shared with me that you didn’t want me to see your closet because it’s a multipurpose space and then you changed your mind and said actually it probably would be helpful. So tell me about your closet. Is there one, are there two closets, like what are we talking here?


Audrey: So I moved into an ETC Toy Hauler so it’s not exactly a regular type of trailer. It’s meant for weekend trips so it doesn’t really have what you would expect a closet or like regular living space to have. But it’s, you know, there is a tiny closet that I can hang stuff in. And then, It’s very small so I just have my hanging stuff in there. And then I have these metal shelves that have my instapot, my blender, and then all my other clothes. 


Sav: So that’s out?


Audrey: It’s out but it’s closed. Because they’re like, I don’t know, what are they called? A door?


Sav: A cabinet.


Audrey: So they’re little cabinets. And that’s what’s in there. 


Sav: Is that a built-in or you added a piece of furniture?


Audrey: They’re built in. 


Sav: Ok that’s great. Ok so that’s you know I think what most people do is to use their linen closet as a catch all. So I’m just gonna say you don’t have a linen closet and that’s okay.


Audrey: No. My linens’ are on my bed. 


Sav: Oh well, funny cause that’s our topic. Linen. 


[5:28] Part 1: Sheets, Towels and no Linen Close


Sav: Let’s talk numbers. Your space is finite. So I want to know, do you limit the number of items coming in. 


Audrey: Yeah. 


Sav: How do you do that?


Audrey: I don’t buy stuff.


Sav: You don’t buy stuff. 


Adrey: I literally only buy when I absolutely need something. 


Sav: How many sets of sheets do you have?


Audrey: One. 


Sav: One. Okay. My rule. I’d say it’s better to have two. Because otherwise you’re making an impossible scenario. So now you have to wash dry, take it to the laundromat maybe, whatever it means to get them back on your bed on the same day. That’s a lot. That’s a lot to do. 


Audrey: And you can’t say how many times I’ve done that. 


Sav: So folks general rule, two sets of sheets per bed size. So in my house, we have a king and a queen bed, so we have two sets of queen sheets and two sets of king sheets, anything more is extra and is not necessary. But Audrey you know, you’re just, you’re winning. One set, that’s the minimalist lifestyle. I think that’s too minimalist for me. 


Audrey: Guess how many blankets I have.


Sav: That’s my next question. Do you have one?


Audrey: So I mean I’m living in a, it’s an aluminum box basically. 


Sav: Oh and you said it has horrible insulation. 


Audrey: Oh yeah, no, it’s freezing. 


Sav: So you have a bunch of blankets.


Audrey: No, no. 


Sav: Okay, how many blankets do you have Audrey?


Audrey: I’ve got two blankets then a weighted blanket to keep in the heat. 


Sav: Nice! So the first story, first off you understand the premise of my show, sometimes I’ll pull in Reddit stories, sometimes I’ll pull in like people’s questions that they ask me, or client questions. But this one’s from Reddit and the premise is that people are wondering’ if they’re the a*hole or not. So I have, I love yah, so for you.

AITA for getting angry with my girlfriend and demanding she pay to replace my sheets after she got blood on them?


Sav: This is a throwaway account. I know. Guys her facial expression right now. 


Audrey: Oh I have stories over this. 


Sav: I think we all do right?


I, (M26) have been dating my girlfriend (F24) for about a year now, and we recently moved in together. She didn't have a lot of furniture and such, so it's mostly mine in our apartment including my bed (frame, mattress, sheets). I am a bit of a neat freak, and she generally is too. 

Now I'm not one of those guys that gets grossed out over a woman having her menstrual cycle. We just use a towel. I will say though, it totally grosses me out getting on my bed though.

Well a few days ago when we woke up I noticed a blood spot on the bed and got totally grossed out. I knew she had been on her period for 3 days already so it wasn't any sort of surprise. I asked how it happened and she was upset and said she thought she didn't need anything to sleep that night. I told her that was absurd, why would you go without wearing anything and get blood all over my bed. I told her that was irresponsible and that she needed to pay for new sheets. She agreed to pay for new sheets but got upset with me for getting angry and calling her irresponsible. I said that she should've been more careful with where she sleeps and it’s simply unhygienic.

AITA for getting upset and wanting her to pay?

Audrey: Yes. I mean no. You are the asshole for getting upset about it because that’s gonna happen.

Sav: That’s gonna happen. 

Audrey: But for her to replace sheets? I don’t.  I think that’s okay, but it’s how you handled it. 

Sav: Why can’t they wash them?

Audrey: Right. 


Sav: Like just automatically replace, that’s just wasteful.

Audrey: Good point, good point. 

Sav: And if you wish it, it is hygienic. And sometimes there are stains on sheets and that’s a part of life. It’s normal. 

Audrey: Hear, hear. 

Sav: However,  I know that you can scrub some stains out and so can I. And you are learning basic skills. What’s your secret?

Audrey: Dr. Bronner’s.

Sav: I use Dr. Bronner’s too, actually I use it because you recommended it, so now sometimes I’ll do that little extra. But I also use, my favorite product is Bac Out, it’s an enzyme. It’s an enzymatic cleaner, so it’s super, it’s a green product. And I use it for everything, good for stains and odor, it’s great for pet cleanup. Good stuff. 

Sav: I also want to say, that’s so frustrating, I emphasized “my” when I was reading this aloud because he kept using “my”, if they moved in together why is it “my” it’s “our”. So I don’t like that either. And also the shaming aspect, not cool. So unnecessary. 

Audrey: Is this his first girlfriend?

Sav: That’s a good question, I don’t know. But it’s maybe his last. Like don’t do that again. Edit, so the guy writes in: “To everyone saying to just wash the sheets, she did, but I just don't like the thought of it.” Again, so wasteful. And also like a spot of blood, like come on. 

Audrey: It’s menstrual blood too. What do you just not have sex when its.

Sav: This wasn’t because of that though. This was because she went to bed and thought her period was over and then she had like a little you know.

Audrey: I don't know, I think that says more about him and his…

Sav: I do too. 

Sav: Second Edit.

Audrey: Oh!

Sav: I know, it’s very juicy. “I obviously see that I was a prick for being condescending towards her and not being sensitive to her embarrassment. I told her I was going to replace the sheets myself. She got upset again saying she didn't want to financially burden me every time she could potentially have a leak and that washing them was good enough. She's coming to get her stuff to stay with her mom, so it feels pretty over.”

Audrey: Good for you girl!

Sav: Third Edit “Yep, she says it's definitely over. I tried talking with her, but she said the damage was done” Yeah, that blood dried. Final Update: “After sleeping on it and talking to my friends and family, I am definitely in the wrong here. I had no reason to be that grossed out and ask her to replace sheets when she washed them. I definitely had no right telling her she was irresponsible and how to manage her own body. I apologized to her sincerely, and said she definitely deserved better than that. She agreed and is not talking to me which I deserve. This was my first time living with a woman and I fucked up big time. Thanks to the people trying to give helpful advice, and thanks to the sub for showing me how awful I acted. I'm going to take all of these moving forward. I shouldn't have ever seen my apartment as still MY apartment when she moved in. That was awful of me too. Best I can do is take this all in and learn from it and treat the next person in my life better. 

Sav: Uhmm. Ok, I will commend him on his reflection.

Audrey: That was pretty good. That’s pretty good growth.

Sav:  Yeah, I mean there were thousands of people like hating, capital H on this guy. But ultimately back to the sheets. In this scenario, if you stain your sheets so horribly and you’ve tried everything to get the stain out, having one pair is not enough. So again, my rule, two to three. How many towels do you have? 

Audrey: Oh so I’m good with towels. I do have multiple towels. 

Sav: I know that you do photography in the ocean so you might have more towels than most people.

Audrey: Yeah, I’ve got 4 towels that stay in my car that are my ocean towels, then I have my inside towels.

Sav: That’s great. Two is a great number. I have three per person. But I have three because mine are white which makes me feel special to have an all white kind of bathroom linen type of thing. Makes it feel spa and fancy even though it’s just a clean white towel. But I have three because I need enough whites to do a white load so I have to have enough to rotate them. Cause I’m not just gonna do a load with just two towels, that's silly, I’m gonna wait until my white bin gets full. So I have three people and that does the trick. 

Audrey: That just blew my mind because I was doing laundry today and I had two white shirts and I was like “What am I supposed to do?”

Sav: Yeah put them to the side/ Did you notice, have you used our bathroom today? 

Audrey: Uh-uh. O wait, yes I did!

Sav: Well did you notice that there are fresh towels that’s pressed and folded? 

Audrey: Yeah. They’re crisp

Sav: They’re crisp. That's the Friday routine. On Friday, I get to notice that too, I get to do a reset. It’s a half hour but I just go around and get to the main spots. Fresh linens, love it, [15:13 inaudible], every Friday I look forward to it. I use that…do you know what ChomChom is? 

Audrey: Uh-uh

Sav: ChomChom is this handheld manual device to remove pet hair. 

Audrey: Cool. 

Sav: And it uses static electricity and rubber. And so you just move it forward and back and it collects all the stuck hair. So Avo, my dog goes on the couch, and yes she has her designated spot but if we're not home she taking up the whole couch. So once a week on Friday, during my 30 minute reset, I go through it and I Chomchom the couch.  And it’s just so great because,I don’t know, I feel like so many people wait for things to become disasters, where I’m like I don’t have time for that, that sounds like extra work but if I can just commit you know 15, 20, 30 minutes max a week, all of those are, everything stays at bay, like everything is just perfect kinda. Not perfect but you know what I mean. 

Audrey: We have that growing up. It’s called Friday Fun Day. There were pictures of my little sisters sobbing with a mop. Before we were allowed to do anything, so during the weekends we had to do our cleaning chores.  And so if I have something to do on Friday night, I would actually do it Thursday. 

Sav: I call it Friday Refresh, the f in fresh, or Fresh Friday just because I like alliteration. On to part 2.

[16:43] Part 2: Maintaining a Decluttered Space

Sav: Do you have a golden rule for this? Like a rule you live by?

Audrey: No. 

Sav: Caveat, I have  a lot of rules. One of my clients told me this the other day “Like boy! You really like rules!”And I said “Yeah, I guess I do”.And I'm not neurodivergent and that’s okay. But my life is better with rules. I like structure. I thrive in structure. I think most people do. Some don’t, but a lot of people do. So my rule is “One thing in, one thing out!”

Audrey: Oh nice. 

Sav:  But it’s hard if you get and receive lots of hand me downs.

Audrey: Or if you don’t have much stuff to begin with. Like I moved into this trailer really having the bare minimum. Like basic things I didn’t have. Like I do not have bedding. I have to get a new bedding. 

Sav: Well, that’s because, it’s not like you really didn’t have to, you have to let it go because of mold and that’s kind of a unique situation because you were very sensitive to it. But it’s good that you know that. So “One thing in, one thing out!” is my tried and true rule. But having life changes, I found it has been really helpful. So like when I left teaching I had a lot of teacher appropriate clothes and wanted to embrace being like me, not being a teacher, which is a really big piece of my identity. So now when I get hand-me- downs I’m not thinking “oh is this teacher appropriate?” I’m like, “Is this the me I want to present to the world?”

Audrey: I love that!

Sav: It is so good. What do I wear everyday, I’ve created a uniform for myself everyday. Do I need one? No. But I love it. And it makes getting dressed so easy. It makes putting away laundry so easy cause everything is similar or the same thing really just a different color. So yeah less is more.

I have another AITA. 

Audrey: Oh I love this!

Sav: Me too. Now this one is on a topic for something i think you still have. Do you still have a gift bin?

Audrey: I do. 

Sav: Ok me too, mine’s right over there. Can you tell us what a gift bin is? What is it?

Audrey: A gift bin is just a bin of gifts that either, I mean I have some things in it that are for specific people, so I’ll get through the year I’ll see something that I know this person will like and I’ll get it and save it for christmas or for the birthday, but it laos contains other things that are just, things I don’t necessarily want, either I've been gifted or for some reason I have it and I know it’s a good gift that’s why I put it in there and when it’s someone’s birthday and I don't have something I can go in there and “Oh they might like this” and pull it out. 

Sav: My gift bin is items that yes some things I’ve been gifting but more often it’s things that. Like a subscription box which I super love and then found out that I was just getting too much coming in at once and it was stressful to me so I’ve since have stopped the box, but there’s a lot of things that are super great gifts that go into the box. 

Audrey: I guess. I should’ve not shared that I regift so.

Sav: No, no, no. AITA, I’m jumpin' in because it’s all about that. “AITA for giving people gifts previously given to me/us by someone else ?”


AITA for giving people gifts previously given to me/us by someone else ?


Not the A-hole

Am I an asshole for giving people gifts that have been given to me by someone else ?

I don’t like clutter and if something in our household is not being used or not going to be used I simply get rid of it. That applies to presents too. If I know we won’t use them I will either give them to someone else as a present or donate them to charity. One thing I’m against is selling away something I’ve been given, so I rather pass it on.

Our friends ( husbands best friend ) just moved into their new house and as a present we gave them a hamper with expensive wine, cheese and biscuits…given to us by my family member for Christmas. My husband was in a shock when he saw what I gave them and immediately questioned my actions once we arrived home. He told me how embarrassing it is and how he cant look into his best mates eyes now because I gave them something we didn’t pay for.

The way I see it, if he wanted to give them something special since it’s his best friend, he could have picked up something, but he left it to me, as usual. The hamper was a luxury one and they seemed extremely happy with it. AND we don’t drink red wine or indulge in cheese so it would’ve just sat there in our cupboard, so what is the problem ?!

Am I the asshole or not, let’s settle this once and for all.


Bonus, You suddenly get an extra 20x20ft room anywhere you wish in your home. What do you use this room for?


Audrey: I mean no you’re not. 


Sav: Thousands and thousands and thousands of people also said not the asshole. 


Audrey: Rightfully so, also, I think it’s important to talk about gifts.


Sav: I think there’s a lot of pressure in one gift giving and gift receiving. When I receive gifts, I feel that. 


Audrey: I love gifts. 


Sav: Well I love giving gifts, but I don’t always love receiving gifts because I feel like there’s some sort of expectation for like a super surprise reaction. And I don’t react that quickly. Like processing things and I’m slow at processing things. People expect you to do what they would do with that gift that's why they got it for you. But ultimately gift giving is simply the gesture, the love and intention behind it. It’s not what the person decides to do with the gift. And that’s the disconnect for me. People need to accept that if you gift someone something it is theirs they can do whatever they want with the gift. They can appreciate it, they can appreciate you. They can also donate it and still appreciate you and still love you and that’s okay. 


Audrey: I have a question for you. 

Sav: What? 


Audrey: I've wondered since your wedding, if you guys kept the wave crystal. 


Sav: Trevor has it in his office. 


Audrey: Oh cool! Because I was like “I don’t know if this is their home style, but I like the meaning behind this, let me give it to them. I don't; think they’re gonna keep it but I just want them to have it and have the idea of it. “


Sav: But see right there, your intention behind it was just so perfect because we can decide to do whatever we want with it. Which honestly it is in his office on a shelf because he loves waves, everything in his office are waves and that’s great. You’re right it's not my decor style but he’s really into it, so that works. But your intention is like I’m gonna gift this because it’s coming from my heart and that’s beautiful, and that’s how it should be. 


Audrey: Right on. 


Sav: Okay, hold on, this is for you. You suddenly get an extra 20x20 room anywhere you wish in your home. What do you do with his room? What is the square footage of your place? Is this triple the size?


Audrey: The trailer is 8x24. I mean it’s decent, it has a bathroom. 


Sav: Right, I hope.


Audrey: Honestly, I’ll add it to the bathroom so that I could have a bath, I really miss the bath. I know lots of people would be like “Oh I would have like more storage”, something like that or more space, but it’s only me and it works for now but I miss the bath. 


Sav: I like that, our bathroom is also very petite. Having a big bathroom sounds really nice. I think I’m more into a bigger kitchen. Our kitchen space is extremely organized and extremely functional but I love entertaining people and so if I have an actual place to do that inside that would be great for winter time. But problem solved, we moved it outside and it’s awesome. 


Audrey: I changed my answer. I want an outdoor tub. I live in the country so it’s okay. And then the added space would be a kitchen because that kitchen is ridiculous. 


Sav: Okay I changed my mind too then, I actually want, I’m gonna say, I want a bathroom but this bathroom is gonna have a walk-in closet because that’s what fancy bathrooms have and that’s awesome good for you. But it’s also gonna have us an infrared sauna, a mere infrared sauna. 


Audrey: You know my sauna came. I’m setting it up tomorrow. 

Sav: Very cool, very cool. It’s also gonna have one of those fancy Pilates machines. It’s gonna be a bathroom with a walk-in closet, a gym and a sauna.


Audrey: Wow!


Sav: you can come over anytime. 


Audrey: Yeah, I’m down. 


[26:40] Sav: [inaudible] I see a lot of clients that have so many clothes and if clothes are your thing, awesome!, but in reality they have so many, say pairs of socks, not because they need them or not because they’re obsessed with socks , but because they don’t actually do their laundry on a regular basis, so it’s an excuse. So I love that you wash one of your four dishes after use, yeah that makes sense. Go Audrey! 


Audrey: This is really fun, I like this. 


S1E4 Are You an Organized Mom? with Annie

[00:00] Sav: Are you an organized mom?


Annie: I’m pretty organized. About 75%


Sav: When I was growing up, how would you describe yourself?


Annie: Very busy. Yes I guess I had to be organized to keep it together with three kids.


[00:26] Intro Music


[00:34] So Today, we’re gonna jump into an episode all about being an organized mom. Part1: One organized Parent, Part 2: Party Time, Part 3: Mommy Dearest, and Part 4: SAHM Stay at Home Mom. ‘You ready?


Annie: Let’s do it.


[00:55} Part 1: One organized Parent


Sav: So I gave some of the synopsis. Essentially pulling things, stories from Reddit or people that write in or common questions I get across social media. Part 1: Does one parent need to be organized for your kid to be organized. OP, the writer, OP writes : Children who had one organized and one messy parent, which one did you take after and why? So first you’re gonna answer the question.


Annie: Did I have an organized parent?


Sav: Yes, or a messy parent and which did you take after and why?


Annie: Well, I think my father is pretty organized but he only organized himself. But he did have a very organized desk and painting supplies, and he wrote very neatly. 


Sav: Do you think you took after him?


Annie: Yes a little but he was probably a little more organized than me. But he had less to organize.


Sav: Except for all 8 children.


Annie: He didn’t organize them, that was my mom. 


Sav: Tsk, tsk, tsk, bad news bearers.


Sav: The top response. The organized one. I hate living in chaos and like living in a functional space. I like things reasonably neat, put back where it goes when it’s not longer being used. I think that describes me 100%


Annie: Yes, I think you do a good job at that. I like that but I’m not as good as that but pretty good.

Sav: What is your number one tip from being a semi-organized mom. Lie if you had one top secret that you could share with somebody else and that could change their life, what’s one thing that worked for you. 


Annie: I don’t know, maybe find something you’re passionate about. I always like doing art so I combine my art with my kids. 


Sav: Carving out time for the things you want to do involving the kids. Oh yeah that makes sense. I did dance, you did dance. You did yoga, I did yoga. 


Annie: There you go! Actually when you were young, I remember that Waldorf had this thing where you’re in a concentrated mode and then you play with your kid and then you go back and do your thing, and then you let your kid do their thing. You come in and out of it, rather than just being with your kid and them always playing with you. So like having a kind of like separate quiet time. I thought that was a good flow. 


Sav:  Like while you’re at home doing work? o r afterschool type of thing?


Annie: I don’t know if I remember studying or doing paperwork, or papers that had to get done. And then you being young and me wanting to give you attention but I also had to do other things. I like this idea of this flowing in and out and that the kid also have their own quiet time or just their own independent play and we would flow in and out maybe in 40 minute intervals or something. 


Sav: I think that’s so helpful. I have so many clients right now that are all working from home and simultaneously parenting for the ones that have young kids. I think we’re not kind enough to ourselves, giving ourselves enough grace. I like that on and off and it makes sense developmentally. 


Annie: And knowing that the kids need to play on their own too.


[5:18 ] Part 2: Party time!


Sav: Of course. Okay we’re jumping in part 2. Part 2: Party time! So I think it’s kind of fair to say that whenever we’re going to have a party, it was like all hands on deck but those captains, let’s you and me, it’s always mad rush at the end. The last hour there’s some swear words coming out. There’s like ugh, some fury and anger. And then finally like “I have to go get ready!” “ I have to clean up the house!” And then you disappear and then I greet people and you’re gonna come back down all refreshed, “Oh hi!” Would you say that’s true?


Annie: I would.


Sav: I thought of that story only because that describes some people, they’re organizing their home with the only motivation being other people coming in and them being embarrassed. And it’s so unfortunate because your home is your safe spot so it really is a bummer when I see people getting down on themselves. Really not helpful when you wanna get organized.  But attention back to organizing and parties. I have an“Am I the asshole?” So ‘you get the concept?


Annie: Yeah!


Sav: These all have to do with mother-daughter stuff, so you’re in for a treat. 


AITA for telling my mom that guests shouldn't be expected to help with meal prep/cooking?



Sav: First read. Go ahead, asshole not asshole? Should guests be involved with meal prep or cooking?


Annie: No not if it’s their first time there.


Sav: “So, a little over a year ago, I started a relationship with my boyfriend. We lived in different cities (about 45 minutes drive one way). One weekend, my mom invited us to dinner, and kindly asked us to go pick up something at the grocery store that she was missing for the meal. We got to my parent's house and WE had to cook the meal. It was a meal made in the oven, not really cooking but we have to check every so often, because my mom was feeling tired. That pissed off my boyfriend and he told me he wouldn't accept dinner invitations from my parents if it meant he had to cook the meal. A few weekends after, my mom invited us again for dinner. She had asked us to be there at 5 PM but I knew we wouldn't eat before 7 PM cause my dad was at work. I told her that we'd see when we'd get there. We left his apartment at 5 PM and got to my parents' at about 6 PM. My mother was slightly angry because she wanted help prepping the food and that's when I told her guests shouldn't be expected to help with meal prep or cooking. She argued, saying she'd help her sister.  I told her that her sister never forced her to help and she always volunteered.”

What do you think so far?

Annie: I think that if you want your relatives to help you need to ask for it in advance. She could have invited her over, “I really wanted you and your boyfriend to come over but I will need a little bit of help. Is that alright with you?Are you up for helping?” They have to drive an hour, so that’s, they’re doing some work. 


Sav: I think if it is more like if I’m hosting a party, the joy is that I’m hosting so I want my guests to have an awesome experience. However, I delegate. If I go to someone’s house, I’m always gonna offer because we’re all in it together. We’re all wanting to sit down and eat together. But I don’t know. I don’t feel like there’s clear communication here. So the person writes in: “I help in other ways, I set up the table, I help clean the dishes, etc. When I do meal prep, I'm always forced to do it. I wouldn't mind asking if they need help, I just find it dumb that I'm being forced to do it.I wouldn’t mind asking if they need help I just find it dumb that I’m being forced to.  So for the first meal, I failed to mention that while my mother prepped the chicken, I made everything else for the meal. Also, what I had to grab from the grocery store was a core ingredient of said meal.” Uhm, I’m not so down with that.


Annie: No, that one was too hard. Too much work. Unless you’re gonna tell your people in advance. It's kind of like if someone invites you over and then makes you bring all this stuff then it’s a potluck. 

Do you want to come to a potluck is different to Do you want to come over for dinner? And mostly if i invite people for dinner, I;m doing everything, even cleanup.


Sav: You organize the whole evening. 


Annie: Yeah ‘cause I don’t always like to go to potlucks.


Sav: Yeah it’s a different vibe.


Annie: But if it’s said ahead of time then great that’s what you’re going for,a potluck. 


SAav: So who’s the asshole, the mother or the daughter. 


Annie: The mother is more. No I wouldn’t say. The daughter is not an asshole. The mother is not a complete asshole, because she operates in a different place. When she invites the daughter, she thinks it’s a family event and so she’s leaning on her history of family. 


Sav: She did say she’s willing to help and she does help on other things like setting the table which is totally reasonable. I’m curious how old she is. I’m curious if there are other siblings and if she’s the daughter that’s kind of expected to do it. If it’s gendered. 


Annie: It also depends on how long she’s had the boyfriend too, and how many meals he’s been in this mother’s house. If it’s the first, and he had to work at the first dinner, mom is the asshole. If it was the tenth meal then it’s different. 


[11:51] Part 3: Mommy Dearest


Sav: On to part 3, Part 3: Mommy Dearest. It’s another AITA.


AITA for getting upset at my mom for cleaning my things?

Not the A-hole


Sav: My thought is that if my mom wanted to clean my stuff I would say okay Thank you. 


Annie: That’s what I’m thinking too but if your mom’s a really bad cleaner and trashes your crap, then you wouldn’t. 


Sav: I don’t know, why would they do that. 


Annie: I don’t know why this girl doesn’t like it. Or the mom’s nosy and goes in her stuff that's' why.


Sav: And cleaning it is a ruse [12:27 inaudible] 


[12:30] Sav reads: I am a 23f who lives at home with my parents. I am a teacher and it’s too expensive to live on my own. I pay rent, bills and help them whenever needed.

My mother and I both have OCD and have struggled with each other's neurosis. I had to install a lock on my door so she would stop going into my room to clean when I am not home. All I want is privacy and I pay rent! Anyway we converted one of the bedrooms into a shared office space between my mother and I. Each side has a desk, bookshelves, etc., and of course our own things. My mother keeps cleaning my side of the office but hasn't touched her side, which is covered in clutter. I have no problem with how she keeps her side, those are her things and I wouldn't dare touch them. However she keeps cleaning my side, throwing things out and moving everything around. I sell crafts online and I am always working on a project. She moves things around so my desk is void of items. I cannot stand this and have politely asked/told her on several occasions to not do this anymore. It culminated into a shouting match this morning. I admit, I yelled at her. I told her "How can you clean my side when your side is destroyed," and "how many ways do I have to say stay the f away from my things!" I then went to her side and picked up some of her items and said "how would you like it if I threw this out or put this somewhere you couldn't find it!" She got very angry and started yelling how disrespectful and rude I was being. She said I was so ungrateful and how she is just trying to help me.

I was wrong to yell at her and touch her desk, but I'm at my wits end. AITA for being ungrateful towards my mother?

Annie: No, because she didn’t want it so she wouldn’t be grateful that her mom would clean her desk and throw shit away.

Sav: So she’s not an asshole for yelling at her mom for cleaning her stuff?

Annie: Well, she shouldn’t have cursed, and she shouldn’t have yelled, but her mother is not acting appropriately.

[14:45 crosstalk] Sav: Boundaries Nope,red flag. 

Sav: There’s a top response and the top response also gives their verdict. Their verdict, also's her responsibility to manage her condition. That does not include violating your privacy by messing with and throwing away your stuff.

Annie: That’s good that she’s in charge of managing her own condition. See this daughter needs to put a sign on her desk “Manage your own condition” 

Sav: Any final thoughts? I mean it’s kind of a hard scenario, they’re in a shared space and she’s at home.

[15:31 crosstalk] Annie: I’d say it’s very rare. I never heard of somebody not cleaning their own stuff. I could see cleaning their own stuff and still have an OCD and start cleaning other people’s stuff . But when you got plenty of stuff to clean up that should keep you occupied.

Sav: I enan I see people though focus on or avoidant of their own problems and just focus on other people as an avoidant strategy, so I get that. 

Annie: Ok that’s probably it.

Sav: But if it is a shared space, personally I wouldn’t be able to let like, let’s say you and I shared your office space, I think we’d do a great job because our vision of what that office space would look and feel like is aligned. Where in this scenario they’re just not really on the same page. And then if that was the scenario like okay let’s say that you and I are sharing and we didn't have the same opinion on look and feel and layout and everything, I would not be okay to trash your side, I would offer to help you. So, I don’t think the daughter’s the asshole but I think that she could have come from a more a place of empathy because OCD’s real, and it’s hard for people to manage it and people have different flare ups at different times. So, I think that maybe she could’ve been more helpful. But it also extremely sucks that the mom is not sticking with the boundary which she set, which she did.

Annie: I think if I was the daughter, If after talking and all that didn’t work. I will take a cover and cover my desk. So the mother could see my desk and touch my stuff. 

[17:26 crosstalk] Sav: Or take a curtain too or a wall divider. 

Annie: Just something over it so she’s not compulsed to. 

Sav: Or move your desk to your room and have separate spaces. 

[17:26 crosstalk] Annie: And just forget it. 


[17:42] Part 4: SAHM - Stay-at-Home-Mom

Sav: Okay Part 4: SAHM - Stay-at-Home-Mom. Have you heard that? 

Annie: Yeah people said that. 

Sav: I heard some people say SAHM

Annie: Never heard that. 

Sav: I can’t believe [17:57 inaudible] Okay I have another AITA and this is the fourth and final part. Oh wait let’s just pause. So the first story the mom was the asshole, second story the mom’s the asshole so oh gosh.

Annie: Finger’s crossed it’s not the mom. 

AITA for yelling at my mom that I am not a stay at home wife/mom, even though I haven't worked in 19 year, then told her to leave my home?

Not the A-hole

Annie: What is she then? An unemployed person? 

Sav: I don’t know

Annie: Does she have kids?

Sav: I don’t know. We’ll find out in a second. 

Annie: if she’s unemployed and she takes care of kids and she doesn’t leave the house then she's a stay-at-home-mom.

[19:01] Sav reads: So, I am (50f) have been married to my husband (53m) for 25 years, and I have 21yr twins, and a 13yo. I used to be a network engineer for many years. I have 2 medical conditions that I have dealt with since I was in my early 20s. I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and Adhesive Arachnoditis (AA). While most know what MS is, many probably don't know what AA is, so here is a quick description. AA is a spinal cord disorder where the nerves that come out of the base of your spine, start to break down and adhere to each other. 19 years ago, my conditions became worse, and my doctors declared me permanently disabled. So, for the last 19 years I have of course raised/am raising my kids. I do most of the cooking, but we have someone that comes in twice a week to do cleaning and laundry, as it is impossible for me to do those things. My husband is an absolute gem. He works 8 to 10 hours a day, and thankfully works from home. My mother as always has been dismissive of my medical conditions, saying that she had aches and pains but didn't let that get in her way. I have tried to explain that what I am dealing with are not simple aches and pains. I have even given her printouts on my conditions. But, she continues to blow it off. Well, she arrived last week for a 2 week visit. As soon as she walked into my home she started complaining about our clutter (things like a pile of mail). During her visit her remarks became more frequent, and nasty until finally she told me I am a terrible stay at home wife/mom, and she is surprised my husband tolerates this and stays with me, because I am physically and financially a leech that is too lazy to do anything. I LOST IT! I told her I am not a housewife, and I didn't stop working 19 years ago to become one. I told her I am physically disabled, and spend half of my time in a wheelchair. I told her if anyone was a terrible mom it was her for not recognizing and taking my medical conditions seriously. I then told her to leave and go back home. She yelled back and said fine, she will not be coming back, packed, and went home. When she got home she told my step-dad, and sister her version of what happened. They both started calling me and telling me I was an Ahole for throwing my mom out, and for the other things I said. They wouldn't even listen to my side. I think I might be TA, because she is my mom, and maybe I shouldn't have been so harsh. Well, aita?

Annie: Well sounds like the mother was harsh with the daughter and the daughter was harsh with the mom.

Sav: I think the mom is the asshole, I’m gonna say it.

Annie: Yeah.

Sav: I didn’t realize that these are the stories that came up but I mean I guess it makes sense, it makes it very dramatic of course. But like, Oh man! If your parents, if your mom, any kind of guardian figure is not recognizing a permanent disability and medical conditions. That’s really harsh. It's heartbreaking. 

Annie: Partly, she objected to being called a SAHM?

Sav: Yeah and then the mom is dismissive of her medical conditions that are deemed permanent disabilities.

Annie: Well, that’s the asshole part. 

Sav: I think also in the world of disabilities as I know, there are invisible disabilities and people oftentimes don’t recognize that. 

Annie: It messes, it's very difficult. 

Sav: And does it get progressively worse? And isn’t it like a really short time period, like life expectancy, like 10 years or something?

Annie: Yeah, usually shorter life expectancy but it progresses at different rates so. But the mother should've been able to recognize that it was a bigger problem because her daughter has a wheelchair. 

Sav: I know!

Annie: So te nother for whatever reason can’t believe that her daughter has such a terrible illness.

Sav: Also, it started because of these remarks that her house was cluttered, her house was disorganized, and that’s why she was failing at being the mother or the wife figure, where it’s like, no, no, no. That’s ridiculous. Of course I believe in my core that living an organized lifestyle is best for everyone, but just because you’re not organized doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. 

Annie: Well let’s just say she’s organized to get cleaning people to come in to help. So that’s pretty good.

Sav: Yes she was. I think that’s stellar. I think that’s perfect. If you have a need that you cannot meet for whatever reason, hire out. 

[24:23 crosstalk/inaudible]

Sav: I mean he has a disability income. Poor thing though. So I have more, I have a response. So OP writes, she gave an update: WOW I cannot believe how this has blown up! Thank you all much for the love and support you have given. It literally brought me to tears. To update a bit. I sent an email to my sis and step-dad. They both called me and apologized, they said (of course) my mom didn't tell them the whole story. She only said I got angry for no reason and kicked her out. 

Sav: Oh gosh, what’s your final answer? Is the daughter, the one who has the disability, is she the asshole or not? 

Annie: No, she’s not the asshole.

Sav: I agree. In fact there are about 7800 who said NTA. Top response: NTA at all. You set your boundaries because your mother does not comprehend and respect your situation. You did a great job, and I would go NC with her. (no contact). And we have a response from OP, OP says: Thank you. It's sad that it has come to this. But, stress only makes my condition worse. I have decided to go no contact.

[25:49] Conclusion

Sav: Kids can learn to be organized despite their parents being disorganized. 

[25:53 crosstalk] Annie: Yes, they can. I agree. 

Sav: Let me phrase it a different way. I would also conclude 

Annie: Okay then.

Sav: I would also conclude, to say moms and boundaries that was a recurring theme. Actually Brene’ Brown  had a beautiful quote that recently stuck out to me which was essentially saying what a boundary is and I think it gets confused a lot but I really think it was just beautiful. It says” A boundary is how I can love you and you can love me. How we can continue to love each other and have a relationship. That’s the purpose of a boundary is to continue a loving relationship. And I think that oftentimes you know if you’re new at setting them it’s really hard and if you’re new at getting them, it can feel harsh. The last theme was just about parents and their role, like how you started how kids should have their independent time, where then in the story of the woman who has multiple illnesses, what was the role with the mom? Why couldn’t she be helping out, because she didn’t believe her daughter. Trust. But really in the ideal scenario, grandma would have been supporting her daughter as opposed to just coming in as someone coming with so much judgment and hate. It’s definitely not helpful in that scenario and I feel for the daughter especially with an illness that progresses so quickly. Due so much perspective and yet mom’s clueless.

[27:35] Outro Music


S1E5 Organized Sav Organizing Pets with Krista

[00:00] Sav: Today we're starting off with a question. 


Krista: Alright.


Sav: Tell me your dog is spoiled without telling me your dog is spoiled.


Krista: She gets to pick where in bed she sleeps first, and then I work around it. 


Sav: Hey, this is Sav, a professional organizer based in the Bay Area. Your host. 


Krista: I'm Krista Henmen. 


Sav: Today's show, you guessed all around our furry best friends dogs. I have three parts for you. Part one, too many toys. Part two, bedtime snuggles, and part three, paw prints. On paw prints. On paw prints. 


Krista: I feel like this was catered for me. 


Sav: It 100% was. Krista, can you give the one or two sentence version of how we met? 


Krista: Yes. I had a boxer puppy at the beach and this crazy lady came running up to me and said, oh, my God, a boxer. Do you want to do play dates? And I literally moved to Santa Cruz eight weeks prior. And I was like, oh, this is what everyone talks about when they describe Santa Cruz. 


Sav: Wait, what do they say when they describe Santa Cruz? 


Krista: That everyone's a weirdo,


Sav: Harsh. Well, we're clearly well versed and obsessed with our dogs. My dog is also a boxer. She's three turning four. In May, we're going to throw a fourth birthday rave in our backyard. And Krista's dog is her absolute best friend. And my goddaughter, Genesis. And if you're lucky, you might get a picture in the show notes. 


Krista: Well, Avo’s my goddaughter. 


Sav: Yes, it's mutual. On to part one, too many toys. 


[01:40] Part One: Too Many Toys


Sav: So we're going to go back to that first post, which was, Tell me your dog is spoiled without telling me your dog is spoiled. Top Responses: 

  1. I carry him over puddles (in my defense, his legs are about three inches long so an inch of water is a really big deal for him).

  2. I buy cheap peanut butter for myself but the "good kind" for him because he can't have the salt/sugar in the brands I use.

  3. I bought a tiny space heater just for him (although I keep it near my desk so we both benefit). If he's cold, he'll paw at it until I turn it on.

  4. I just spent $200 on dog beds, even though I already have 3, and both dogs are allowed on all my furniture.


Sav: Krista, how many dog toys do you have? 


Krista: My God. So Genesis has a crate that allegedly the dog is supposed to use, but at this point, it's just a toy chest. It's just filled with dog toys. This morning, alone, I pulled four tennis balls from under my couch. 


Sav: I know that's definitely my pile up zone, where things will just, they will get lost.


Krista: You gotta get down on the ground, get on your knees. 


Sav: Got to go around the room. Sometimes it's so far back to reach. Like the chase section.


Krista: No, Genesis lets me know that they're still back there. Like, not that one, mom, that wasn't the one I wanted, keep going. 


Sav: Can she smell them? 


Krista: Yeah. And she directs me to where they are. 


Sav: Wow. Like, even weeks later or jus the last week?


Krista: I don't know how long they've been under there. 


Sav: I have a client that has a section in their dresser that had dog balls that are the new ones. And the dog knew even though they're brand new. 


Krista: That's impressive. Those balls stink, though. Brand new tennis ball stinks.


Sav: Yeah, well, I have since moved them, so the dog is going to have to smell it out. My golden rule with toys because I think that's an area that a lot of my clients struggle with of just having too many, and most dog parents struggle with it just like clothes or just like anything else in my house. A new dog toy comes in. A dog toy goes out, especially around the holidays, because I do enjoy gifting my dog a new dog toy. But first I go into the bin and see what I can pull out, and that determines if we're going to get one new dog toy, or maybe we'll get two. 


Krista: Then you really shouldn't pull through Genesis dog crate because there's like half eaten stuffing coming out the back. What if she wants that one again, so I leave it. 


Sav: I think that's dangerous. Okay, so that's my other parameter. If it's absolutely disgusting because the girls go in the backyard and throw it around dirt, which is not the case for everyone, fortunately. But I don't want that stuff in the house that gets super yucky. So if it's, like, absolutely disgusting and I've already tried washing it, it's gone. If it's something that is coming apart, I kind of feel like it's too dangerous and that I don't want her to eat the stuffing by accident because it will always get caught in her mouth. 


Krista: Genesis doesn't eat the stuffing, but she definitely pulls it out. And then when she finds the squeaker, she's really happy. But then I have to throw the squeaker away because obviously that's a choking hazard. 


Sav: So I think it's safe to say that just like dogs, less is more. And same thing with kids. Like, kids will play and so will dogs. They will play with anything. 


Krista: Well, I think what you and I talked about recently is getting rid of the dog crate and moving it more to bins or baskets sort of stacked up against one wall to free up all that space. I'm not using the crate clearly. 


Sav: Clearly.


Krista: She doesn't need a toy chest that long. Yeah, she just doesn't need a toy chest. So there's definitely a chance to get creative and clear up some space. 


Sav: My favorite thing is that the two designated spots for AVO are at avoid heights, so if she wants a toy, she can take it out of the basket by herself. Where I did not get in the dog train was having her put it back. 


Sav: Oh, there's something for you to work on. 


Sav: Yeah, definitely. That would be really cool. People have done it. I've seen it. 


Krista: Oh, I'm sure. Yeah. 


Sav: Okay, next time Genesis is over, we'll start working on it. Yeah. She's so smart. Okay, next. Right in. I have way too many dog toys and my dog maybe plays with like 4 or 5 of them...


They're cluttering up my floor, and she literally does not play with them. I have a bunch of cheap squeaker toys and a couple Kong squeaky toys that are chewed up but not ruined, things she outgrew, and I may have indulged in too much when buying for my dog. Also, a shit ton of puppy pads that I have never used since she was a puppy and probably, I don't know, a thousand. What do you think? Advice.


Krista: She has to donate all that stuff to the shelter.


Sav: Agreed. And that would be great if you're local. The SPCA in Santa Cruz takes donations. If you're not local, call up your SPCA. 


Krista: Yeah, and you can literally leave it right outside. You don't even have to anyone if you don't want to. 


Sav: The one in Santa Cruz, they have a blue bin right outside the door. It makes it so easy. A little homework assignment would be to KonMari. Your choice. Do you know Marie Kondo?


Krista: No.


Sav: Okay, so Marie Condo is this very famous professional organizer. Originally from Japan. She now has two shows on Netflix, and it's all about the idea “Does it spark joy?” 


Krista: Oh okay. Brandon has asked me questions about stuff like that in my house.


Sav:  So that's like the infamous “Does it spark joy?”, which is great. And I think about that when I'm choosing what toys go for Avo and what ones stay. And again, it's like, are they so long gone that there’s no -


Krista: There's no joy left? 


Sav: Yes. Or, like, does she actually play with it? And realistically, she'd rather just play with a random stick. I mean, if Genesis has it, she would want to play with that the most. 


[12:18]  Part three. Paw prints on Paw Prints on Paw Prints 


Sav: [reads] HELP: Dirty paw prints EVERYWHERE from my apartment’s pavement - tips for keeping clean? I know dogs are naturally messy, but I just got my puppy a week ago and already my house is covered in black paw prints. I never had this issue in other places that I've lived where it's mostly dirt and some grass to walk on. I'm thinking about giving her a bath to reset and wiping her paws after every single walk to maintain some cleanliness. Does anyone else experience this?”


Krista: No. 


Sav: Well, you did just get paw, things to wipe her paws, though.


Krista: Right? But that's because she was having allergies, and so was I. 


Sav: But it's also a cleanliness thing. Like, I have one client and they also just got wipes, too. And for them, I think it's mainly just cleanliness because they're a shoes off household. 


Krista: Well, after we were here last night, I was too tired. I know. Genesis was exhausted. We definitely had like a six white bath in the kitchen before she could go upstairs. We did wash her paws. 


Sav: I have a “Am I the asshole?” 


Krista: All right!


Sav: [reads] WIBTA if I told my friends I don't want to dogsit for them anymore because their house is a pigsty? I've been friends with this couple for about seven years and have dogs sat for their two dogs on occasion. It is always stressful. Besides the fact that their dogs are not well trained, their house is a complete pig sty clutter over every dining and sitting surface, dishes and cups left out on counters, old stains on the carpet from where their dog may have gone to the bathroom, dog poop covering every square inch in the backyard. The thing is, they're very well off. They go on vacations to Europe, have several boats, et cetera, so it's not a matter of that. They also are aware that they're messy. If the only dull woman have immaculate homes, sign hanging in their living room is anything to go by, but they're also very nice and pay me well. I just can't put up with the mess in their house anymore. I hate staying there, let alone for several weeks. I think I owe it to them to tell them I can't dogsit for them anymore. Would I be the asshole for telling them it's because their house is so disgusting?”


Krista: Well, I wouldn't phrase it like that. 


Sav: How would you phrase it? 


Krista: I would say you're not available to dogsit anymore. I wouldn't tell them I think your house is gross and your dogs are a bunch of assholes.


Sav: I value truth, though. Wouldn't it be better? Because then they could have an opportunity to change.


Krista:  She's known them for seven years. 


Sav: True. 


Krista: They're not going to change and they can afford either to board the dogs or take the dogs with them on the boat or get a cleaner in on a weekly basis or at least before she comes over. 


Sav: Yes. There we go. See, that would be worthwhile telling the truth then. 


Krista: I don't think so. It sounds so miserable. And if it stresses you out and you're not happy doing it, Then the answer should always be no. 


Sav: I know it's clearly extremely a no go. Would they be the asshole to tell them that they can't dog sit? No. But I think if they were to make another excuse, they wouldn't be the asshole but I just wouldn't like that. 


Krista: I would just say no. And if you keep saying no, they'll stop asking. 


Sav: Now thinking about the dog sitters we've had because we share them. I am always trying to entice them. I'm like, I have great snacks, I have a hot tub like you can even have your boyfriend over. 


Krista: I know, I try to offer the peloton. Blair did have a profile on the peloton. 


Sav: Nah, that’s hysterical.


Krista: But yeah, I say I have internet. I'm not good on the snacks, but I think what they like about our place is that it's quiet. They have six or seven roommates. 


Sav: So quiet. Yeah. Shout out to all the College students that make great dog sitters. 


Krista: We love you. 


Sav: We do. 


Krista: We need more of you. 


Sav: We’ll take your number.


Krista: Slide into our DMs and let us know.


Sav: There'll be a sign up page.


[16:22 Music]


Sav: Any last thoughts on being a dog mom? 


Krista: I love being a dog mom. My Genesis was my new beginning and she's my whole life and my whole heart and I don't know where I'd be without her. I certainly wouldn't be sitting in Sav’s studio right now if it weren't for Genesis. 


Sav: Yeah, Genesis is pretty darn cute. So Genesis is Brindle, which is can you describe it?


Krista:  Some people say it's like Tiger stripes, but she's dark colored Brindle 


Sav: And then Avo is fawn. So that's like, I guess more the classic auburny. Would you say? Like auburny with white? So she has some white on all of her paws down the center of her face. 


Krista: She's definitely more of the classic look. Yeah. 


Sav: So if you're considering getting a dog, get a Boxer.


Krista: For sure. Great family pets. 


Sav: And if you're considering getting a cat, don't. No. Just get a dog. 


Krista: Amen.


S1E6 How To Win at Organizing with Trevor

[00:00] Sav: Okay. ‘You ready? 

Trevor: Ready. 

Sav: Thanks for coming back. You want to introduce yourself? 

Trevor: My name is Trevor, husband to Master Organizer Sav. 

Sav: ‘You ready for today's show? 

Trevor: Ready for today's show.


Sav:  Do you know what it's about? 


Trevor: Probably organizing. 


Sav: Today's show is themed “How to Win at Organizing”. 


Trevor: How to win.


Sav: How to win. Yeah. I feel overarching. I'd say we're winning at organizing in our house. 


Trevor: Is that because so many people try and end up failing? 


Sav: So many people try and they quit or so many people get overwhelmed and they never start. 


Trevor: Just like default back to their messy patterns. 


Sav: Yeah. Or have aspirations and don't know where to start or don't put the time to start. Anyways, today is not about that. Today's about how you can win at organizing. Part one: Stealth decluttering. Part two: How To. And Part three: The Best of


Sav: So before we get into part one, what would you say is the number one thing that you and I are winning at organizing in our home? 


Trevor: I would say I'm winning at the dish - 


Sav: You or us? You're going You. That's fine. 


Trevor: Yeah. I mean, this is my task, so technically it's my department, but it's our house. I would say we are winning together inside of our home at the dishes. 


Sav: You do a stellar job. My favorite part is that at the end of each day, our role in our house is that the kitchen is fully reset, which means nothing's on the counter unless it permanently lives there and nothing's in the sink. And that's all clean. And you blow - What is the expression? 


Trevor: Blow it out of the water. 


Sav: Blow it out of the water. All right. I would say we're also winning, and I'll go to my department, my department's laundry, and I'm kicking butt. I feel like I have a really great system, and it never gets overwhelming because I trust the system and I follow through with my action plan. Would you agree? 


Trevor: 100%. I love always having fresh socks and underwear. 


[02:30 ] Part One: Stealth Decluttering


Sav: Okay, part one, stealth decluttering. How did you do it? I live with semi hoarder parents who discouraged me from decluttering my own possessions. A couple of people recommended stealthy cluttering and oh, it's been exciting. Every day I load up my work backpack with stuff to get rid of. Think junkie items, cardboard boxes, old clothes, etc. On my walks to work, I stop by and gradually empty out my junk at various trash bins and make a stop at the donation bin too. How do you do your stealth decluttering? Trevor: Ooh, stealth decluttering. 


Trevor:: Yeah. I mean, one that comes off the top of my head, which Nancy, my old boss. This is one of her strategies is the way that she put clothes back in on a hanger. If they sat that way for more than a month or two months, which basically indicated to her that they haven't been worn in two months, then it was time to let that clothing down. 


Sav: Totally. Okay. So just to clarify, in that scenario, I know what you're talking about. So instead of putting the hanger with the hook downward so it looks nice on the outside, she flipped the hanger to denote what had or hadn't been worn. I kind of do that, too. I'm thinking of two stealthy moves. One is we have a designated donation bin, and anytime I try something on or I'm using something and there's friction, as in it doesn't fit me right, or I don't feel my best or it hurts my wrists. If I'm using something or I haven't used it in years, I don't have to give it a second thought. It immediately goes boom into donation bin, and it's dealt with. That's my stealth move. It's quick action. It's easy, and it is a system. Into the sneaky part, I think I could confess that one of the stealthy things I do - is everything in our house is extremely hyper organized, and I'm okay with that. And I think it's beneficial to both of us in our lifestyles, and we've talked about that before. But when I am bored or I'm feeling motivated or I'm in a specific room and something stands out to me, my stealth move is that I'll take like 1 minute and I'll do a quick organizing. Like, I'll rearrange things I'll declutter. And so the stealthy part is that then I'll say, oh, look, I reorganize the laundry room, or look, I reorganized the linen closet today. Did you notice the differences, the changes in the pantry? Like, how do you like that? 


Trevor: Yeah, I noticed. That's a great quality that you've had over the years. I, for some reason, can't just put one to five minutes on something like that. I feel like I got to spend like, an hour or something just banging the whole thing out, which ultimately puts the whole job, it postpones it. I think that's a good quality, just like we do two minutes here, two minutes there. Because those two minutes all add up. 


Sav: They definitely do well. That actually makes me think of my timer. I use a visual timer. I use one in the classroom. It's super helpful, especially for young kids. And then I use a timer. It's permanently on my desk. And I do that for all of my tasks because I want to stick to my system, which is block calendaring. And that is world changing for me. So I like that. And for clients, I'm always like get a timer out, set that timer for five minutes. But yeah, I see it's a barrier for some folks to change pages quickly. Top response. Yeah, I put stuff in my bags and take it away to dispose of outside of the house. If anyone ever asks, saying “Where is this?” I say, “I don't know, it must be around here somewhere”, shrugging will do the trick. Lol.[laughs] I can relate with that in artwork. That is like one area that I see over and over for families where they have so much coming in and artwork is everywhere and parents can be sneaky and kind of just let some go. And I think that's totally healthy.


Trevor: My mom had this sort of expression growing up because our family wasn't the most organized. My dad was pretty organized. I actually was the most organized. My brothers are absolute slobs. 


Sav: Oh my gosh. Your dad even had in his wedding speech for us about how organized you were growing up. That was cute. 


Trevor: Yeah. Anyway, but compared to you I’m a slob anyway. Yeah. So my mom had this expression “When in doubt, throw it out”, because so much stuff would accumulate. Skyler just used to leave his lunches in his backpack and he'd have six, seven of his lunches that he didn't eat rotting in his backpack with his homework from two weeks ago. And it's just like none of that stuff is needed or necessary anymore. So if you're doubting it, you probably don't need it. Throw it out. 


Sav: I love that expression. When in doubt, throw it out. I think that I normally say that differently to my clients when I say I need a yes or a no and I give them one item so they can focus in on that. And if they're like, “uhmm” that's the answer. That's the gut response of no. That's a no. But I like that. When in doubt, throw it out. 


Trevor: I think it's a similar vein as Marie Condos’ “Does it spark joy?” 


Sav: Yep. Of course.


[08:24] Part 2: How To


Sav: Yes, of course. Ready? Moving on to part two, being more organized. So this was a write in and it is from LPT, which is Life Pro Tip channel of Reddit. So OP Writes: LPT Request: How to get my house organized and uncluttered? That's it. So our job is to give the response. Okay, what's the number one thing we do or you would recommend to get someone to organize their house, organized and uncluttered? Back to your mom's point about when in doubt, throw it out. The macro, for me, is like thinking about our life as a bigger picture and how there's so much stimuli in our society and in our environment. And so for me, it's like decluttering my life. What doesn't serve me anymore? What are things that are barriers to bigger picture items, bigger goals that I have so on a macro level, decluttering my life. So it's really reflective of what I want and who I am and my future version, not living in the past. What's your macro bigger picture? Organizing and staying uncluttered. 


Trevor: I think probably the macro would be routines like every single day. Like, I do this, I do that. Otherwise you get behind and then you're having to commit 4 hours on a Saturday to clean up the dishes for the week or something like that.


Sav: Screw working on the weekends. Nope, I'm with you. That's actually my micro is my behavior change. And I am fully with you, obviously, because this is our lifestyle in our home and how we do things. But incorporating organizing into your daily routine. So it happens, period. Okay to confess, we do work on the weekends. You do your Sunday routine, will you walk us through it? I love it when I see you doing your Sunday routine. 


Trevor: Well, my Sunday routine usually starts Saturday night when I prep the coffee and tea. So all I have to do is wake up in the morning, press the button on the electric tea kettle, and get going. Well I start outside, clean up dog poop, clean the filter on the hot tub, shock the hot tub, anything outside, water the plants, anything outside that needs to be cleaned up or organized. 


Sav: And then I feel like the other inside piece on a Sunday is that's when because we do our grocery shopping on Mondays. So at the end of the week, whatever's left in the fridge, what I see you do is that then you'll do your juicing and that's your big juicing. You'll use up anything remaining. Which is awesome because I hate wasting food. 


Trevor: I was going to actually do that today, but yeah, it's like a weekend routine. I have extra time to make some juices. 


Sav: And my weekend routine is actually only food prep because that's when I have the most time. And so Sunday is my day for cooking. And that's when I'll make up like, do a batch of almond milk, I'll maybe do some tea and I'll just put them into Crofts for the week. I might make up a few different dips for the week. I might do like, Trevor likes this pudding and I'll make up the pudding and that's like our set for the week. So that’s my Sunday.


Trevor: [overtalk] I love pudding. 


Sav: Every once in a while I'll make this stellar for Kacha bread because that takes more time. So my like enjoyable leisure activities all envelope into that routine. Onto some inspiration. I might edit that out. I think so too. On to some inspiration. OP’s writes [reads]First Post here- inspired! This is a success story. I have a large three bedroom house with 1.5 kids and a husband who is a little bit of a hoarder. The clutter overwhelms me, but I can't seem to get it out as fast as we bring it in. My technique over the past month has been putting a laundry basket in the dining room and just popping one or two things in as I'm tidying up. Some days I have a lot of energy and I can do half a room. Other days I just put two books in, other days I just put two books in as I'm grabbing something from another room, I've taken two car loads of stuff plus heaps of rubbish so far and I'm gaining steam. Today I cleaned out two junk drawers, mine and my toddler's shoes and the whole bathroom. Woohoo.”


Trevor:  Is there a question there? 


Sav: No, it's just sharing success. What's your takeaway from this? What is enabling them to continue on their journey and to continue to declutter? Is there anything that stands out to you? 


Trevor: I think yeah. Just the fact that they're excited about it. 


Sav: When I read this, when I was like, oh Yay, they made a golden rule. So in the first part they say clutter overwhelms me, but I can't seem to get it out as fast as we bring it in. And that was like that's everyone's problem, especially today with all of the subscriptions that just automatically come on Amazon or a lot of people have Chewy and those are on subscriptions or they have subscriptions elsewhere. But it's like this automation that is supposed to help us, but in reality, it is adding to our list of things that we need to process. But in the case of many of my clients, they don't actually set the time aside to process those things. And so in our house, at least for me personally, with clothes, I have my golden rule. One thing in, one thing out. That's why I love and hate hand me downs. So when people give me hand me downs, it's almost like a stressor because I'm like, oh, great, now I actually have to deal with this, and I'm really happy with my current clothes right now. So it takes a lot of discernment for me. But I think what this person did is they made a golden rule of how they're going to process items. They're going to have one donation bin, they're using a laundry basket in each room, and as that fills up, they take it and they donate it. What is a golden rule you have personally?


Trevor: I know I'm pretty darn disciplined about cleaning my work van every day after work because I need to be able to find things. And if I can't find things, I get really flustered. So I clean out all the garbage, all the trash, I reorganize things if they've been moved. And they basically reset my van every day after work, so that when I go out to work again, everything's there where I can find it, I can access it. And nothing's in the way, and it makes work faster too, because things aren't in the way potentially.


Sav: Okay, I'm thinking of my other golden rule when it comes to email, which if you've seen my inbox, you know that. Well, first off -


Trevor: There's nothing in it?


Sav: Yeah. It's very little. So my rule that I've never actually made explicit to you is that I don't like having more than ten at a time, like that's the max. And if there's more than ten, they need to get processed. And if there's less than ten, great, I'm winning. [giggles] And even if there are things that are unfinished, unresolved, like it's an open tab still, that's okay. But I indicate using folders if it's actionable or if it's pending. And in what aspect is it? Is it work related? Is it home related? Is it AVO related and what not? And Mondays are my mail and email days because that starts with an M. And that's part of my system routine. Part three? 


Trevor: Part three. 


[15:54] Part 3: The Best Of


Sav: Part three. The best of Reddit, “What are some of your best home organization tips?I have a problem making decisions when there are a lot of options because there are an infinite amount of possibilities for organizing my home. It makes my head spin. I'm always looking for the best way possible because of my type A personality, but I also have ADD. Do you have tips/systems/ tools that you are proud of? Anything goes, office files, kitchen DVD collections, and so on? 


Trevor: Ooh, good question. It's a lot there. 


Sav: It's a lot there. I chose this one because I think it reflects you. And I I would identify with type A personality.


Trevor: I’m type C or D. 


Sav: Well. [laughs together] I think you have type A tendencies, but you also have ADHD. And so that's a learning curve for me, which has been super helpful. Also, being in the classroom and having accommodations for students with ADHD has also been super helpful. 


Trevor: I think I just realized something. I think - 


Sav: Like this second? [laughs]


Trevor: Yeah. I think the fundamental difference between you and I. Oh, my God, is that you are organized and I am tidy. There's a major difference between those two. 


Sav: What's the difference? 


Trevor: Well, tidy like you put things, you arrange things so that you know where they are essentially, and it doesn't feel dirty, but there's not really a system there. Being organized is like there's more structure behind where things go and why things go there -


Sav: [overtalk] So much structure.


Trevor: And when they go there, it’s like a rhythm to it. 


Sav: Okay. So I was actually watching a TikTok with Doctor Amon @docamon. That brain dude. He's up in the Bay Area like the Walnut Creek area. Right. Remember him? 


Trevor: Yeah. 


Sav: Okay. So he was talking about ADHD. Oh, gosh, I believe it was him. And he was talking about how neurodivergency is looking at a system kind of like a computer ones and zeroes, where people who are not neurodivergent, they are looking at, they have a top down approach. And so I feel like when I come in, I'm taking the ones and zeroes and making them make sense for people. So the structure is that it is a category. So in our kitchen, for example, what I've designed for you to be successful 


Trevor: Subcategories. 


Sav: Yeah. Stations. So we have a coffee and tea station because that's your job. It's all grouped together. There's a lazy susan for all the different accouterments that go into coffee. Everything's set up from the blender to the water thingamajinger to an easy container to get out Xylitol, teas are ready to go. There's no making the choice. It's in one designated container. That's the tea you grab for me, and I think that's super helpful. It's like, what are the train wheels we need so our automatic default can just happen? It's not a thought. It doesn't take energy. It's the most logical thing possible. And that's the structure. There's no thinking behind it. It's just an automatic response. 


Trevor: I like it. I love it. Works for me.


Sav: [laughs] Another ADHD friendly thing for you, I would say, is the juicing drawer. It's kind of been taking over the fridge. And when you first got into juicing, I was like, uh, this is going to take up so much space. And now it's not only organized into one designated area and it's all juicing, but it's aesthetic. So I can be okay with it and enjoy it and value it because it has its home. It's not overlapping into another category, which is where so many people get into trouble, where it's like, oh, where do I put this? Or this? Is it camping supplies or is it emergency supplies? Well, now every time you look for that item, you're going to get confused. So it has to be, what is an automatic response.


Trevor: My kind of ADHD, and I think a lot of people who have it have a similar sort of impulsiveness when they're cruising around the house trying to be organized or productive is you pick one thing up and you go to bring it to its home, and you get distracted by another thing. When really I should just get one done and go on to the next one.

Sav: I'm also thinking about our kitchen design when we redid this, and a big shift was we took out all of the upper cabinets, and now it's open shelving, which means that everything is visible, which is something that I would say is your mantra. Everything needs to be visible, otherwise it doesn't exist. 


Trevor: Yeah.


Sav: I think the other big thing is when we moved in together, I had to make a lot of adjustments, and you had to make a lot of adjustments based on each of our needs. And same thing with pets, with kids, with in laws, with relatives, with anyone living with you. It is not what works for you best. It is what works for everyone in the best way possible.


Trevor: I guess I'm just kind of thinking randomly about stuff and how it gets in the way. Too much stuff gets in the way. Too much stuff. Essentially, the more stuff you have, it becomes a time pull, or it drags your time down. Because if you have item A-B-C and D, then you're basically committing some amount of time in your life to being consumed by ABC and D. And if you don't really want D in your life or you don't really use it a lot or you don't like it, then what is it doing in your life Besides pulling you away from A, B and C? 


Sav: I agree. I think that's why I always come back to less is more. I think a lot of folks - 


Trevor: It gives more time for yourself.


Sav: Yeah, a lot of folks kind of have shifted pages and are more in the minimalism area in their life. And I think that's really awesome to just think about what is truly a value and that you love. So even if it's valuable, if you don't use it, lose it. Period. Or your mom’s “When in doubt -”


Sav and Trevor [together]: “Throw it out”.


Sav: I don't actually want people to be throwing things out. Like if it is perfectly good, please go onto your local Facebook group. Yeah, Facebook, because the Marketplace is where it's at. There are so many free groups in your neighborhoods that you can offset things to and feel that relationship and feel motivation from giving to others that need it when you don't.


Trevor: Or sell it. I love selling stuff on Craigslist. 


Sav: Selling’s good too, but ultimately, if you can just donate it, it's better from the psychological perspective because then you get the momentum, the stamina, the growth of “Oh yeah, I can process things, I can move them out” and it's more weight off of your shoulders for the immediate win versus what could be a win, but it's going to be delayed. So you're not going to get the dopamine hit which I definitely get from organizing and that's why,




Sav: It's true. That's why even on a weeknight it might be 08:00 p.m. And I'm organizing the linen closet not because it's not organized but because it is a dopamine hit for me. 


Trevor: So “Give me the rush!”. 


Sav: It’s like, ooh my goodness, oh my goodness. And same thing with clients. I'll go into their homes and they'll be like, “Oh my God, I'm so embarrassed, this is the worst thing ever”. Inside my head. I'm like, “Oh my God this is so exciting”. So how do you win at organizing? Be stealthy. Only hold on to something if you love it and use it. Start by decluttering because decluttering and organizing are not the same thing. First declutter, then organize, then make it part of your lifestyle. Make it a routine.