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“Eliminate clutter.” With Candice Georgiadis & Darla DeMorrow

Eliminate clutter. Clutter isn’t just excess stuff, it’s stuff that makes you feel stuck. You don’t have to be a minimalist to live in an organized home. When your home is organized, you can appreciate everything in it more clearly. Too many people feel cluttered, but get stuck on the very first step of really […]

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Eliminate clutter. Clutter isn’t just excess stuff, it’s stuff that makes you feel stuck. You don’t have to be a minimalist to live in an organized home. When your home is organized, you can appreciate everything in it more clearly. Too many people feel cluttered, but get stuck on the very first step of really owning their space. The first step is just to start moving things in order to get and stay organized. The SORT and Succeed system is just five simple steps to get organized. You can use them in every space in your home. Step 1 is to get started on organizing. Step 2 is to organize things into groups of similar items. Step 3 is to reduce, release, and then rest your space. Step 4 is to keep tweaking, keep making small changes that really work for you specifically. Step 5 is to succeed and celebrate with a reward that you’ve chosen for your efforts. That reward, which can be almost anything, trains your brain for the next organizing project.


Aspart of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Darla DeMorrow.

Darla DeMorrow is a certified professional organizer (CPO®), certified photo organizer, decorator, speaker, and founder of HeartWork Organizing, LLC, based in Wayne, PA. Her mission is to help people achieve a sense of peace and purpose. The author of several inspiring books on getting organized, her newest is “The Upbeat, Organized Home Office.” Darla is a certified photo organizer with The Photo Managers, and a certified Evernote consultant. She is constantly honing her skills to provide her clients the best in organizing and design. To learn more, visit www.HeartWorkOrg.com.


Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ll tell you a story about why I came to this so late in life. I was told from my school days onward that I wasn’t creative, meaning that I didn’t draw, sing or dance very well. What people didn’t know about me is that I solve problems really, really well. Guess what? You can train yourself to learn color mixing, spatial relationships, and fashion trends. But if you can’t solve a client’s problem? Well, that’s where creativity really matters. Don’t ever count yourself out of your passions, and don’t let anyone ever define for you what you are or aren’t.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

You know those local charity auctions that every community holds? In my first year of business I donated my services to an organization that was important to me. At the luncheon event, some men bid on my donation as a joke. They thought it was the funniest auction package ever, and their words were unkind. Who would ever need such a thing? I took it really hard. I was embarrassed in front of my friends at the charity. But it all turned out for good when the wife of the highest bidder called me gushing about what her husband bought her. She was thrilled to get exactly what she wanted, even if he didn’t realize what he had won. I gained a great client and validation that I need to be very, very careful about whose voice I let inside my head.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Every project I’m working on is exciting. Ask me who my favorite client is, and I always say that they’re all my favorites! But I do have a favorite type of project: the room that seems beyond hope. When a client feels like they are too cluttered, or they think the room is too small, too ugly, too whatever, I know that a new design can not only change their space, but can very often change their life!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There are quite a few mantras that I live by. Mean people suck. Live by the Golden Rule. This, too, shall pass. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. But in business, when I hear negative thoughts in my head, I always think, “Why not me?” I don’t care one bit about fame or popularity, but if there is a need, if someone else is offering a service, then why not me?

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I think a lot about people who are quietly helping others all the time, like people who have helped me. They usually don’t even know they are doing it, and they aren’t always formal teachers or great experts. I don’t follow a lot of gurus. Sometimes I learn the most from people who are just three steps ahead of me on their own journey, not the experts who are 300 steps ahead of me. Sometimes it’s easier to learn from those people who are closer and seem more accessible than the rock stars in your orbit.

Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Start with your focal point in each space in your home. A focal point can be part of the architecture like a beautiful bay window showcasing a great landscape, or it can be a design element that you introduce like a bold, blue velvet sofa. When there is something special about a room, something that just makes you smile, you know you’ve created a special place.

Go with your gut. If you do love something, love it to the point of feeling it in the pit of your stomach, then listen to that little voice inside you. People know what they love, even if they don’t know quite how to incorporate it into their homes yet. Imagine yourself leaving that one-of-a-kind find at the store, and if it feels like you are leaving one of your children behind, then seriously consider bringing it home, even if it’s a crazy color, size, or finish. Listen to your heart. If your heart really sings, then bring your treasure home. Work with your designer to turn an oddball find into the focal point of your design.

Know when to splurge and when to save. There can be great joy in knowing that one of your favorite things about your home is the great deal that you got on part of your design. It’s not particularly hard to spend money on design. Going over budget doesn’t take talent. But when you live in your home and see your project as a whole, the elements where you saved should balance out the must-have splurges. The best stories about your favorite trash-to-treasure pieces or that time you negotiated hard for that antique and then painted it screaming yellow — those are the stories that bring life to your room.

Eliminate clutter. Clutter isn’t just excess stuff, it’s stuff that makes you feel stuck. You don’t have to be a minimalist to live in an organized home. When your home is organized, you can appreciate everything in it more clearly. Too many people feel cluttered, but get stuck on the very first step of really owning their space. The first step is just to start moving things in order to get and stay organized. The SORT and Succeed system is just five simple steps to get organized. You can use them in every space in your home. Step 1 is to get started on organizing. Step 2 is to organize things into groups of similar items. Step 3 is to reduce, release, and then rest your space. Step 4 is to keep tweaking, keep making small changes that really work for you specifically. Step 5 is to succeed and celebrate with a reward that you’ve chosen for your efforts. That reward, which can be almost anything, trains your brain for the next organizing project.

Light fixtures are jewelry for the home. Freshen up the lighting in your home. Lighting is everything. Without it, colors are meaningless. Lighting affects our safety, our mood, our perception of size and space. Artificial lighting has undergone a quiet revolution in the last decade, becoming more energy efficient, portable, affordable, flexible, and beautiful. Switch out a light fixture. Add accent lighting under cabinets or uplights in dark corners. Replace overhead fixtures. Add landscape lighting. Play with lightbulb color profiles. Add dimmers in high-use rooms. There are so many subtle changes that lighting updates can do for your home. You’ll be overjoyed with the results of your “lightbulb moment.”

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

My movement would be simple: make sure every man woman and child has a safe, decent affordable home. Housing is one of our most basic needs. Houses aren’t just places where we live. If they are safe, decent, and affordable, they are everything to the children and families who inhabit them.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become fascinated by the women in public service. It boggles the mind that these women would seek relatively poorly paid positions to do the most good for the most people not by just joining the game, but by literally redrawing the playing field. It may be cliché in an election year, but I’d love to ask Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Kamala Harris how they can see the ugly underbelly of some of the worst parts of our public systems and still work to improve life for an entire nation every single day. How do they never have a bad day?

How can our readers follow you on social media?

HeartWorkOrg.com is still the best way to get my attention, either by emailing directly to me, reading weekly articles, or jumping on social media platforms from there.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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