Simply Squared Away, was founded in Kansas City, Missouri by speaker and professional organizer, Tracy Hoth. Tracy is passionate about helping the overwhelmed become FREE from the weight of clutter (both physical and mental) so that they are MORE productive in their home and their office!!
Simply Squared Away’s mission is to help the overwhelmed, organizationally challenged become free from the weight of clutter (mental and physical) in order to be all they are meant to be!
MO: Have you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
Tracy: I don’t think I have! It has been something that I have uncovered!! As a child, I only remember wanting to wear a suit and heels to work. But, because of our four children, the need to have a flexible schedule and realizing how much being organized meant to our family I decided to start my business in order to help other families get organized! Through that process I have “developed” my entrepreneurial spirit. Maybe it was always there and but I had never been taught what it was or met an entrepreneur before. Now that it is uncovered I think that it is on fire!
MO: How can improved organization enhance a person’s life both personally and professionally?
Tracy: Being organized affects all areas of life – your health, relationships and how you treat people, your productivity, your stress level, etc. When people realize this they realize that investing their time and even money into getting (and staying) organized is well worth it! I hear it all the time from clients that their space is so overwhelming they just shut down. As I toured one client’s office she said, “Energy is just sucked out of me when I walk into my office.”
Not only is your energy depleted but your confidence is affected. Many people are ashamed and embarrassed of their space feeling like something is wrong with them! This does affect how they view themselves in other areas! Getting organized gives people hope, confidence and the freedom to give their unique gifts and strengths out to the world!
MO: Can you provide our readers for some basic tips and advice for de-cluttering and getting more organized? For many this can be an overwhelming task, what’s a good starting point?
Tracy: I am all about real-life! I have a husband, four kids and a dog at home. We have a full life and are in and out constantly. Being organized does not mean lined up rows of corn cans in your pantry with a label in the front! And it doesn’t mean that your home never gets messy! Being organized means you know what you have and you can find it when you need it! You should be able to “clean up” fairly quickly because everything has a home to go to.
By using my SPASM™ acronym I teach clients and audiences that they can organize everything if they follow these steps:
• SORT – Put like with like.
• PURGE – Concentrate on keeping ONLY the things you love, use and that enhance your life on a regular basis.
• ASSIGN A HOME – Think logically, using zones (areas where you do certain activities – reading, baking, home management, etc)
• SET LIMITS – Use bins, baskets, shelves, dividers, etc. to contain and set natural limits!
• MAINTAIN – Tie new habits into things you already do! For example, clean your files as you prepare for taxes each year! Remember, the less you keep the easier this is!
I have created an eBook that is FULL of ideas, tips and routines to get and stay organized including my 3HOW?s™ for organizing paper. I offer it FREE on my website. You’ll also receive monthly article, tips and inspiration!
There is no right or wrong place to start. I like to choose an area that can be completed in the amount of time that is available. I am overwhelmed sometimes, too. I remind myself to pick up “one thing at a time” and sort it. Repeat. Use SPASM™. You’ll find yourself going back to the space to admire it, enjoy it and get motivation to keep going and tackle the next space!
MO: Can you tell us a bit about your Freedom² Coaching Program, what it is and how it works?
Tracy: I started my business as a way to make extra income for our family. It was a great fit. But, after 3 years I wanted to take it to a new level. At that same time an opportunity came and I hired a business coach. This has changed my life! I learned more in the first 2 months than I had in my entire college education – or what I could remember of it! My business changed from a hobby to a business. I changed from working a job to becoming a business owner! My focus changed from being stuck to having a defined direction. Each day I intentionally take action to make my dreams come true!
I created my Freedom² Coaching Program in order to help other women do the same. Whether a woman is a home executive with some personal goals or a soloprenuer wanting to grow her business Freedom² helps her keep her focus, be accountable, learn from experts and have a platform where she can communicate with other women with similar goals to get ideas and feedback. I am a sounding board for their questions and help them strategize the best way to reach their goals. Women gain momentum by intentionally choosing the “best” things to do each day – from keeping their money goals straight, knowing how to market, developing profit centers, growing their list, running their home effeciently, etc. This gives them more wins and thus more confidence and momentum!
MO: On your site, you offer a teleclass recording on creating a ‘Child’s Memory Bin.’ Can you explain what a ‘Child’s Memory Bin’ is and why we should put one together for our kids?
Tracy: Families are overwhelmed with kid’s papers and memorabilia. Without a system in place these things pile up in their closets, on the kitchen counters, shoved in boxes and bins all over the house. “One day” people are going to deal with it but that one day never comes and it turns into a big, overwhelming mess! A ‘Child’s Memory Bin’ is an organized tub holding all the memorabilia you decide to keep. It is enjoyed while your child is at home and then one day passed on to the child when they are an adult!
If there is a system in place you can not only avoid the mess but actually enjoy it with your child! I cover each step that a paper or memory takes starting from the inbox (every home needs an inbox), how to make the decision whether or not to keep it, where it goes next, what supplies are needed to make a memory bin that you and your child can enjoy together for a lifetime, when to file the memories and how to make it fun AND teaching your child organizational skills throughout the entire process!
MO: What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Tracy: Hiring a business coach was one of the biggest risks that I have taken! I didn’t know how it would turn out! I had never met a coach before AND I didn’t know anyone personally that had a coach! It was an investment that I wasn’t sure would be wise. I had never done anything like that before.
It has turned out to be the best thing that I could’ve done! As a solopreneur you sometimes feel like you are all alone. But, because I had a coach and colleagues surrounding me I felt like I had a team! Since then I have done a lot of ‘risky’ things – made calls to book speaking engagements, taught teleclasses, held my own workshops, discovered my passion and started my coaching program, helped numerous women gain confidence to live the life they were meant to live…All because I took a risk!
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