Helping women business owners organize and declutter their home lives so they're able to focus their time and energy on growing their company and spending time with family. Ask me anything!

Lia Brady
Jun 13, 2018

My name is Lia Brady. I am a professional organizer, entrepreneur, lover of all things green, mother, and wife.

Even as a small child, I’ve always had an intense passion for decluttered space, logical furniture layouts and helping friends and family thrive in a well-organized environment. Redesigning my godmother’s home was one of my favorite things to do at the age of 11.

After graduating high school, I enrolled in Business Management courses and joined the corporate world. My very first “real” job…drumroll, please…a bank teller. Starting as a teller, I worked my way to the file room where I sorted, categorized, labeled and decluttered thousands of customer documents. My little nook was nestled among the manila folders and I loved it.

Two years later, I was hired as a Supervising CSR II for Alfa Insurance. To no surprise, I organized our file system within the first year. My work space, of course, was neat and tidy, the office was in tip top shape and within three years, with the help of my amazing team, the office ranked 2nd place in the district, coming from 15th. As I like to put it, they received the “Lia sweep” and from then on, ran like a well-oiled machine.

Still, there was something missing. I wasn’t sure where I was headed, but I knew my ideas were solid. I was full of passion, energy and a ‘want’ to GET IT DONE!

After four years in the insurance field (and many lessons learned), I decided to pursue something I loved; music and art. I organized a few events at a local art gallery downtown, realized there’s not much money in that line of work, and headed back into the corporate world.

Back to the office and it resided at the Birmingham News writing the obituaries for the local paper. Within two years, I reorganized the department, eliminated the need for a second employee, redesigned the submission website and created their training handbook.

Thinking that maybe business wasn’t my niche, I went back to school to study psychology. Two and a half years and a few (okay, maybe more than a few) thousand dollars later, I started noticing a trend: I somehow ALWAYS came back to organizing. That was my passion! It’s what excited me and what I loved to do for others. It’s my way of giving back that gives me something greater in return.

So, I started a business and here I am in one of the greatest cities in Alabama doing what I LOVE.

I am owner/operator at Organize with Lia out of Birmingham, AL where I live with my husband, young daughter, and two cats.

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Based on what you see on your clients’ homes and offices, what are the usual causes of clutter? Why do these things build up anyway?
Jun 20, 5:53AM EDT0

Mail is one of the big ones. Since this comes in EVERY DAY, it's easy to get behind on it. 

Jun 25, 10:58PM EDT0
How long does it usually take to declutter an entire apartment?
Jun 20, 2:11AM EDT0

This depends on the size of the apartment and the amount of clutter involved! Each case is different. :)

Jun 25, 10:57PM EDT0
When decluttering an office/house, what’s the first thing you take a look at and try to get rid of?
Jun 19, 8:19PM EDT0

TRASH! Anything that can be disposed of is the first to go. This leaves only the things that will need a place or need to be donated!

Jun 25, 10:56PM EDT0
Any tips on how to organize thousands of personal/family photos in a hard drive?
Jun 19, 1:39PM EDT0

There are several ways you could do this. My personal favorite is by date. Jan, Feb, March (and so on) of 2002. Or you could label them by the activity! Susan's Graduation, John's Baptism, etc.

Jun 25, 10:56PM EDT0
Do you recommend garage sales after decluttering? Any other ways to dispose of stuff without having them go to the landfill?
Jun 18, 5:25PM EDT0

Absolutely! Make sure you sell in a high-traffic area. Once the yardsale is over, you can check on social media for folks that like to pick up the remaining items for free! 

Jun 25, 10:54PM EDT0
Any tips to parents so they can encourage their kids to start decluttering and organizing?
Jun 18, 5:13PM EDT0

Start them young! You can find age appropriate chore printables online...I plan to have some soon on my website, so keep an eye out!

And STICK TO IT! Tangible consequences produce tangible results!

Jun 25, 10:53PM EDT0
Any tips for oversentimental people so they can finally dispose of very old stuff in their house/storage?
Jun 18, 1:35PM EDT0

This is a tricky one. I absolutely do not recommend my clients to get rid of sentimental items. Most of these things tell a story and it's something they rarely want to part with. I will, however, suggest options such as creating "art" or useful items by altering the sentimentals. Like creating a blanket out of old t-shirts or repurposing!

Jun 25, 10:52PM EDT0
What if a client hired you to declutter but they end up not wanting to throw anything away, what do you do?
Jun 17, 8:15PM EDT0

Depending on the severity of the clutter, it's almost always possible to organize even when there are a lot of items to find a place for! This will require more time and possibly additional storage.

Jun 25, 10:50PM EDT0
Have you thought about doing organizing workshops or seminars? Even writing a book?
Jun 17, 6:10AM EDT0

Absolutely on all of those! I've got so many book ideas, from life lessons to order the Godly way. It's on my vision board! 

Jun 17, 8:09PM EDT0

I have 3 closets full of clothes I have no clue where to start with purging or organizing! Help

Jun 16, 6:44PM EDT0

Hi Ramonica!

First and foremost, TAKE IT ALL OUT! I know that sounds counterproductive, but I promise, it will all find it's place again. :) 

Have three baskets labeled 'Donate', 'Keep' and 'Trash'.

Go through your off-season items first and determine if you're going to wear it again. Distribute into each basket as you see fit.

Next, undergarments, socks and shoes! 

Lastly, go through the items you could be wearing this season. 

I absolutely love Marie Kondo's concepts regarding clothing. Hold it in your hands...if you don't like it (if it doesn't "spark joy"), you're not going to wear it! Time to say goodbye! 

If you're not absolutely sure if you'll wear it or not, when you put all of your clothes back in the closet, hang them backwards (hook facing towards you). In a year's time, any items that are still hanging backwards, it's safe to say you can purge!

I offer virtual organizing if you need any assistance! GOOD LUCK!

Jun 16, 10:18PM EDT0
Since you do a lot of decluttering - do you also organize donation drives?
Jun 16, 7:00AM EDT0

I've never done that, but it's not something I would be opposed to! Can you be more specific on the topic? Are you asking about me organizing my own donation drive or someone else's? 

Jun 16, 10:23PM EDT0

This is probably the most helpful AMA I've encountered so far when it comes to my personal life! Haha! I try decluttering my home at least once a year. Especially since I have 2 kids who grow out of their clothes, shoes, books and toys a lot, I end up disposing boxes of goods. I end up donating most of them. However, I can't help but think that many of these things are just going to waste. I think of the hours I spent working just to buy all those stuff. How do I change my mindset? Is there any way I can actually earn from these items? How can I avoid having to throw away all these things on a yearly basis? What must I change in the first place? Thank you in advance!!! I really, really appreciate your AMA! :)

Jun 16, 1:53AM EDT0

I had the biggest grin on my face while reading this. Thank you so much, Rona! I'm so glad this has been helpful to you!

And I totally feel your pain on this one. I recently discovered that some second-hand stores dispose of items before it even reaches the shelves! 

I'd suggest making donations to orphanages, women/children homes, children in need (you can post on Facebook or ask friends if they know anyone) if you're looking to give back with your items. Personally, this is the MOST gratifying!

If you have gently used items that may sell, try Facebook market! I've noticed that children's clothes sell best if they're bundled rather than selling separately. Kids toys are also a huge commodity if they're pricing modestly! 

Other than reusing items that the older kids have gone through, when you have growing children, purging and rebuying just comes with the territory! Which, I am SUPER proud that you declutter once a year! Kudos to you, sister! 

Jun 16, 10:11PM EDT0
When you organize and declutter their homes, what emotional and spiritual changes happen to them?
Jun 15, 6:33AM EDT0

THIS is my favorite part of the job. People have teared up, hugged me really hard, given me a long spill of how they already feel 100 lbs lighter. It makes a DRAMATIC difference. 

Spiritually speaking, I think it's incredibly important to have a time set aside every day to talk to our Creator. It makes it a lot easier to stay in the moment with God if you're not thinking about your bulging closet!

Jun 16, 10:01PM EDT0
Are you familiar with the KonMari Method? Is this method different from other professional organizing techniques? Why or why not?
Jun 14, 6:40PM EDT0

Yes! I actually own her book. Her method is very interesting. She focuses on the concept of "Does the item spark joy?" If it doesn't, she suggests tossing or donating! I believe she's not as lenient on keeping things that you don't need. Very minimalist-minded. She's popular for a reason!

Jun 14, 8:37PM EDT0
If a woman wants to start to organize and declutter, what are 2-3 simple ways she can just begin?
Jun 14, 4:53PM EDT0

1. Plan a weekend where grandma can keep the kids and you're absolutely free with nothing else to do.

2. Purge! Clothes, dishes, toys, books, knick-knacks...everything! Go ahead and take it to the second-hand drop off station. 

3. Go through each room in the house and organize every nook and cranny!

Jun 14, 8:35PM EDT0
Do you work alone or do you have a team that helps you with the decluttering and organizing process?
Jun 14, 2:59PM EDT0

Currently, I work alone. If it's a large job, I will subcontract other organizers in the area to help out. We all have our own niche and don't mind being there for each other. It's a great community!

Jun 14, 8:32PM EDT0
When organizing a home, what area is usually the most difficult to fix?
Jun 14, 8:58AM EDT0

I haven't found much difficulty, per se, in any specific area. When a client doesn't want to part with much, it can sometimes be difficult to organize use-less clutter. BUT, we get it done!

Jun 14, 8:32PM EDT0
Have you though about offering organizing workshops? Why or why not?
Jun 14, 8:13AM EDT0

I have! I'm actually working with an organizer out of NC about this very thing. Lots of ideas floating around! I think it's a great way to get in front of your community and help those that don't understand the NEED to have an organized life! 

You'll notice in the Bible, things thrive from order!

Jun 14, 8:30PM EDT0
Can you share three minimalist/zero waste strategies that we can try at home?
Jun 14, 7:17AM EDT0

1. Saving grocery bags to use as trash bags in small cans; like a bathroom or office.

2. Dry erase boards instead of paper notes!

3. Only own enough dishes so that they'll all fit in your dishwasher at one time. By this I mean cups, plates, bowls and silverware. This will keep the sink from overflowing regularly if you're not a fan of doing dishes!

Jun 14, 8:28PM EDT0
Do your customers need to buy closet systems or lots of organizing containers before the organizing session?
Jun 13, 9:36PM EDT0

Only if they want to. I don't recommend it most of the time. I try to do as much as I can with what the customer already has!

Jun 14, 8:26PM EDT0
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