When it comes to running a business from the road, space, systems, and simplicity are paramount. Kelsey Henry is an author, entrepreneur, singer/songwriter, and owner of Cozy Organizing. She is a self-proclaimed cozy expert who gets a thrill out of decluttering and organizing spaces. Kelsey believes that a cozy space leads to a happy mind, and she is passionate about helping others achieve a sense of calm and order in their lives. Using her unique background as a life coach and full-time RVer, she helps her clients let go of the physical and emotional clutter to make space for what truly matters.
Kelsey is the author of Growing Up Roadschooled: Stories, Lyrics, & Lessons Learned from Full-time RVing & Life After Roadschooling.
Decluttering Your Life, Mind, and RV
with Kelsey Henry of Cozy Organizing
Your Host: Kimberly Crossland
Learn more about Kelsey at cozyorganizing.com
Follow Kelsey on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/cozyorganizing/
Listen to The RV Entrepreneur Episode #308
THE RV ENTREPRENEUR
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The RV Entrepreneur #308 Full Episode Transcript:
Decluttering Your Life, Mind, and RV with Kelsey Henry of Cozy Organizing
RV LIFE: Welcome to the RV Entrepreneur podcast. The weekly show for Nomads, Work campers, RV ers and entrepreneurs looking to earn a living or build a business while enjoying the RV lifestyle. This week’s host is Kimberly Crosland. Let’s settle in and enjoy the RV Entrepreneur podcast brought to you by RV Life.
KIMBERLY: Welcome to another episode of the Entrepreneur podcast. I am your host for this week, Kimberly Crosland, and I am so excited to be bringing you our guest this week. Kelsey Henry Kelsey is an author and entrepreneur, a singer songwriter and most recently the owner of Cozy Organizing. She’s also a self proclaimed, cozy expert who gets a thrill out of decluttering and organizing spaces and boy in the RV lifestyle. Don’t we need that? Kelsey believes that a cozy space leads to a happy mind, and she is so passionate about helping other people achieve that same sense of calm and order in their lives. Using her unique background as a life coach and a full time arvier as a teen, she helps her clients let go of the physical and emotional clutter to make space for what truly matters. She’s also the author of Growing Up Road Schooled Stories, Lyrics and lessons learned from full time Irvine and Life After Road Schooling. You can learn more about Kelsey at cozy organizing.com. But first, you’re going to want to hear her story. It is so compelling and she’s got so many parallels between how she grew up on the road and the businesses that she has started and how we can take away some of those lessons and use them to elevate our own businesses and our own RV lifestyle. This episode is so awesome. I cannot wait for you to listen in. But first, here’s a short break to hear from our sponsors who make this show possible.
RV LIFE: This episode is sponsored by wholesale warranties.
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KIMBERLY: Kelsey, I’m so excited to have you on the Entrepreneur podcast today because you and I have been working behind the scenes for so long and we finally get to connect and sit face to face and chat. And just for the listener like context, going into this interview right before we hit record, me and Kelsey were going back and forth. We’re like, Hold on, we need to stop. We need to get this onto the podcast because there’s just so much good information that’s going to come of it. So Kelsey, before I even dive into all the questions that I have for you, will you introduce us? Tell us a little bit about who you are and a little bit about your entrepreneurial lifestyle.
KELSEY: Well, Kendall Burley, thank you so much for having me. I’ve been so looking forward to chatting with you. I’m really excited about this. So, yes, okay. About myself and my entrepreneurial journey. My name is Kelsey and I am a Multi-passionate entrepreneur. As you might find out in this interview, I have a lot of things going on and and a lot of it is inspired by my childhood growing up as a full time arvier I lived on the road for six years with my parents. We hit the road in 2005 and I am almost 30 now, but I still use that influence in my life every day. I have really leaned into freedom being my ultimate guiding philosophy in life, and that comes from living as a full time arvier. And so when it comes to like running my business and, you know, just being available for travel, you know, I’m a singer songwriter, I’m an author, I am a podcast editor, I’m the editor of this podcast, actually love this podcast. And I’ve been doing that for on and off for about seven years. I actually fun fact learned how to edit podcasts from Heath Padgett himself.
KIMBERLY: I did not know that.
KELSEY: Yeah, this is my first podcast I ever learned to edit, so that’s so special to me.
KIMBERLY: Oh, I love that. So, so much. So I have a lot of questions for you and I want to start off with your, your specific life because it’s so unique a lot of people get into and I would imagine a lot of our listeners not knowing everybody’s backstory, but just knowing enough from being inside of the entrepreneur Facebook group. A lot of people get into the RV life as adults, and this is a decision that they make as adults. So I want to know, first of all, how did your family decide to move into an RV?
KELSEY: Yeah. So that is really interesting that you bring that up because, yeah, I had zero choice on living in an RV. It was not something I chose to do. It was something I learned to love. So my dad worked in the tech industry and we had had to make a couple of like really frustrating moves to different states. And, you know, we’re like, Oh, this is going to be our like place. We live forever. And then 13 months later, it’s like, just kidding. We’re moving back to this other place. And it was just so, so much effort to move and change schools and like all the different semi loads of stuff. And my dad fixed up collector cars and my mom was a decorator and so she had to move her business and it was just a lot of effort. And so my dad was trying to avoid having to move us again and he was commuting to California every single week. He’d fly out on Monday morning, come back on Friday evening, and he missed so much. And my brothers are ten and 12 years older, so he did that for a good portion of their, you know, their childhood and their older years. And by the time they got out of the house, so they were in college and my dad was like, I’m just really tired of being away from, you know, my mom and me. And they at some point don’t know exactly when, but they decided like, okay, so we’re just going to like sell everything and we’re going to go live in an RV and don’t exactly know where they even got the idea to do that because it’s not like there were RV bloggers back then. Like there were maybe like two blogs out there on the Internet and like, we didn’t even really have Internet much on the road. This was very like old school.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, because you moved into your RV in 2005, right? Yeah.
KELSEY: And my parents don’t exactly know how they told me either, but I imagine it’s something like they sit me down and they’re like, Hey, so guess what? We’ve decided we’re going to sell the house all of our possessions, buy an RV, and you get to sleep on a couch and be homeschooled.
KIMBERLY: And how did you feel in that moment when you started to realize what that was actually going to look like and how it was going to come to fruition?
KELSEY: I’m pretty sure I was like, Y’all are crazy. I don’t know how you think this is going to work. We had so much stuff. I don’t know how they thought we were going to downsize. I mean, I think they’d been secretly downsizing in the background like, Oh, we don’t need that. We don’t need that. Let’s sell that car, let’s sell this. And then all the. Sudden, I’m just like, Where did all our stuff go? Like, where’s this? What’s happening? And we listed our house and it sold really quickly and they sold it themselves, which it was not as common then either. Like a lot of realtors were like, stealing our pamphlets because they’re like, No, you can’t sell it yourself. And it sold really fast. And we didn’t even have an RV. When we had to move out of the house, we moved right into a hotel and we’re sitting there. I think we got most of our stuff out from garage sales and just giving it away or donating it and shove some things into storage units and then moved into this hotel. And the three of us are just sitting there like, there’s no going back from this. Our home is gone. We are quite literally homeless. This whole thing hasn’t even started yet.
KIMBERLY: Like, Oh my goodness. So had you traveled in an RV before, like on weekend camping trips or anything like that?
KELSEY: We did have an RV. My parents were always interested in RVs, and we had this motor home that my mom had bought and completely renovated, and I think it was from the 70s. And so it needed a lot of work. And I know we went camping in it a few times, but I, I don’t remember doing a whole lot of RVing outside of that, maybe going with family. We did a lot of van camping in my mom’s just big green van, but it wasn’t like van life. It was just life. Just like we went on a long road trip. I mean, honestly, Kimberly, I thought everyone had a Porta-Potty in their car. That’s not true.
KIMBERLY: I actually have friends who still do. That’s so.
KELSEY: Funny. I mean, it’s convenient. I love that.
KIMBERLY: It absolutely is. It absolutely is. So fast forward. So you you guys are in the hotel. How long did it take you to find that RV that you’re going to live in? And did you live in the same one for all six years that you were on the road?
KELSEY: Yeah, So we went into the hotel and my parents are like, okay, this is real. Now we need to really sit down and find an RV. So they’re looking online and they found this fifth wheel in Indiana and they had my grandparents go look at it and they said, Yeah, you need to come get this. It’s really nice. It was a newmar fifth wheel. It was only a couple of years old and it had a matching truck. And so they flew up there, bought this camper. Think we were only in the hotel a week because I was in a two week acting camp. They’re like, Oh, your life is falling apart. Like, let’s just put you in a camp. You’ll just forget about it like it was. It was such a funny emotional time because I would be like, Oh, I’m totally fine. And then like a random lunch break at camp, I’d be like, I’m homeless. And she’s like, eating pizza in a corner by myself. Like, it was just such a funny emotional time. And so they got this RV and we’re about to bring it home. And then my dad calls us and he’s like, Oh, hey, by the way, work just called and they need someone to go to France for the summer. Do you guys want to go? We can just like get the camper later. And we’re like, Well, we mean we literally don’t have a house. We have nowhere else to go. So sure, why not? So we went to France for five weeks.
KIMBERLY: Oh, my goodness. Where in France did you go? I’m curious. We went.
KELSEY: To Paris.
KIMBERLY: Paris? Oh, how fun.
KELSEY: And that’s where I started my home schooling. Oh, So that was really cool.
KIMBERLY: That was. Did you learn how to speak French?
KELSEY: Uh, I learned what ham and cheese were so that I could order sandwiches. And that’s. I didn’t. I didn’t learn very much. So I wish that I had. I just recently went to France and I I’m now like, I really want to learn French and I want to go back like a bunch of times. Yeah, but that was really interesting adventure to go to France and I just took my history books of my new homeschooling program and we’re like, okay, well, I’m learning about Versailles. And then we would just go to Versailles. It just was mind blowing to me as a kid. I’m like, We just looked at it in a book and then just saw it in person. It was just so cool.
KIMBERLY: That is so cool. So when you came back, so you were in in France, first off, you sold your house. You lived in a hotel for about two weeks while you were doing your acting camp. Yeah, went to France for five weeks. And you were, what, 11 years old at the time?
KELSEY: Yes, I turned 12 in Europe. Yeah. We went to go visit some friends in Denmark and I got to have my birthday while we were there.
KIMBERLY: How fun. I lived in Denmark for four years. Side note. Oh no, she knows about me. Yeah, in Copenhagen. So that is an excellent place to celebrate your birthday.
KELSEY: Oh, yeah. Do you speak Danish?
KIMBERLY: I do, but I was there for four years, and so becoming fluent in Danish took a lot longer than five weeks. Is not enough time to learn a language? Yeah, but it is enough time to learn what’s important. Like how? To order a ham and cheese sandwich, which I agree. Being a food lover myself is important. It’s very, very important. So you guys come back to the United States after your dad was done working over in France after five weeks and you get in your RV, and then what happens? You pick up your homeschooling. Where do you go? How long do you stay in each place? Tell me all the things.
KELSEY: Yeah. So we were in Texas for a few months because we had to downsize our storage units. I think we ended up getting maybe like 3 or 4 of them and then pared down even more into an indoor and an outdoor unit. And they packed it really, really well. Like when we finally unpacked it years later, the movers were so impressed. They’re like, This is the most efficient and also full storage unit we think we’ve ever seen.
KIMBERLY: Wow. A little foreshadowing to what we’re going to talk about in just a little bit. So that’s exciting. And then you hit the road and you went, just did you make like a big circle? Did you have did you just kind of go wherever your dad was needed? What did that look like?
KELSEY: Yeah. So we went immediately to San Diego and we took our camper out there and we were at camp land on the bay in San Diego. I had no idea how cool Arvin could be until we moved there. And I mean, it’s like the Disney World of RV parks. I would go play in the arcade and then there’d be dodgeball, and then I’d go and sing karaoke, and then we’d have dance parties and there was an ice cream shop and you could go like rent kayaks and stuff. Like, I mean, it was we were so spoiled.
KIMBERLY: But in a good way. That all sounds like an incredible experience, especially at 12 years old.
KELSEY: Yeah, that that got me really excited. More about the RV thing. And we were only there for six months, but we have so many good memories of being there. And also just like funny memories of weird things like the time that our RV got invaded by ants and the time that I had a really embarrassing moment with a bunch of other kids my age, you know, like, there’s just so many funny memories from that time. I look back on that six months was some of my favorite times of being.
KIMBERLY: Oh, I love hearing that. I think it’s so important to highlight things, experiences like that, especially for families that are listening, that are traveling and road schooling and building a business from the road. And they’ve got young kiddos or teenagers, you know, right. In that pre-teen age group, there are so many experiences that will stick with children that you can’t get that from your normal routine. Not that there’s anything wrong with the normal routine. I’m not a full timer myself, but it’s just important to realize there’s no right or wrong way to live. There’s no right or wrong way to seek adventure and go and see the world and raise your family. It’s all about knowing what’s right for you guys in that moment. And that’s different for everybody else. And I think that that directly ties to entrepreneurship because we ourselves as entrepreneurs, not to jump too far ahead in our conversation, but we need to keep that in mind that life changes and life throws curveballs, and sometimes you’re going to have to take risks and sell your house and live in a hotel for for two weeks and then go to France. Yeah. Or, you know, whatever. It’s that that same type of scenario is going to look like for you and let that be. Okay. So let’s get back because I want to I want to hear specifically before we get too far into the entrepreneurship realm, I want to know what advice because you own cosy organizing and it’s such a good name, by the way. I love that name. Speaking of Denmark, one of my favorite Danish words is Hygge. And that means cozy.
KELSEY: Oh, I’m so excited to talk about that.
KIMBERLY: Oh, let’s talk about it. Let’s get right into it. Tell me about tell me about cozy organizing, because that directly ties to that perfectly designed, you know, storage unit that your parents had and downsizing your life to live in an RV or at least be able to RV even if you don’t live in it full time just to be able to hit the road and have that simplicity.
KELSEY: Yeah. And I am so, so excited to talk about Hygge because there’s just so much Danish influence in the way that I’m trying to build this business and just the art of coziness. It’s like this really fun mix of hooga and coziness and RV ING and my previous life as a life coach and trying to bring all of this together to help people create warm, cozy spaces in their life and really highlight the things that are important. Just to preface, I am not a minimalist by any means. I am a maximalist at heart. I love stuff. I love collecting things I like. That’s my nature is to collect things. And I have really worked on trying to create whatever balance kind of works in my life and then using that as a way to help my clients figure out what works for them so that they can still have a nice mix. Of all the functional necessary things that they need, but then also the things that just bring them pure joy.
KIMBERLY: So tell us about that. Tell us about cozy organizing. What does it mean and how do you serve people?
KELSEY: Yeah, so with cozy organizing, I’m all about turning chaos into calm and clutter into comfort.
KIMBERLY: I love the alliteration.
KELSEY: Thank you. Thank you. I’m all about this kind of three step process where, first of all, you go through the decluttering. So you go through and look at all of the things you have, and there’s so many different methods of how to do it. There’s the KonMari method. And, you know, there’s I saw one the other day because I’m always researching. It’s like, if you’re overwhelmed, just get a shoe box and just pick up things and put it in a shoe box. And when that shoe box is empty, like you go do another one and you do a little bit at a time. I am more of a I like to like dig in and do like the big projects, but not everyone is like that. They just they get overwhelmed. They want a little bit at a time. So working with whatever someone is comfortable with and then once you go through, you get into the things where you’re like, okay, I don’t need that. And the biggest problems you come up against are what if I need that someday? Which is like one of the biggest reasons why we don’t get rid of things like, I mean, I haven’t used that fondue set in like ten years, but. But what if I have a fondue party? What if I do? You know, I might.
KIMBERLY: Feel called out right now because I do have a fondue set in my.
KIMBERLY: And I love you for it. So thank you.
KELSEY: But that’s a thing. So that’s why when you find an item like that, you have to sit there and be like, okay, if I am going to use this, I’m going to call my friends today and set up a fondue party like I can keep it. I don’t have to get rid of it, but I need to make sure I’m using it because it’s awesome.
KIMBERLY: I think arts and crafts supplies for me is another big thing. Like I’ve got giant balls of yarn that I will not crochet and I’ve been sitting, but I want to crochet someday. That’s just another one on my in my closets.
KELSEY: Yeah. Yeah. So okay. Yeah. Okay. Yarn. That’s a good example for me. I’m obsessed with yarn. I like to weave, I like to knit, I like to look at yarn, I like to buy yarn. I like to play with yarn, like basically a cat. I have so much of it and I have tried to pare down so many times, but I just would bring it in as quickly as I was bringing it out. I’m like, Why do I keep doing this one? Because shopping for things that I love brings me joy. Like the KonMari method sometimes is hard for me. And if you’re not familiar with that, it’s the The Life-Changing magic of tidying up. And it’s all about, like, things that spark joy. I’m like, I am easily excitable. Everything sparks joy for me. So it’s a little hard for me to to get real about what sparks Joy. I have to calm down and really think about it. And yarn for me sparks joy. But I have to think about what am I actually going to use and I like to weave is my biggest thing right now. And so for weaving, like I have this weaving back here behind me.
KIMBERLY: Which is beautiful for those of you who cannot see.
KELSEY: It. Oh, thank you, Thank you.
KELSEY: I have so much fun with it. And it’s fun to play with the textures and the knots. And I have all this yarn and I’m like, you know, I have this lime green because at some point I may want to make a tapestry that has a field of grass in it. You know, I could do that. That’s a thing that I could do.
KELSEY: But am I am I going to do it? So if I’m going to, I need to do it. And if not, a rule I like to follow is if it’s something that I can replace for under $20, I can let go of it and go get it when I need it. And that can actually pare down on a lot of things.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, that’s a really good rule because there are so many things in our life where where we have that. I think another just kind of bringing it back to the entrepreneur side of things. I think another element that I have is office supplies and pens and journals and everything. And I, I collect journals, but I don’t I oftentimes will find myself falling out of the habit of journaling. And so getting back into that habit, it’s nice to have it because it’s there. And then when I do feel inspired to journal, I have it. But then I also have a collection of journals that are blank. And so you need to have that balance of What if I were to just buy one journal, fill it up and then buy another journal when I’m ready for it? There’s a little bit of a difference you can have. Like you said, you can have what sparks joy, but you don’t have to have 10,000 things of what sparks joy at the same, just all at once collecting dust or taking up space.
KELSEY: Yeah, and I think that’s a really good point with that because there is two completely different things between like having a journal and using it is one activity, but the love and joy of buying a new journal is a completely different activity. So recognizing that I don’t know if it’s a natural tendency to be like, Oh, well, I already have one at home, so I’m just going to leave this beautiful journal on the shelf here. You know, I don’t know if that’s a natural thing. It’s. Hard to think of it like that. It’s really hard to be like, you know, I actually am good. I’m actually satisfied with what I have because we’re bombarded with advertisements every day that tell us, you know, you’re not good enough if you don’t have this car or these clothes or this. And they may not outright say that to you, but that’s the feeling that we get when we see that. And I mean, I know that my degree is in retail and marketing. I know how it works. And you have a background in marketing, you know.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, the consumer psychology is real and this directly ties into growing a business because the other part of this, the other time where we have that same feeling of shiny object syndrome of I could have that and I want that and that longing for and that excitement of getting it is starting a business. And as entrepreneurs, we have no shortage of ideas. Well, we do have a shortage of is time in a day. And sometimes because we’re entrepreneurs, Internet bandwidth and and space to house things and ship things. And I hope you don’t mind talking about it and you can tell me if you do, but you and I were talking before we started the recording about this desire and need to pivot, and both of us, without realizing it this summer. And I know that we’re not the only ones because I’ve had lots of conversations with other entrepreneurs behind the scenes. We have decided to pivot some things and close the door and don’t want to say throw away because that’s absolutely the wrong term. But you know, move away from or shift from pivot is probably the best word.
KELSEY: Or let go.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, that’s there you go. This is why you are the designer of cozy organizing. We have decided to let go of maybe a brand or a product or something that we have started and at one point attached our identity to and really felt close to. And now when you think about your physical space and letting go of things in your physical space, the same thing can be true for your business. And so are you open to talking to us a little bit about what you have let go and how that felt for you?
KELSEY: Yeah, absolutely. And do you want me to just kind of jump into it?
KIMBERLY: Yeah, let’s do it.
KELSEY: Okay. So just like letting go of physical things, we can let go of identity and that’s still kind of part of that first step of, of my, my process I work through, you know, with decluttering. You can declutter in your mind, in your life, in your business. And a lot of it is in our thoughts and our identity. So I’ve had to pivot in life and business not by choice. And I’m really embracing what life has thrown at me. I was a coloring book designer for many years and I had a really, really fun Amazon print on demand business, and it was closed overnight by Amazon and I was unsuccessfully able to get it back even with a lawyer, even with proof that I did not deserve to lose my account, I could not get anyone to look at anything or give me my account back. And it was devastating.
KELSEY: Wow, that’s.
KIMBERLY: Crazy. Did they give you a reason?
KELSEY: Yes. They cited trademark infringement. And when I was like, no, that’s not right. Because of X, Y, Z. Here’s the trademark. This is not actually true. Here is the proof. I can provide you physical proof that that’s not true. I didn’t do anything wrong. They’re like, Sorry, we don’t get involved. You’ve been banned forever.
KIMBERLY: Oh, my.
KELSEY: Goodness. What?
KIMBERLY: Yeah, how do they do? I mean, it’s just it boggles the mind how these things can happen so quickly. So how how did you let go of it? In a way? I mean, emotionally let go of it.
KELSEY: I mean, honestly, I still am. Some days I feel good and then other days I’m just angry for no reason. I mean, not for no reason. No, I’m angry for good reason. Because something that I truly cared about is now gone. And it was really hard to find gratitude in the experience and to find peace with moving on. And that’s kind of how I got into cozy organizing is because the only thing that would make me feel better is organizing my space and decluttering and letting go of like my coloring book samples and my, like little pieces of my identity with all these physical items where I just didn’t want the reminders of this business anymore. And seeing them just brought up so many feelings of I feel like a failure, I feel like a failure. It’s hard because no one’s calling me a failure, you know, No one’s saying like, Oh man, you messed up. And in a way, I almost feel like it’d be easier if I actually did do something wrong. And I lost it for a specific reason of something that I did. But I think that’s the harder thing is I’m just. Embarrassed. You know, it’s all within me. It’s not that anyone’s saying anything to me. It’s just I lost this thing that I cared about. And, you know, sometimes things like that happen, and there’s just nothing you can do about it. And right now, it hurts. But we can’t see what’s ahead. We can only see looking back. And so what I keep trying to focus on is that when I get a year from now or two years from now or ten years from now, I’m going to look back and be like, That is exactly why that happened, because I was meant to be here. But you can’t see that when you’re in the moment and the pain of it. It’s hard.
KIMBERLY: It’s so hard. And I want to first off, thank you for being so vulnerable and open because I know that you are inspiring others. You’re inspiring me. So if no other listener, you’re inspiring me with telling that story because it is so difficult, especially when it’s not your fault or a conscious decision, but even when it is. Because with my own, I’m letting some things go as well. And that’s what we’re talking about beforehand. Mine is a conscious decision, but it’s still hard and it’s still you worry about your identity and is this the right choice? And, you know, sometimes we’re kind of our hand is forced into it in a way like yours was. Sometimes we’re choosing it, but it doesn’t always feel like you. You just have that internal, like, tug of war. Like, I know there’s a next step. And even though I can’t see it clearly yet, I know it’s there. And it can be very overwhelming to work through those emotions. So again, thank you for sharing that because you are helping others who are in the midst of that right now. And it’s a common part of the entrepreneurial journey that I don’t think enough people are talking about is having those moments of pivoting and change.
KIMBERLY: What I love about your story and what I want to get back to in the cosy organizing is what has already stemmed out of that. Hardship is something that has helped you and something that has left you feeling inspired and you are now taking that, packaging it up and giving it to others. And I truly believe that business is an act of service. I do not believe that it’s, you know, necessarily something that we give away for free. We definitely should be paid for it. We should be reciprocated and we have the right and ability to pivot when we need to. But it’s still an act of service in that we know if you’re acting with integrity, then you know that what you give to other people, what you are giving through your services, through your through your courses, through your membership, through your product line, whatever your business model is, it doesn’t matter. It’s that service that you’re offering to other people. You’re helping them see a change, feel a change, facilitate a change. And that change for you. Cozy organizing was to help fill that calm, to regain that control over your life. When something was taken from you that was out of your control.
KIMBERLY: And now you can feel good about things again. And you can. You can work through those emotions. And when you feel upset because it is still hard, you can honor that feeling and say, You know what? I’m allowed to feel this right now. I’m allowed to be upset. Yeah, I’m allowed to feel overwhelmed, but I’m also allowed to do something about it. And you have found your outlet in cozy organizing. So let’s get back to cozy organizing, because I would love to hear your tips as you’ve been working through this vulnerable moment and as you’ve been working through this hardship and specifically in business, how have you taken this and built cozy organizing? So I know that you have three ways of serving your clients. We’ve talked about the decluttering. When somebody reaches out to you and they’re like, Kelsey, I need your help. I’m feeling overwhelmed. I need to downsize. I can move into my RV or I need to just get that ridiculous, you know, whatever set out of my kitchen or that yard out of my closet. How can you help? So talk to us. Talk to me about how you’ve designed that business.
KELSEY: Yeah, the.
KELSEY: Biggest portion of it would be the decluttering. And a lot of that is just to be mindful of finances and time. Like a lot of that is me. Like, okay, here’s your homework here is like, let’s do some things together. And then on your time you go through these things, you know? So giving, giving homework to them to work on because it is a lot to do all at once. And so going through those things and trying to help them see a certain mindset of, well, just because you use this on a backpacking trip 20 years ago, that’s a wonderful memory that you have. Are you planning to do that again at this stage of your life? Are you going to really want to carry around that backpack or will you just want to like take a suitcase? Oh, well, you know, I’d probably want to take a suitcase, actually. Okay. Well, then you could let these things go. But I have such great memories with them. Okay, well, do you have another way to honor that memory of the trip you went on? Well, I have these really great photos of it. Okay, well, maybe we could find a way to display those photos so that you can enjoy the memory of that trip and let this item go.
KELSEY: Oh, I love that.
KIMBERLY: And you can probably enjoy it more by having, like, a gallery wall of your backpacking times. That’s such a good tip. What other ways do you have to add more of these cozy vibes into your everyday life? And specifically for our viewers.
KELSEY: So so first you do the decluttering and then you don’t do any organizing until you’ve gone through the decluttering. And first of all, you don’t go out and buy any containers until you have decluttered and then until you have a plan for them, because it’s so easy to be like, okay, I’m just going to go buy these like over-the-door shoe organizers and I’m going to put them here and I’m going to put them here. And then once you actually go through the things you have, you’re like, Wait, I actually don’t need anything to store anything because I got rid of all the stuff I was going to put in that really specific container. So try not to buy anything until you’ve gone through your stuff and then also shop your home before you shop somewhere else because you might have a basket, a box or a bag that you can use in your house and you might actually be able to use like something that you really love. You’re like, Wow, I’ve been looking for a use for that really cool basket that I got at that place we stopped at at this, you know, like town we went through. And you can find ways to use those things that you’ve purchased already to display things around your home. And after you’ve done the organizing. My final step is the cozy vibes that we were talking about. So finding your treasures, your true treasures, and instead of just having them in the attic or under the RV, you know, or in storage, finding a way that you can enjoy that item and display it. And in an RV it can be hard because you have a small space, but it might be as simple as you just have a few little treasures and they just give you such good memories.
KELSEY: And so you have a little box and it’s like a just for me box. And you make time every week, like maybe with your journaling practice and you look through your little just for me box, maybe it’s got your favorite photos and it’s got reminders of your favorite people and that helps you feel connected to your community while you’re on the road. And it could just be as simple as that or as simple as a gallery wall of your favorite photos. Or what you could do is get one of those digital frames and then have your favorite photos in there and change them out throughout the week or every other month. Or like you could make it where people can send photos to it. So it’s like, Oh my gosh, my cousin’s kids sent the photo today. Like it could be like a fun family thing where new photos appear all the time and there are devices that can let you do things like that. And there are so many just little ways of making something into a moment, making sure that every coffee mug in your is your your favorite. You don’t have that much space. So making sure that when you go grab a cup of coffee that brings you joy, that is the one that you want to drink out of, to have your coffee break. And just everything is intentional. You don’t have that much space, so make everything important to you, even if it’s just a functional item. You know, just really think about like, is this functional? Does it bring me joy? And if it doesn’t, can I find something that has more function or brings me more joy? And then the other things I can let go of?
KELSEY: Oh man.
KIMBERLY: That intentionality is so key. And I wish that, you know, if you’re taking notes, highlight that part. Because intentionality in the physical side of your life, intentionality in how you run your business, how you show up for your business. Both of them are so important. And you said something there that shows your intentionality in both areas. So I love how you said your intentionality about how you display the things that matter to you, how you display the things that make you happy. You know, whether it’s a picture that a small digital frame that’s constantly rotating pictures or like a little box that, you know is just yours. And you also said something about how you give your clients homework. And I think that that’s also really important because that is intentionality for you and your clients. They have the freedom and the time to do their organizing or their decluttering first whenever it works best for them when they’re in that mental space. You also have the time where you can be intentional about how you show up as an entrepreneur so you’re not, you know, overextending yourself because that’s what leads to burnout and entrepreneurship.
KIMBERLY: And so that mindset of I’m going to consistently be intentional about how I serve my clients, how I show up and how I just surround myself in my physical space. Because that physical space I’m looking at, you know, a bunch of pens on my desk and thinking I need to go and probably get rid of about 90% of these because I don’t need literally 50 pens looking at me, you know, things like that, being intentional about how you show up in your space and how you set up your space is so important. So to wrap things up, because I know we’re reaching the end of our time here to wrap things up, I would love to just ask you if you have any final advice, because to put a bookend on this on that chapter of the story that you started in 2011, you moved back into a sticks and bricks, or how did this how did your transition out of full time? Irvine I know you’re still an rver, but how did that how did that work? How did that look?
KELSEY: Yeah, it looked like my parents drove the house to my college and dropped me off and drove the house away. And they’re like, Have fun with your social skills and just peaced out.
KELSEY: Oh, wow. So that’s. I think that’s really fun, though. Yeah. Yeah. No, I.
KELSEY: Mean, I just at the time, you know, I feel like it’s some ways life felt like a sitcom where I’m like, is life playing a joke on me? Like, is.
KELSEY: This for real.
KELSEY: Happening right now? But looking back, it’s so fun to think about. And you know, you have like a rosier perspective. Looking back, there are obviously a lot of very hard times. It was really scary going to college with 40,000 other people when I’d never been around really anyone my age, more than a few at a time. It was super scary.
KIMBERLY: I can imagine.
KELSEY: But my parents also were like, Cool, So everything you own is going to be with you in your dorm room. They like cleared out the storage unit of most of my items and they’re like, Here you go and got all my stuff out of the camper. So I had more stuff with me than probably anyone I knew. I had leather crafting supplies, I had a keyboard, I had just.
KELSEY: So much.
KELSEY: Stuff and souvenirs and things from traveling the past six years. And I’m like, Oh my gosh.
KELSEY: This is.
KELSEY: So overwhelming. And I only had half a room full of stuff, but I just had so many things with me. And every time I moved somewhere else, like I moved into an apartment and then I my parents and I got a house together and they would be able to travel and then I’d be in the house. And I just kept growing and growing and growing. And it’s just amazing how things can just accumulate. Because in my mind I was like, I’ve never had space before. Like, I’m going to have stuff now and it just adds up and it adds up. And sometimes if you’re not careful, it’s just like crap. You don’t really think about what you’re accumulating. You’re just really excited that you have the space. And I got to the point where I had all this stuff. I wanted to collect things, you know? I’m like, I want to get into paper crafting. I need all the supplies from Michaels. I need an entire craft store at my house at all times. And it’s only been until recently that I have acknowledged those tendencies in myself and been like, you know, what is overwhelming is having too many options and I can’t sit down and make a card and enjoy my craft because I have ten drawers of mismatched paper. You know what? I’d really enjoy having like three drawers of organized paper. And then even when I’m not doing a craft, sometimes I open a drawer and I’m just like, This drawer is just full of reds and pink paper. Like it’s just like tickled.
KELSEY: With like.
KELSEY: The organization of it where it’s like, if I want to sit down, I have the power to I know where things are and I love that. I never lived like that before.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, that’s so interesting. And I love your perspective. You’ve had the house and then you’ve been through the process of downsizing and then you went back on the other end. It’s like a pendulum swinging of like, yeah, you had everything and then you downsize to live in an RV for six years, all through your teenage years. And then you went to college and you got all the things you had all the space. And now I feel like you’re landing center with cozy organizing, and it’s really, really, really cool to see. Really fun to watch you. And I just know that, like you said earlier, these next steps are going to make so much sense as they start to unfold. So many entrepreneurs, they’ve said so many like big time, successful, like, you know, seven, eight figure entrepreneurs have said, if I knew what I would have to do going into it, I never would have gotten started. And I think that’s why we don’t have that full picture all the time. And we can be more intentional and we can feel our way through these decisions that we’re making for our lives, for our business, whether it’s living full time on on the road or not, living full time on the road and finding that sticks and bricks, but just doing, you know, more intentional being. There’s just so many different ways that we can allow ourselves to pivot in life. And that to me is what I hear from you. And that’s such a good, strong lesson for our viewers and entrepreneurs. It’s the difference of the RV lifestyle and the entrepreneurship lifestyle that is so unique to this podcast specifically. So thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story, and I’m so thrilled that we finally got to sit down and and actually chat for a while to close things up, tell the listeners where they can find you, your website, your Instagram, where are you hanging out online?
KELSEY: Yeah, yeah. So you can find me at cozy organizing.com and on the website. I do have my growing up road schooled book. So for anyone who’s interested in hearing more about what it was like to grow up on the road and then how that impacted adult life, because it is kind of an interesting transition. That’s on my website if you’re interested. Or you can look up the growing up road schooled audiobook podcast and you can listen to the whole book. Super Fun.
KIMBERLY: That is. I love that.
KELSEY: Yeah. Thank you. You can also find me on Instagram at cozy organizing, and I’m also still at positively delighted, so I post a little on both, so. Yeah.
KIMBERLY: Awesome. Well, I’ll link to all of those in the show notes. So it’s easy for anyone who’s listening just to go and click on it and go and find you because you have such an interesting story. You’ve had such an interesting life already and you’re just getting started doing even more amazing things in this next chapter. And I’m so excited to see where it leads you. So thank you again for being here.
KELSEY: Thank you so much.
KIMBERLY: I absolutely loved my conversation today with Kelsey. She is just such a gem and it’s been so awesome getting to know her behind the scenes of the Entrepreneur podcast. And now I’m so thrilled that you, the listener, also got to know her as well. Isn’t she wonderful? I took away so much from this episode. First of all, I just loved hearing her journey. Definitely go grab her book if you’ve not gone and grabbed it already. But her journey and her unique perspective on not only the RV lifestyle from a child’s point of view, but also on how to approach business, how to approach organization, she just has such an awesome way of looking at things. I also love what she taught us about decluttering and how it’s okay to let go of some things. And that proved to be true not only in her business, in my business, in a lot of people’s businesses, but also in our physical, tangible space. There’s just so many parallels there that I drew from this conversation, even more than we highlighted in the episode. And I’m sure that you have them too. If you do, I would love to hear them over in the Entrepreneur Facebook group. So definitely head over there. Share your own takeaways. Share your own insights. Finally, I loved how Kelsey said this. She’s not a minimalist. She is a maximalist. And I think that that is this beautiful space that we don’t talk about enough. Minimalism is gorgeous and beautiful and and just awesome. And I love that aesthetic. But we can also be a maximalist and we can also love other areas of our lives and love abundance in other areas of our lives. There is nothing wrong with that. So again, come and share your ideas, your perspective, your takeaway over in the entrepreneur Facebook group and absolutely get into those show notes. Click on Kelsey’s link because I know that you’re going to want to follow along in her journey as she builds up this concept of cozy organizing. We’ll see you next time.
The RV Entrepreneur is presented by RV Life – Tools that Make Camping Simple
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