two smiling professional women with text overlay, "This Week: Finally Get Organized, and make your dreams come true!" with The Organized Coach Podcast

Are you tired of living in chaos and disorganization? Year after year, you make resolutions to get organized, but nothing seems to work.

Have you ever thought you had to be “naturally organized” to be an organized person and keep a clean home?

In this episode, our guest Joy Gardner will debunk this thought and share the truth about how perseverance and mindset shifts can help you achieve lasting organizing goals.

Joy, a compassionate elder care provider from Kansas City, went from a life of clutter and mess to one of order and peace. It has changed Joy’s life forever.

The key moments in this episode are:

02:27 – Joy’s Organizing Journey (growing up to getting married..)
09:30 – The Power of Beliefs
10:53 – The Value of Mindset
14:57 – How Organized Life Academy has helped
16:47 – Struggling with “What If I Need It?”
17:56 – Organizing is Fun
18:26 – Organizing in Other Areas

Your Get Organized Teacher and Coach,

Tracy Hoth's Signature

white background with coral colored text overlay, "I didn't realize how hard I was being on myself...the mindset really changed it for me. - Joy Gardner" from The Organized Coach Podcast

Resources Mentioned:

Register now for these upcoming workshops:
Masterclass: 3 Pivotal Secrets to Take Your Home From Chaotic to Organized (11/8/23)

Put all of this into practice. Join us for the ultimate experience:
Join Organized Life Academy 2024

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Transcript with time stamps:

00:00:00 – Tracy Hoth
As a coach, one of the most amazing and rewarding things that can happen is your work can help someone reach their dreams or accomplish their goals. In this episode, Joy Gardner is going to share her dream and how she reached it. It’s such a beautiful story for her. As I listen to her talk and and share how she got organized and how she now believes she can accomplish anything, it’s so inspiring. I wanted to share it with you.

Think about what your dream is, what your goal is, and if it is to get organized in any area of your life, I want to invite you to join us in Organized Life Academy in 2024. The doors are open right now for enrollment. All the details are on the sales page which is linked below or just click here at

I also want to let you know of one more workshop. It is tomorrow. It is Three Pivotal Secrets to Take Your Home From Chaotic to Organized. It’s one of my most attended master classes, so you want to be a part of it. Registration link is in the show notes. It’s also easy to access in my Instagram bio to register for that class. Let’s get into this week’s episode with Joy Gardner.

Are you ready to work less, feel more organized and productive? Streamline repetitive tasks and implement systems that allow your coaching business to run smoothly even without you? If so, you’re in the right place. Welcome to the Organized Coach Podcast, your go-to source for practical tips and solutions. I’m your host, Tracy Hoth, professional organizer, certified life coach, simplifying expert, and most of all, down to earth fellow coach just like you.

No matter if you think you’re missing the organizing gene, have ADHD or just love anything organizing, I’m here to help you become an organized coach with a business that works for you. Pull up a seat and let’s get started. The doors are open to Organized Life Academy, and I wanted you all to hear from someone that’s been in the group all three years since I opened. Plus, I love hearing people’s stories. We’re going to hear Joy Gardner story today. So welcome, Joy, I’m so excited to have you in my home recording this podcast.

00:02:35 – Joy Gardner
Thank you, Tracy. It’s so much fun to be doing this. My name is Joy Gardner. I live in the Kansas City area and my job is I do elder care. I go into people’s homes and I do whatever they want me to do, pretty much. THis way, they’re able to live in their homes for as long as they can.

00:02:54 – Tracy Hoth
I love that. You would be so good at that. Let’s just talk about being organized or organizing journey in general.What was yours like? How did you grow up? What kind of made you get interested in being organized or how was it a pain point in your life. So just start with how you grew up thinking and being organized.

00:03:16 – Joy Gardner
I would say I grew up in a super messy, chaotic home. I never cleaned my room probably until I was in high school, and my parents would say, “Clean your room, or you can’t go out tonight!” So I would throw everything under the bed. I don’t know if that counts as organizing. I have pictures of what our house was like, and it’s kind of unbelievable.

00:03:38 – Tracy Hoth
Yeah, you shared those with our group one time, and it was so enlightening to see them. I’ve been in people’s homes, so I know all kinds of homes and what they look like. But yeah, thinking of you growing up in that and all of our different experiences. So then what happened once you moved out?

00:03:57 – Joy Gardner
I was still very messy as a child, never making my bed like I said, or I cleaning my room. I really didn’t do anything and I wasn’t taught how to clean, and I don’t think I had a desire to. It just wasn’t yeah, I was so used to living in a mess that it was fine with me.

00:04:17 – Tracy Hoth
Then when did it not become fine?

00:04:20 – Joy Gardner
Okay, I moved in with a girlfriend, and then it wasn’t fine anymore because she was super clean and tidy and organized, and I wanted so much to be like her and not live in chaos all the time. Being disorganizing was affecting my job, I would say, for sure. So I always knew that I needed to be more organized.

00:04:46 – Tracy Hoth
Did it bug her? I think about her seeing you live in a mess, or was it more that you just desired what she had?

00:04:55 – Joy Gardner
Yes, it bothered her, for sure, because she grew up in a spotless home. We were family, friends, and she’d never seen such a thing. We didn’t invite people into our bedrooms, probably just the main few rooms downstairs. I think she was probably horrified at the amount of stuff I had all thrown into one room and that I never seemed to get it together.

00:05:25 – Tracy Hoth
How did that make you feel, like when you were not getting it together, as you called it?

00:05:31 – Joy Gardner
A failure, for sure. I think I would probably say, what’s wrong with you? Why can’t you organize yourself? But I truly didn’t have a clue on what to do. It didn’t make me change. I had a deep desire to have things orderly and neat and tidy.

00:05:50 – Tracy Hoth
Then you got married, and then what happened?

00:05:55 – Joy Gardner
Okay, so when my husband and I met, we had seen each other’s rooms. We lived in the same condo building. We lived around the corner from each other, and it was chaos.

00:06:07 – Tracy Hoth
So both of you were messy, as you would call it. What would you call it? Messy.

00:06:12 – Joy Gardner
Yeah, let’s call it messy. That’s a nice word for it. We were both very messy and disorganized. So when we got engaged, we bought a three bedroom house. So one was the master bedroom. Then he had one of the other rooms as his office, called Office, and I had the other. And you would laugh at those rooms if you could see them. I don’t know if I have pictures.

00:06:36 – Tracy Hoth
So they were all three. Neither one of you were better than the other?

00:06:40 – Joy Gardner
No, I would say we were equal to some extent. Although I like stuff I collected stuff super sentimental. So he had pictures. I saved everything my children touched. It’s pretty extreme, but I desired to change. I really wanted that. And I don’t know that that was his thing. He likes neat and tidy. He really does. But he doesn’t have a strong he just feels differently about it.

00:07:14 – Tracy Hoth
That’s a concept I’ve talked about before, I think, on the podcast, even about your Clutter tolerance. So if you tolerate a lot of clutter, your Clutter tolerance would be high. So both of you had a high Clutter tolerance. And that’s interesting in relationships. And if you’re listening, you could think about that in your own relationship. One person might have a really low Clutter tolerance, and it really bothers them that the other person doesn’t, and so then it causes lots of problems. But it sounds like you were both okay. You just had this deep desire to change. What helped you change? Or what did you seek out to try to change?

00:07:53 – Joy Gardner
I bought every organizing book I could get my hands on because I was determined, and these people had wonderful plans, and I tried so many of them, I really did, but nothing seemed to really click, to tell you the truth. I just kept I’d try one system, and then I’d go on to the next. And so I had a huge collection of organizing books that I had read, and that was one of my dreams, really, was to be organized.

So every January, I would want to make resolutions, and I would say, this is the year. This is the year that I want to get organized, finally. But I really didn’t know how to get there, even though I’d read all those books, for some reason, I just wasn’t able and I enrolled in your course, and I thought, well, this looks kind of fun. And I had heard you speak once.

00:08:47 – Tracy Hoth
I thought, I’ll try it.

00:08:48 – Joy Gardner
I’ll try anything.

00:08:50 – Tracy Hoth
Well, that’s right. I was trying to think of where we found each other. So you heard me speak at it.

00:08:55 – Joy Gardner
Was a women’s retreat. A girlfriend had invited me last minute, said there was an extra spot and did I want to come. And you were hysterical.

00:09:04 – Tracy Hoth
That’s right. The person I used to do the podcast with, my friend Shelly and I were the speakers, and we did the Goofiest skits, and I don’t even know what we talked about but it was so fun. So you saw me there speak. Then you got on my email list, and you saw my course. My first course was chaos to order. And you were the first member, like, one of the first groups that went through it. What helped with that?

00:09:30 – Joy Gardner
Okay, to be honest, I actually went through it a few times before I could make it. But one week, you challenged us, and you said, think of an area that’s bothering you the most and make a goal for the week. And I told you my storage room couldn’t be done in a week, but you said, well, pick something you can do in a week. And I picked a closet, and I could do it. I was shocked. You walked us through how to or, like, what to think of while you were cleaning and what to do, and I was shocked. At the end of the week, that closet had never been cleaned, and it was cleaned, and I knew where everything was. And so the next week, the same thing happened again, and you became the.

00:10:13 – Tracy Hoth
Best student in the class. That was so fun that you got to do that, and you realized, because I know it’s because thoughts we’re thinking it’s because of beliefs we have about ourself and our abilities. Do you remember any of those specific beliefs?

00:10:33 – Joy Gardner
Okay, I still have the postit on the wall in that room, and it says, look for adventure and fun. And that just got me in the right mindset. And once I had done one closet, I did another the next week, and I thought, okay, this is amazing. Finally I can get something done. And so I was all in for organized life academy.

00:10:58 – Tracy Hoth
Yeah, because then you did a little one on one coaching with me, too, but you were the founding member of organized life academy, and through that, what are some of the things that you’re learning or you have learned?

00:11:11 – Joy Gardner
I would say the one that’s helped me the most was mindset. I didn’t realize how hard I was being on myself, and that wasn’t getting me anywhere, even though I thought maybe it would. Yeah, scolding myself or whatever, the mindset really changed it for me. And just seeing that there was an actual possibility was life changing in a way, because before, I had no hope. Really. It sounds kind of dramatic, but now all of a sudden, I could do it. I had hope, and it was amazing.

00:11:45 – Tracy Hoth
And we’ve done all sorts of different things in organized life academy. We went room by room one year. We’ve have different mindset done. We’ve had guest speakers. Tell us some of the things that you’ve accomplished, like, what areas of your home have you organized in the past three years?

00:12:03 – Joy Gardner
Well, I think I did a different room every month. So the garage, the master bedroom, really, every room that we covered, I was all in. And so excited. We planned at the beginning of the month, and so kind of the same thing. It was hopeful, and there was a group of people doing it together in a way that were all supportive, and they all understood what it was like.

00:12:31 – Tracy Hoth
That’s so true. And you were always there, vulnerable, sharing what you were working on. I remember you put pictures of your storage room, your attic space, maybe, and I think it inspired everyone. You would post pictures of the progress you were making. It was so good.

00:12:52 – Joy Gardner
That’s very nice for you to say. I kind of felt like, why not? I’m in this group of people. Why not show them what the truth, what it’s really like? And the pictures of the storage room, I don’t even know if you would know it was a storage room. And the storage room isn’t perfect, but it is fantastic compared to the way it was now.

00:13:15 – Tracy Hoth
What’s changed about your mindset? So what you believed before was that you’re a mess, it’s impossible. Show us the difference between what you thought before and kind of what you’re believing now.

00:13:26 – Joy Gardner
I would say in some ways, I felt stuck. I would just tell myself, oh, look at that. Look at you. Can’t do that. You’ve always been this way. I would tell myself all these awful things, and it didn’t help me. It made me feel worse. And so I would run away from the problem, to tell you the truth. Now I kind of feel like there’s hope no matter what. And now that you’ve taught us the tools, I’m like, Wait a minute, I can do this, I can do this, I can get through this.

00:13:55 – Tracy Hoth
And then you just follow the steps?

00:13:59 – Joy Gardner
Yes, follow the steps. And also posting pictures and knowing that in a few weeks, people are going to expect another picture. That motivates me to move.

00:14:11 – Tracy Hoth
And one of the cool things you did was you got with another member in our group and became accountable and started meeting with her, I don’t know, semi regular basis, and just recently went and visited her.

00:14:26 – Joy Gardner
That was super helpful. So if there was a challenge that was really hard for me, I would tell her, here’s what I want to do. I would send her pictures, and then she would give her opinions, maybe, and encourage me. And then I knew, okay, the next time we talk, I need to tell her what I’m doing or show her something. And it just became very, extremely positive.

00:14:49 – Tracy Hoth
What would be your advice? Or something you would say to someone who wants to, in quotes, get more organized?

00:14:57 – Joy Gardner
I can’t say enough about Tracy and this program because you can even ask my husband. He would be the one who would notice the most. He was shocked, I think, at how much better the house looks and how much stuff has left our house. The program and the mindset really work, and if anyone has been in the same position where they just want it to get organized or to have things better, this is definitely the program to be in. Okay, one more thing I would say is if you feel like you’ve tried everything and read every book and you know all this stuff, but things haven’t changed the way you want them to, I would definitely join. And you’ll be surprised, amazingly how well it works.

00:15:45 – Tracy Hoth
So you’ve made a lot of changes. You’ve organized different areas of your house, kind of every area. And then do you have any current challenges or areas that you’re working on? Have you gotten I oftentimes say it’s like an onion where you get the first layer off and then the second layer. And this could be mindset, beliefs that you’re shedding off, but it also could be areas of your home that you’ve purged through and then you want to purge a little bit more in the same area, kind of. Where are you at and what are any current challenges you are having?

00:16:18 – Joy Gardner
I would say one of the things that I still struggle with, what if I need it? That thought, I kind of feel like maybe from, I don’t know what started at childhood or whatever, that I still fight that. And even though I know it’s not a good thought or a way to think, every once in a it’ll pop up and I’ll be like, what if I do need those 20 boxes in the dining room?

00:16:47 – Tracy Hoth
That’s pretty common. We have these thoughts and we think they should be gone by now. I should be done thinking that. Why am I still thinking that? But I loved how you said, I noticed that they popped up. And then I thought, Whoa, look at that. I’m still having that thought come up. So it’s not even about us getting rid completely of old thoughts. But what do you do now that you notice that?

00:17:11 – Joy Gardner
What happens when they pop up? I challenge them and I ask, where did that come from? And is that really true? That’s one thing I question a lot, because is it true that I need 3 million rubber bands or whatever it is? It’s probably not true.

00:17:29 – Tracy Hoth
Some of those good questions you ask yourself. Okay, so anything else you want to share with people?

00:17:37 – Joy Gardner
I would say just treat yourself, love yourself, and jump in and do it, because it’s really fun once you’re in it. I never knew it could be so much fun.

00:17:49 – Tracy Hoth
That’s good to know that you think of it as fun. It is interesting how many people now are like, oh, that’s kind of fun. Oh, I like organizing, actually. And you’re one of them that said this. I went and helped my neighbor get organized, or whoever it was. A friend?

00:18:04 – Joy Gardner
Yes. One of the ladies that I help her. I started doing things that she couldn’t, like taking out her trash and lifting heavy things, and if I have a few extra minutes, I would kind of straighten her cabinets. And one day she said to me, oh, why don’t we organize this? Every few weeks, we would organize another closet or room. It was so much fun to do with her.

00:18:26 – Tracy Hoth
That’s interesting, too. So you notice that you’re taking it into other areas of your life, the tools of organizing anywhere else. You think they’ve shown up?

00:18:35 – Joy Gardner
Well, we did paper, and I’m not sure if I’ve told you this before, but I had never had a file cabinet that I could find anything in all these years. I’ve tried different things, everybody’s, different system. And finally I have one. It’s so exciting, I just look in it, I know where everything is.

00:18:57 – Tracy Hoth
How did you make that happen? What do you mean? Like, now, you know, you talked us.

00:19:02 – Joy Gardner
Through how to set up a filing system, and I had heard a lot of different stories about different ones, but you said, keep it simple. And so I have maybe twelve main files now. That’s it. And if I need something, it takes me five or ten minutes to find it rather than before, where I would probably have 20 different files for the same thing or a similar thing.

00:19:26 – Tracy Hoth
Well, and I do remember, too, you would talk about, well, part of it’s, because you got rid of a lot of paper. Like, you went through a lot of paper. A lot of paper. I remember you coming to the calls going, I found some more paper. That’s what you would say. I found another tub. It had more paper in it. And you just kept going. That’s what’s so inspiring, that you can do anything. Okay.

00:19:51 – Joy Gardner
So I used to save absolutely everything. And I have a girlfriend who I would mail her the receipts if I could find a really good old receipt from like 20 years ago, just to make her laugh. And I had thrown it in a bin because I didn’t know what to do with it. So I had bins and bins of paper.

00:20:08 – Tracy Hoth
Now, there’s where your little postit note on the wall would come into play. Like, this is an adventure. You’re finding receipts from 20 years ago.

00:20:16 – Joy Gardner
Yes. And it’s funny to see what I purchased and how much it cost.

00:20:21 – Tracy Hoth
Good old days, right?

00:20:23 – Joy Gardner
But at the same time, I don’t want to live my life surrounded by bins of paper. So most paper goes now.

00:20:32 – Tracy Hoth
I love that. So to wrap up thinking about your life, I just think about where it was and the chaos that you lived in, and you just never gave up. Like you never gave up searching for an answer until you found an answer.

00:20:47 – Joy Gardner
Yes, that’s true. Like I said, that was a dream to be organized. Now it’s a reality. I struggle still, but it’s a reality. And it’s just I don’t even know the word breathtaking if you think about it’s. Very exciting. And I’m so grateful to you, Tracy, for teaching us how to do oh.

00:21:06 – Tracy Hoth
We’ll end on that. We’ll go cry together. Thank you, Joy, for being on the podcast. It’s been a pleasure. I know people are going to be inspired, and part of it, I think of you out there that may be hiding, and maybe nobody knows, and maybe you are running a business if you’re a coach, or maybe you’ve been listening and you’re not a coach, it doesn’t even matter if you’re hiding. Come out into the open, and we will help you. We are here: Organized Life Academy 2024 is going to be amazing, and we will make your dream come true, just like Joy made hers come true. Thanks for sharing your story, Joy.

00:21:48 – Joy Gardner
That’s beautiful. Thank you, Tracy.

00:21:51 – Tracy Hoth
If you’re finding this podcast useful, you must check out the Organized Coach Academy. It’s my course where I walk you through every step to get your business organized, to get yourself organized, to save money and time, to prepare, to hire someone to do all the things that you want to do in your business with ease. Check that out at simplysquaredaway/OCA. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but I would love it. It’s my way of knowing that you’re enjoying the podcast. If you leave a written review, I have lots of freebies for you. They’re linked in the show notes. You can find them in my bio on Instagram at @TracyHoth. Until next week, have a beautiful day.

Tracy Hoth