Staying Organized With Cas “Clutterbug”
How did shopping at the dollar store change the life of Cassandra “Clutterbug” Aarssen and help her go from “clutter queen” to “home organization leader” with her television show on HGTV?
Aarssen admits she struggled with clutter and mess for the first 30 years of her life and describes herself as a “super slob” who has tried hundreds of times to get organized.
She felt like a hamster on a wheel, living in a constant cycle of clutter, until she finally beat her demons.
One trip to the dollar store to buy a bunch of dishpans to organize was the catalyst that changed her life.
“I had bins for paid bills, important documents, and instead of dressers, bins labelled PJs,” she recalls. “I realized I organize differently than traditional methods of one size fits all.”
She continues by stating: “The real change came when I started thinking outside the box, quite literally. I struggled with detailed organizing systems, like filing cabinets, containers with lids, or systems where I had to stop and think about putting an item away.”
A macro organizer, she uses large categories with fast, simple systems, like lidless containers, adding, “Micro organizers prefer a detailed system with lots of categories and multiple, smaller containers.”
Eventually, her home became organized. Then she started helping others discover their organizing type and develop systems that work for their style.
“I discovered that there are four different organizing styles and systems, which I called ‘Clutterbugs’ — Butterfly, Cricket, Ladybug, and Bee,” she notes.
This became the basis of her business, Clutterbug Organizing Services, which includes a YouTube channel, Blog, Podcast, four best-selling organizing books and a show on HGTV called “Hot Mess House.”
“I’ve had the privilege of helping hundreds of thousands of families from all over the world discover their organizing styles and get organized for good,” she shares. “None of this happened overnight, it was a slow growth that started from my struggle (turned passion) with the life-changing power of organizing.”
Aarssen’s advice for young leaders and entrepreneurs is to “Do what you love and the money will follow.”She outlines that: “The greatest power of social media is connecting you with billions of people from all over the world,” adding “You only need a small percentage of those people to share the same passion as you, to turn your hobby into a profitable and thriving career. It takes time to grow a following and create ways to monetize, but if you love what you do, it will never seem like work.”
Her role model and inspiration is Peter Walsh, the “King of Organization.”
“Ten years ago I was drowning in clutter when ‘Clean Sweep’ came on TV,” she admits. “Walsh and his words of wisdom and advice inspired me to give organizing one more chance.”
Aarssen believes a good leader is humble, relatable, and honest, and someone who can inspire, educate and entertain.
“They show us what to do instead of telling us,” she states, pointing out “I prefer gurus who have struggled and overcome challenges and can inspire me to do the same thing.”
Her most asked question is: “How can I get my spouse to help around the house?”
There is still an expectation that women are in charge of cleaning and organizing everything, which can cause negative and resentful feelings about housework.
She does housework and organizes for herself because she likes a clean home and it makes her life easier.
“I focus on what I can do without putting expectations on others, which leads to disappointment and resentment,” she reveals.
Once she started being grateful, her family saw the benefits and wanted to help.
What’s next for Clutterbug?
Aarssen hopes for another season of “Hot Mess House” on HGTV and the continued growth of her brand. She loves people sharing Bee or Cricket organizing tips with others and wants the Clutterbug Organizing Philosophy to be around long after she is gone.
Curious about your organizing style? Take the free Clutterbug quiz at: Clutterbug.com!
Sherrilynn Colley-Vegh is an award-winning leadership consultant with over 30 years of experience; past principal and Chief Communications Officer, author and business owner. She is the founder of Girls Rock Windsor, recipient of the prestigious Athena Leadership Award and is the Director of Public Relations at Music Player Magazine where she mentors interns worldwide. If you know a leader in the community to profile here in this column email: [email protected]