How I Stayed Balanced Running A Home Organizing Business in 2014

2014 was the busiest year to date for Bella Organizing and our 8 years in business, and things keep getting bigger and better.

We had over 180 home organizing, redesign, and moving projects on the books, many of them multiple-day which brings the total to 250 days with clients this year. That means I had an estimated two days off a week…success! One of the biggest goals for the year was to not overextend myself. Ok, I admit I returned a few inquiries now and again on days off, and that many days on were 12-14 hours long.

The business I run is one big balancing act. That’s life, right? I had 15-25 calls and emails to return daily. Telephone, virtual, and on-site assessments to perform. Project shopping and preparation. Staff scheduling. Follow-up with clients. Blogging. Agendas. Business lunch and dinner meetings. Conferences. And of course on-site time with clients, which was 75% of the time. The life of a professional organizing business owner.

How I stayed balanced in 2014

  • I took an estimated 2 days off per week. They weren’t always in a row, but I like it like that.
  • I took a 2-week vacation to Portugal and Spain with a longtime gal friend and fellow business owner, each only carrying a day pack. We went island hopping, road tripping, swam in the warm ocean, ate great food, and met fun people.
  • I ate healthy food, even when I had a 12-hour day of work in the boonies with no restaurant or Whole Foods in sight. That meant packing lunch and healthy snacks, which used to be such a chore for me.
  • I did a lot of hiking with various Meet Up groups around the SF Bay Area. I’m subscribed to just about all of them so if there was an evening hike happening near where I was working that day, I joined in. Great way to let traffic die down before heading home.
  • I bought a Kitchen Aid mixer, reignited the love flame with my kitchen,  and baked my heart out. I make a killer Apple Galette.
  • I went out to eat with or invited at least one friend over for a home made meal each week. Friends are the guinea pigs for my monthly Sunset Magazine recipes, my rollerskating buddies, and the way I keep my sanity.
  • I moved back to Oakland full-time to focus on my business, save money, gas, and time traveling between the Bay Area and Monterey. I had a great four years living with my partner Jon half time in Pacific Grove, Monterey, and playing in Big Sur. I skated with the Monterey Bay Derby Dames for two years while there, made a lot of great clients, and a whole lot of new friends.

Hiking. Rollerskating. Food. Friends. That’s how I stayed balanced in 2014.

My goals for 2015? Coming soon…


Isabella Guajardo is San Francisco Bay Area professional organizer based in Oakland, California since 2006. She specializes in home organizing and interior redesign for small apartments to large estates and is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Join Bella Organizing on Facebook and sign up for our free email newsletter. Gift certificates are available.