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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Barlow

How I got here

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

...or how event planning prepared me for a minimalist approach to organizing.

What I learned early on in my event planning and catering career was that planning and intention were the absolute keys to success. Setting up an event for 50 people only required one truckload of decorative items, food, cutlery, etc. A larger event, like a 400 person wedding, required more truckloads. In either of those scenarios, I had to be precise in the items that I chose to bring, so I only picked items that were absolutely necessary for the function of the event. Had I been more careless with those choices, it would have cost more in both gas for multiple trips and human labor to load and unload. Paying special attention to the aesthetic and feel helped me only bring items that fit. Unnecessary #clutter would have distracted from the brilliance of the day.

For over a decade I transformed spaces like these into joyous occasions. The majority were empty upon arrival, yet in a couple of hours my team and I transformed them into organized, decorated, beaming rooms of laughter, dancing, eating, and memories. But some rooms were not empty, so I was tasked with transforming their full and lived-in spaces into inviting birthday parties or holiday celebrations.

I applied these lessons to my own home, where I had been for years practicing a #Buddhist processes of #decluttering.

Yet, in my own #home, I'd found that eventually, too many items made their way in.

It occurred to me to focus similarly on the emotions and intentions that I had set for my catering and event planning business and apply that method to my own home. What a change that made!

When setting up space for others, I was able to look objectively and focused clearly on providing a love-inspired or joyful atmosphere. This helped to minimize clutter with determined intention.

At home I was still making #emotional decisions that so often went against those useful guidelines. Once I was able to identify and separate the emotions, I was able to create a system that worked. Once I focused on how to consistently do it for myself, with all those messy emotions, it was clear that I wanted to help others do the same.


Your Joyful Space helps people process the emotions of their belongings.

We teach clients organizing methods to minimize chaos and maximize emotional, financial, and physical freedom.


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