The Bloom Inspiration Summit Expert Panel: A Conversation With Home Organizer Megan Golightly

In this exclusive interview series, we connect with Bloom's experts to give you a taste of what's to come at this exciting event

In this exclusive interview series, we connect with Bloom’s experts to give you a taste of what’s to come at this exciting event

On Saturday, September 24th at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Simply Beautiful and Evalina Beauty will be presenting the Bloom Inspiration Summit. Bloom features an extraordinary lineup of brilliant women speakers—including an intimate conversation with award-winning Canadian entertainer and bestselling author Jann Arden—who will inspire you to live your best, brightest and fullest life.

Topics will include everything from grief to joy, sleep to intimacy, home organization and how to reach your potential, plus much more. Bloom will light a fire inside you, leave you dreaming big, and show you how to spark more joy in your everyday life.

To give you a preview of what you can expect at Bloom, we caught up with the distinguished speakers to find out what they’ll be discussing in their presentations.

Introducing Megan Golightly 

With a degree in psychology, home organization guru Megan Golightly is curious about how our brains work and has a passion for problem-solving, organizing projects (both big and small), and working with families to see their homes and lives transformed. Megan believes when your life is simplified, you can enjoy the small moments.

We recently chatted with Megan about how to create an organized space without feeling overwhelmed…

RJ: What do most people struggle with when trying to create an organized space and why is it so difficult to declutter?
ML: Organizing and decluttering are two different things, and people always want to organize first because that’s the fun part. But first, we need to think about what clutter is and why decluttering is really the most important thing. Nobody wants to declutter because it means dealing with the things that you haven’t dealt with for whatever reasonmaybe you have an emotional attachment to those things so it’s hard to get rid of them. 

So, when talking about an organized space, I think we need to look at what causes clutter. Clutter really is items that haven’t earned the right to be in your house or haven’t yet found a home. And usually why it’s hard to start decluttering is because everything you use is out on countertops and on surfaces, and the things that you don’t use are in cupboards taking up space. So people get paralyzed because they want to put all this stuff away but they don’t have anywhere to put it because they haven’t dealt with the clutter that’s in the cupboards.

People don’t intuitively think, that when they want to start to organize their kitchen, they need to start in the garage or the storage room first to make space. And it’s hard to let go of clutter because people ask themselves the wrong questions. What we need to ask ourselves is: Do I really love this thing? Would I buy this again today? And, do I use this right now? So, when you ask those three questions, you can look at clutter a different way.

RJ: How does being organized make space for the life you want?
ML: Our brains are always doing something called duration path outcome and we’re constantly thinking: How long is this going to last? How am I going to fix this? What’s it going to look like? And so our subconscious brain is always working on thatwhich means that when we go to sleep, our brain is trying to solve a problem. For example, you may have looked at the clutter in your home and thought, “I need to get rid of that, I’m such a procrastinator,” and you immediately give yourself a negative thought. So what we need to do is shift the perspective and physically change the things so that emotionally you can free yourself from those negative thoughts.

RJ: Can people learn to be more organized, or is that more a part of our nature?
ML: We are hunters and gatherers, so we’re working against Mother Nature, and it’s a little contradictive to how we are hardwired, so I think it’s a skill and one that can be learned. Just as parents maybe haven’t taught their kids the hard lesson to let goso if a child loses their stuffy, we often go out and buy a new one, because it’s easier than teaching them the feeling of loss and letting go, which means we don’t learn that lesson as children because our parents rescue us and try to avoid the pain. Which is understandable. And so I think organizing it, just as any other skill, has to be learned and practised.

I always tell people to start with the easiest room, which is the bathroom because there aren’t sentimental things in there. Take everything out, then slowly put back in the things that you like, that you use, and that you answer “yes” to those three questions. Categorize your belongings into different piles: what you’re donating, what’s trash, what you want to keep, and then the things that you keep, you sub-organize, and then it earns the right to come back into your space.

RJ: What is your go-to home organization hack?
ML: To always think outside the box. You have to have an open mind about how things are going to look. For example, if you have a lot of kids and their bedrooms are upstairs, their socks should be by the back door, ready to grab and go, which people don’t usually think of. It comes down to efficiency and ergonomics.

If you have a bin that you’re going to put winter clothes in, you label one side winter clothes, and you leave the other side summer clothes so that you can put the winter clothes in the bin, and then turn it around and put the summer clothes in the bin. There are certain tricks—it’s not always what we see on Pinterestit’s important to think about progress and efficiency. Like medicine can be kept in a linen closet instead of in the bathroom, or bed sheets can be kept in the bedroom they belong to. I think we sometimes get defined by rooms, and we need to be a little flexible when that just may not be working.

RJ: Do you have any tools for when life becomes overwhelming? When you can’t shake the feeling of having multiple tabs open in your brain? 
ML: I personally do a practice called Yoga Nidra every day, which is a guided meditation that basically is all about letting go. I’m in people’s homes every day, so it’s very important for me to let go of their things as well and their emotions. I’m a bit of an empath, and as important as it is for my clients to let go, it’s important for me to let go.

RJ: Who or what inspires you ​every day?
ML: I think what inspires me every day is the challenge of going into a client’s home, and knowing that nothing is impossible. And at the end of the day, we leave the house knowing the person feels light and lifted and free. That inspires me knowing that it can be done.

RJ: What risk would you take if you knew you could not fail?
ML: To be honest, I’m not really afraid of failure. I think that we sometimes believe our anxious thoughts, and we need to be free and have the ability to not believe our thoughts. Because they’re just thoughts. They don’t define us. 

RJ:Describe your passion/what you promote/live by in three words.
ML: Just do it. I would say just do it. You know, don’t be afraid just go after it. 

RJ: What lights your fire?
ML: I think just growth, change and freedom—life just being less complicated and helping people get to the relaxed state they’re so badly looking for. I really work to not show perfection, and instead show progress. It’s not about perfection is just about progress.

Want to hear more from Megan? Get your tickets to the Bloom Inspiration Summit here and get ready to feel empowered and inspired. Bloom badge