When I recently met up with Mridu Parikh of Life is Organized, we spoke for 45 minutes longer than I had scheduled, which is ironic because her job is all about helping people become better with organization and time management! But she didn’t know I had only scheduled an hour, and she’s such a joy, a complete bubbly personality, that I just threw my morning schedule out the window to get to know her better. I picked up great organizational tips and fell in love with Nashville once again while Mridu talked about her move here from New York City 10 years ago and all the reasons she and her family decided to stay … that’s high praise from someone who never thought they’d leave New York! With today’s FACES feature, I think you’ll be just as smitten with Mridu as I was and have a few “aha” moments as well, for organizing the chaos that may reign in your life!
When did you decide to make a career out of helping others become organized?
I started in 2009, as I was seeking something that a lot of moms want: a job with flexibility. I knew I could help people get organized, but then I saw these organizers on HGTV, and they were getting paid! I started out with my company, Memories Organized, which focused on helping people organize their videos and photos. This led to more general home organizational coaching and workshops … so I changed my company to Life is Organized. I really enjoy speaking on organization and coaching to shift behavior and mindsets.
Have you always been a super-organized person?
Super-neat, but not super-organized. I don’t like clutter around me.
What’s the difference between being neat and being organized?
Neat is more surface order. Being organized provides a deeper order. And when you are organized, you can access the things you need quickly.
Did having kids put your organization skills in overdrive?
Yes, kids as well as my move to Nashville. I had been working LONG hours in marketing in New York City, living in an 1000-square-foot apartment with my husband and 2-year-old. My husband had a job opportunity in Nashville, which would allow me to stay home with our son, and when I heard that, I was all in! We wanted more children and when we got to Nashville, I got pregnant right away. With more living space and a new baby on the way, I got organized quickly!
Is your husband as organized as you?
My husband and I balance each other really well. He is super-organized when it comes to tech, finances and vacation planning. I do well with the house, kids and family schedules. Our house runs really smoothly because of the different strengths. He’s really efficient, and he’s taught me to simplify and to go through the pain of getting something organized right at the beginning, as it will simplify everything in the long term. So something may be a painful setup, but the rewards are worth it!
What about your kids? Do they stay organized?
My boys are totally different. One is naturally pretty organized and the other is not. But I’ve really helped them out by making their life as simplified as possible. They don’t have a lot of stuff. That helps. To help keep your kids organized, this is how parents can really help their kids: simplify what they have and teach their kids that this is a way of living. Then, they can access what they have when they need it. The most efficient way to stay organized is to simplify.
How do clients work with you?
For one-on-one, I now work with people all over the world by phone or by Skype. I talk through their challenges and struggles. We create a blueprint to tackle and solve these issues. It basically comes down to better time management and assigning goals and priorities. I also have online classes with different groups where we discuss time management, goals and organization, which include a private Facebook group and group calls every week during the course. In fact, I’m just about to launch my latest organization workshop, Power House Ultimate.
What was your biggest hurdle in getting professionally to where you are today?
Getting to where I had the confidence to listen to my gut. I hired experts and the advice didn’t feel right. And it wasn’t. I’ve looked at how others did it, and thought I should do it that way. That wasn’t right either. The hardest thing has been finding the confidence to go my own way. It’s hard when you’ve hired someone, then realize that you can go your own way and not take their advice.
What is the biggest hurdle that most face in having an organized life?
Time management and living with less
Are your friends scared to invite you over because of how disorganized they are?
I think so. It makes me so upset!!! I’m also cleaning like a crazy person before people come over. I’m a “real life” organizer. Ha! No one needs to hide their stuff from me!
Favorite organizational tool EVER?
Evernote. I oversimplify it, although there is so much it can do. I use it for all my list-making and my to-do list impacts everything I do.
Where do you go in Nashville to recharge?
Zumba class on Sundays at the Maryland Farms YMCA. I love dancing and music, so it’s the perfect combo for me.
What is a local restaurant you are most looking forward to trying out?
So many … I’m embarrassed! We go downtown a lot, so now I need to start trying all the fabulous restaurants in East Nashville.
What books are currently on your bedside table/e-reader?
[She laughs] An oldie but goodie by Tony Robbins: Awaken the Giant Within.
Will you share a saying that you’ve relied on?
I have a poster that says, “Take Pride in how far you’ve come and have faith in how far you’ll go.” I read it every day!
Three things you can’t live without?
My MacBook Air, iPhone and undereye concealer (I like the one by MAC.)
Thank you Mridu! If you’d like to become familiar with Life is Organized, check out the Free 5-Day Video Series, as well as some articles that Mridu has written for StyleBlueprint, seen below in the related topics.
Special thanks to Ashley Hylbert for today’s gorgeous photos! Ashleyhylbert.com