In 2013, Tara Bremer took what she called a “stress relief hobby” and turned it into a business that’s now helping people in Birmingham and beyond straighten up their lives — literally. Tara is the founder of the home organization service House Peace. But her business isn’t just about cleaning out the junk drawer. With a background in psychology and counseling, Tara helps her clients organize their homes in a way that aligns with their personalities, so they can finally be at peace with their possessions. We’re excited to introduce our newest FACE of Birmingham, Tara Bremer.
How did you decide to turn home organization into a business?
I adopted my daughter in 2013, and it was very stressful, because she was a toddler and traumatized, and she’s my third child. I really found a lot of joy and control in organizing. I liked having control over something. I thought, even though her process of healing was going to be slow, I can have mastery over this junk drawer. Then I thought maybe I can start this business, and other people will pay me to do this. It’s really a stress relief hobby that has become a lot more since then.
House Peace is more than organizing. How is it different from just cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer?
My background is in psychology and counseling, and I think we as a team bring that sensibility in. This is about the heart. This is about your thinking. Personalities are so different, and they impact how we relate to our things and to our homes, So, if I can get an idea of what I think someone’s personality is like, I can come up with something that will work better.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when trying to organize their homes?
On a practical level, I think a big mistake that people make is to try to organize stuff in place. Let’s take the junk drawer for an example. They just shuffle things around, but my best advice is to take it all out and start fresh. Put some drawer organizers in there, start categorizing, and then reload it. That provides clarity about what doesn’t need to be in there. When you organize in place, you don’t edit well, and you really have to get rid of stuff. On a philosophical level, the biggest mistake people make is they don’t get rid of enough. We have too much stuff!
What are your top tips for getting organized?
We have too much stuff. I’m not saying you can’t have stuff, but I think people are very idealistic about what they’re going to get back to, and they’re not wickedly savage about saying, “I’m not going to do this anymore,” or “This can bless someone else.” It is key to downsize.
Also, we have to stop buying all the time. I’m not saying we can’t have nice things. I’m saying let’s be real. When I’m at Target and I see this really pretty bookend set, I say to myself, “I have no more room for bookends!”
On the practical level, if you have matching tubes and bins, you’ll be able to stack things and it will look peaceful. I like smaller matching bins for closets, attics, garages, and crafts. I like matching hangers in a closet because that looks good. And I like anything that’s going to keep something from becoming a soup — drawer organizers, packing cubes, anything to create division so it doesn’t get all mixed up.
Tell us more about your family and how you all like to spend your time.
My husband Dave and I have been married since 1997. We met in college marching band — fun fact! We have three children — our 15-year-old son Tucker, our 11-year-old son Calvin, and our 9-year-old daughter Gigi, who we adopted from China when she was a year and a half.
The kids do band and soccer and gymnastics. I don’t believe in overscheduling, but we are active. We go out to our land almost every weekend — mostly to work, but we really enjoy it, so it’s fun. We call it Camp Cuesta. Our land was a junk hole. It was a hoard, and we bought this land — including the hoard — and we had to clean it up. Now we’re making trails, and our next step is to make a tiny house out there. I just have to take things that are crazy and make them better.
What are some of your favorite places in the Birmingham area?
Lee Springs Park in Helena is so pretty, and I highly recommend it, especially if you have kids. It’s in the woods, it’s very natural, and all the park equipment looks like tree trunks. It just makes you happy being there. Sometimes my husband Dave and I go to Siluria Brewing in Alabaster with friends. Right now my favorite restaurant is Tre Luna in Hoover. Their chicken Francese with broccolini and polenta is so delicious. I get it every time.
What was your last best meal at a Birmingham-area restaurant?
There’s a place in Helena called Refined to Go and they serve Southern, gourmet comfort food. A group of friends and I ordered eight different meals and shared them. Their chicken alfredo was to die for.
What is your favorite hidden gem in the Birmingham area?
Mosaic Movement, a new yoga studio in Helena. It’s so pretty, it’s peaceful, and the instructors are amazing.
What’s the best advice you have to give for a woman who wants a peaceful house?
Pursue simplicity. The simpler I can make things and the more systems I can have in place and teach my family those systems, the more freedom it gives us to do other things. It gives us financial freedom to go on a vacation. It gives us time to do whatever. We have some land, and we like to go out there and hang out and play and work, and having simple systems gives us that freedom.
Name three things you can’t live without.
ChapStick, a paper planner, and my EVA shoes.
Thank you, Tara! To learn more about House Peace, visit housepeace.net.
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