A Q&A with the owner of Rock Your Space
Kelli Pastula, the mompreneur and professional organizer behind Orlando’s Rock Your Space, has never met a mess she can’t tame. The tidying expert shares how she decided
to turn her penchant for neatness into a full-fledged business.
PLAYGROUND: What inspired you to start Rock Your Space?Kelli: I was in banking for many years, but I left when my girls were born. Once they were old enough to be in school, I got my real estate license. When I worked with clients, I kept thinking the houses would sell faster if clients would let me organize and arrange everything for them. At the same time, I was in a wonderful mom’s group, and many of them were burned out and having trouble keeping their lives in order. Between my work in real estate and this group, it occurred to me how many people don’t feel like their home is a place they like to show off or even spend time in. That became my ah-ha moment and the core of my business philosophy: The world is so crazy and stressful, but your home shouldn’t be. I offered to organize some of the ladies’ places for free, and once I saw those results, I knew there was a business opportunity.
What services do you offer?
I like to say that my specialty is “drowning moms” because I’m good at organizing kitchens, pantries, closets and spaces for kids. My daughters are now 9 and 11, so I know how important it is to have places for backpacks, clothes, homework, snacks, etc. I call it “family functioning.” It’s what I enjoy most and what many of my clients want.
Additionally, my real estate background comes in handy if my clients need help preparing their home for market or if they’ve just moved into a new home and aren’t sure how to maximize their new space. I work with many realtors, and they’ll often give my services as a closing gift to their clients to help them feel settled quickly.
I also help with decluttering and stylizing existing spaces. Honestly, I can do a little bit of everything, and I like to work with my clients to find out exactly what they need. It’s almost like therapy for most of my clients, and that makes it rewarding for both of us.
What’s your best advice or decluttering hacks for parents-to-be?
My first piece of advice is to be OK with knowing that you don’t know it all. We’ve all been there! Next is preparation and determining which spaces should be addressed first. For example, your husband’s office might be a disaster, but we can get to that after we take care of the nursery, bathroom, kitchen and pantry — the spaces you are going to be in all the time.
As far as hacks go, baskets, clear storage bins and labels are my common go-to’s. My Instagram page features lots of before and after photos, where I arrange clothes, snacks, toys and even baby shower gifts you won’t need for a while. I like to think in terms of transitions: what do you need most right now, and what do you need in a few weeks or months? Will your child play with all of these toys at once or can they be rotated in and out? Oh, and creating a backstock of things you use regularly is a must.
Why do you think organization is so important?
When I started this business, I didn’t realize how therapeutic creating an organized space was going to be for my clients — not just that they have a nicer pantry or they can finally find all their shoes, but they feel better and more positive. Clients often write me wonderful notes about how they’re finally on their way to being the person they want to be. It’s so rewarding to make a difference in someone’s life and add a little extra happiness!
What’s the biggest mistake people make when organizing?
One of the most common is buying organizing tools (containers, baskets, labels, etc.) before you sort and purge. Sorting your belongings into trash, donate and keep categories helps you realize not only what you have, but how much of it you have. Also, measure, measure, measure! Don’t just buy stuff at the Container Store and hope it will fit. Let’s figure out what you need and then go shop for what will work in your space.
If someone made it their 2022 resolution to get more organized, what are the first few steps to take?
Keep your projects small and manageable in the beginning. People often bite off more than they can chew and get totally overwhelmed, and then become frustrated when the project doesn’t get completed. Go for the easy wins in the beginning. Instead of tackling your entire closet, start with a section of shoes or the dresser. This gives you a quick victory and will make you want to keep going.
I also break my days into 4–5 hour sessions, which works not just for me but for my clients as well. And don’t forget to put on your favorite music; the time will fly! Of course, if you feel stuck, you can always call Rock Your Space!
Is there anything else our readers should know if they’re considering working with you?
That one of the hallmarks of my business is that there are no judgements. By now, I’ve pretty much seen it all, so I don’t want anyone to ever feel reluctant or shy about reaching out to me. I love what I do, and I want my clients to love it too!