Benefits of an Organized Home on Your Life and Business
The Benefits of an Organized Home on Your Life and Business with Maria Baer

171: The Benefits of an Organized Home on Your Life and Business with Maria Baer

Moving can be a nightmare! 

You have to put your house on the market, find a new house to move into (or, in my case, wait for yours to finish being built), and juggle with where you’ll stay in the interim if necessary. In the meantime, you’re packing and unpacking, hemming and hawing over what to keep and what to throw out or donate, and so on. Oh, and you’re still trying to run the rest of your life and business, too!

But you don’t have to take it all on by yourself. You can even hire experts like Maria Baer to help you with unpacking, decluttering, and organizing everything! She owns the Indianapolis-based home organizing company The Baer Minimalist and really helped make the transition of moving into our new house easier. She also knows the value of having help–the personal support she provides for clients domestically she had to get for herself in her business.

In this episode of Time to Level Up, you’ll learn about the benefits of having an organized home and its effect on other areas of your life. You’ll also hear about the perks of giving up control and decision-making power when necessary and how hiring out support helps Maria with work-life integration as a mom of two five-year-old boys.

What’s Covered in This Episode About The Benefits of an Organized Home

1:41 – Maria’s introduction and how she helped make the move into my new house easier

5:38 – How Maria works with clients, the pros and cons of unpacking and organizing items, and why giving up control doesn’t have to be hard

10:33 – Why Maria loves organizing, how things function in her house, and the benefits of having an organized home

18:15 – Two things that prevent people from organizing their homes on their own

22:05 – How Maria’s journey working for other people’s businesses eventually led to the start of her own business

27:33 – How having support helps Maria balance working on her business and in her business (especially with two preschool boys)

34:39 – Maria’s speed round answers and the link between her donation guide and how she wants to be remembered

Connect with Maria Baer

Maria Baer is the Founder and Lead Organizer of The Baer Minimalist, focused on helping busy families across the Indianapolis metro area Cut the Clutter, Donate + Do Good and Cue the Confetti. Founded in 2017, The Baer Minimalist helps breathe life into your space, highlight the things that matter most, and find a better system for being both organized + stylized – whether you’re prepping for a bundle of joy, settling into your dream home or finally tackling that growing mystery pile in your closet.

The Baer Minimalist 

Maria Baer on Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

Mentioned In The Benefits of an Organized Home on Your Life and Business with Maria Baer


Andrea’s Links

Runway to Freedom

Andrea on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook

Quotes from the Episode

“Organizing has always been a way to really have control over my space.” – Maria Baer

“What I love about organizing is everyone in the house knows where things live.” – Maria Baer

“It’s been easier for me to get rid of things now that everything is organized.” – Andrea Liebross

Links to other episodes

152: How to Combat Decision Fatigue in Everyday Life

160: How to Recognize and Combat Signs of Loneliness In Your Business

169: 5 Key Principles to Create the Lifestyle You Want In Your Life Plan

Andrea Liebross: Hey, Time to Level Up listeners. Welcome back to the podcast. Today I have with me one of my favorite people of 2023. See, look, you could be on a cover, Andrea's favorite people of 2023, Maria Baer. Maria and I worked together. Well, let's get real. She did all the work. I just did the,

Andrea Liebross: I don't know what I did, but I did something, but not much. She did all the work. She has a local company here in Indianapolis called The Baer MInimalist, and she is going to tell you all the things she does. She's a mom, she's a wife, she's a daughter. She's got five-year-old twins. I'm just reading what she wrote here. She's a marriage officiant. Wait, what? That's new.

Andrea Liebross: She is a world traveler. She's a business owner, and she is an amazing person who made my life or helped make my life, I don't even want to say easier, but, yes, easier. But it gave me great joy in hiring her and her team to do what they did when we were moving into our house, or she basically moved us into our house. We're going to get into all of that. All right. So I'm going to let you introduce yourself because I just gave the highlights. Tell us, who are you? What do you do? What's happening?

Maria Baer: Wonderful. Well, thank you, Andrea, for having me. I'm so excited to chat. I am the owner of The Baer Minimalist, and we are a local Indianapolis-based home-organizing company. So that can mean a lot of different things. We help clients like you move into their homes. If the clients are local, oftentimes we help them prior to selling their house. So doing some of that editing work before you pack your boxes and get everything to the new space.

Maria Baer: We help clients who've lived in their homes for 20 years and just, they're starting to think, even in their 40s or their 50s, they're starting to think about, "What happens to all of this stuff over the next 30 years? Do I want to have my kids have to deal with this at some point, or do I just get a little bit of a head start now getting rid of some of the clutter?" During the pandemic, it was fun because we got to help people transform spaces in their home that needed to become multifunctional, as a lot of people had their dining room become their office or their schoolroom or seven other things, and how did that function for them. We love working with clients who are motivated to make change within their home and might not know where to start. So we come in and we get to do all of the fun stuff, like editing and figuring out the new system, implementing product, of course, labeling, and kind of handing it off to them.

Andrea Liebross: Love it. Okay, so here was my scoop. When we built this house, anyone who's been listening to my podcast know that, so we built the house, and you don't quite know when it's going to be ready to move in until they get closer. I would say in about August, they said to us, "All right, middle of October, it's going to be ready." So in my brain, I start to look at the calendar, start to do some math. I'm like, "Okay, so my book is getting released on September 23rd, and this house, we are taking control of it on October 13th, and I am running a retreat for my mastermind people on October whatever it was, 24th."

Andrea Liebross: And I am actually going away for another week right from the 16th to the 24th. So there was math in there or, like, calendaring in my brain. But then there was also the fact that I, at this point, was really exhausted. I was exhausted of the build itself. We had been living in an apartment. Writing this book was no small feat. There were lots of things happening in my life, and I thought, "All right, I am going to pull an Andrea and listen to Andrea's own advice," and part of thinking big, one of the tenants is securing support.

Andrea Liebross: So I'm pretty good at it. But I asked my designer, who I really trusted, I was like, "I think I need someone to help us unpack and organize this house. Who should I use?" So she said, "I've heard great things about this Maria person. I think you should call her." So that's all I needed, and I called. In our case, we had movers move everything out of our two storage units and out of our apartment and dump it in our garage.

Andrea Liebross: And then Maria came in, and she looked in there and probably had a heart attack. I don't know. You can tell me.

Maria Baer: Well.

Andrea Liebross: Small heart attack. And then I left and said, "Have fun."

Maria Baer: Yes.

Andrea Liebross: I don't know. Whatever you think. In my brain, that's kind of what happened. In your brain, what happened? What do you think? Is that what happened?

Maria Baer: Yeah. I mean, up until that point, yes, that is what happened. Then when I was able to come over and walk through that garage, so, again, as I mentioned, sometimes our move clients, we do have the ability to go to their existing home and work with them or even just do a walk-through so we understand, "Okay, these systems are already in place. Let's try and translate those into the new home, et cetera." In your case, though, or in our case, working together, I didn't really see anything until it was dropped in your garage. So I came over-

Andrea Liebross: It was in a box, and then you really didn't even know.

Maria Baer: You don't know how people pack. We have unpacked from movers or from individuals who've packed their own items where everything is so carefully packed. So there's a lot of packing material, but not a ton inside of a box. I've also unpacked where there are so many things that are all unrelated inside of a single box, and you're trying to figure it all out of, like, "How did this person pack their own home?"

Andrea Liebross: Why are these things all in one box? What's going on?

Maria Baer: The spatula and the random shoe and, like, a makeup bag? It's like, "Okay." So I looked at your garage and realized, I think we really had five days in your home. Now, they were spread over the course of a two-week period because you had a lot of moving parts still happening. That is often the case. There is still construction happening. Your interior designer, who is fabulous, was continuing to move in all of her pieces, hang art, all those moving parts were happening. So we were there for five separate days and had a large team.

Maria Baer: It's like I always tell my team, "How do you eat an elephant? It's like one bite at a time." You had done a really wonderful thing by having things categorized by room in your garage. But when we unpack for people, it's like, we cannot put one thing away in the kitchen until we see everything that needs to go in the kitchen. So we had to unpack room by room every single box before we could start putting things away. It is incredibly overwhelming. I think your move was awesome because, honestly, because you guys weren't there, there were pros and cons.

Maria Baer: Pro was we could just lay it all out. Like I said, it's a ton of stuff, and it's overwhelming, and it's kind of scary if it's your belongings and you're walking in and it's like, "How is this ever going to happen?" But on the flip side, I think the con was we couldn't really do as much editing work, and you were like, "Throw away anything that just doesn't feel good." We definitely don't really do that, though, because sometimes it's like, what I might throw away is like a 300-year-old heirloom that I didn't know. You know what I mean? So I would never throw anything of a client's away. So I feel like we did little bits of editing where I would kind of send you a video at the end of the day and say--

Andrea Liebross: Which I so appreciated.

Maria Baer: We put away all the great linens, and then we found these, and these do look like heirloom pieces. Could we maybe store those with mementos? And these have stains on them,

Maria Baer: or it doesn't seem like they fit a table that you have anymore, so maybe these should go. These should be donated. So I feel like we were able to do little bits of that, but maybe not the grand scheme that I would love to do in a move.

Andrea Liebross: So I loved the little videos at the end of the day. I would be wherever I was in New Hampshire, and Maria would send me a little video, "Okay, these are seven trays, and you already have these five amazing trays, which we have put away, but these seven, I'm not so sure. What do you think? Do you want to keep all seven? This one has a crack, but if you really love it, we could still keep it." So I would then say, "Keep that. Throw away this." "Oh, yeah, I really loved that before, but I haven't really used it in ten years, so bye, bye." So I totally get the editing piece.

Andrea Liebross: We could have gone deeper, and we still can now at this point. But I think the giving up of the control for me wasn't hard for me. I think it is hard for someone, it wasn't really hard for me. It was actually kind of freeing in the sense that this was one thing, I was on decision overload, so it was really one thing where I could just be like, "There is no great place for anything, because nothing's ever been in this house before." The shape and feel and all the cabinets in this house are totally different than the cabinets I had before.

Andrea Liebross: So it wasn't even like I could say, "Oh, that goes over the sink," because maybe there is no cabinet over the sink anymore. So just relinquishing control and decision-making power, to me, was awesome. It was so great. So I totally, totally appreciate that. What do you think the best parts are of having someone come in to, maybe not just unpack, but the organizing piece of it? Let's talk about the organizing piece of it. Because when I take people on tours in my house, I open the closet in the laundry room.

Maria Baer: I love it.

Andrea Liebross: Like, "Look at this. This is so good." And I'll open my drawers like, "Look at this drawer." It's part of the tour. It's part of the tour.

Maria Baer: That gives me so much joy to hear that. Organizing, I have always been a very, I mean, I am like a type-A perfectionist type of person, so for me, organizing has always been a way to really have control over my space. I've been married now for 15 years. We have five-year-old twins, and I think what I love about organizing is everyone in the house knows where things live.

Maria Baer: You and I had a conversation about your mic wasn't working this morning, and you knew exactly where to go find a spare set of headphones. That's how things function in my house, too. It's like it takes the guesswork out of the day. I think when your closet is organized and it's filled with things that you love and you wear and they fit you, they're tailored appropriately, it's a lot easier to get dressed in the morning. When your pantry is stocked with food that's not expired and that your family is actually eating, the snacks are reachable for the kids, it gives people in your house control as well, and the ability to take ownership over the home. Like a big piece for me and sometimes I talk with clients about, and sometimes it's just not one of their goals, but it's like being a really intentional consumer, too.

Maria Baer: So not over buying. I have conversations often, though, about maybe we should pause your Subscribe & Save.

Andrea Liebross: You told me that.

Maria Baer: Yes, it's like, you, client have enough paper towels to last a year. And I get it. We went through a pandemic, and I feel like that did change people's buying behaviors because there was a toilet paper shortage. What do we do if we don't have toilet paper? It's a little difficult to function. So I think that in today's society, though, we've overcome that. I don't know that that would happen again, like a toilet paper shortage. I'm sure there are warehouses full of it somewhere.

Maria Baer: So I just always tell people, like, "I'm sure you're going to Target multiple times a week, or you've got Instacart. You don't need this extreme amount of backstock for every single area of your home, the cleaning supplies, the food, the paper goods, all of that." Sometimes the less you have means the less storage and organizing systems you have to put into place. People ask me all the time, "What does your house look like?" It actually looks a little bit different, I would say, than a lot of clients' homes, because I really try every day, I feel like I'm getting rid of stuff, and as things come in, I'm already like, it's like a one in one app kind of policy. So I don't have as many bins and baskets and labeled things because I don't need to because I can see what I have. So I think just being an intentional consumer is something that I'm very interested in.

Maria Baer: And I love having those conversations if it feels appropriate with a client.

Andrea Liebross: You did leave me a message and said something like, "I think we can pause the paper towel Subscribe & Save, because you have enough paper towels to last you for a whole year." Actually, I haven't bought any paper towels yet and we've been here since October. It's so good. I think I didn't know a lot of what, so this is another thing that was very powerful in what you did. So our house that we previously lived in, I felt kind of was, that's not stuffed,

Andrea Liebross: I wouldn't say that. But the same thing might have been in multiple places.

Maria Baer: Yeah.

Andrea Liebross: Okay. So the same thing might have been in multiple places. We started packing that house in a Thanksgiving of 2022. We started putting things in boxes to get ready to list the house. Then we listed it and we sold it, and then we put more things in boxes. We're out of there at the beginning of April. At that point, everything either went to storage or came to the apartment.

Andrea Liebross: So then we're in the apartment. I had things in multiple places for a span of twelve months. I had paper towels in storage and I had paper towels in our apartment. I probably had paper towels in storage two times because I put some in storage in November and I put more storage in April. So when you finally unpacked everything, and I could see the same sort of things altogether, that was amazing to me, and it really did help me simplify, kind of become an even more intentional consumer, because everything, all the things that were categorized, there's one spot in the house for all of them. I so appreciated that. All right, so I would say I'm writing down key points because I always love to make key points.

Andrea Liebross: Intentional consumer, you're giving everybody in the household, when your house is organized, everybody has control. Everybody knows where things are, which I then think also creates space in your brain to do other things. Then one other thing I just thought about was the whole decision-making for me personally, giving relinquishing or saying, "Hey, you make all the decisions, or as many decisions as you can" for me, was key. It was totally key.

Maria Baer: And I think you and I had this conversation, when a client is not as involved or we're doing a move in general, it's like we're not going to get it perfect. It is impossible to perfectly unpack someone whose home is completely different than the home they moved from. So there's a lot of just like, "This is the logical storage spot for this." But then there's a lot of personal preferences. One that comes to mind is like, "Where do you take your vitamins each day? Do you want those in your pantry where your juicer is and your coffee? Or do you want those close to the refrigerator? Do you want them in your bathroom?" There are a lot of just personal preferences that come into play when unpacking. You and I had that ability to do, once you had lived in the house for a month or so, we had another just a four-hour session where we just tweaked things. We made some updates in the pantry and it felt like some of the food wasn't necessarily in a spot that made sense when you were cooking or when you were entertaining or the kids came home from college. You do have to live in your space as well.

Maria Baer: But I think we can get you like 80% to 90% of the way there, and every box was gone, which was incredible.

Andrea Liebross: Every box was gone. I don't have any boxes. None. Well, when you left, there were no boxes.

Maria Baer: Yeah.

Andrea Liebross: That was huge. Of course, we did have to have the fire dogs or whoever they were, the 1800 junk people come take the garage boxes. But hey.

Maria Baer: Yeah.

Andrea Liebross: What do you think gets in the way of people just doing this on their own?

Maria Baer: Oh, it's time. I always tell people that. I mean, it's on our website too. It's like we're like another you, only one with no distractions. Right? So I feel like many of our clients, they could do this on their own. I mean, frankly, I could do this on my own in my own house, and yet there are still a gazillion projects that need to get done because it's like you're just kind of drained at the end of your work day or if you're a stay at home mom spending the day with the kids, it's like you're not going to carve out four hours to go through your pantry or organize your closet or something like that. There are so many other things that you should be rewarding yourself with at the end of the day, unless it's your passion to organize or it gives you that stress relief.

Maria Baer: So I oftentimes think it is time. When people can have a session on their calendar, a four-hour block, we come in, they tell us the goals. Many clients are involved in the process. Sometimes they're not at all. But something is accomplished during that time because we're not getting sucked away by a phone call, running a quick errand, flipping the laundry over, a kid having a meltdown, or whatever it is. I take Tuesdays off with my kids. We have adventure Tuesdays together. I always tell my husband, I'm like, "You come home and the house looks the same as when you left 8 hours ago, and yet I have picked up 700 times in between that amount of time."

Maria Baer: So I get what that feels like having kids at home. It just takes so much effort to just kind of maintain. There isn't time to get big projects, big organizing projects done. One of the other things too is, I think, just a fresh set of eyes. I always tell clients, like, "I'm not here to tell you to get rid of your things, but I'm going to ask you about them. And clients make the decisions." Again, I am not encouraging people to get rid of things. I am encouraging people to think before they buy. But once it's in your house, you have invested in it.

Maria Baer: So if it's serving you or it's important to you, that's fine. But I think just going through that exercise with people of like, "Let's open the holiday decor and let's think about what goes out for each season and what stays in that box year after year after year, and why are you keeping it?" And then they tell me, and sometimes they say, "You know what, I bought this in the Target's dollar spot. And yeah, I'm never going to put it out again. My kids are older, let's donate it." In other cases, it's like, "I'm never going to put it out. But it was my grandma's. And so it's important to me."

Andrea Liebross: Right. It's been easier for me to get rid of things now that everything is organized.

Maria Baer: Good.

Andrea Liebross: So maybe we didn't do a lot of editing up front, but I've done a lot of editing since then because I can see it all.

Maria Baer: Yes. On our website, we have an incredible donation guide for Indianapolis. Many of the organizations are national organizations as well for your listeners that aren't here. So that, I think sometimes is a freeing thing, too. Right? Like, this item that I'm ready to pass on is going to go directly into the hands of someone that needs it today. There are just so many deserving organizations across the communities. So we really like to push that to clients when they have a lot of donations.

Andrea Liebross: I love that. All right, let's switch gears a little. Talk to me about being a business owner.

Maria Baer: Yeah.

Andrea Liebross: What was your journey? How did this even start? I don't even know if I even really know that.

Maria Baer: Yeah. So I'm originally from Minnesota, and I met my husband junior year of college. He's from here, Indiana, and we both studied abroad in New Zealand. So that's where we met. We did long distance our senior year of college and then I moved to Indianapolis, but my background was broadcast journalism. I wanted to be a news anchor. But when I moved to Indianapolis, I started working for a company where I did meeting planning and event planning, mostly in the pharma industry.

Maria Baer: I feel like that really tied into me being very organized and organizing events, meetings. Also at that company, I was there for about four years, I was able to create two new roles within the business that I saw a need for. Kind of went to management and said, "Hey, I feel like there's this bottleneck happening. If I just took on all of the website creation for these events and the program managers didn't have to create their own websites anymore, it would free up a lot of time for them to do other things." And they said, "Oh, that sounds great. Why don't you do that?" And so I created a role. Then I came to them and I said, "We're a 100-person company, and really we have like, an HR benefits person, but we don't have an onboarding person, anyone that's doing just company culture, training, that sort of thing."

Maria Baer: "Could I create this role?" "Sure, go for it." Then I left and I went to work for a startup, and I did marketing and sales for them, and that was in the tech industry. Again, kind of created a role from scratch. Then I was approached by a Fortune 500 company to come do sales with them. I went there, and I was there for about four years. I sold to large national manufacturers and enjoyed it. But sales is just, I mean, it is a true grind. When that is your job, it's not just an element of your job.

Maria Baer: It's like, that's your whole job. I just felt like I could never get a break. It's like, you hit your goal for the month, but the team hasn't hit the goal for the month, so you got to keep pushing and then you hit your goal for the year, but the team's not at goal or the company is not profitable or this or that. It's like, when do you ever get a break? So I ended up leaving and going to another startup and I was their first salesperson. I remember sitting on a call and we were creating a tech platform, but it wasn't live yet. I was selling this dream of this tech platform that was going to come out, but I was actively selling it. I remember sitting on a call one day, I had the CEO, chief marketing officer was on the phone as well, and we were talking to a business about them utilizing this platform. Both the CEO and the CMO were like, "Yeah, of course we can do that."

Maria Baer: "That is part of the service package. Absolutely." We got off the phone and they're like, "Okay, guys, now we have to figure out how we're going to make this happen. We've kind of made all these promises and we need to now build it into the platform." It dawned on me, I was like, "Oh my gosh, like my entire life I have thought in order to start a business, you have to understand everything and you have to have it all mapped out and you don't." Honestly, the more honest you are with people, "Hey, we've never done a move of this size. We've never done a turnkey move. Tell me what falls into that for you."

Maria Baer: It's like you have to do it once in order to have it under your belt and to learn from your mistakes. It really was sitting on that call shortly after I started working for that startup where I was like, "What am I waiting for? I just need to start this business that I have wanted to do for so long." So it was neat because I went to them, to the owners, after working there for about a year and a half, and I said, "I really want to start my own business." I was a little nervous about not having income for a while, so they let me stay on for six months with the intention of going down to a part-time role with them so I had more time. I took that six months to do, this was back in 2017, to do some trial work with friends and family.

Maria Baer: So I had some photos to show, I built a website, I got business insurance, I became certified as an organizer. For me, that was important. I knew those things needed to be done in order for me to feel really good about it and for me to say, "This is a business." I wanted it to feel like a business from my launch day.

Andrea Liebross: It needs to be legit.

Maria Baer: Instead of like, "Hey, this is just like something that I'm trying," I wanted it to feel like a business more so for me than for anyone else. But, yeah, I launched in 2017, and I worked by myself for a long time. I brought on a couple of subcontractors, but then when the pandemic happened, things changed a little bit. But now I have a team of seven.

Andrea Liebross: Wow. Okay, so how do you balance working on your business and in the business? Because it's not like you're behind the desk.

Maria Baer: Yeah.

Andrea Liebross: You and I talked a little bit about this when you were here.

Maria Baer: Yes, we did. It's interesting. I feel like one of the things I have had to do because I do feel like I'm a go-getter and I want to build something incredible, I also feel like I am in a time of my life where my attention needs to be on my kids, too, so I don't necessarily feel—they're still in preschool and they're off one day a week—I don't necessarily feel like this is the year to just go crazy as much as I want to. Sometimes I feel like I'm like, "Okay, they're almost in kindergarten, and when they're in kindergarten, I can do this." Last year, we had full-time care, and they were in school, and so I did have an admin day each week.

Maria Baer: So I had like eight hours one day a week to work on the business. This year, I knew that wasn't going to happen this school year. So what I did that has just been so helpful, especially as we've grown, is I hired an external operations company. So starting in January 2023, I brought on a business, they're local here in Indianapolis. SourceUP is their name, and they do all of my invoicing, they do my payroll. They set us up with affiliate status and things like that for some of the products that we carry. They file sales tax.

Maria Baer: They do all of the stuff that I was like, "I hated that part of the business." The larger we were, the more clients we had. It just felt like, "Oh, my gosh, if I have to spend any more time in QuickBooks, this is not good for me." So I offset that, and it allowed me to feel like I had enough time to just keep the business status quo this year while I do take those Tuesdays off with my kids, and then I have great plans for next fall when they're in kindergarten. I have that admin day back of what I'll do with that time.

Andrea Liebross: So you did have to start to outsource parts of the business?

Maria Baer: Yes. I have a team member who has recently started helping with social media. So that's been incredible.

Andrea Liebross: Oh, that's good. Okay.

Maria Baer: Even just having captions written that I can sort of tweak a little bit as I'm posting, but the idea is already there is huge, and she'll draft our newsletters for me, that sort of thing. But I would say as an entrepreneur, I mean, I'm in clients homes four days a week, and so I also just kind of feel like I'm working. Like, I put the kids to bed and I work or I wake up early and I work to just try and squeeze it all in for the time being.

Andrea Liebross: Okay. For the time being, we've been doing a lot of talking about work-life integration. There's no balance. It's integration. But it's interesting, as a business owner, you are having that company do the payroll and the invoicing because it's creating space for you to do other things. You are having someone tee up all of the social media because it eliminates some of the decision-making like the topics already chip-picked. Right.

Andrea Liebross: So it's almost like what you're doing for your clients, you had to do for yourself just in a different vertical.

Maria Baer: We also were able to almost fully automate our sales, like our onboarding process, when someone clicks Book Now to schedule a consult on our website, now there's a very automated process that happens versus me recreating these emails or sending them one-off, which, again, taking the time to get that setup, I sat on it for a long time. I invested in the product, and then I was like, "I don't have time to set this up," and then I finally did and I was like, "This is life-changing."

Andrea Liebross: Yes. Okay, so there's another thing. It's like you didn't have time. Why do people not organize their houses? Because you said, "Because it's time." Right. Why did you not organize your business? Time. It's the same thing. Okay. So I always find people's journeys as business owners intriguing.

Andrea Liebross: And I think we can learn something from listening to everybody's story and realize that we're not really alone.

Maria Baer: Yeah.

Andrea Liebross: We're not really alone.

Maria Baer: Although it can feel lonely. I was listening to your podcast about being a business owner, feeling lonely. And I was like, "Yes, I hear that."

Andrea Liebross: It's interesting because you're physically with people all the time, but yet you're the owner, you're in charge. I think that's the lonely part in a sense. You're in your head with your own thoughts.

Maria Baer: Yeah. It can be intense.

Andrea Liebross: It can be intense. I find that in myself.

Maria Baer: Yes.

Andrea Liebross: Okay. So moral of the story, I think, is, number one, it is worth having someone help you organize your business and your life [inaudible]. Right. Because it gives you back time and space. Then once that is done, you feel much more in control, and our brains like being in control.

Maria Baer: Yeah. We have clients where we work through spaces and we never go back. They are fine maintaining it. Then we have other clients where they are on more of like a maintenance schedule where maybe we go quarterly or we go twice a year. Again, that works for many people. It's just like, "Oh, I know, they're coming," and we just reset the house from top to bottom, and that can feel really good, too.

Andrea Liebross: Well, we need to schedule a time for you to come back because now I have some things that need to be, not really reorganized, but more probably of the edit piece.

Maria Baer: Yes, I would love that.

Andrea Liebross: I think I am going to put in the show notes some links to some photos of my laundry room closet.

Maria Baer: Oh, yeah.

Andrea Liebross: The other fun part that I love to show people is in our basement, in our lower level, there's a storage area where the ceiling is not super high. Maria and her team put up this shelving, and there are bins on the shelves, and they're all labeled, and it's just this, I don't even know. I will put a picture. I don't know, what do we call that space? Like, organized storage space.

Maria Baer: Yeah.

Andrea Liebross: So good. My drawers. I will put pictures, people. I will put pictures so you can see it. All right, ready for the speed round of questions?

Maria Baer: Oh, sure.

Andrea Liebross: Okay, here we go. Three questions. Number one. What are three things in your refrigerator right now?

Maria Baer: French fries that we brought home from dinner last night. Almond milk for my latte every morning. And so much cheese.

Andrea Liebross: So much cheese.

Maria Baer: Cheese.

Andrea Liebross: Okay.

Maria Baer: We all love cheese.

Andrea Liebross: Wait, I'm going to interrupt this. So also, in my refrigerator, everything is organized. I'm going to throw that out there, too.

Maria Baer: Yes.

Andrea Liebross: That is life altering.

Maria Baer: Truly next level when we organize a fridge. But, boy, it's so satisfying.

Andrea Liebross: It's next level. It is. All right. Three things in your car.

Maria Baer: Two car seats, my step ladder, and a ton of donations that I need to drop off on my way to my client's house today.

Andrea Liebross: Okay. Love that. Step ladder. I have some awesome step ladders, too. I got to say that, but care of Maria. All right, last question. How do you want to be remembered? If someone said, "That Maria, she was," what?

Maria Baer: I think that the way I would love to be remembered is just like giving. I feel like the donation guide is like my gift to the community, providing all of these organizations with a little bit more exposure. Sometimes they don't have a ton of time to spend marketing, but they have these great needs. I think it's a gift to my clients that they are now aware of all of these organizations and the community, because anyone can access that. I hope my clients feel that way, and I hope my kids and my husband feel that way, too about my time.

Andrea Liebross: Yeah.

Maria Baer: I tried to make things fun and all of that.

Andrea Liebross: I definitely felt like a recipient of all of your gifts.

Maria Baer: Thank you.

Andrea Liebross: As I said, one of my favorite people of 2023. Here she is.

Maria Baer: I love it. And I can't wait for that magazine cover.

Andrea Liebross: Yes. Coming out. It's coming out. How can people find you or follow you? Okay. Even if you don't live in Indianapolis, you need to follow her on social media because the pictures alone are very inspiring. Tell us, where can they find you?

Maria Baer: On social, which we just post on Instagram and Facebook, it's at thebaerminimalist.

Andrea Liebross: Yes.

Maria Baer: Our website is

Andrea Liebross: All right, awesome. And I will put all of that in the show notes.

Maria Baer: Thank you.

Andrea Liebross: So this has been a pleasure in so many ways.

Maria Baer: Likewise.

Andrea Liebross: So fun. I'm telling you guys, can you feel the enthusiasm? What you did was a huge gift to me. It was a huge gift. Thank you so much.

Maria Baer: Incredible to do that for you. I feel like we get invested in our clients in making their lives easier, and it felt like a gift to us, too. I mean, it was an opportunity for our entire team to come together and work together, which we don't do outside of moves. We don't bring huge teams to jobs. So it was fun to all be on site and all have this collective goal of basically you coming home and cracking a bottle of wine and sitting down on the couch and being, "We live here now, and everything has a place."

Andrea Liebross: It felt like I was living in an Airbnb there for a while.

Maria Baer: I love it.

Andrea Liebross: Good. Thank you so much. All right, my friends, so I'm curious what you took away from this episode. What were your three key takeaways, as I like to say, share them with me. Direct message me on Instagram or send me an email. Because I want to know how I can help you in all ways of business and life.

Andrea Liebross: Okay. Until next week. This is your time to level up. So leveling up, like having an organizer come in, that is up-leveling your life. This is true evidence. I will see you next time. Thanks so much.

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I'm Andrea Liebross.

I am the big thinking expert for high-achieving women entrepreneurs. I help these bold, ambitious women make the shift from thinking small and feeling overwhelmed in business and life to getting the clarity, confidence and freedom they crave. I believe that the secret sauce to thinking big and creating big results (that you’re worthy and capable of) has just two ingredients – solid systems and the right (big) mindset. I am the author of best seller She Thinks Big: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Guide to Moving Past the Messy Middle and Into the Extraordinary and host of the Time to Level Up podcast.