Holly Blakey on Creating Breathing Room at Home


What would it feel like to have a little more breathing room at home? If simplifying is one of your goals this year, come learn from my conversation with Holly Blakey on the Imprint podcast.

Holly is a home organising expert who started a business called Breathing Room to help people create calm spaces they love to be in. Here are just a few the insights I gained from our conversation. 

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When meeting with new clients, Holly emphasises that the organising process goes much deeper than making things look beautiful and tidy on the surface:

“I’m not just going to come in and repackage and sort everything you have,” Holly says. “I really believe in eliminating the clutter in your life that isn’t serving you.”

In other words, if you’re just moving clutter around, never letting go and getting down to what you truly care about, you won’t be able to give yourself that much-needed breathing room. 

Holly illustrates this with the example of a refrigerator. If you don’t clean out your fridge regularly, you end up in a situation where… 

  • You can’t see what you have on hand

  • You waste money on things you already own

  • Your useful items go bad and end up getting thrown out

  • It gets harder to keep the space clean and functional

  • It takes longer to dig for what you need or put things away

In this example, she’s talking about a refrigerator, but in your home the “problem area” might be your wardrobe or your kids’ toys.

So much time, money and emotional energy is wasted when you’re blocked by excess stuff.

To achieve real change, Holly makes it clear that “you have to be willing to do the hard work of an edit.”

2. Keep Your End Result in Mind

If you struggle with emotional attachment to your belongings, it’s easy to stall or become overwhelmed.

To help her clients be more “ruthless” in their decision-making, Holly emphasises keeping the end result in mind.

It’s also important to remember what it is costing you to hold onto excess stuff—especially things you don’t even like or enjoy anymore.

As Holly puts it, “There’s a cost to not liking being in your home.”

3. Create Simple Daily Systems 

Many of Holly’s clients are busy families, and as a mum of three, Holly is well-acquainted with just how much clutter school-age children tend to accumulate. 

In Holly’s experience, the key to staying on top of this is to create simple, effective daily systems that fit easily into your routine. 

For example, Holly knew her family needed a better way to deal with the stacks of paper and artwork her kids bring home from school every day. Her solution was to add spring-loaded dividers to a drawer to create one section per child. Next to the drawer is a recycling bin. When the kids come home, their backpacks get emptied out straight away. Keepers go into their section of the drawer, and everything else goes straight to recycling.

When the drawer eventually fills up, Holly does an extra purge to narrow it down further. Keepsakes go into a special box, and artwork gets photographed to go into a photo book. The process doesn’t take long, and ultimately makes daily life so much easier.

We have a similar system in our home with our four children, and it has made the biggest difference. We typically include them in the decision-making process, and it often amazes me how willing they are to let things go! 


As you think about how to create the best version of your home, consider these questions: 

  • What are you holding onto that is no longer serving you?

  • What end result do you want for your home? What is the cost of not loving your current space?

  • What is one daily system you could try that would give you more breathing room? 

Holly’s work has been featured in Real Simple, Domino Magazine, Goop, HGTV, and more. You can find more organising wisdom from Holly on the Breathing Room website and on Instagram at @breathing.room.home.


Kickstart your simplifying journey with my FREE 15-minute guide to decluttering your home and staying organised.