Tammy Franklin, wife of Grammy award-winning gospel music artist Kirk Franklin, knows a thing or two about keeping chaos out of your life and she and her hubby recently appeared on Aspire TV’s Chaos to Calm to learn decluttering secrets and share them with the world.
In Chaos to Calm, professional organizers from The Order Project, Lauren Hill, Tneisha Brown, and Varatip (V) Johnson, work their magic to categorize cluttered spaces for everyday clients, including celebrities, as they transform their homes. In a recent episode, the show’s hosts used their expertise to reorganize the Franklin’s fridge into a more functional and well-designed version that the whole family can enjoy.
We caught up with Tammy Franklin and chatted about her experience on the show, why living a decluttered lifestyle is important, and reorganization tips that anyone can try right at home. Check out our interview below.
HelloBeautiful: Why was it important to have the ladies of Chaos to Clam recognize your refrigerator?
Tammy Franklin: Working with the ladies of Chaos to Calm has given me such ease and helped with the stress of our transition to a smaller space, that they were the obvious choice to close out our move by tackling our refrigerator.
HelloBeautiful: How has the reorganization made your life easier, if at all?
Tammy Franklin: I naturally consider myself very tidy; I was just raised that way, being the oldest of 7 children, however, they took organization to a whole new level— and in my refrigerator of all places! With my husband being on the road frequently, my ministry, and speaking engagements we need to be able to grab a quick healthy snack without thinking or looking for it, and the Chaos to Calm team did just that!
HelloBeautiful: How are you maintaining a decluttered lifestyle after the big reorganization?
Tammy Franklin: The ladies actually made it very easy to maintain the reorganization. With the systems and structure put in place, I actually don’t have to do much at all. It also helps that we are empty nesters, and there is less help in the mess-making area.
HelloBeautiful: What else would you say needs decluttering in your life and/or home?
Tammy Franklin: I would honestly have to say our storage closet. Right now, it is a dungeon hole of supplies, lol.
HelloBeautiful: Any advice for anyone who wants to declutter their own space but doesn’t know where to start?
Tammy Franklin: Re-organizing and decluttering can feel very overwhelming, and often people start in large places and get so frustrated that they don’t finish. I would suggest starting small like a junk drawer or a space that causes you the most stress. Sort first, that way once it’s time to purchase organizational tools such as storage bins, etc you’ll know what you really need. Once you’ve completed a smaller area you’ll be more confident to put systems into place in other cluttered spaces.
We also caught up with the ladies of Chaos to Calm for tips on keeping your space nice and clean after a deep reorganization.
HelloBeautiful: What was the inspiration behind starting this series?
The Order Project Team: Lauren was born organized. She introduced me and Tneisha to it by helping us organize our spaces. Tneisha took a little longer to get onboard. We didn’t initially love it like Lauren, but after noticing how much it reduced our stress levels, we were on board. Then, family and friends started asking us to help them get their spaces in order and organized. After a ton of free projects, we said OK it’s time to explore this as an actual business venture. It started with a project and now it’s a passion.
On Starting the Chaos to Calm Series:
That’s a cool story. We were working on a celebrity project in Brooklyn where The Order Project was handling all the organizing and Nikki Chu (a well-known, celebrity interior designer) did all the beautiful interior design. Nikki’s show Unboxed is on Aspire TV as well. She heard that Aspire TV was looking to launch an organizing show, and she recommended the network meet with us. After that conversation, we met with the network, and we were filming for a month. It was crazy.
HelloBeautiful: How do you calm the chaos in your clients’ lives?
The Order Project Team: By giving them functional, yet beautiful spaces that they can maintain in real life. We start with the function of the space and how the client and their family or others will use it. One common mistake people make is not using a labeling system. They think “oh I don’t need all that” when in reality, it’s how you learn to put things in their proper place.
HelloBeautiful: Why is it important to organize cluttered spaces and go from ‘chaos to calm’?
The Order Project Team: A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. A lot of us don’t realize that having stuff everywhere causes unnecessary anxiety and stress, wasting valuable time out of your day to conduct business. Your brain is constantly feeling like there is something to do, something to find – while you could be using that energy to focus on starting that new business or creating a strategy for your current business (corporate or entrepreneurship).
Most people are not naturally organized. But it’s something to be intentional about once you understand the benefits to your productivity and your overall mental health. The peace that comes with knowing exactly where something goes is unmatched.
HelloBeautiful: What is some advice you can give someone who’s naturally disorganized but wants to adopt a sense of calmness in that space?
The Order Project Team:
- Start Small – Begin with a drawer or linen closet. Something that will allow you to get your confidence up. Once you organize one space, you will get the bug and want to start organizing everything. It’s very addictive but in a good way!
- Take the time to Purge – Make separate piles for Keep, Toss, and Donate. Most people do not realize how much they can get rid of once they take the time to go through it.
- Create a system that works for you/your family – we see these beautiful spaces on social media, but not all are realistic. Think about how you use your space and what will be the best way to maintain what you put in place.
HelloBeautiful: Similar to what you did for the Franklins, how can someone organize their own refrigerator at home?
The Order Project Team:
- Start by measuring your fridge before buying containers
- You will need to move quickly on this project because you’re dealing with food, so you should already have containers purchased and ready. But remember to buy the containers for your type of fridge — counter depth or standard depth. This is a common mistake!
- Begin with a blank canvas for your fridge
- Empty out the entire fridge into a cooler full of ice to prevent food from spoiling. Then, like with most projects you organize by category.
- Check your expiration dates, if it’s expired, toss it out
- Wipe down the fridge before you put everything back in
- Remember food safety is the TOP priority: Organizing your fridge is all about food safety, not just aesthetics. Items like dairy, cheese, and meats need to be closest to the bottom where it’s the coldest (not the refrigerator door where it’s the warmest). Veggies and fruits don’t always play well together. Place separately in crisper drawers to avoid humidity and to keep them fresh longer as they give off different gases, making them rot faster. And items like condiments can live in the fridge doors since temperature regulation is not as risky.
- Label your containers (or fridge shelves) to maintain your system: This is one of the most important steps to maintaining a functional system. If you don’t label, you won’t put things back in their place, and before you know it, the bins/shelves are mixed up and disorganized. Trust us…You need labels, even in your fridge.
- Clean out once a week: Now that you have a labeled, functional system, it’ll be easy to maintain. Just clean everything out once a week, keeping trash days in mind!