Lisbeth “Lis” McKinley, is a Certified Professional Organizer, move manager, public speaker, and owner of LET’S MAKE ROOM, LLC based in Oakland, California, now in its 12th year of operation.

Lis, along with her team at LET’S MAKE ROOM, helps clients achieve their unique vision of the organization, before or after moving, remodeling, or refreshing and unclutter their living, work, and storage areas.

Lis speaks to both professional and community groups about downsizing, organizing, productivity, and paper management. Her talks have inspired hundreds of people to enjoy their lives with less and get more done. 

Lis is from New York City, holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and lives in Oakland with her husband, three cats, and a Chihuahua.

Lis is a returning guest to the podcast who today shares how she is helping her community. Today we talk about downsizing and how to let go of years of stuff without the tears! At the start of the year many people have decluttering and organizing in mind so this is a timely interview to get you focused if this is your intention! 

She shares that often we accumulate the stuff of no fault of our own.  For many, it can be the circumstances of losing a spouse or caretaking for someone and things got worse.  It’s a challenge facing a lot of people in this country and she is happy she can be there in person or virtually to help them through the process.  

Acknowledging that you will need to make a lot of decisions when going through this process is an understatement!  I recently took some time to go through some rooms with the theme of downsizing and had to make some difficult decisions. Lis shares that clutter is nothing more than delayed decision-making! The decisions are often delayed because we don’t know what to ask ourselves.  Her role is to ask those important questions which support their end goal. 

 Lis walks us through some important questions to ask ourselves and shares a poem  that one of her clients wrote that may help you get a different perspective


Do You Love It? 

If I saw it again in a store would I buy it?

Does it suit who I am now?  (  Are there things associated with a past life? ) 



Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that.  You cannot hold onto the old, all the while declaring that you want something new. The old will defy the new, the old will deny the new, the old will decry the new.  There is only one way to bring in the new, you must make room for it.  

Lis shares the process of how she helps her clients to downsize by doing all of the sortings of the items by category and then having them go on a “reverse” shopping trip! This makes the process easier for what they do want to keep and move forward in their next chapter! The client is only involved in the “editing” process.  

During our conversation Lis shares a personal experience of making a difficult decision about how to let go of a record collection and how she worked through that process.  This helps us to see that everyone has this challenge and it can take time and asking the right questions.  It’s a beautiful story and a great teaching moment about letting go of the hard things in our home! 

We also talk about how when we let go of things in our home it makes room for many other opportunities and we do feel lighter and better prepared to spend time doing other things rather than managing our “stuff”.  Lis encourages us to imagine what our life will feel like when our project is all done.  What are you doing this for?  How will that make you feel? What are the values that you relate to and how do they align with your organizing goals.  

Lis shares with us some fun and creative ways to get rid of the stuff once you’ve managed to go through your personal items.  These are great ways to contribute and support your community!   



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