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Pro Organizer Nikki Boyd Shares Her Secrets

Even small tweaks can have a big impact on your home




When it comes to decluttering, start small, says Nikki Boyd, a professional organizer and the best-selling author of Beautifully Organized. “It may be one kitchen drawer, and it’d be the simple act of opening that drawer, pulling everything out, sorting it by what you want to keep, what you want to donate, what you want to trash, and then reloading that drawer in an organized way,” she tells Shelley Emling, host of The Girlfriend: In Conversation. “Just start small and build your way up.”

In this episode, Boyd, the host of YouTube’s At Home with Nikki, featured in the August/September issue of AARP The Magazine, will also reveal how white paint leads to more creativity, the best ways to update your home before putting it on the market and the small tweaks that make the biggest impact.

The Girlfriend: In Conversation audio series is a special collaboration between The Girlfriend, AARP’s free weekly digital newsletter for Gen X women, and AARP Members Only Access, which features content available only to AARP members.

Photo of Nikki Boyd by Abby Murphy.


[00:00:04] Shelley: Welcome back to The Girlfriend: In Conversation. I'm Shelley Emling, the editor of The Girlfriend, AARP's free weekly digital newsletter for Gen X women. Today we're speaking with Nikki Boyd, a charismatic home lifestyle influencer, professional organizer, home-decor expert, best-selling author of Beautifully Organized, and host of YouTube's At Home with Nikki. Nikki is also featured in the August/September issue of AARP The Magazine, which came out on Aug. 1. Welcome, Nikki.

[00:00:41] Nikki Boyd: Thank you, Shelley. Thanks for having me.

[00:00:44] Shelley: So nice to have you with us. Before we get started on some questions about home design, I want to talk about your background a little bit. You were a military spouse, which meant a lot of traveling, I'm sure, and after your husband's retirement, however, you settled in a beautiful home in Charleston, South Carolina, and began pursuing your dream. What was and is your dream, your passion and how did you hone the skills to pursue that dream throughout your lifetime?

[00:01:14] Nikki Boyd: Actually, Shelley, in my mid- to late 40s I figured out what my dream was, because I actually had no clue in my early 40s. I was just supporting my husband in his military career, and then when he retired, he was like, it's time for you to follow your dreams. Had absolutely no clue what that was. I thought, Do I want to sit on the sofa and eat Snickers bars every day? I don't know what it is I want to do. But then it came to me: Do what you know and love to do. And that is create a beautiful home environment. And so that's how I got started with YouTube, and that's how I started the journey of following my dreams.

[00:01:52] Shelley: So were you super organized as a kid? And as a mother of three, and I'm a mother of three, does a well-organized child typically grow into a well-organized adult?

[00:02:03] Nikki Boyd: I can safely say … absolutely not. I was the messiest kid. I would have my room cleaned in five minutes. It would be a disaster and I would have it clean literally in five minutes. But when my dad would come to inspect it, he would open the closet door and everything would fall out on him, and under the bed was stuff. I was a mess. But I started respecting my environment when I got my first place, and I was so proud, and that's when that really kicked in, and then being a military spouse just took it to a whole 'nother level.

[00:02:35] Shelley: As a professional home-decor expert, I'm curious as to what people ask for help with over and over and over again.

[00:02:44] Nikki Boyd: Systems … you know, they're just trying to figure out how to make it work. They feel chaotic at home; there's clutter, and they just want to know, How can I manage? And another thing is paper clutter — that's huge for many homes. How do I deal with all of this paper clutter? And then I would say a third one would be a garage. That an eyesore for so many families.

[00:03:05] Shelley: So what to do with that garage.

[00:03:07] Nikki Boyd: Absolutely.

[00:03:08] Shelley: Decluttering is a very hot topic among our audience members. If you want to downsize and you want to declutter — and who doesn't? — and you thought you'd get to do it while we were all stuck at home during the pandemic, and then we didn't, and then now you look around your home in the summer of 2021 and you don't know where to begin. How can you start to really declutter —  like starting right now?

[00:03:32] Nikki Boyd: Start small. Pick one space a day and have that commitment — I'm going to do one small project a day — and that's what I would call it. It may be one kitchen drawer, and it'd be the simple act of opening that drawer, pulling everything out, sorting it by what you want to keep, what you want to donate, what you want to trash, and then reloading that drawer in an organized way. So it can be a small closet. Just start small and build your way up. And then when you hit that garage, which is a major project, you also break that down. So you divide it into four sections, and you say, “OK, this week, every day I'm going to take one section and just deal with that one section, and everything else is invisible to me.”

[00:04:15] Shelley: I think that's really good advice. So every day or every Saturday for example, take one drawer, one cabinet, perhaps, you know, one bookshelf, and try to organize that so it doesn't seem so overwhelming.

[00:04:27] Nikki Boyd: Exactly. And then over time, you'll see your home coming together, but it's not a big stressor like you have this major project, because you're just implementing it into your normal life routine, and then you'll start seeing systems come together and organization come to play.

[00:04:42] Shelley: I do think a lot of people thought that they were going to declutter and reorganize their home over the pandemic, and a lot of folks, myself included, did not quite get to everything they hoped to get to.

[00:04:52] Nikki Boyd: Yes, but it's even … you know when you organize everything, it's just like cleaning your home. It never ends. You just have to have a system to keep it maintained anyway.

[00:05:01] Shelley: So as always, people are stressed and strapped for time … if one has a free weekend coming up, what are two or three things that a person could do to get more organized in their house over a weekend? What are three things that could actually make a visual difference if you have a whole free weekend ahead of you?

[00:05:20] Nikki Boyd: I'm going to give you a secret weapon, and this will take you so far. One thing that I would do is I would sit down, and I would figure out a way … to bring my family to the kitchen table and to start weekly family meetings, because I tell everyone, that is the secret to maintaining organization in your home. Because just like a company, if a company doesn't meet as a team and talk out their goals and what they need to happen, they can't be successful. And that's the same in our home. You have to get the family on board, and then you can sit down, and you can come up with an organizational plan: Let's tackle this this week, this next week. You're also able to teach life skills to the younger kids, which help you in the home. You know, kids at age 6 can learn how to fold and put away towels, and these little things that we're teaching our family as we come together are huge for maintaining the organization and keeping the clutter out. So that's one.

            The second thing is to write it down. Write down a plan. And I tell everyone, you always are more successful with a plan. You can get a piece of paper, write down 30 days, and then write one thing that you're going to do as far as organizing your home for that 30 days, and that's the plan that you work by. And then the third thing is to have a purge party with your family. As a family, everyone commits to pulling 20 of their things that they want to give away. And if you have a family of four, you have 80 things that you're removing from your house in one weekend because everyone has committed to going and pulling things that they're going to donate. So those are three quick things that you could do over a weekend.

[00:06:56] Shelley: That's a really good idea. I like the writing everything down, and maybe putting that up in a prominent place so everybody's on board and knows how much progress has been made and what's left to do.

[00:07:08] Nikki Boyd: Absolutely. And make it fun; you know, create games. You can say, hey, who donates the most items gets a prize, or whatever the case may be, but kind of make it fun.

[00:07:17] Shelley: I like the idea of pulling the whole family together, 'cause I feel like, as the mother of three, I'm often doing things on my own. So it would be nice to … say we're going to have a pizza party on Friday night. Everybody's going to pull out 10 things that they're going to give away this weekend. Even if it's something, only five things. I mean just starting small I think would really get everybody excited and on board and part of this process.

[00:07:39] Nikki Boyd: Absolutely. And that's so needed, absolutely.

[00:07:43] Shelley: So if you know your home needs a lot of TLC, and that most of it is woefully outdated, but you are on a tight budget, what is something one could tackle that would be the most impactful if you just don't have a lot of money to spend but you do want to improve the look of your home in a big way?

[00:08:02] Nikki Boyd: I always tell everyone to go with painting that wall. Painting is one of the least expensive things that, one, you can do yourself. Oftentimes that's a very doable task and then it's affordable, but it has such a huge impact. The second thing is actually just getting stuff out of your home, decluttering. You will be surprised by just simply removing the things that you typically don't even use in your home, how it will open up your space and help you be able to envision a more beautiful home. So those are two quick things that you definitely do — and one, the decluttering costs no money, and the painting can be done fairly inexpensively.

[00:08:40] Shelley: Are you talking about painting inside and outside or one or the other?

[00:08:44] Nikki Boyd: Inside, typically inside. Typically, exterior paint is a little more challenging for a beginner DIY, but it can be done. But inside is something definitely you can do, and you can take your time and do it.

[00:08:57] Shelley: And what's your thought about maybe like you have a living room that's outdated, maybe there's a hardwood floor, pulling up the rug, or maybe just replacing one accent chair — you know, making it a beautiful accent chair. Maybe having one really lovely piece that everybody can focus on when they walk in, in the room? What do you think about that?

[00:09:15] Nikki Boyd: Absolutely. Having that conversation piece is wonderful and it brings uniqueness to your home, so that's one thing to think about doing … and I always encourage people to switch up your home. So you may have a dining room, but you need a home office. Instead of keeping that dining room that you only use maybe once a year, switch it to your beautiful home office, a place that you use every day. And that can give you a new perspective and a new feel for your home … also in switching things around and costs no money.

[00:09:44] Shelly: And a similar question, what small tweaks can you make to your home if you are getting ready to put it on the market that will make the biggest impact on your ability to sell your home? Because I know, right now, I have a lot of friends that have either already put their home on the market or they're thinking about it because it's a pretty hot real estate market in many places across the country right now.

[00:10:05] Nikki Boyd: It sure is, Shelley, it really is. And so this is the time to think about those counters … when someone walks in, they need to be able to see themselves in the home. So if they come in the home and they see so much of you, it's hard for them to buy into it. Clearing those counters in that kitchen, and just kind of paring down a lot of your things … even if you think that you've purged a lot, go back and do another round — because the less that they see of your stuff, the better it is and it makes it more sellable for you.

[00:10:34] Shelley: So is it best — keeping to this theme, if you're thinking about putting your house on the market, say this fall — is it best to focus on the kitchen or maybe make sure one bathroom is really nice, or make sure the hardwood floors are sparkling? Is there something, a couple things that really do stand out when a buyer is looking at a home?

[00:10:52] Nikki Boyd: You want those sellable points — the bathroom, the kitchen, the closet. You don't want them to open a closet and see all of your things piled in there. Even if you have to clear out the closet and put it in bins and pack it away while you're trying to sell, I would do that. That, again, gives them the opportunity to see how they can live in the space and really see that space as valuable real estate for them. Also, going with neutrals as much as you can makes your home feel neutral; that really helps a buyer … more so be able to see themselves, how they can implement their life in that home.

[00:11:21] Shelley: I was going to ask you if there's a color scheme you should stick with when you're trying to sell your home? Is it white? Is it more off-white? You just said neutral, what do you think?

[00:11:31] Nikki Boyd: I think the whites and the off-whites. You think about a blank canvas — you’re giving that buyer that blank canvas, and so they can imagine themselves in it. So if you go white or even an off, a shell white, you're good.

[00:11:43] Shelley: Are you hearing from people these days that they typically want to make changes only when they want to sell the house, or are you finding that, since we've all been stuck at home for nearly a year and a half now, people are really working hard to make their home more of a sanctuary so that they can enjoy it.

[00:11:59] Nikki Boyd: I think there's been a real shift. I think people really now see the value in having a beautiful home, because they were stuck at home. And so they really see the importance of having a home that is a sanctuary for you. My business started booming more when the pandemic took off, because everybody was inspired to really get in and make those changes that they have been wanting to make for years. And so I think it's on the rise, really.

[00:12:22] Shelley: And I was going to ask you about artwork. How important is artwork in a home if you're trying to make it a sanctuary? Should you go with less is more or a few beautiful pieces, or is it really subjective and every home is different, every family is different.

[00:12:36] Nikki Boyd: I will say every family is different, but then it's how you do it. If you want that one piece that you love, and some people are minimal like that, but then you may have someone who wants a gallery wall, but it's about how it makes you feel. We all desire different things. Some people want to see all their teacups on a shelf, some people want it behind closed doors. But in the end, as long as it's able to function for you beautifully, then that's the way to go.

[00:13:02] Shelley: And I'm guessing that if you want to put your house on the market, less is more. A few beautiful pieces on the wall, not too much though.

[00:13:09] Nikki Boyd: Absolutely, because, again, you want that buyer to be able to see themselves, because they may have an opposite style of yours. But if you're kind of forcing them into your style, it's hard for them to see outside of that.

[00:13:19] Shelley: Right. Again, I'm Shelley Emling, the editor of The Girlfriend, a free, weekly newsletter for women from AARP. We are in conversation with Nikki Boyd, home-decor expert, best-selling author of Beautifully Organized, and host of YouTube's At Home with Nikki. So is there a decorating or decor trend from the past that is making a comeback? If so, what is it?

[00:13:47] Nikki Boyd: One thing that I was surprised to see come back so soon is using those dark hues. Back in, I want to say the early '90s, those burgundies and the hunter greens were real popular. Those colors are actually coming back. And so I thought that that was really neat. Another thing that's coming back are those trends of plants, plant life in your home, and not necessarily artificial plants, real plants. Even folks that don't have a green thumb are trying to attempt to, myself included, to incorporate more plant life into our environments. And I think that may be a reflection of the past year also. You know having that bit of light in your home, having a plant life.

[00:14:24] Shelley: So when you say hunter greens and burgundies, are you talking about for furniture or where are you seeing those colors come back?

[00:14:32] Nikki Boyd: In total decor, from the furnishings to the artwork, to linens. All types.

[00:14:39] Shelley: But with any wall colors coming back? I mean is it still sort of, is that against like a white or off-white backdrop?

[00:14:46] Nikki Boyd: Yes, I'm not seeing too much of the wall colors so much — more so in the furnishings, I'm saying what I'm seeing most of. It's mostly having that accent chair that may be that emerald green, that lamp that may be that burgundy color. Those pops of that.

[00:15:01] Shelley: Or maybe a ruby red?

[00:15:03] Nikki Boyd: Yes.

[00:15:04] Shelley: Huh, that would look nice against a white wall.

[00:15:07] Nikki Boyd: Yeah. Nice pop.

[00:15:09] Shelley: And what do you think about carpeting versus hardwood floors? Or hardwood floors with a beautiful rug on it?

[00:15:16] Nikki Boyd: I love hardwood floors … not only it's easier to keep, but it gives you more flexibility to me, because you can change out the rugs, which is less expensive than changing out carpet. So it's kind of like you can have the best of both worlds by having hardwood floors. Because you could always put down a rug.

[00:15:31] Shelley: So what's the spot or section of the house that always seems to need the most work? I mean, in other words, is there part of the house that people tend to ignore, but they really shouldn't?

[00:15:43] Nikki Boyd: Oh Shelley, it's that garage. I mean that is just a sore spot for so many homes, and it's one of the biggest spaces in your home, but it's the one that everyone just throws those Amazon boxes … and then they get frustrated, they can't even park in the garage, and so that's the one that I find that is really the most difficult for someone to work with in their home. And so I've done my fair share of helping with garage organizations, and it's really a space that we need to think outside of the box with, because it's so big. You know, you can have a home gym, you can have a play area for your kids if you have a well-organized garage, 'cause that's an extra space you could utilize.

[00:16:20] Shelley: So what would you advise people that are looking at their garage and it's a complete mess … what exactly to start getting it organized?

[00:16:27] Nikki Boyd: Number one is to declutter, because a lot of times that's the place where we throw everything. So the first step is just, even if you have to take a month … divide it into those four sections like I had talked about earlier, and just say OK, we're going to, as a family, we're going to bite off, over the next four weeks we're going to bite off one corner of the garage every week, every Saturday. And then once you have everything out of that space that you don’t want and that everything in your garage is something that … should be in your home, then it's about using that wall space and making a U, and I would invest in just, even if it's inexpensive shelving, so that you can then create categories such as this is the category for home items, this is the category for sports items … and then have a home for each space. And also, maximize that upper level. You know they have so many tools now and systems now where you can [have] storage above, ceiling storage, which is great for a garage.

[00:17:19] Shelley: I know that you and your husband remodeled your kitchen together, I believe, and I think that you did just about everything but put in the granite countertops. I'm curious as to how that went, and is it really a good idea for every couple to join forces to complete a DIY project?

[00:17:39] Nikki Boyd: Now I will say, out of all the things we did, that was the toughest project we have, and it could cause some interesting conversations between a husband and a wife because it is a tough project to take on, but what outweighs it is the reward. I think it's been almost five years now since we've done that project, and we still love our kitchen. We would not change a thing. It was such an affordable way to do it. I think we had someone come out and give us an estimate initially, and the price point that they gave us … I wanted to just nicely escort him out of my house. It was just unreal. And my husband and I, we did it for just such a budget-friendly amount. It was just so well worth it. And the thing about it is, it's your home. So you have the luxury of being able to give it a try. And so that's why I encourage everyone, even if you feel kind of nervous about trying something like a kitchen which can be huge, start doing small DIY projects around your home attempting to build up that confidence in some of the bigger projects, because you can save so much money. And in the end, you really get what you want.

[00:18:41] Shelley: I was going to ask you what's a DIY project that most couples, even those with very limited home-related skills, probably could do together without getting into an argument. I think a kitchen is a pretty big project. Is there something smaller that you would recommend people could take on as a couple?

[00:19:00] Nikki Boyd: Yeah, I wouldn't recommend a kitchen off the bat. I would say start with just painting that room. What is that room in your house that you're like, we need a new look. We need to change something. And then, as a team say, OK, let's paint this room. The great thing about painting, there's four walls, so you don't have to be on the same wall to accomplish the same mission; you both can start and work your way in together, and it's just a really great, easy DIY that you can do with your partner.

[00:19:26] Shelley: And just getting back to the kitchen for a minute. Did you put in new appliances? I'm just curious as to how much a difference it makes when you add a new refrigerator or swap out an oven or whatever. Just how important are those appliances in the kitchen?

[00:19:41] Nikki Boyd: Yes, they are. We did switch them out, and they made a huge difference. There were things that we didn't think about when we got the house that we thought about when we did that process, like one was the fridge depth. We knew … our fridge always stuck out. It just didn't look beautiful, and we went with a counter-depth one, and it looks perfectly beautiful now. The same with the stove. We went with a stove that didn't have kind of a backing on it, and … that way you have, your eye just goes around the kitchen. You can see all of the backsplash, where as before our stove had the raised backing and so it kind of cut your eye off from the beautiful backsplash. There were so many things that we picked up on as we were going through that DIY journey.

[00:20:24] Shelley: As we all know, loads of people have been working from home for the last nearly year and a half. What's your best pieces of advice for those who want to create and maintain a workspace in their home that's both comfortable, and also that lends itself to productivity?

[00:20:42] Nikki Boyd: So one thing, I would find that space that has a window. You know, one thing you don't want to do is get yourself in a space where you don't have any light coming in, and that's where you’re sitting most of the day. So find that place where you have a window, and have a desk area where you have a lamp and a plant. To me, those are so key to have on your desk because they just change the whole vibe of a workspace. And that really is something great to welcome you in the morning. Not everyone has office space — they have to work from home, but they may not have the space for an office, and I say create a beautiful mobile office. Get a big, beautiful tote, put all of your essentials in there, and then you have the luxury of working anywhere in your home. It may be the back patio, it may be on the front porch, it may be in the kitchen — but it helps you be more mobile. I do have a home office, but I have a mobile work bag, and a lot of times I take it and I go work on my back patio, and it's just heavenly.

[00:21:37] Shelley: You mentioned lighting and a plant, and I was curious, I think I sort of asked this before, but what's the biggest mistake people make when they're thinking about their home that they don't pay enough attention to — lighting perhaps, the importance of plants, or color, or just even the paint inside the house. Is there something that people seem to always do, or they don't pay enough attention to?

[00:22:00] Nikki Boyd: One thing that I notice that people do, they don't think about the home for them, they think about what they're supposed to use their home for. For example, they have this home and they have this dining room that they never use, but the reason it's a dining room is because that's what the builder told them that was. And so when you go in your home you have to think outside the box, and you have to make it what you need. If you need it to be a guest room, then that's what it should be. If you need it to be an office, that's what it should be, because then it impacts your everyday life. You truly have a home that functions for you, and one that you can really get the best use out of, because you’re paying for this home and rooms that you're not even using when you could really have a sanctuary that just really welcomes and is everything that you need. So that's really one of the biggest mistakes that I see.

[00:22:44] Shelley: Yeah, I know so many people who don't use their dining room at all. It's very pretty, but it just sits there. So you shared a rule number one as it pertains to bathrooms with AARP The Magazine. I don't want to give too much away, but I believe it boiled down to keeping things minimal and bright. Can you talk about what makes for a great bathroom space?

[00:23:08] Nikki Boyd: Yes, and I love a bathroom that when you go in, you feel like you're at a spa. That's already rejuvenating for you, you know, and our home is supposed to do that. It's supposed to rejuvenate us. And so the bathroom is one of those really hot spots for that. And I always encourage you to think about what can you do to give yourself and your family or spouse a beautiful experience. And have it so that it functions for both sides, male and female. So that goes from assigning your own towels, like one spouse may have gray towels, and one may have a complementing color of white. The bathroom can tend to be a smaller space in a home, so by keeping it lighter, you're opening up the space and giving you a larger feel in the space.

[00:23:50] Shelley: And from what I've seen and read about you, you like to use white a lot, especially when it comes to dishware. Why is that?

[00:23:58] Nikki Boyd: Because I see white as my blank canvas, whether it's food … you have a white plate. The food may not taste good, but if you have it on a white plate, that helps out; it makes it pop. The same with the decor, it's a money saver. You have white walls, and you keep it neutral; when Christmas comes around, it's easy to implement color, or spring, it's your canvas. Even at my office, I keep the walls white, and the conference room white, because then we can think as a team. We come in and our ideas bring in the color.

[00:24:31] Shelley: Are there other places, other sources where you would direct people to that are looking to change up their home?

[00:24:37] Nikki Boyd: One thing I would say is go to Canva, and it is just a blank spreadsheet, a place that you don't have to have a large skill level for it. It's really plug and play, but it just gives you an opportunity to work out your plan. So I never encourage anyone, if you're organizing your pantry or your kitchen or your bedroom, I don't say, go to the store and start buying. I say, sit down and kind of figure out the look, what you need, what is in the pantry, kind of how many bins do we need? Where, where are we going to place it? And plan out your project before you actually jump on it. So Canva, I always like to start there so that I could build out my project and just kind of get a visual. It's nothing fancy, it just gives me a visual — OK, this is what I need, this is what I want. The other thing is definitely shop online before you go in store, because you might be able to comparison shop a little better, and everybody's online now, so it's great to comparison shop before you even go out to Lowe’s or Home Depot and places like that. And then final, just again, for me, organization is about saving you time, money and stress. And so it may be less stressful to shop online versus having to run around town to find this and that. So think about that when you're kind of working on your different projects.

[00:25:46] Shelley: But Canva, you can find that just by Googling it and go right on there and get started.

[00:25:51] Nikki Boyd: Absolutely, and it's totally free.

[00:25:53] Shelley: Something I wanted to ask you earlier — when you're decluttering your home, especially with your whole family, are there things that you should hold back because they might be of value that you could actually sell them and make some money off of them? Are there certain collectibles or things that you should be on the lookout for and not just toss when you’re doing this big decluttering exercise?

[00:26:13] Nikki Boyd: Absolutely. And when you're doing decluttering, you should have a decluttering station. So what that is, is in that room that you're working in, you have a bin or an area, and I would just kind of write Post-it Notes and put it on the wall, and then this is where we put everything we're keeping, donating, things of value that we need to sell, and trash — so that as you're picking up an item, it has one of those categories to go in. And I have it in my first book, Beautifully Organized, I have a decluttering guide chart that you just follow, and it tells you [to] answer the questions, and it tells you what you should do with that item. And one of those questions is, does this have value, because then it directs you to kind of selling or what you need to do with that item.

[00:26:54] Shelley: So in your book, it'll help you discern whether something might be valuable to others or not.

[00:26:59] Nikki Boyd: Yes.

[00:27:01] Shelley: Fantastic. So switching gears, say you're going to purchase a new home, is there something you believe buyers should pay more attention to than they usually do? Something that buyers should make sure that any potential property they purchase offers?

[00:27:15] Nikki Boyd: I think it's just looking at the small things. I think it's just looking at the appliances and the closets and making sure that it's going to work for you. So when you're a buyer and you're looking at the home, look at, OK, these are the rooms that we need. Does this space have it? And so have your dream list of things that you want in that home, and then think about, while you're in that space, how am I going to organize it? How am I going to fit his and her towels in the linen closet? Is this going to work? And kind of think out the small details so that when you move in, you're not just looking at the overall, oh, this is a beautiful home —  you're looking at the details of how we're really going to live in this space.

[00:27:55] Shelley: So who inspires you in your work? I believe Oprah is a big inspiration for you. If so, how is she? How so?

[00:28:03] Nikki Boyd: I do love Oprah. As in many of us, I think that for me with her, I love how over the years in being so popular and doing all that she does, she still has an ability to connect with not only people but her home. And that is one of my dreams. I want to always stay in a role where I am connecting with people and changing their lives, changing their home life by sharing my tips and my ideas. And that's one thing I love about her is that she inspires so many to make changes in their life.

[00:28:34] Shelley: So what's your favorite thing about your own home? One thing that you really, really love about your own home.

[00:28:40] Nikki Boyd: I absolutely love my kitchen. That is just the space that I've been so proud of because it was such a large undertaking, and we were able to accomplish the mission, so I would say that my kitchen is just, it's the hub of the home and it's my favorite part also.

[00:28:55] Shelley: Does it have an island? I'm just curious.

[00:28:56] Nikki Boyd: It does, it has a small island.

[00:28:59] Shelley: So what home project in your home has been the most challenging for you and what home project has reaped the most rewards for you and your husband?

[00:29:08] Nikki Boyd: Again, going back to our kitchen, and I will say our entryway. We have very high ceilings, and during the pandemic we went in, and we put just custom molding through all the walls, and with it being so high, we had to get scaffolding, and everything was really challenging, but the end result is just amazing, and we just love it so much.

[00:29:30] Shelley: So do you go to estate sales on weekends and look for furniture or look for little items for your home, or no? I'm just curious.

[00:29:37] Nikki Boyd: No, I haven't recently. Now I used to love, but because I'm trying to control myself, I love dishes and all that, and so I have to be careful, yeah. (chuckles)

[00:29:49] Shelley: So before we wrap up, is there some tip that I missed that you would like to tell our audience about, something simple, even if it's just one thing they can do tonight to get their home more organized?

[00:30:02] Nikki Boyd: One thing I will say is just don't look at the overall picture. You can go in your home, and it may be cluttered, and you may feel like you're not in love with it, and it's overwhelming when you look at everything. So instead of doing that, tell yourself, “This is all invisible to me, and I'm only focused on one space.” And so find that one corner, that one drawer, whatever it is, and that is what you see, and everything else is invisible until it's time to get to that spot. You need to start small and just focus in on one little spot at a time.

[00:30:33] Shelley: And I'm just thinking of my own home, how important even something like some accent pillows or curtains are. I mean, do you find that that's really important and that those little items can really remake a whole room?

[00:30:46] Nikki Boyd: It absolutely can. It brings life to the room. The one thing I do want to share, is that when you think about those accent pillows, that can be very addictive. I can speak from experience because there's so many beautiful ones on the market. But one thing that you can do is think about, OK, I'm going to buy that set of pillows … but going forward, I'm only going to buy covers, so that I can change up my look but I don’t have all of these accent pillows around my house bringing clutter and all of that, where covers are easy to fold and store away, you know, versus a whole pillow.

[00:31:18] Shelley: Well, unfortunately, I think it's about time to wrap things up. Thank you so much, Nikki, for joining us. I really appreciate it.

 [00:31:26] Shelley: Please don't forget to follow The Girlfriend on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our free, weekly newsletter at for all the best in beauty, health, relationship and life advice. And thanks to the fabulous Nikki Boyd for joining us. Don’t forget to check her out in the August/September issue of AARP The Magazine.


[00:31:50] Shelley: For more episodes of The Girlfriend: In Conversation, visit I'm Shelley Emling, and thanks for listening.


The Schedule

AARP Members Only Access is offering The Girlfriend: In Conversation episodes for a limited time. Find available episodes below or on our main The Girlfriend: In Conversation page, where you can learn more about the series. 


July 29: Rachel Noble on Resilience

Aug. 5: Jessica Nabongo on Where to Find the Best Travel Deals

Aug. 12: Nikki Boyd on Easy Ways to Update Your Space

Aug. 19: Jean Chatzky on Getting Your Finances Back on Track

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