Being a chronic list-builder from an early age it just seems natural for Karen Biko to become an advocate for getting organized.  Unfortunately she also does not like to see things go to waste so as the pressure of re-using items and as the passion to be organized has grown, so has her need to purge.

Formally trained as an Interior Designer, Karen has spent many years in Facilities Management.   Her experience with space planning, office design, ergonomics, and project management, gives her a unique perspective on organizational habits.  During her work in Facilities her responsibilities included orchestrating company-wide organizational purges in order to move clients between buildings as smoothly and efficiently as possible.  Not only did she assist clients in preparing for the move, she coordinated the moves, and looked after disposal of furniture assets after the moves.  She implemented her own systems and modified older procedures to enable these projects to run smoothly and on time.  Organization is an absolute requirement when you are moving thousands of people from building to building with minimal business interruptions.

In 2003 with the birth of her second daughter she handed in her facility shoes and started her own company.  KatSid Housez Inc. was the beginning of her Real Estate Investment business.  Pairing up with her husband, her company has managed to purchase and sell over 50 residential properties creating an entire new area of systems and experience.

Always keeping busy, Karen balances her time between many passions.  Along with being  an Interior Designer and  Real Estate Investor, Karen also has become an accomplished artist, Jazzercise Instructor, Blog Developer, Organizational Consultant, and oh yeah, a Mother and Wife.  When you wear this many different hats, you just have to be organized!

e-mail Karen Biko

 

3 Responses to About Karen

  1. Sheila Shine says:

    Hi Karen, I love your new book and your website to help us as women caring for home easily. I did introduce too friends about your sharing on website and book, Some of them gave idea about the cover of the book could be more color and alive to feel excited for reading it or have it. If you need my help, you can visit me at http://www.simplyecover.com and I will do my best to help for you.

  2. HB says:

    Dear Karen,
    Reading your bio. gives me hope of a connection. I too am a real estate investor.
    In my travels, I see other RE owners who also maintain too much stuff, “in case” etc. It sounds like you & husband “buy & sell” rather than “buy & hold”. Am I right? As a landlord, there is probably some specific self talk that contributes to the problem “hoarding” patterns.
    In contrast, I can imagine that “buying & selling” reinforces the reality that an item either adds value or reduces value & should therefore needs to go!? The industry mantras encourage neutral, open space for the buyer’s own vision.
    The phrase, “I may be able to use that,” causes me endless trouble. One helpful resolution is, “Let Home Depot handle
    our inventory for us.”
    Do you have any additional self talk messages that might be of particular value to countering the justifying phrases
    bonding landlords to their stuff.
    Thank you,
    HB

  3. Karen Biko says:

    Actually our days of flipping are done, and we are concentrating on our hold properties…which does lend to lots of excess stuff. Some of our properties are set up with renters in Rooming Houses. Well if it wasn’t hard enough buying houses with other people’s stuff that they leave behind, now we are faced with junk that tenants leave behind (big turn around in this type of property management), but we also need to keep things like bedding and dishes for the houses. One of our biggest issues is the vacuums. These tenants just don’t seem to know how to use them properly or empty them even, so we end up with many broken ones in our garage. Gross, trying to repair vacuums! Our neighbors used to make fun of all our vacuums in our garage…until one day they left their garage door open by mistake, and we moved them all into their garage. They don’t bug us anymore!

    But it is difficult as a property owner to decide where you can save money or time. You need to remember where you make your money…and it likely isn’t repairing vacuums. So having a good list of suppliers will be helpful to keep things out of your own inventory. However, sometimes it’s easy just to go and pick up a few things from our storage space to update a property. I did put together a shelf of bins that hold things like light switch covers, shower curtains, door stops, heat registers, cutlery, mop heads, and other various items that we use from time to time, and we have a storage ‘garage’ where we store excess furniture, lights, and other various things.

    One of the great ideas we have discovered is the FREE pile. We have one specific house in a great ‘blue collar’ area that we put our free stuff. When we have damaged furniture, or things we don’t want, we put it in the FREE spot with a note attached. Eventually someone comes and takes the item. Otherwise these things would go directly to the dump, but now have a chance for someone to fix them up, or even sell them if they so desire….at least it’s out of my hair. But keeping up those trips to the dump is still important, including taking all those nasty vacuums to the electronic recycle.

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