Dedicated to decluttering

I live in Birkenhead with my husband, toddler and two cats. I have lived on the North Shore my whole life (except for the two years I lived “overseas” in Parnell and Newmarket!). Below is an interview that was published in Channel Magazine in February 2019.

In a sentence, if you can, what is the main outcome you wish to achieve in your business?

I love helping busy people realise that being organised is a skill that can absolutely be learned. I meet so many people who throw up their hands in frustration with the belief that a) they are naturally disorganised, and b) they are destined to live a life in chaos. Organisation is a skill that can be learned; it is a matter of learning and practising a handful of simple techniques.

How long have you been doing this & what lead you into this work?

I founded The Ship Shape Shoppe early in 2018 while I was on parental leave with my son, Otis. I had always wanted to start my own business and organising was the idea I kept coming back to – I’ve loved it my entire adult life, and I knew that I was very good at it. When I became a parent, I put some simple systems in place around our home that helped us keep on top of things in the madness of early parenthood. I realised my skills and knowledge could help others; this was the push I needed to finally take the plunge after years of thinking about it.

How tidy & organised were you as a child?

Not at all! My mum could tell you many stories about opening the wardrobe in my “tidy” room to find that literally everything had been stuffed in there. I’m sure a lot of parents can relate to that imagery. Or things pushed under the bed. It would seem I was a big fan of the “out of sight, out of mind” technique!

What is the main problem you encounter that clients wish to fix?

Hands down, it is clutter! My clients need help thinning out their belongings – I meet so many people that have excellent intentions to declutter their homes, but it is not as easy as it seems. A lot of factors – sentimentality, thriftiness, environmental concerns are just a few – can make decluttering a paralysingly slow and emotional process.

Can you share one top tip for helping to create a calm, well-run home?

When buying new items, try to replacewhat you own, rather than increasewhat you own. For example, you might find a lush new set of fluffy bath towels that are irresistible. You buy them and bring them home, but rather than pull out an old set of bath towels for donation, you squeeze your new towels into the linen cupboard. The same happens in every room of the home – rather than replacingour items, we are increasingthe amount that we own, without increasing the space we have available for storage. Regularly thinning out the things you no longer need (and donating them to people and places that will welcome those items) is a great way to keep your home more organised.

What do you find is the main reason for disorganisation in the home?

A lack of a few simple systems, like giving your items a home. When you know where something belongs, it becomes difficult to not put it away. I talk a lot about “pile up”, the clutter phenomenon which has been present in every single home I’ve visited. Small piles act as mess-attracting magnets – and these piles start because we don’t know what to do with an item when it comes into our home. I could talk for hours about pile up – what causes it and how to combat it. I find it fascinating… and no, I’m not immune to it, but I do recognise it quickly and nip it in the bud!

If you could declutter & reorganise any one in the world’s home, whose would it be and why?

This is so random, but I think Dolly Parton’s home would be pretty cool! I’m not even a country music fan – I just think Dolly is so iconic. I think she would be a lot of fun to work with and I’m sure her home is filled with memorabilia and mementos that would give way to some very entertaining storytelling.

What do you most love about working on the Shore?

I love the people! I’m a North Shore native and just find the general vibe of the other folks that live here to be a good and natural fit with me. We are good, kind people who generally love a laugh and a chat – what’s not to like about that!?

How do you relax & switch off when not in organising mode?

At the moment I’m loving time at the beach – we’ve managed to get back into paddle-boarding this summer after a break last year when Otis was still very young. I’m loving that – nothing better than being on or in the water, in my opinion.

If you weren’t an organisation & efficiency expert, what job would you like to do?

I’d like to run a boutique craft store – I really love to knit, crochet and sew. And I love to chat – have I mentioned that already?! Talking with lovely people about their crafts and helping them to find the tools they need would be so much fun – and of course the opportunities to organise and merchandise the stock would be a dream come true!