PLW + Tidy Nest: Where Wellness & Organizing Meet
I've always been obsessed with organizing and I truly feel there's a deep connection with being organized and feeling good. So I sent this list of questions to my trusty friends at Tidy Nest, professions organizers, and they sent me some really good answers.
First, could you introduce yourself, your company, and how you got into the business of Organizing?
My name is Shannon and I, along with my life and business partner, Jared, own Tidy Nest, a professional organizing business servicing Westchester County, Fairfield County, New York City, Hudson Valley, Connecticut shoreline and we even have a few clients in California.
Whether we were neatly arranging our Pez dispensers as kids, efficiently organizing our Manhattan apartments as twenty-somethings or eventually bringing order into our home in Westchester, we’ve always been prone to keeping our spaces well organized and Tidy.
I came into professional organizing really naturally. A few summers ago, about a year before Marie Kondo made home organizing a recognizable business, I was finding myself repeatedly helping friends and family with their organizational problems. After a little while, I began to realize how much I enjoyed the work itself and one thing led to another…
Is there a special niche Tidy Nest focuses on or do you cover ALL types of organization?
We cover all types of organizing - mainly residential but we do have a few business clients. We do on-site and virtual sessions. We also do productivity coaching which means helping clients create better systems to get things accomplished. Think: creating better to-do lists, filing systems, household management systems, etc.
While we love all organizing jobs, we both love organizing offices.
We’ve both spent so much of our careers working with entrepreneurs whose work spaces looked like they should have been surrounded by caution tape. In that particular line of work, you have to wear so many different hats and keep track of many different kinds of information; so if you have a disorganized space, you’re creating unnecessary stress and landmines for yourself. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or just working from home as so many are these days, having a welcoming and organized office space can completely change the way you approach your work, and improve your actual health by reducing stress.
Regardless of the space, our mission is to help reduce the stress associated with disorganization. People are so stressed these days - especially in the COVID era - and their work and home lives are intersecting like never before. So being able to implement functional systems and to improve the quality of our client’s daily lives is what we love.
What does clearing clutter and organizing mean to you from a self care/self improvement aspect?
We can talk about this for days. The short answer is that organizing and decluttering are some of the most important exercises you can do for yourself and your household. No one ever walks away from a session saying “I feel worse”.
What’s your response to these 3 questions?
Does organization give you:
A better appreciation for what you have?
Absolutely, when you’ve decluttered and weeded out the items that no longer serve a purpose, you’re left with your most loved and used belongings.
More free time?
Definitely. When there’s a system in place and every item you own has a designated home, you completely eliminate the dreaded exercise of looking for the extra batteries or your winter hats. It also makes cleaning and every day tidying so much easier and faster!
Think about how many times you may have purchased a pantry item or a clothing item only to find that you already own it. Knowing where everything is and how much of each item you own, will save you money on your shopping trips. No more over buying.
From a productivity standpoint, when your paperwork is filed, your office space is organized and your to-do list is manageable, you’ll have a clearer sense of your spending too.
Do you ever do projects for kids?
Yes, we frequently tackle playrooms, art rooms, kids’ closets, family rooms and garages overrun by kids toys. It’s a fun challenge. We always try to bring them into the process and almost gamify it. We play Tidy Nest with them and before we leave the house, they’re working in their rooms and mimicking our processes.
What benefits does that bring for both the kids and parents?
There are so many benefits.
When kids’ belongings are stored nicely and intentionally, they tend to appreciate and care for their belongings with more care. Kids of course have a hard time putting things back exactly where they’re supposed to be, so with the younger ones, we employ lots of labeled bins so at least they end up contained properly.
Kids also have a hard time parting with their toys, so the decluttering and editing process can be challenging - even if they haven’t played with the toys in years. But if we pose the exercise as ‘finding items that they’d like to give children in need,’ they tend to do a better job at letting go of their excess belongings.
All organizers talk about the importance of a system and there’s a reason. When there’s a system in place, there’s a defined expectation. So if there’s a bin for Legos, and there’s a pile of loose Legos on the floor, it’s easy for kids to help when you ask them to put away pieces.
Parents have enough things to worry about; having a cluttered and disorganized room should not be on the list. If a system is in place that anyone can maintain, specifically the kids in the house, the whole family wins.
Is organizing a skill kids should learn early? Why, what are the benefits there?
We like to include kids in any project that pertains to them. We feel like when they are involved they feel a sense of ownership and accomplishment and by the end of the project they are playing “tidy nest” or calling me “Ms. Tidy”. They show off their new rooms or garages to anyone who comes over. We even check up on them and they do in fact maintain their spaces long after we leave.
Minimalism is picking up popularity with lots of shows and documentaries out there on the subject. What are your thoughts?
When it comes to the minimalism movement, I think people get fixated on the number of items they own - like they can only own 30ish pieces in their wardrobe or they are not a minimalist but we have a different thought around minimalism.
We generally eschew the trends in favor of what we know works in the long term. We strongly encourage clients to only keep the items they use and to remove the excess. In doing so, we also encourage mindfulness about shopping and purchasing habits in the future. For us and our clients, that’s a more realistic and unattainable way to minimalism.
Finally, what’s the most common response your clients have once they see the finished product?
Pre-COVID there was a lot of hugging and crying. Now, we’re mostly hearing things like, “I can’t believe how much stuff I had” or “I think I can get rid of more” and “I had no idea I had so much space.”
And our very favorite… “When can we start the next project?!”