Jessie Radford believes that decluttering home and work spaces reduces stress, improves wellbeing and enables people to take control of their lives.
Through her business, Fixit Chix , Jessie helps people to get organised, whether they are moving home, don’t have time to do it themselves or are simply feeling overwhelmed by having too much stuff.
I saw Jessie in action recently and was impressed with the way she transformed a home into something much more spacious and liveable. Curious about what it takes to be a professional organiser I caught up with her for a chat to learn more about the art of decluttering.
So, Jessie, what exactly does a professional organiser do and how did you become one?
As a professional organiser, I use my expertise to simplify and streamline my clients’ possessions to enable a happier and more efficient home and work environment. I have a 3D mindset, so once I have background information on what a space needs to be used for, I can get a clear visual of how to make that happen.
I have always loved organising things. As a kid I was forever changing my bedroom around, moving furniture to optimise my space so I had more room to play. Then a few years ago, I was asked by a friend to organise her garage which was crammed full of boxes. I had a crack and absolutely nailed it. I thought I would try to do this for a living because I love it and I’m really good at it.
What brought you to Singleton and how are you finding it here?
I am from Tahmoor originally and moved to Singleton about six months ago to be with my partner and stepson. I am loving living here. My ‘go to’ place is Cervo’z Café. They have the best dairy-free carrot cake and coffee in town.
People in Singleton seem happy and are always up for a chat. I didn’t have any expectations about moving my business here so have been pleasantly surprised by the number of enquiries I am getting.
What are some of the benefits people can expect from decluttering their homes?
There are definite mental health benefits. Home is a happy space. It’s the area that people want to be the tidiest and most relaxed. If you have a stressful life and workplace and you come home to a disorganised house it creates more stress.
Sometimes just looking at a clear minimalist space will clear your mind. An organised space also gives you more free time because you are not constantly looking for things.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Happy customers! I love helping people, giving them the ability to be able to go into a space that was a nightmare and is now organised, tidy and stress-free. Seeing people’s reactions is the best reward of all.
When I was growing up my dad called me the fixit chick because he taught me how to use tools and how to fix things around the house. Now I fix up spaces. From having a vision to making it happen to see the end result, there is absolute satisfaction in transforming a space.
When we met, you were helping my clients to downsize ahead of selling their house, can you tell me a bit about their story?
Moving house can be quite overwhelming. The lovely couple you mention were moving into a retirement village. They had a lot of stuff in their house that they had collected over the years, much of it with sentimental value. So far, we have taken two truckloads to the tip and donated many items to the local community centre and to Vinnies. Most of the books have gone to the free book library at Singleton Mall. I was quite surprised at how big the house is now that we have cleared out so much. They are really happy with the results.
What other reasons do people request your services for?
Sometimes elderly couples need help to make extra space for walkers or wheelchairs so they can move around without hurting themselves. Also, people who have children with allergies need to declutter so they can clean areas freely and easily.
I have also worked on several home offices. You save time when not sifting through piles of paperwork, so the more organised your office the more time you will have to work.
What are some of the difficulties faced by people when it comes to decluttering?
Some people simply don’t have time to declutter and are very happy for me to take over and do it for them. Others find it difficult for sentimental reasons, especially when they have an attachment to something that has been passed down through family members and holds memories. Letting go of stuff can be hard – even if it’s not being used. It can be emotional, so I try to keep an air of calm.
Is there an increase in demand for professional organisers?
Yes, a lot of people have busy lives and don’t have the time or energy to organise their space and keep it tidy. I find that I am getting a lot of enquiries now, people are seeing what I do and having an “Aha” moment – that’s a great idea, I need a little help with decluttering my garage.
Some people are very capable and mentally prepared to declutter, they just need advice and a system. As well as physically helping people to clear their space I also do consultation sessions, including zoom meetings for those who live further away. I studied Auslan too, so I can consult in sign language.
What has been your most memorable moment as a professional organiser?
My first paying job was the most memorable. It was a couple who had just moved house, and the garage and shed had become the dumping ground for all the things that would get sorted later. It was a big project and took three days in total. The transformation was amazing. From a space, you couldn’t even walk into, to a completely organised floor space. They were absolutely stoked with the end result.
So, what would be your ultimate tip for someone wanting to declutter their home?
Take baby steps. Start with a small drawer. Once you see that you can achieve that goal, you can tackle larger areas. The main point is just to get started. Forget about feeling overwhelmed about how to start and where to start. Just start! Or call me.
Thanks for the chat Jessie, it’s been really interesting to learn more about the benefits of decluttering. Good luck with your business and enjoy life in Singleton – we are delighted to have you here.