A few years ago, like everyone else, I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and then more recently I have taken a look at Marie Kondo on Netflix in her new series, Tidying Up. Now I am a pretty tidy and organised person, I try not to accumulate too much clutter, my lovely cleaner comes every week and I am at home quite a lot .... but I still felt I needed a good declutter! I kept saying I was going to do it myself but I never quite got around to it. Or I'd start and get distracted. Sound familiar? Then I met Jo Hall and she arrived like a real live tiding up fairy and has been absolutely fantastic!
We started off with my son's bedroom - yes I know he is 21 and yes I know he should do it himself - but I was getting desperate and I wanted to decorate so I asked his permission and while he was away on holiday Jo arrived and we set about finally decluttering about 15 years of 'stuff'. I was hooked so I booked Jo again to help me with the utility room and kitchen. Then again to do the office!
Jo is so lovely! So I asked her if she would share her story and details of her decluttering services on my blog ....
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
With my 48th birthday fast approaching, I was determined to achieve my goal of setting up my very own business before I was 50! My degree was in sales and marketing and I worked in the pharmaceutical industry until I left my job to get married and move to Paris. That was in 2000 from then on my career took a back seat, as my husband’s job took us from Paris to Vorarlberg in Austria and back to the UK. During those years I worked part time training competition horses, delivering business English training at a language school in Paris and working for a direct selling company.
And tell us a little bit about your business venture and what inspired you?
My business is called Less Is More, it’s a decluttering and organising service. I help people to move from chaos to calm in their living environment. I like to think of it as “coaching people to be clutter free” as I see it very much as an on going process rather than a one off. It’s a change in mind set really, encouraging them to think about giving room space only to the things they love; at the same time helping them to consider how best to repurpose, rehome or recycle the things that they no longer want to keep and hopefully changing their buying habits for the future, as they think twice about bringing something into their home that they’re going to have to give precious space to. I think my first inspiration came from building our own house in Austria. It was really an opportunity to consider exactly how we wanted to live and design our living space and what went in it to truly reflect that.
What does an average day look like for you?
One of the things I love about my job is that every day is different and I’m always meeting and working with new people. On a “decluttering day” I aim to get to my client’s house at 9.30 am, this allows me time to drop my daughter to school and catch up with admin at home before heading out between 8.30 and 9.oo am. A decluttering and organising session runs between 10 am and 2.00 pm so when I get to my client’s house, we have time for a coffee and to chat about what we want to achieve that day, followed by an intense four hour session working together. Finishing with my clients at 2.00 pm allows time for me to fit any necessary chores into my day, catch up with paperwork and social media and also be available to take my daughter to after school activities. It’s also important for me to have time for meal preparation as I do try to cook from scratch as much as possible and we sit down to eat as a family around 7.00 pm each evening.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I think looking back the biggest challenge was believing that I was genuinely good at what I was doing and that I could set up my own business. Believing that I had all the necessary skills and experience to create my own brand, my own website and that it was OK to try and not necessary to get everything right instantly.
What advice would you pass on to someone wishing to change career in midlife?
Allow yourself plenty of time to really think about what you would like to do in the next chapter of your life, don’t rush into something unless your heart is telling you that it is absolutely right for you. I think I spent three years knowing that I wanted to set up my own business but without coming to the realisation of what exactly that business would look like. When you do decide, tell everyone who will listen about it and surround yourself with the people that support you and your idea.
Do you have a signature style, an everyday look that you love?
I think I’ve developed a bit of a set style for my working day and it usually revolves around jeans, long sleeved tops and a pair of silver sparkly lace up pumps. My silver pumps seem to attract positive comments whenever I wear them, so I’ve kind of adopted them as part of my brand image. My work wear is practical for what I do with the pumps adding a bit of fun.
How do you balance your business with family life?
That is one of the biggest advantages of running my own business. I work the days and hours that suit me and I’m able to plan around family commitments. I’ve recently started learning to figure skate, so I try to plan my working hours around that as well.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
I think it has to be being able to say that I have always truly embraced all opportunities thrown my way in life, without hesitation.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
That’s a difficult question because as someone who truly embraces all opportunities, I could be anywhere!
How can we get in touch with you and find out more about your services?
Please have a look at my website www.lessismore.online and if you like what you see and think you (or someone you know) might benefit from my services; or you have an idea for how we could collaborate, please send me a message or give me a call.
Above: Before and After
Thank you so much Jo, I can honestly say that having Jo help me has been so much more productive than trying to do it myself. And it isn't as expensive as you might think so if you want a little bit of a nudge and someone to get you a bit more organised then do get in touch with Jo for a quote.
And Jo is offering readers of my blog an introductory discount of 20% off their first four hour session if you book it by Friday 22nd March 2019. Just get in touch with Jo via her website here and mention Fifty & Fab!
If you liked this blog post, you might like to take a peek inside my cottage in the woods, take a look at this previous blog post here.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post and I receive no commission or gifts for sharing this interview on my blog.
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Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog celebrating women. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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