This week I had the fab opportunity of talking to one of my old time buddies from instagram, Sarah Shanahan from Sarah's House. Not only do I love Sarah's style, I'm a bit bias as I am also a born and breed Adelaide girl and proud of it. I also happen to be an organised neat freak so I love and respect Sarah's commitment to an organised life.
Since meeting Sarah via the monthly 7 Vignettes challenges a few years ago, I have watched her portfolio of work blossom and her career take off. Not only is she a fabulous Interior Stylist and Professional Organiser she has now branched out in Food Styling.
Her company "Sarah's House" has also introduced Adelaide Shopping Tours which have proven to be a huge success and a testament to Sarah's highly sort after advice and style influence within the industry. Read on to see what it is like in the life of a professional organiser and stylist..
Tell us more about you, your background and your family..
I am one of seven, we grew up in a tiny country town called Warooka, South Australia. I am married to Matthew, a country boy aswell and we have four children, twin girls, 20, and two boys, 17 and 15. Happily living in Adelaide but enjoy our visits to both farms as an escape!
Have you always been an organised person or is this something that has evolved as you have matured?
Well it was hard being organised sharing a room with four sisters, all with very different personalities! Whenever my kids ask for their own room I remind them of what I had to endure!
I craved my own personal space and sort of got this at boarding school with my own tiny little cupboard! But my real love of organising came when I started having children of my own, four under five years and quickly realised that order was needed to stay sane and calm!
Please explain a little more about how 'Sarahs House' came to be and what services you offer?
After helping friends and family organise their homes and then seeing an episode of 'Oprah' with her Professional Organiser Peter Walsh on one day, I realised that there was such a thing as Professional Organising, I had my Oprah 'ah ha' moment! I immediately did all the research I could, discovered AAPO, Australian Association of professional organisers, signed up and attended their next conference.
I offer de cluttering, organising and styling services.
What challenges did you face in the early days of growing the business 'Sarahs House' and how did you overcome these?
I was really unaware of how powerful social media is in growing your business and really didn't use it at the start. My business just grew through word of mouth and a couple of lucky press releases which I'm very thankful for.
What have been the highlights so far?
Finding Instagram! Such a positive way to share and grow your business. Connecting with other like minded people, all encouraging each other which is just wonderful.
Through Instagram I have found a real love of styling shots, flatlays, and have in particular found a real love of food styling which has lead me to some great work opportunities and expanding my business in areas that I wasn't prepared for but am absolutely loving!
I am really proud of just giving it go, getting out of my comfort zone and seeing where it all may lead, and the connections and friendships I have made along the way.
Where do you see Sarahs House in two years?
Hopefully just bigger, better and a bit more polished!
I have recently starting another side to my business in running organised shopping tours around Adelaide, showcasing all the wonderful stores Adelaide has to offer. I would love to develop these further and take them to the Barossa etc, too much fun!
So what's a normal day for you like when helping a client declutter and organise their home and life?
An early start with a car load of organising materials ready to utilise their spaces more. My car is usually jam packed full on the first day of a new client, full of containers,boxes and of course my trusty labeller!! I don't like stopping once we start and I'm absolutely exhausted, but so satisfied at the end of the day with the change we have made!
You obviously have a talent for interior styling as well, how would you describe your personal interior style at home?
My home is a calm, modern Australian interior with a definate nod to all things Scandinavian. I love neutrals in my home, with the six of us, neutrals and simplicity calms me, and hopefully everyone else!
If you weren't styling and organising, what else would you love to do and why?
It would have to be something that involves organisation so maybe a librarian! I would have loved to have studied architecture and I'm also always dreaming of owning my own organising type store...basket heaven!
Please share with us your top 3 'must do things' to organise our homes? Where are your go to places to buy storage solutions?
1.Zone your home into definite areas to reduce clutter. Be very strict as to what you allow into these zones, once lines are blurred, clutter creeps in! ( eg; kitchen bench is in the kitchen for a reason, not in the study! Bills, notices etc don't belong there!)
2. Invest in good baskets.
3. Do a 5 minute tidy up at the end of every day to start the day fresh.
My favourite places to buy storage solutions are currently Kmart, amazing products!! Ikea for all the trusty basic pieces.
Name two of your favourite places to travel to in the world and one that is on your wish list,
NEW YORK.... I dream of living there in a beautiful, industrial, minimal, stylish apartment. It's such an amazing, friendly city with so many wonderful things to offer. Take me back!
New Zealand.... So incredibly beautiful, I also dream of a little cottage, minimal and gorgeous, Grand Designs style with a Scandinavian feel overlooking Lake Tekapo.
I absolutely must visit Finland, the home or Marimekko and take it all in, then finish the trip with the spectacular Northern Lights.
Thank you so much Sarah for allowing us a sneak peak into your fabulous life.
You are an inspiration to me and many others out there and I can't wait to see what Sarah's House has installed for us next!
If you want to declutter and organised your life better contact Sarah here at Sarahs House and follow her journey sarahshanahan_lifestyle on Instagram and you can also check out her facebook page here.