Simplify with Shannon



My Story

Where it all began…


When I was growing up, I was always organized, I always focused on perfecting the system, the alignment, the moves, and finding the perfect place for everything. Getting the school shopping list was the most exciting day of the year–I could color coordinate by class, make lists, buy matching items, and organize everything for the year. As a teen, I joked that I would be a professional organizer when I grew up. At the time, I had no idea that it was a “real” job. In fact, I had no idea that people did this for a living until I was 26. I went off to school–undergrad and grad school–not really having a clear idea of what to do next, but enjoyed learning learning and wanted to keep learning. When I was 25, I googled “professional organizer” and realized people do this for a living and make a successful career out of it. There were websites, books, and even an organization of organizing professionals!

Letting go…

The things we keep, the “stuff," is just that - it’s stuff. We hold an incredible level of attachment to our things and our space. This attachment isn’t always a bad thing, we are human, we have emotions, memories, and the “stuff” might hold some of this. This attachment can also be dangerous - its emotional, it can hurt when we lose it. In 2012, I was living in Phoenix, AZ, spending the year volunteering after I graduated from college. One day, I went home for lunch and there were people in the house - I scared them off and they left. I thought it was over, but they came back the next day and took anything they could. They took the “stuff” that we hold on to and are attached to. Shortly after this happened, I moved back home and found all my “stuff” from growing up. It felt heavy.

I wanted to control when things leave me and decide what stays and what goes on my own terms. I didn’t want someone else to make those decisions for me. I started to remove anything and everything that didn’t serve me, that I didn’t have a connection to and didn’t want to get attached to. The first round of clearing out ended in ten garbage bags of donations. Even today, I am consistently clearing the excess. Things serve me for a period of time, and then they don’t. Why hold onto something that I don’t need any longer, or even worse, may be causing stress or irritation. Letting go of the physical clutter can feel like a weight is lifted, both physically and emotionally. The things we hold onto are just things, the memories we have or the people that gave them to them to us don’t go away.

When I realized that organizing could be a real and viable career option, I did what any organized person would do-I researched everything about the industry, read the books, picked a business name, wrote a business plan, set goals, and got started. I dove into education and learning everything I could about the profession. The amazing part-so much of what I was listening to, I already knew and lived by.

Memberships & Certifications

  • Professional Member, National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO)

    • NAPO Specialist, Workplace Productivity

    • NAPO Specialist, Residential Organizing

    • NAPO Specialist, Life Transitions

  • Chapter Member, NAPO New York Chapter & NAPO Virtual Chapter

  • Committee Member, NAPO National Education Committee

  • SIG Member, Holistic Organizers Special Interest Group (SIG)

  • Subscriber, Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD)

    • Level 1 Certificate in Basic Chronic Disorganization

    • Level 1 Certificate in Life Transitions

  • Student, Coach Approach Foundations Training

  • Yoga Teacher, Certified ERYT-200

  • Wellness Advocate, doTERRA essential oils