Are you ever overwhelmed looking at growing piles of clutter in your house? Does it stress you out? Meet Mallory Shows from Hello Happy Home. Based in North Texas, this mother of three got into the home organization business three years ago and before she realized it, her passion and part-time pursuit evolved into a full-time job with more than 60,000 followers on Instagram. She’s worked with top brands including Cricket, Chick-fil-A and Ball jars.
How did you get your start in the organization business?
“I’m really passionate about home organization because it brings me joy,” she says. “I can walk into a space that feels disordered in any kind of way and immediately, my mind starts ordering it. I’ve always been that way; I used to reorganize my dorm room or my friends’ college dorm rooms all the time. So, it was something I knew I was good at, didn’t know was a job, figured out it was, and it’s really taken off from there.”
Marie Kondo notices
“I had an Instagram page for a couple weeks and had to be poked and prodded by my husband to just go! I have no background in Instagram at all. My page grew organically from zero to 9,000 until February of 2020. Then Marie Kondo, star of Netflix’s “Tidying Up,” shared one of her photos on her feed, an image showing how Mallory organizes game board pieces based on an idea she’d seen years ago. Suddenly, in one day, Hello Happy Home gained 21,000 followers. “It was absolutely bonkers. And then organically, I’ve grown from 30,000 to 62,000 over the last year.”
Committed to a more organized life
While her Instagram page continues to grow, most of her work comes from organizing clients’ homes, garages and pantries, play rooms, etc. She has a team working for her as she customizes lasting organizational systems that tailored for people’s lives. “People who hire me are ready to jump in and make the commitment. Let’s make systems that are completely sustainable.” But she also tells people maintaining an organized space is work. “My house is organized and neat, but I have three children so it’s not only to be like this picture-perfect condition every single day of the week. It requires work from me, my husband and my three kids.”
How do you stay organized?
Mallory says the trick to staying organized is in creating workable systems where everything has a place. For instance, if she is working on a playroom and the kids own Barbies, the dolls all go in the same bin, toy cars go in another and Legos in another. “The goal is making it functional for that family,” she says, hence no two organization jobs are the same.
Back Stock Organization
For instance, at the top of a pantry, she says they almost always install a back stock bin to store extra inventory of shelf-stable foods and paper goods. “You come home from Costco and you empty your snacks into the snack bin at the bottom of the pantry where your kids can reach it. But if the 55 Gummies that you bought don’t fit in that teeny tiny bin, usually people will just overflow the container or they will just shove it in there.” Hello Happy Home keeps each space functional by giving every area a zone and a limit, she explains. So, if there are too many fruit snacks to fit into the one zone at the bottom of the pantry labeled fruit snacks, it goes into the back stock bin. Before you go shopping, refill from your back stock bin.
What’s the reveal reaction?
Often clients aren’t around when they finish a job so she might get a text saying, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe this!” But she says she loves to see in-person reactions. The best is the kids’ reaction. “Every single time, without fail, a kid will walk into either their bedroom, a playroom or the pantry. I’ve heard this exact quote from kids so many times. “They’ll look at their parents and say, ‘Can we keep it this way?’” “I used to be a kindergarten teacher and kids thrive on routine and order—and something about seeing that pantry space with everything functional, it makes them excited.”
Culprit: Too much stuff
Too many possessions is usually the ultimate reason fueling disorganized chaos, she says. “Everyone has too much stuff.” It’s a process of constantly re-evaluating what you have, and what you’re not using.”
For instance, she’ll approach a playroom project and parents will blame the size of the room for not being able to neatly accommodate all their kids’ toys. Mallory says she’ll tell them it’s not the size of the room, it’s the amount of toys that’s overwhelming them. “Let’s make it so they’re not overwhelmed in this room, and they enjoy being in this space.”
Garages: An Organizer’s greatest challenge: the drop zone
One of the most rewarding yet labor-intensive jobs she does is organizing garages. “Everyone’s garage is a mess,” she jokes. “First thing you do is to remove every single thing and I’m talking like every nail on the floor, every piece of trash that drops behind the car so this garage is empty before we start bringing things back in and so it’s a huge job.”
“I always tell people a garage is investment, but oh my gosh, it’s life changing because you can walk in your garage and you can see the floor you can park a car.”
So, do yourself a favor and get organized and stay organized. You’ll feel better.
Patty had to wade through clutter when she sorted through her parents’ belongings after her Mother passed away. When she learned so many friends had experienced the same thing, she was inspired to write Sorting Family Keepsakes: It’s OK to Part with Porcelain.