Thursday December 12, 2018 By: May Allam
Working for seven years for international organizations as a project management assistant and office manager gave Sherine Ezzeldine enough experience to set up, organize and maintain office space. The mother of three applied and adapted this knowledge to manage her home and run her family, efficiently, like a business; with all the work, rules and job description for family members.
Her office experience also became a major asset when she quit her job to start a home-based consultancy business for small projects. Ezzeldine then took her business to a new level. She combined her professional and family experiences and launched The Home Management Program (THMP) to help women manage their homes efficiently and economically. THMP guides women to overcome the daily problems resulting from disorganization and poor management. The program which is explained on its website, also includes various workshops on professional organizing, time management and home economics.
An entrepreneur, professional organizer and life coach, Ezzeldine is the first to introduce professional organizing through life coaching in Egypt. As a pioneer in this field, her main goal is to help women become successful Home Managers, a title she awards every woman. Ezzeldine also believes that organizing is the base to success. It is not just an act, it’s a lifestyle. She wishes to organize the world … one home at a time.
WOE: When did you first realize that you want to pursue a career in organizing homes? Was it a hobby?
SE: I realized that after I quit my job and stayed at home, and had to face housekeeping and ‘run-a-family’ problems that everyone else faced, as well, without a manual to guide us. So, I started to put the outlines to manage the home as a business, since business management is my background, and thought why not help others as well?
I wouldn’t call it a hobby, but rather a way of life. Organizing should be a lifestyle, applied daily and practiced by everyone.
WOE: Does minimalism coincide with home organization? Would you think they complement each other?
SE: Not at all. Minimalist or not everything has to be organized. You could be a fashion diva with a huge dressing room or a cooking freak with a kitchen full of everything, and still be well organized. Minimalism is still a bit difficult to be discussed in our culture.
WOE: Can you tell us your most difficult experience with organizing space?
SE: Generally, when organizing for someone, the problem usually is that he/she does not want to get rid of anything! I recall when I was helping my father to organize his tools room; A tiny walking closet rather than a room with millions of small different pieces, as well as bulky stuff and equipment. And he wanted to keep them all! At the end, we reached a compromise, and we gathered everything according to type in jars, boxes or trays.
WOE: Is your field of work widespread or still limited in Egypt, taking into account that most elderly people in Egypt hate discarding old items? Have you found it challenging to convince people to discard their old unused belongings?
SE: It is very challenging. But younger people are more open minded and many of them are willing to feel the luxury of free cluttered life. Still the field of work itself is limited, but growing in terms that more people are seeking the assistance of experts.
WOE: Would you prefer organizing space in homes or offices? Which is easier in your opinion?
SE: I love organizing! So, either of them will be an exciting game to play. Nevertheless, office space is easier to organize as no one will object if you put this here or there, or throw this pile away.
WOE: What do you think could be done in Egypt to further spread word about your line of work, and convince a wider platform of people that organizing is necessary?
SE: The feedback I get from my clients is extraordinary. It’s what keeps me working. When people organize their lives, they experience a life of simplicity. Organization creates a relaxed environment which helps them to enjoy their time fully. When people are relaxed and happy, they talk about it and it encourages others to try and feel the same. Raising awareness through media and visual impacts, I believe, is a good way to convince people.
WOE: What are your dreams and aspirations for the future, focusing on your profession?
SE: I wish to organize the world … one home at a time.
WOE: What advice can you give to young couples starting their new marriage life in a new home?
SE: Oh! That’s a whole different workshop! There are many things to be considered even before they start buying their furniture and build up their homes. For starts, it may help to read about household budget, setting up spaces and to consider building a storage space in their homes, to mention a few.
WOE: What advice could you offer elderly retired couples on how to organize their homes?
SE: I once had a 50 years old lady in a workshop, she came precisely to learn how to deal with her books and magazines, which she had many and wanted to keep a lot of them. However, retirement is the time to enjoy life more. I advise couples to re-structure their living space, especially if the kids had moved out, and make it more convenient to the things they like to do. Perhaps free up a place for reading, crafting or knitting with a sound system to enjoy their favorite music.
WOE: Who is more engaged in organizing homes in your opinion, male or females? And Why?
SE: Sometimes men are more organized than women and that could be a problem! But normally the woman (Home Manager as I call her) is the one who constantly puts everything back in its place and asks everyone to do the same, because she is responsible for managing the house and maintaining its order.
WOE: What are the best organizing tips and advice you can share with our readers?
SE: My Top 10 Tips to Get Organized:
- Plan ahead! Spending time planning and scheduling for the up-coming week actually saves you time during the week.
- Get rid of everything that you no longer use or need right away. This will save you space and prevent cluttering.
- Smart Shop: Make a list of your needs before you go shopping and stickto your list! Avoid impulse purchases.
- Don’t buy it if you do not need it, otherwise it will end up cluttering up your house.
- Assign a place for everything.
- Make a habit of putting things back where they belong right after you use them.
- Don’t try to do it all at once. Do quick bursts of organizing throughout the day.
- Create routines.
- Use shelves, drawers, baskets and boxes to keep all small things hidden.
- Do not aim for perfection!
I also advise young people who have just started their careers to consider putting a plan for their next five years, in terms of many things. The plan should also include saving money, not for anything specific, just save money.
Sherine Ezzeldine is a Professional Organizer, Life Coach and Founder of The Home Management Program.She has a Business Administrations degree from Cairo University and a mini diploma in the same field from the AUC.
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