Irish declutterers talk knicker drawers and bad habits

Personal organisers Mary Shannon and Frances Murphy spoke with Dr Ciara Kelly

Irish declutterers talk knicker drawers and bad habits

Mary Shannon (left) and Frances Murphy (right) | Image: Jack Quann

Clutter, clearouts and mental health - Irish people are buying more and throwing out less.

Personal organisers Mary Shannon and Frances Murphy run Cork-based Mnf Decluttering.

The pair spoke to Dr Ciara Kelly on Alive and Kicking about bad Irish habits - and how to break them.

"There are so many people out there - some of them recognise that they need help, more don't", Mary says.

"They become so used to it, that they've just turned a blind eye.

"It's the people who are ready who are calling us: when they're ready they call - until then, they just live with it".

Frances says: "It's really about honouring people and honouring their space.

"And when you're inside in somebody's knicker drawer, you get fairly close to them".

"We are taking every single thing out of every cupboard and re-organising the whole house so that it's flowing".

"The idea is that you can look into your cupboards and you can see exactly what's in there - and it's like looking in your brain".


The cause of this excess clutter?

Mary says it is our consumer society approach: "If people are constantly buying, buying, buying... so you can go in and you can buy whatever you want and it's a couple of euro and 'Sure if its lost, I'll buy another one'."

"It should be one thing in, one thing out", Frances adds.

How are people living afterwards?

Frances says: "Our whole emphasis and our whole raison d'être, as you would say, would be for them to continue.

"And while we're with them we're not just working physically, we're actually giving them advice if they're ready for it.

"Some people just want it over and done with and that's it... 90% of the people we go to want more than that.

"Our whole emphasis is if it's somebody who never learned how to tidy a house: if their mother never taught them how to do it - or if they're one of 10 in a family they never picked it up because they were always out.

"There are different sort of dynamics in every family, and in every one of us and different conditioning."


What type of situations have they faced?

Frances told Dr Kelly: "We took 40 bags of clothes out of a very small house in Cork one time.

"This girl because she was a shopper and because she had to have her wardrobe for work - and suddenly she had three kids and the husband didn't even have wardrobe space.

"There are reasons because when you're stressed you're not balanced, so it's very difficult to function properly all the time - and it's only human".

Mary says their approach will see people adopt a new mindset: "When we've everything cleared out - and they have to be with us when we're doing that - so they now know where everything is, and everything that they have they now need - the excess stuff is gone".

Frances adds: "We're coming in with fresh eyes, we're objective we're not subjective - we're not attached to your stuff".

More information can be found here