55: Organiser & Lifestyle Expert Shira Gill Reveals The Link Between Minimalism and Money

Why do we need to organise our homes and declutter?

What does minimalism have to do with money?

Organiser, lifestyle expert & author Shira Gill reveals the link between minimalism and money and how our life can be better with less.

You can listen to the episode above or read the unedited transcript below.


Meaghan Smith  00:20
Hello beautiful people and welcome to another episode of the money mindful Podcast. I am your host Meaghan Jean Smith. I am a money mindset and life coach for women. This month in Book Club, we are reading the year of list by Cait Flanders and I have been focusing on the podcast all things decluttering and organising if you haven't quite caught on to that already three episodes into November. So today, I'm super excited to have organised that lifestyle expert and author Shira Gill joining us. Whoo Shira welcome.

Shira Gill  01:05
Yay. Thank you so much for having me.

Meaghan Smith  01:08
I've been a longtime admirer. And I'm thrilled to have you with us here. I think this is a perfect fit for this month in Book Club because it balances at all at all the mindset work the decluttering minimalism, and in my mind, Shira, I feel like you're, you're the queen of organisation. So I think you're the perfect person to have with us this month.

Shira Gill  01:38
Oh, well, thanks so much.

Meaghan Smith  01:40
But those who haven't heard of you, because I know in some circles, you're huge. And but maybe some of my listeners in Australia, I don't know, who is Shira Gill? Can you tell us a little bit about what you do Shira?

Shira Gill  01:55
Yeah. So I am basically a hybrid of I am a declutter and organiser, life coach and an author. But really, my work revolves around helping people clear clutter from their lives. So both physical and mental clutter. So I spent 10 years of my career the past 10 years in people's homes, hundreds of homes all over the place, and editing and organising and styling, basically every square inch of people's homes alongside them. And then I really developed my own kind of toolkit that I now teach in online courses. And my first book is coming out next year with Penguin Random House. So I'm thrilled about that.

Meaghan Smith  02:44
Amazing. Is that going to be released in Australia?

Shira Gill  02:47
I certainly hope so. Yeah. Penguin Random houses does huge international distribution. So I have been told it will be everywhere that books are sold. So fingers crossed.

Meaghan Smith  02:58
Okay, I definitely want to check that out. And for those who haven't seen Shira on social media, get onto her Instagram, because it is so beautiful, and so inspiring. And in fact, you're I was chatting to a girlfriend last night in Sweden of all places. And she did your closet makeover a couple of years ago. And I mentioned that I was interviewing you today. And she was like, oh, we'll say hi to Shira from Sweden. But he was so into like, she got so much out of the closet makeover. She didn't stop and she just did her whole house.

Shira Gill  03:38
I'm so thrilled to hear that. Well, hello, lovely lady in Sweden.

Meaghan Smith  03:43
It's Anna.

Shira Gill  03:44
Hi, Anna.

Shira Gill  03:46
So fun. Yeah, that's one of the most thrilling things for me is to connect with people on every continent and see that this work really is universal. It's not just an American thing. Um, you know, I'm obviously from the United States. I'm born and raised in San Francisco, but I have lived all over the world and kind of absorbed different things in my travels. And so it's just been so interesting to connect with people from different backgrounds in different countries and see, this clutter problem is a universal problem. I used to think it was just an American phenomenon. But it does seem to be an issue elsewhere.

Meaghan Smith  04:26
Yeah, and you have a knack of really simplifying it because when of course we've been emailing each other and I saw that you had the little freebie and I was like I'm gonna check that out because it's a five minute What do you call it a five minute

Shira Gill  04:41
five minute makeover challenge for five days?

Meaghan Smith  04:44
Yeah, I did that and I was really surprised at this is really simple and it sounds like it's going to be not that effective. When I mean for me when I hear are five minutes, really and. But then it was it was like, Oh, I can just do these little things for five minutes. Yeah. And, and something is organised and tidied.

Shira Gill  05:11
Totally. And I that's what I found. That's one of the biggest pieces of feedback I get in my work is that things seem so overwhelming. But when you actually just sit down and do them, often, they're quick, they're easy, they're painless, they're efficient. Even yesterday, like I noticed this light fixture in our home that was covered in dust and grease, and even dead bugs inside. And I had been sort of staring at this thing, literally for months and not doing anything about it because it felt really daunting. And I finally just said to my husband, like, we're doing this, we're knocking it out. And it literally took less than two minutes to unscrew this light fixture, give it a quick soapy rinse in the sink, dry it off and put it back up. And I thought how many things do we not do because we think it's so daunting and overwhelming, that actually take two minutes or five minutes or 15 minutes. So that really informs a lot of my work is just helping people to get out of that place of overwhelm and paralysis and into action. And I think once you start and get over the hump, it's really extraordinary. What can happen, what can kind of be unlocked and the momentum that follows?

Meaghan Smith  06:24
Well you have on Instagram, which I've seen the hashtag 15 minute when? What's that? Is that from one of your programmes? Or is that just something that you can you explain what that is?

Shira Gill  06:36
Yeah, yeah. So um, I, I came up with this very simple concept that I call the 15 minute when, when I actually had to write a keynote. And I was so overwhelmed. It was my first keynote speech, it was going to be for hundreds of people. And, you know, everyone's worst fear is public speaking. And so it was just totally daunting. And I found myself just having so much mental drama about sitting down and writing this keynote, I just day after day, it was like, I'll do it later. I'll do it later. And so finally, I don't know this little voice in my head, just said, Shira, sit down for 15 minutes, just do 15 minutes. That's it, and then you're off the hook. And so I committed mentally, alright, I can do 15 minutes, and I sat down. And I started writing and doing a little outline. And the next thing I knew, I was like off to the races running this keynote couldn't stop an hour's past. And so I sort of had this epiphany in that moment, like, oh, if you can trick your brain into just committing to action for 15 minutes, it really helps get over the hump and start making progress. And that's the hardest obstacle to overcome. So, um, I put it out as a little challenge on Instagram, and just said, What thing Have you been dreading? And will you commit 15 minutes and just see what happens. And what happens was really extraordinary as I started getting these 15 minute win submissions from every corner of the globe, things like, you know, knocking out awful things on the to do list, cleaning out the refrigerator, cleaning out the car, organising a closet, calling your mother in law, everything that you can think of. And people said, this sounds so simple, but it's extraordinary what can happen if you just say, I'm just gonna sit down and focus for 15 minutes. So that's really the only rule of it is the 15 minute win is you pick one thing to focus on and minimise all distractions and just head down and go and see what you can do. And then, at the end of the 15 minutes, you're welcome to stop. Most people find at that point, they're kind of on fire, and they want to keep going.

Shira Gill  06:36
Yeah, I love that I actually sorted out a couple of drawers in my bedroom this weekend. And I did exactly that I felt what would Shira do she just do one draw, so I just got started with one draws. And I ended up getting half the set of draws done. So I've got two more draws done. But it felt so good. And it didn't take long at all. And I did it in between wrangling the kids and all the things that you do on the weekend. But I did have a little bit of time. And I was like, You know what, I could just do one draw. And it won't be that hard.

Shira Gill  09:31
So Exactly. And I think it's a myth that we're going to suddenly have time to just sit for hours and hours and hours to work on something, especially if it's a dreaded task. So I think even chipping away 15 minutes a day at a larger project. The way I think about it is a large project is just the sum of a lot of tiny micro projects. So if you can just commit to one tiny micro project and then just keep you know, trotting along doing it, you're then I have major results.

Meaghan Smith  10:02
Yeah. And I think that's the key. It's Yes, it simplify. Do a little bit and just get started. I really love that. But do you think there are people who are naturally more organised than others? Like, is we born with it? Or? I'm curious what your thoughts are about this?

Shira Gill  10:22
Yeah, I love that question. So I certainly think there are people that are born with the knack for order that it's easy and intuitive. And certainly it was for me. But I also think that came in my life from having great chaos as a child, being a child of divorce, I went back and forth with a joint custody schedule where I was back and forth every other day, between two different homes, and things felt quite chaotic growing up. And so I think that made me laser focused on controlling the things that I could control as an eight year old. So it was not out of nowhere, right, it was kind of a coping mechanism. But I also think it was always kind of easy and intuitive. I could look at a room and sense how things could go together be grouped together be categorised intuitively. And you know, when I speak with my colleagues and other professional organisers, they always have kind of a similar story of like, I was arranging my room as a little child, and I always was making lists. And so I think, yes, there are people that are predisposed to have a knack for organisation. But I think anybody can learn at any age. And I've seen this in my work to become an organised person to think like an organised person. And I happen to think organisation is quite simple. And that the biggest mistake is over complicating it. And so it's really like, the way I teach organisation is the same way I teach it to my kids, who are now nine and 11. But I taught them principles of organisation really starting at one or two. And so I think if they can learn it, anybody can learn it.

Meaghan Smith  12:10
Oh, my gosh, tell me everything I have. I have two girls as well, three and five. Actually, they just about to turn four and six next month. And that's the one hurdle that I find that they have so many little random twigs and bits of. Yes, like string. I know.

Meaghan Smith  12:35
Yeah. And I just think, no, we don't need that bit of rubber or random, tiny plastic toy, but they're so attached to it. And it's something that's important to them. And yeah, I'm really curious as to how you manage that. The the chat?

Shira Gill  12:57
Well, I think, you know, obviously, it's a longer answer. But I think one brief answer is that kids actually love and understand clear limits. And so I think it is important for kids to have choice and agency over the things they love and the things they own within a constraint. So, you know, I also was a preschool teacher for a year or two in a previous life. And so I have that kind of model of always setting up clear boundaries and limits in a really respectful way that kids understand. And so like with my own kids, when they were in the kind of treasure hunting phase of like bringing home, the twigs and the rocks in the random bits and bobs, I gave each of them you know, we called it a treasure box. And it really was simply just a bin and open bin. And that was the limit. So it was like this is your treasure box, anything you put in it is sacrosanct, I'm not going to touch it, it is your domain. But once it gets full, if you want anything new to come into your treasure chest, something's got to go. And so I think it's really like simple math and kids, get that, you know, it's easy and intuitive to understand. This box is your limit and you get to decide within the constraints of that limit. It's you get to pick if you want to fill it all with rocks be my guest. But then if you want suddenly a new twig to go on top and we're at capacity, a rocks gotta go. So um, that's basically in a nutshell, you know what I've done with my kids, whether it's clothes or games or toys, or just those little treasures, there's always some sort of clear boundary. And then within that I give them freedom and choice.

Meaghan Smith  14:47
Okay, that makes sense, actually. Yeah, I can see how that would work because that's been a bit of a the unknown the missing frontier for me where I've just been like how, how does this work with Yeah, yeah, it's actually not as hard as it seems, when it's when

Shira Gill  15:03
it doesn't have to be. I mean, I think the key is that parents sometimes are, are reticent to set those limits. And you have to really believe in the limit and believe that it's good for the child. Because kids can really sense when someone's ambivalent. And so, I think the key and I've seen this a lot with my clients is having a clear, consistent voice, like, if you have a partner or a spouse getting them on board, what are the limits and our family? What are we teaching our kids, um, and you know, I have a fairly minimalist home. But I also love and appreciate stuff, as do my kids. And so, you know, we have holiday lists and birthday lists, and when they see things that they want, instead of, I want this, now I get this now, it's like, I want this now. And I say, Great, let's write it down on your birthday or holiday list. And then I'll have that information when it's time to buy you a gift. And so it's also kind of listening to them, and respecting that they have a need, and they want a thing. But you get to set those parameters for if they get it and when they get it. So that's really how I operate is just within these kind of clear boundaries and rules. And then also, you know, before the birthday party or the holiday party, we do a big edit. And so we always kind of preface that with our kids of like, okay, the grandparents want to buy you all the things and new fun stuff is coming. And we need to make space for that to come into our home. So what now do you think is babyish or you just don't play with or you're done with or it's not in good shape. And I'll give them a donation bag and kind of let them go to work. And, again, they get to make those choices. And, of course, I always find it's the beautiful wooden toys that they want to get rid of, and the horrific, you know, poorly made plastic things that they want to claim to. So that can be a tough pill to swallow. But at the same time, I'm like, I'm going to give you the boundary, but you're in the driver's seat. So you get to pick what fills, you know, your toy box or closet, or whatever the case may be.

Meaghan Smith  17:22
Oh, well, that leads into a question I want to ask you about, because it sounds counterintuitive. But there's the this scarcity, mindset, abundant mindset. And we talk about how well I've talked about before where the more I've let go of the more abundant I feel. But it sort of sounds like it doesn't make sense, right? Because it's like how you more abundant with less stuff, but the way that you're describing it, just then it's like, well, more stuff is coming into the house. So let's let go of this other stuff. But I'd love to know your thoughts about this. connection between less is more about like less things is more abundant. Let's talk

Shira Gill  18:08
Yeah, so I feel like you know, honestly, I can say that the less stuff I have, the more abundant I feel. And the more rich my life is. And I say that as a person who loves good design, loves good clothes, I do invest. I buy things all the time. So I don't have this really like strict. You know, I'm like, I don't believe in scarcity or deprivation in terms of minimalism. Like, for me, my definition of minimalism is having the perfect amount for you to elevate your life and lifestyle and goals and values. And so what I have seen in my process, you know, the first step is always to clarify, what do you deeply care about? And what do you want to create in your life. And so I can give, you know, one example I've given before is I love and value travel. I'm missing it terribly at the moment. But you know, historically, that has been a huge driving force in my life that I love travelling, I love travelling alone with my husband with my kids. And so I realised that by having a very streamlined, organised and minimal home, it enables us to pack up at the drop of the hat, to travel with ease, unencumbered by too much stuff. And we're able to rent out our house on Airbnb and through other rental companies. And so by having this pretty streamlined, minimal home, it actually funds the majority of our vacations like we've travelled to Paris without spending a dime because we're able to rent our home out at a moment's notice. So we'll have somebody write and say, Hey, we'd love to rent your house for a week, you know next month and we're To say, Sure, no problem. And basically our house is ready for them. And we're ready to pack up and head off to Paris. So I guess that's one way in which having less stuff has created this massive abundance, both money coming in, you know, in terms of renting our home, we also rent her house for photoshoots, and film shoots and all sorts of things. And being able to feel like we can go anywhere and do anything, we don't have to, you know, get organised or spend hours weeding through stuff to figure out what to pack. It's basically like, we're going for a week, great, let's take a week's of outfits and a travel bag, and we're off. Um, and I've even found, you know, in my closet as someone, I do love style and fashion, and I follow the latest trends and interested in all of it. And that I have also found that the less clothing I own, the better I dress up. And that typically when I do a closet edit with a client, it's so fascinating because they start off with mounds and mounds of clothes, and sometimes hangers where there's no space in between them, and it's hard to even navigate. And then typically when we do this massive edit, often getting rid of more than half of their entire wardrobe. Suddenly, they're rediscovering all of their favourite things, they're creating new outfits. And they're finding creative ways to work with what they already own. And that's the thing I hear echoed again and again, is, I feel like I have an entirely new wardrobe now that I got rid of half of my stuff. So without buying a thing or spending a penny, suddenly, you can reclaim your style, refresh your wardrobe. All of that just by having less. So I see it kind of across every avenue of my work. And of course, there's also just the financial gain of often people rebuy things, because they don't realise they have them, right. So I see that happen all the time. When I'm editing a home people find they have three blenders or 25 black sweaters or 32 coffee mug is right, because they just weren't conscious about what they owned. And when they were going out and shopping, they didn't look through their home first to see, do I already have something that serves this purpose before I spend my hard earned cash on a new thing. So I do truly find you know, an edited home is kind of the gift that keeps giving again and again.

Meaghan Smith  22:40
And you'll home so beautiful, I think, what a beautiful place to stay. But yes, and, and I feel weighed down by stuff. I think like that's, for me, having a lot of stuff feels very heavy and very stagnant. So we have talked about this on the podcast before, but we move quite a bit. So we get rid of a lot of stuff all the time, because we just don't want to cart it out. Yeah, and that's actually a really amazing way to get rid of a lot of stuff. But I don't, I'm not suggesting you have to move house just to declutter. But how do you deal with the emotional side with clients?

Shira Gill  23:27
Yeah. So um, typically, you know, my first question is, what what do you want to create? Like, what would your dream home look like? Feel like? And what would you do in it? How would it feel? How would it function and so you want to get really clear about that vision, that kind of aspirational vision of what you want to create. So then as you're slogging through the piles, and you get stuck, or tired, or anxious, you just have to remind yourself what you're trying to create and do a check. Does this thing fit in with what I'm trying to create? Does it elevate and support that vision? Or does it get in the way and hinder that vision? So I think, you know, often, a client will say to me, say I want to create a really streamlined home office that's super sleek and professional, and I can feel totally at peace in and then we're slogging through their office. And they'll start saying, you know, well, this could be useful. This could be useful, what if I need this? And so it's really true. Anything could be hypothetically useful, right? And so then I just have to remind them, Well, does keeping this thing get you closer to that vision of having that sleek, professional, peaceful space. And usually instantly just asking that question. It's suddenly like a no brainer, like, Oh, yeah, of course I don't want my snowglobe collection anymore because that does not make a sleek, professional office or You know, maybe I don't want 25 different types of notepads. Even though it could be helpful to have a notepad, I want to be the kind of person that sits down and has one notepad and one backup in the drawer. And that's it. So it really is all about getting crystal clear before you start. What do I want to create? What are the goals in my life that I want to focus on, and then is the stuff that surrounds me, getting me closer to that vision, or drawing me away from that vision and distracting me. So my real definition of clutter is, it's anything that distracts you or draws attention away from what's important. So only you get to define what's important. I don't define that for other people. But I think once you do that work to think about, like, for me, travel is important. Having social gatherings with my friends and family is important. Writing and doing creative endeavours is important. So I want to make sure that my space supports all of those really important goals in my life. And if there's something I'm stuck on, I'll kind of ask myself, is this going to help me travel or be creative? Or who's friends? And typically, the answer is a big, resounding no. And so then it just makes it a lot easier to let go of because you're saying yes to something that's really big and juicy and exciting.

Meaghan Smith  26:27
That makes a lot of sense. And that's interesting, because I listened to a podcast that you did out quite a while ago now with Brooke Castillo on the Life Coach School. And at that time, I think it maybe it was Brooke, who said something along the lines of I can tell somebody who has a disorganised mind because their home is disorganised. And when I heard this as a bit of fronted at the time, because I was like, Well, you know, that doesn't have anything to do. He doesn't know what she's talking about. Yeah. But, um, but actually, I think there's a lot of truth to it. And I'm curious, can you talk? Like, do you agree with that? And, and why do you think that so?

Shira Gill  27:10
Yeah, I mean, I think there are rare birds that can live surrounded by lots of stuff and not have it feel oppressive. Um, I have met a handful of people like that in my life. And you know, I have no judgement around that, I really think you get to define what clutter is what too much stuff is. But I do think, typically, for the average bear, having piles of things around their home on the surfaces, surrounding them, does feel overwhelming and stressful. And I think the reason for that is that physical clutter stimulates your brain. So when you see a pile of papers, even if it's not conscious, somewhere in your brain, it's being signalled, there's unfinished business, there's things that I haven't taken care of. Whereas if you have a very neat, orderly space, and you have clear surfaces, for example, I think it's much easier for your brain to relax and think we've got things under control, nothing is drawing attention away or distracting me, now I can focus on, you know, the important essential business. So um, that's what I find. And that's what I hear again, and again, you know, in my work with clients is that those piles, and that excess that surrounds you, is this kind of constant, nagging pain that feels like there's unfinished business, there's things to attend to, I can't quite fully focus. And I do think it is the rare person that can kind of tune out all of that noise, and just put their head down and get stuff done. And I've met a few of those people, you know, typically artists who love being surrounded by lots of like, texture and colour and things. And for them, that visual stimulation can be inspiring rather than draining. So I think really, it's a matter of checking in with yourself as you look around your house. How do you feel and that's all that matters. And I think for most people, you know, I know certainly from when they come into my house there, I always am hit with this kind of feedback, like, Oh, I feel so relaxed or like a weight is lifted or like it feels like a spa. And that's what I've always tried to create in my home is this sense of calm and comfort. And so, I think rather than, you know, thinking of minimalism as that like stark white box, I like to think of it as like a really cosy, warm, welcoming place where you can relax and you can really do anything you want to do because it's a clean slate.

Meaghan Smith  30:01
Yeah, I love that. And so here's what I want to this links nicely to move into talking about this, I want to, I want to ask you if you think there's a link between minimalism or declutter, and how much money we make, and I don't mean that in the sense of like, Oh, I'm just going to sort out my draw, and now I'm going to make more money. But I, I think that there is a link like, not necessarily exactly this tangible link, but I am very curious as to what your thoughts are about this. Do you? Do you think there's a link?

Shira Gill  30:41
I definitely do. I think, um, with both things, you know, money and you know, your physical surroundings, I think intentionality is key. So I think if you want to feel in control of your space, um, you have to edit and organise it and make thoughtful decisions. And I think, you know, if you want to feel in control of your finances and your money, likewise, you need to be really intentional and thoughtful, and look at what am I doing? What practices do I want to keep? What practices do I want to give up on? Um, so I think like, the commonality for me is intentionality is key to get the results that you want, whether it's curating your environment, or being really thoughtful about your finances. And I think, for me, you know, as a person who really likes a lot of order, I find when my finances feel messy, or sloppy, I feel kind of out of control and distracted and stressed out. And when I know, you know, I'm debt free, my bills are paid, I know how much money is coming in. And going out, there is this similar sense of calm, that kind of washes over me, that's the same feeling that I get when my house feels orderly and tidy and set up nicely. So I think there's a lot of crossover, certainly. And they have had feedback from clients who kind of at the end of the process of editing and organising their home, all sorts of crazy things happen, like people find money, I had a client who literally found $5,000 us of cash that had been lost for years. And she found this envelope of cash. And then she found her grandmother's ring, that also was worth a lot of money that had also been lost. And it just kind of led to this cascade of financial positives. So I've seen stuff like that happen a lot. I also think once you get more thoughtful and intentional about what you're bringing in and out of your home, what follows often is people curbing their spending or kind of reckless shopping habits, and getting much more intentional about what they're buying and why they're buying it, which can save truckloads of money. I think, you know, even for myself, I have put myself on like shopping freezes for a month or so. And I've been shocked at how often I have the impulse to consume and how frequent it is, and how urgent it feels. And so I think once you can get that awareness of like the noise in your brain that's telling you constantly, you need more stuff. And you know, your kids need more stuff and your spouse needs more stuff, and you need the latest. If you can really look at that. It's just simply noise. And then slow down in question, do I really need this thing? Is it really going to add value to my life? What is the cost of bringing it into my home like, recently, I've ordered several things that have come and the volume of cardboard has made me literally regret even buying the item because it's been breaking down and the cardboard and the plastic and the waste that comes with it. And, and really like the the net negative of buying this one thing that just seemed fun at the time, can create a whole cascade of negatives, that really impacts your life. So I'm fascinated with money and finances and you know, personally trying to get much more mindful about what I consume and what I spend. So I think the link is huge to answer your question.

Meaghan Smith  34:35
Yeah. Well, I just recently interviewed Cait Flanders, the author of The Year of Less because that's what we're reading. Yeah. And she talked about, I mean, you don't have to go on a spending freeze for a year but she was saying how even just a simple thing like categorising, and a section of your home like for example, she gave the example of getting all your books out and she found that she had 55 books. hadn't even read. So that was a clear indicator that I don't need to bring any more books into my home. Like, I can see that there's a direct link for people with that, that it's like, right? When we get more organised, we definitely can get more intentional, but also Shira, I think there's emotional. Maybe emotional is not the right word. But when there's something in my house that needs doing, I see it every day. I like I just notice it every time I walk past it, I think I've got to do that. I've got to do that. I've got to do that. And, yes, that might only be a few moments of thinking about that. But it's something I'm thinking about every day when I could be thinking about something like organising a new thing in my business, or working on something for one of my clients. And that for me is where there's a link as well in terms of clearing out physically stuff in your home to make room mentally. But is it the chicken or the egg? Do you think one come right?

Shira Gill  36:17
Yeah, no, I love that question. Because I've been thinking a lot about brain energy. And even like with my example of ordering a few things online, and then having all of this cardboard to deal with, I thought this was a huge waste of time, I ordered the thing, and then the thing came, and then I unwrapped the thing. And now I have all of this cardboard, and the cardboard didn't fit in my recycling bin. And then I had to go outside. And by the time it had all been dealt with, I was like I didn't even need this thing that now has drained. It's sucked a lot of brain energy that I could have used to be, you know, writing my next book or helping a client just as you said. So I think it really is thinking about how do I want to spend my precious brain energy, like time is our most precious resource, I think money you can make more of time, we've all got the exact same amount. And so I'm always thinking about that as it relates to stuff and clutter and getting organised. It's really about optimising your life. So you have more space and more energy, for the things that you deem worthy and essential. So I think it's like step one is figuring out what is worthy and essential and really getting clarity about your values. And then step two is stripping away everything that's not essential, which for most people is a lot of stuff. I mean, when I do a home with a client, we're typically getting rid of minimally 30%, and frequently 50%, of everything they own. And then when we're done, they feel tremendous. And there's not a sense of lack or longing or missing. It is this sense of abundance and freedom and time and energy reclaimed from that experience. And so, I think that so often when I talk to other colleagues or other moms who tell me, they spend their whole weekends, organising and moving piles around and slogging through, and I think, Wow, like, we really put in all of this energy to declutter and live with less and be really thoughtful. And now on the weekends, we can just go enjoy our weekend. And so I think that's the ultimate goal. It's not, you know, the mission is not whoever has the least stuff wins. If the mission is go out and enjoy your life and do the things you care about, and don't waste your time and energy with stuff. It's just not worth it.

Meaghan Smith  38:49
I love that. What's the because I know you've been very successful in your business. I've watched. I mean, I haven't, I'm not in a creepy way. I've seen you grow over the last few years. And I, I mean, I'm, yeah, I'm curious. How have you applied? Like, how has that applied to your business in just in terms of being organised and making more money? And how does it show up for you in creating more value?

Shira Gill  39:23
Yeah, I mean, I think because I kind of reclaimed time spending less time on stuff. I do think I've reclaimed some precious time I am, you know, the mother of two girls and I've got a family and friends and all of the things that hold for your attention. I think the biggest thing for me in terms of really getting big results in my business was just making the decision that I wanted to, and I think that's a big step that sometimes people forget, um, which is funny because it seems so simple, but Really, everything changed for me in my business when I made the decision that I wanted everything to change in my business. And I told people and I invested money, and I hired a coach. And, you know, I rebranded my website, and I really went all in on this vision of I don't want like a little side hustle or a jobi. Like, I want a big fat career with a capital C. And I don't think I felt that or wanted that, in the first few years of my business, when I started my business, you know, I had two I had a baby and a toddler at home. And I just felt privileged and thrilled that I could do work that I loved, while you know, taking care of my girls. And then I think as they got older and more independent, there was more space in my life. And I really checked in with myself, and I realised I really am a very ambitious person. And I wanted to honour that. And I wanted to be a role model for my girls. And, you know, of course, I have mom guilt, like, probably the rest of us around how I spend my time. But I do think I made that commitment. And that decision, I'm going all in, and I'm going to talk to my girls about it. And I talked to them about money very openly, and they know that I'm the breadwinner in our family, my husband is super supportive of having a strong, independent woman as his wife. And so it is something that fills me with pride that my kids really see the hustle and kind of the grit. And then I do put my head down to work. And I tell them when I'm working and when not to talk to me. And then when I'm with them, I try to be all in and put my phone and computer away, which can be really hard. Um, but yeah, I think it really is about making that decision. I want this. So I'm going to focus and invest and prioritise my specific goals. And for me, some of those were financial goals. And some of those goals were things like writing and publishing a book with a major publisher. And so with that took a lot of time and energy and focus. But I think, like my clients who want to organise their home, I kept that big vision of what it would feel like to have a published book. And that vision was so compelling to me that even when I was tired, or felt lazy, or felt like I didn't want to do it, I would kind of get back to that vision of what it would be like to walk by my neighbourhood bookstore and see my book in the window and points and show my kids that I did it. So yeah,

Meaghan Smith  42:51
I just love that so much. And that really speaks to me, because I feel like what you've just said, has so many parallels to my life, but you're just further down the road. And because every time I make a decision about something that feels so scary in terms of investing in myself, or my business, and I mean, you don't know this, but I've just recently certified as a life coach through the Life Coach School, and that was massive, doing career life changing things, but at every step of the way, whenever I felt afraid, I've always thought, How do I want to show for my girls? What kind of role model do I want to be and all the time it's like, go all in, do the scary things, like, get to where you want to go? And so I just Yeah, I love that. And I think that's something that really, I feel very attracted to when I see you on social media that you've got your girls and I'm like, Yeah, I've got two girls too. And anyway, I love that.

Shira Gill  43:52
And I do tell my girls all the time that I'm doing scary things. And that I think from the outside it can look really shiny, and even easy. Um, it is not. And I think you know, they've seen me like curled up in the foetal position, so scared. And I will tell them, like mom's doing some scary stuff right now. And it's really uncomfortable. But it's worth it to me and here's why. And I think I really want them to see that. You know, it's not just about the shiny results at the end of like, making them money or having the book or getting on the cover of a magazine. It is about that process and working through the discomfort along the way. That really is kind of the juiciest reward is that feeling of making yourself proud and pushing through. So that's the thing I keep wanting to stress for them is when it gets hard like that means go It doesn't mean stop

Meaghan Smith  44:56
and linking it back to your business and organisation And decluttering, what I see is that when you do sort out your home, and you do get rid of the things that aren't serving you, I don't think that goal. It's like what you said before, it's not the goal isn't to have the least amount of stuff, but have the stuff that's important to you. But that's, that's conducive to creating the life that you want. You know, I mean, the person who has a published book, do they wear, I don't know, a brown skirt or something that you had when you were 20? Just like, as a random example? Maybe not, you know, you can you can let go of that.

Shira Gill  45:41
Yeah, no, there is something to that. And it's so funny, because when I first made the decision that I wanted to get an agent and like, do the whole book deal thing, I did invest in a very nice handbag. And it was symbolic for me of imagining myself flying to New York and meeting with the agent and really making this dream come true. And it is funny, it's one of the few things even though you know, I'm not using this fancy handbag, in my pandemic life at all, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it. Because it is it does feel like this symbolic thing of deciding to invest in that vision. And, and I think having the ideas you said, even if like, what would the person with the book deal? What would they wear? What time would they go to bed? How would they, you know, leave their kitchen, when they go to bed. All of those little micro decisions along the way I try to be really mindful of and try to start living into that future self that I'm trying to create.

Meaghan Smith  46:49
Even just little things I noticed sometimes at night time, I'm very tempted. I'm a very comfortable person in the evenings, I get straight into my jammies, and I wear this big, knitter jumper. And every night, I take that big knitted jumper off, and I find myself just wanting to leave it on top of my drawers and so many times, like that seems easy. And my brain tries to convince me now it's much easier just to leave it there. But every time I'm like, it takes me five seconds to fold this and put this away, like five seconds. Yeah. And yeah, when I wake up in the morning, it's not just sitting on top in a mess in my room. I mean, I think our brain does these funny little things where we convince ourselves that something's way more difficult than it actually is.

Shira Gill  47:41
Yeah, 100% I always tell myself, it's like the thing with the dirty light, or, you know, even just like putting the mail away, you know, instead of leaving it on your kitchen counter. And those little tiny things that take one minute or less. I always think okay, Shira, if it's gonna take you one minute or less, you've got to knock it out right now, don't save this for later. And there is this compound effect of those little actions every day. Like if you open the mail and deal with it every day for five minutes, you're never going to have to face paper mountain. If you do your laundry once or twice a week, you're likewise not going to have to face the massive pile of dirty clothes that takes up your weekend. So I'm always thinking of like, what are those little wins that I can do now for my future self that I will feel thrilled about in the morning or on the weekend. And, you know, we religiously do our dishes after dinner and wipe down our kitchen counter. And nobody ever really feels like doing dishes. But we've kind of ritualised it now where, you know, the girls clear the table, we turn on music, and my husband does the dishes, the girls dry the dishes, I wipe down all the surfaces, and it really takes 10 or 15 minutes, and then we wake up to this sparkly clean kitchen and dining room. That does feel like a great way to start your day. And I think waking up to like dirty dishes and crusty surfaces. It just sends a message. I'm not taking care of myself or my space on some level.

Meaghan Smith  49:21
Yeah, yeah, that's right. Okay, we're just about to wrap up Shira. But I have one final question for you. Does your house always look as good as it does on Instagram? Now be truthful. Come on.

Shira Gill  49:37
Here's the thing is it? It really does and I would be honest, because I know that's like a really annoying answer. But I I am a little OCD. And I do run a tight ship. And the truth is, it really makes me crazy to see dirty dishes and dirty laundry and clutter and so on. For me, it's a little maintenance every day goes a very long way. And I actually enjoy tidying and organising. So for me, you know, maybe balancing my chequebook is a huge dreaded chore. But for me, tidying my home and making it feel lovely is actually kind of meditative for me. So that's why my answer it feels like self care to me. And so I really enjoy doing it and it feels good as opposed to feeling kind of oppressive. So, I do practice what I preach and in my home does really feel good.

Meaghan Smith  50:42
Ah, that is very inspiring. Okay, I have some different thoughts about cleaning. So I am but Ebb and flow. Okay, tell us everything, all the things where can we find you tell us about your book, what programmes can people do if they want to work with you, because we want to be organised. We want to organise our mind. And we want to make more money. So give us all the informations.

Shira Gill  51:07
I love it. Yeah, so you can find me, my website is just my name Shiragill.com. My Instagram is the same at Shira Gill, I have programmes for most spaces in your room, I always suggest starting with my master class, which really teaches the foundation of everything that I do, how to edit, how to organise how to thoughtfully style your home. And then I have fun specialty programmes like my closet makeover, which is my most popular programme. I have a workspace programme, a clutter free with kids programme and the kitchen programme. So all of those are on my website, and then my book, which really is going to be the download of everything in my brain and all of my life's work will be coming out in 2021. And so if you get on my list, you'll be the first to know about that. And you can pre order that. And in 2021,

Meaghan Smith  52:06
can you tell us what it's called? Or is that

Shira Gill  52:08
Oh, yeah, that would be helpful. Yeah. No, my book is called Minimalista, and step by step guide on how to edit and organise and style your home to support your life. So it really goes through every room in the house, my whole process and toolkit, all of the most frequently asked questions. And I try to make it really fun and really bite sized. And it really is designed for busy working people like me who feel like they care about this stuff, but they don't have the time. So I try to break it down. So even if you have 15 minutes, you can knock out a project and pat yourself on the back.

Meaghan Smith  52:49
Okay, amazing. I have to I have to get my hands on that. All right. Thank you so much for being here today. I think we have covered a lot in terms of what people can do to organise their homes because I think this is a huge issue for people. And yeah, I also think that the impact that it has, is not always fully understood. In terms of you can really change your life by doing this stuff. I mean, I know it's a bit like the egg or the chicken before the egg roll, or whatever. For the horse, one of those. Yeah, but I mean, you can do both. I find the more work I do on my mindset, the better, the more organised my home becomes, but also the other way around. I also feel like when I declutter a space that also clears out space in my mind, too. Yeah,

Shira Gill  53:49
yeah. 100% Yeah, I do think you're right that the cost of clutter is not to be underestimated. And I think it is one of those quiet forces that takes a toll on people. And I do want to emphasise, I really do believe that anybody at any stage can get organised and can learn these tools. You don't have to be born with you know the organising gene. So if my kids can do it, I promise you, it can be learned in practice.

Meaghan Smith  54:20
What a relief. Alright, Shira, thank you so much.

Shira Gill  54:27
Thanks for having me. This was so fun.

Meaghan Smith  54:29
Oh good. You're welcome. Okay, if this is the first time you have heard about the goodness that is Shira Gill, you need to go check out all her amazingness I personally find her very inspiring and a great resource for practical doable actions you can take to organise your home and your mind, especially on her Instagram account. She often put stories up that are really helpful that can inspire you into taking quick actionable steps. So thank you for joining me today. If you would like to stop playing small and start taking up more space, make more money, feel more love and have more fun. Jump on the money mindful website and book a call with me. This is the modern version of a cuppa and a chat online. Okay, until next time, have a beautiful week. Bye Bye.

Episode references

Find out more about Shira Gill on her website here. OR find her on Instagram here.

Be sure to join in on book club this month.  You can find out all the info and get the book here.

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