A ‘trip of a lifetime’: How a Staten Islander went from clutter to organization expert

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STATEN ISLAND, NY — Rebekah Bashorun describes her childhood as happy but “cluttered.” Raised in a very messy home after her parents uprooted her family and moved from Staten Island to Philadelphia when she was just a teenager, the St. George resident admits to being ‘homeless’ in college and having lived in 25 different spaces before turning 30.

Her upbringing was messy and chaotic, and inside, she says, she was still looking for a home.

“It’s been a journey of a lifetime to find out what ‘home’ really means,” Bashorun said in a recent interview from his apartment – a light-filled space that offers spectacular waterfront views. sea, a collection of superb framed photographs and an entirely neutral environment. paint and furniture palette.

“Sanctuary is something I didn’t experience as a kid; something I wanted, but had to find on my own,” she continued. “My story is unfortunately not unique – a lot of young black kids come from crowded backgrounds and struggle to understand where they really belong. I feel like I finally found that when I started raising a family and create my own space.

Bashorun’s St. George apartment is a light-filled space that boasts spectacular waterfront views, a collection of stunning framed photographs, and an entirely neutral palette of paint and furnishings. (Photo courtesy of Jason Rampe/C1 Studios)Photo courtesy of Jason Rampe/C1

A strong believer in order and structure, Bashorun said his affection for cleanliness started early.

“At some point, I discovered that I was really good at organization,” she said. “I hated having a mess, even if it was in a closet or drawers – spaces that guests couldn’t see. I felt like if my house was structured, my life would be too.

In 2018, after creating calm in her own home, Bashorun said she realized it was a task she could do for others.

“It comes easily to me,” she said of the process, which includes cleaning up the space, categorizing its contents and sprucing it up with functional decor. “So I started contacting friends to test the theory, decluttering and cleaning up their disorganized spaces for free. I had to find out if I was really good enough to start a business based on this idea.

Clearing, Categorizing, and Decluttering: How a St. George Resident Turned the Organization into a Livelihood

Bashorun’s organizing process includes cleaning the space, categorizing its contents, and sprucing it up with functional decor. (Olushola Bashorun/AQut Photography)Olushol Bashorun/aQut Photograp

The concept was still an oddity back then – not yet popularized by Netflix’s Marie Kondo and the hundreds of other social media influencers now organizing. So starting a business based on reorganizing people’s assets was not exactly an easy task.

“People were like ‘you organize closets for a living,'” Bashorun recalled. “At first they just didn’t get it.”

And then, of course, storage has become a trending topic.

“Shortly after I launched, I started getting text messages about Marie Kondo,” Bashorun said. “I hadn’t seen the show, like I said, it was a very organic journey for me, it wasn’t based on what was hot right now. But it was very cool to be validated like that. Here, I really live this life, and the whole world becomes obsessed with it at the same time.

Clearing, Categorizing, and Decluttering: How a St. George Resident Turned the Organization into a Livelihood

Bashorun’s organization services can involve any space in the home, including shelves. (Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bashorun)Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bashorun

Thus, the perception increased rapidly. His friends bragged about his services and paying customers started calling, Bashorun said.

When she created an Instagram account and started posting accelerated videos of her “process”, the small business simply exploded. She called her company Organize for love and filled her feed with tips and ideas. The calls and offers for brand partnerships started pouring in.

“I put all my focus and intention on Instagram,” Bashorun said, noting that she believes social media is the best way to grow her business organically. “Through my page, I was able to grab the attention of customers and brands, simply by creating content that people needed and wanted to see.”

Clearing, Categorizing, and Decluttering: How a St. George Resident Turned the Organization into a Livelihood

Here, a closet is categorized and equipped for multifunctional storage. (Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bashorun)Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bashorun

the @organizeforlove The page features countless reels of Bashorun unloading the dishwasher, folding clothes and carrying out other daily tasks, with each clip featuring a soothing voiceover from the organizer offering advice on the best way to clean up your life. The content has over 17,000 subscribers and has resulted in sponsorships from Container Store, Herman Miller and Caraway Home.

She has appeared on “Good Morning America” ​​and the “Drew Barrymore Show” and has been featured in The New York Times and Shoutout LA. Her business has grown so much that she recently hired staff to help with her efforts. She is currently in the process of crowdfunding and writing a book.

“It’s an autobiographical guide to home organization with beautiful pictures and directions on how to organize every room in your home,” she said. “I want it to really show people what I’ve learned from organizing and decluttering.”

Clearing, Categorizing, and Decluttering: How a St. George Resident Turned the Organization into a Livelihood

The shoes are neatly stored in separate bins. (Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bashorun)Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bashorun

Bashorun specializes in small spaces and travels throughout the Tristate area to provide their services. Her skills aren’t just inherent – she’s taken several organizing courses and admitted there’s absolute science behind it.

“My specialty is decluttering, figuring out how a space will work best with fewer items,” Bashorun said. “The process begins with a series of conversations, giving me insight into the client’s limits, restrictions and goals. We often create a moodboard of their wishes and desires. I stay in the space alone or with the client for a while, take pictures and study them. So I think about it. Visualize the space as complete in my head. I’ve always been a very visual person, and this is the process that works best for me.

Clearing, Categorizing, and Decluttering: How a St. George Resident Turned the Organization into a Livelihood

Bashorun specializes in small spaces and travels throughout the Tristate area to provide their services. (Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bashorun)Photo courtesy of Rebekah Bashorun

Calling visualization her “genius zone,” Bashorun said the work is tedious but fun, and defines the best part of developing a space as when she sees the vision come to life. Much of his post-pandemic work has focused on recreating home offices and kitchens.

“These are two spaces that we use daily, and after the pandemic people are hungry to reinvent them,” Bashorun concluded. “But that’s the best thing about this company – I help people live more comfortably and productively in their homes.”

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