Do you have a to-do list that is never completed and clutter that just won’t go away? You should talk to Rachel Mitchell – which is what Simone Richardson did
“If you want anything done fast, efficiently and thoroughly and needed it yesterday … it’s Rachel to the rescue!”
That’s one of many testimonials to the work of Herne Hill based professional organiser Rachel-Elizabeth Mitchell. She’s the driving force behind Please Organise Me which she founded nine years ago.
Having a young family, “I understand just how stressful life can be and the importance of being organised,” she says.
“Often in a small business, or a family, you don’t have the support to deal with the constant stream of seemingly small jobs that crop up.”
When friends, who were struggling with their own work and family commitments, started asking her advice, she thought “I could do that!” and the idea for Please Organise Me and becoming a professional organiser was born.
She explains: “After having two children and on my third house renovation, I decided to take a break.
“I became pretty bored after about six weeks and started to consider what I could do that would fit around the kids.
“At this time I became friends with a rather lovely and rather disorganised lady.
“It was after organising her bedroom as a trial that I realised that this was my passion and I was rather good at not only decluttering but also styling spaces.
“I established Please Organise Me and, to date, I still have the same enthusiasm.”
Born and bred in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Rachel left to study art when she was 17 years old.
She never really knew what she wanted to be when she grew up, but was good at art.
“The school careers advisor was totally rubbish and suggested that I could be an art teacher or hairdresser.
“I loved growing up in the countryside and feel that I had the best childhood, but was always desperate to get out.
“I studied a foundation course in art in Ipswich and then moved to the bright lights of Croydon to study graphic design.
I obtained a BA hons degree whilst having an active social life. Most of my weekends were spent at the Ministry of Sound.
“I’ve lived in South London ever since, moving to Herne Hill around 20 years ago.
“I started working for a creative advertising company called Three Blind Mice as the office manager. The role was really varied and I loved working in such a creative and fun place. I ended up being there for 13 years.”
She secured the admirable upbringing of her children, Louie, now 12 and Lola, 14, as a single parent.
“I don’t really have a typical day, and that’s what I really love about the business,” she says.
“Each week I will be helping clients declutter and style their homes and also create effective organisational systems that will make life easier.
“The majority of clients are based in London and it’s great when we have local clients.
“Many come through word of mouth. I seem to have been particularly successful on Fawnbrake Avenue in Herne Hill where I have helped more than five households!’
“Please Organise Me also manages 10 different properties, so a lot of time is spent resolving various issues.
“Lockdown was interesting. I originally thought we would lose a lot of business because everyone would be at home decluttering, organising and catching up with all the items of their to-do lists.
“One of my team reassured me that the majority would write a to-do list and it would remain stuck on the fridge uncompleted until the end of lockdown.
“It turned out that she was right and when lockdown eased we were inundated with work, with lots of clients wanting to make major changes in their homes and also clients needing help adapting to working from home.
“Personally, I found lockdown pretty tricky. As a single parent it was hard helping my children with home schooling whilst running a business and being stuck at home.
“We had many tears, my son because he found it so boring, and my daughter because she was so diligent and wanted to master everything.
“I felt very blessed to have a garden, the amazing weather and a great group of local friends.”
Rachel loves living, working and socialising in Brixton.
“I’ve been here for around 20 years and love the culture, food, nightlife and the people.
“I feel very privileged to have everything that Brixton has to offer on my doorstep.
“Brixton has so many aspects that I use in different parts of my life.
“Canova Hall and its beautiful space to be able to work from. Morleys for it’s old school department store vibe that never lets you down. The Ritzy for showing independent films. Brixton Village for such a wide range of restaurants and shops. Prince of Wales for its wicked sound system and great line-up of DJs. Brixton Art Club for it’s showcase of amazing contemporary art and its lovely bar.”
Professional organisers have their own professional body, the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO) complete with a website full of insights about why some of us can never get organised and how to get help.
For advice on organising your own life and home, check out Rachel’s website and socials …