Do you want to declutter your life? “Ask Shelina” is a podcast for anyone who wants to learn how to declutter their life, but doesn’t know where to start. It is hosted by Shelina Jokhiya, Founder of Decluttr Me, the first company in the UAE created to help people organize their lives and Melltoo Marketplace is the official organizer of the podcast series.
Not sure what to do with all your excess stuff after decluttering? Melltoo Marketplace solves this problem by helping you promote your posts and connecting you with buyers. We even handle payment and delivery on your behalf! Decluttering in the UAE has never been this easy.
Here is the first episode:
Each episode brings you useful tips and tricks that you can implement today to become organized and live stress-free.
INTERVIEW WITH DUBAI DECLUTTERING EXPERT SHELINA JOHKIYA TRANSCRIPT
Sean: Everyone, good afternoon, my name is Sean, and I am here with Ibrahim and Shelina from DeclutterMe. You are here this afternoon to talk about decluttering, basically, Shelina is the expert in the house and she is going to tell us everything and anything we need to know about decluttering because personally, I myself, I am new to this kind of thing. I did not even know something like this existed. Yeah, it’s exciting what she has to say – things she has been doing. What she has – the experience she has gotten so far from it, and the motivation behind it from the start to finish. What she has been doing up until now, she will just walk us through and tell us about everything. So, Shelina please just introduce yourself a little bit to the people. Let them know about you.
Shelina: Hi, my name is Shelina, I as Sean said, I work at Deecluttr me. It’s a decluttering and organizing business for the UAE. So I go into people’s homes, get rid of their clutter with them and then create organized systems for them to be organized moving forward. That could be using storage boxes, labeling areas, labelling boxes, providing tips to the maids on how the systems will be working – so that they know how to be organized moving forward. And even training the kids and the husband, because they are the ones who can’t find anything, or make the mess – especially the kids, so they get trained on how to put their toys back into the right places at the end of the day. And that’s how I work. It’s been running for a year, and I’ve been working with various clients around the country helping them out to get organized.
Sean: Wow, wow, ok. So the first time you told me about this, I was stunned basically, I am still stunned now that you actually do this, it’s amazing for me personally. You have told us basically what it is about, but I would just like you to tell us a little bit more about the history, how it started, what motivated you, what inspired you to do this, to go into decluttering?
Shelina: I started; well I have always been like this. I have always been organized, which my parents have been frustrated with. So, I always organized at home and being neat and tidy. And then I was a solicitor, a lawyer for thirteen years and every company I’ve worked for, all legal filing systems have always been reorganized by me, because they were a mess before. So I’ve made sure everything was in the proper way archived, shredded what needed to be shredded, and that there was not accumulated paper everywhere. And in my last few years of being a lawyer I was a compliance officer as well, so I had to make sure that everybody complied around with – around the world – with the regulations for the group company. So that’s my background. So it has always been in me and then I have had the compliance side and the legal side. So I understand what is required for health and safety and for other regulations within this country and for other countries as well.
Sean: It’s ok it’s fine. Ok, well, knowing that is how you started, like you just said, you worked basically in the corporate world, but then you could not help but bring out that sense of orgainzing in you and you just used it basically to go on.
Sean: My question again is this, how did you find it easy to just transition from corporate to doing this, because basically you’re are a start-up on your own? How was it for you, how was the journey?
Shelina: Luckily for me, I was a company secretary so I knew about forming companies, especially in the UAE. So forming a company was easy for me, I found the right free zone to use. And doing the back end things, dealing with the legal and finance was easy. But being a marketer, a seller, it’s a new concept for me – and getting out there and networking. So it was a tough transition, and this is a new concept in the UAE and the Middle East, so having to educate people and bring the concept here. It’s been, it’s taken a year for people to understand what the business is and for me to get recognition. Now, it’s become a brand in the country, but it has taken this long. So it’s like any start-up – you have to work hard, you have to make mistakes, waste money on things that you shouldn’t do, especially on advertising, And you learn, and I’m doing this by myself, so it’s even tougher. But I have worked with good collaborators such as Melltoo, and I’ve learnt a lot from various different people. So it’s built itself into a company that I think has a potential to become massive here both in (5:37?)
Sean: Of course, of course, thank you. My next question is this – seeing as you have just told us of how it’s gone within a year – how that you have grown, how you’ve found ways to introduce this to people. Because it is a new concept like you said here in the region. What has been the acceptance so far, how have people taken to DeclutterMe, how have they accepted decluttering as a content?
Shelina: Alot of people have heard of it before. They’ve seen programmes from the UK and the USA about decluttering and orgainzing. Especially programmes like Hoarders. So a lot of people they’ve gone, “Oh, I’ve have heard of this.” And then gone, “Oh we did not know there was a business here. Some people have needed educating, and not understanding decluttering. It seems to be a very new word for a lot of people. But I’ve used various forms of advertising. I’m big on Social media, so I’m on all the big social accounts – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google plus, LinkedIn – and that is just a few of them, so YouTube as well. So I am everywhere, and I post every day, and I give tips to my followers and give advice and talk to them, and get clients from that. So they see what I can do, and then they use my services. But it was a long winded process and it takes a while to do it and to get out there. But it’s satisfying at the end when we get clients and you get them happy with the results at the end, then it’s all worth it.
Sean: Ok, wow, again personally, I do think you are doing something really, really amazing here. And from what you have told us so far it’s – do not only have collaborators, but you have people working with you, because this looks like something hands on. It’s not you can’t – I do not know how you’re do it, but it’s amazing, how you go into places and get things organized. But I just want to know, what is the man power like for you? How do you get assistance from the people, heavy lifting, because obviously they are going to have heavy things I’m assuming?
Shelina: It does, I’ve been lucky. Most of my clients, they have maids so they help a lot. And they have to anyway, because they’re in the house and in the areas and they know how the house works so they help me a lot. But I work with the client directly. It’s a personal thing to let somebody into your house. It’s tough, and to let them see how your house is. So it is a mental and physical thing, so I don’t have assistants with me or anybody come and join in. It’s just me and the client and the household. Most of the things I can do. If I need help, or if there is a lot of heavy lifting, then we can always hire a freelancer to come and help if we do not have the resources. But generally, it is just me by myself helping the client.
Sean: Thank you very much Shelina. We are happy to have you here. We are very, very glad that you have spent some time to talk to us about this.
Shelina: Thank you for having me.
Sean: You’re are welcome. We definitely hope to have more of these podcasts. Unfortunately we cannot continue with this section because time is of the essence, I mean, you are a very busy person, I can tell.
Sean: So on our next podcast, we will be having you again hopefully and you will tell us more about Declutter ME and what you do, how you do it and where and when you do it. Hopefully you will be more prepared then. You’ve obviously given us so much insight right now, but we want to know more. I am sure the people will want to know more as well because this is a new concept.
Sean: So, see you soon and thank you very much for coming.
Shelina: Thank you for having me.