Welcome to our new Insider series, bringing you interviews and insights from experts + creatives from around the globe who will share insights and inspiration to live a more simple and beautiful life.

In this Insider, we chat with Shira Gill about her journey to becoming a home organisation expert and most recently a published author. She shares her tips on the best place to start when decluttering your home and how having less can sometimes be a catalyst for creating more.

Come read her story and the biggest lessons she’s learnt…

My journey to becoming a home organising expert and author

Even as a kid, I used organization to practice self care. My parents had a messy divorce, and I discovered that making my space feel good was a way of reclaiming some control in a world that often felt chaotic. While my parents didn’t agree on much, they did share an anti-materialistic philosophy and they both taught me to embrace creativity, kindness, and generosity as core values. Now I get to carry those teachings forward by teaching others the benefits and freedom of having LESS in a sea of noise telling us that what we need to be happy is MORE.

When I became a new mother, the pressure to consume - to have all the newest and best of all the things - was especially loud. To stay sane and keep my home from being overtaken, I developed my own version of minimalism, one that was applicable to the reality of busy family life - still focused on living with less, but not at the expense of convenience, joy, or aesthetics. Rather than imposing strict rules and limitations, my philosophy of minimalism is centred around having the perfect amount of everything for you based on your personal values and the limitations of your space. 

I started helping friends from my mom’s groups who felt overwhelmed and snowed in by their stuff, and saw that I wasn’t. Those women became my first clients. Over the past twelve years I’ve taken everything I’ve learned and created a signature decluttering and organization process that promotes sustainability, achieves lasting results, and can be used by anyone, regardless of their space or lifestyle. That process was the basis for my book, Minimalista, which came out in November last year. 

In addition to in-person organizing, I’ve developed a series of online programs, a business mentorship program for female entrepreneurs, and I am currently working on my second book with Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. It has been such an incredible honor and joy to help people all over the world create spaciousness in their homes and become the best versions of themselves through this work. 

What I've learnt about decluttering homes…

I’ve learned that living in clutter can get in the way of people's success and happiness outside of their homes as well as inside. I have witnessed such incredible transformations as a result of doing this work. I’ve had clients who have taken the momentum from getting their homes in order and started brand new careers, launched businesses, improved or repaired relationships, boosted their physical and mental health, the list goes on and on. It’s been documented that clutter can lead to anxiety, depression, overwhelm, and paralysis, but the inverse is also true - a well edited home inevitably creates more time, money, energy, and freedom in all aspects of life. 

The best place to start is…

The very first step in my organizing and decluttering process is getting clarity on what you want and why you want it. I have my clients consider these guiding questions to get them going: What do you care about deeply? What do you want to create space for? What new results do you want to create in your life? In order to decide what you should get rid of, you have to first clarify what you want most so you can determine if the item is helping you or getting in your way. Without this foundational step you’ll just be moving piles around! 


I'm inspired by…

Travel is probably my number one source of inspiration, both personally and professionally. I feel most curious, alert, and present when I’m exploring a new town or city. I love to soak up new perspectives and see how others work, eat, play, and live. 

My favourite Imprint House products...  

Ooh, how do I pick just three?! I use the peg hook rail in practically every room in my home, and I’m wild about the cotton hand loomed throw and the brass towel bar for elevating the bathroom. I am also quite smitten with the linen round pendant

You have just released a new book called ‘Minimalista’, could you share a bit more about it?

Yes! Minimalista contains my entire process and toolkit to help you edit, organize, and elevate your home (and life) one small project at a time. My goal in writing the book was to break down a seemingly daunting process into small bite-sized steps so you can start making progress even if you’re short on time and juggling ALL OF THE THINGS. 

The book introduces and teaches the five steps of my process - Clarify, Edit, Organize, Elevate, and Maintain. Once you learn the methodology you’ll dive into the hands-on work, choose-your-own-adventure style: knock out a room, or even a single drawer; style a bookshelf; donate a sweater. Organizing can be simple and fun. The most important thing you can do is get started and choose a project you know you will be able to finish - no matter how small. Then choose another. Over time, your small victories will snowball into massive transformation.  




Reprinted from MINIMALISTA by Shira Gill. Copyright © 2021 by Shira Gill. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Vivian Johnson.