We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Whittaker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michelle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Prior to the pandemic, I was in the corporate world. Once work came to a halt, we were at home and I wasn’t going into the office, I began rethinking what I wanted my work life to look like. I had co-owned a business before, but I had never started my own business, and after some time to think about where I wanted to go with that, I started thinking about the skills I had and what I really truly enjoyed doing. I have always loved organizing and having a tidy environment, so I began looking for companies that were hiring organizers. I was hired on and worked for a woman-owned company for a few months. While it was great experience, I quickly realized I wanted a more flexible schedule and wanted to develop something of my own. I applied for my DBA, purchased insurance, started a website, and began seeing private clients. Pretty soon, that was taking priority over the company I was working with, so I left and pursued my own gig full time. It’s the best decision I ever made! It allowed me to set my own schedule, take and pick my kids up from school, and take on as many….or as little clients as I wanted.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have a degree in Marketing/PR from UT Dallas. I’m a people person so I enjoy working with people from all walks of life. You can work on the skill of organizing but I believe you must have an innate knack for being able to talk to people, to make them feel comfortable, and to show them they can trust you. Oftentimes I deal with clients who are embarrassed of the state of their home, or are very anxious to bring in someone else to see where they need help. Organizing isnt always glamorous, like working in a beautiful closet full of expensive shoes. Often it’s decluttering years of accumulation, sorting through decades of memories that are hard to deal with, and hoarding situations. Being compassionate and non-judgemental is a must in this industry. You have to want to truly help people and do it gently when in sensitive situations. Gaining a clients trust is important and I take pride in being able to do that.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Let’s start with Saturday morning! We will be stopping for a latte and a quick avocado toast (with chili flakes, duh!) at Cultivar Coffee/Goodfriend Package. Dallas Farmers Market is next for fresh produce and the most amazing, curated gifts and all things amazingly cool at Lone Chimney Mercantile. We’d probably stay long enough to grab lunch (can we say tacos, anyone?) and do some people-watching. Dinner should probably include a cocktail and great food at Lounge Here. My favorite is the cocktail named The Last Word, and their deviled eggs and pimentos and cheese are things dreams are made of. The night wouldn’t be complete without stopping by Goodfriend for a nightcap with the world-famous bartender, Carlos.

The best way to work off those calories is being a guest with me at Peak Zone Fitness, where I’m a part-time personal trainer there. We will get our sweat on and get a killer workout. Breakfast at Dallas Diner next door is the perfect greasy spoon!

Other places of interest to hit are Bishop Arts District, downtown Dallas (go see the giant eyeball!), Trinity Groves, lunch at Bonton Farms, a swanky dinner in the Arts District, and if you really want to get old-school Dallas touristy, you’ll go to Reunion Tower. Another fun landmark turned bowling venue is the old Lakewood Theatre. Bowl the night away in the beloved former theatre. If you love dancing you’ll want to make it over to It’ll Do Dance Club. Pretty weather days lend itself to a trip to the arboretum or a walk around White Rock Lake. The Dallas Museum of Art and Klyde Warren Park is a great way to spend the day. Take the kids to their awesome play area and eat from one of the many amazing food trucks. Try a free outdoor yoga group class that they offer…stretch those muscles and get ready to paint the town red on your trip to the Big D!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My grandmother, who I spent lots of time with in my childhood, was a sense of safety and grounding that I needed. She played a very large part in raising me and while I love helping people of all ages, I have a special love for working with the aging population, greatly due to my relationship with her, and the final years of her life, I was able to return the favor and care for her. When I think of someone who I would like to shout-out for my story and my success, it’s my grandma.

Website: www.thatorganizedlife.org

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mdub_east_dallas?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thatorganizedlife?mibextid=LQQJ4d

Image Credits
Network of Community Ministries (panel photo)

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