28 Feb Professional Organisers ~ The Filing Fairies
Feeling a little overwhelmed with all the disorganisation in your home? Ever felt like you have too much “stuff” and don’t know where it should all be living?
Today The Nanny Collective caught up with Mara Morrison from The Filing Fairies – Professional Photo Organisers who believe that one of the first steps of productive living is being organised. Mara shares with The Nanny Collective the launch of her business, the challenges of motherhood and how professional organisers can help you gain order where it is lacking in your life — and essentially free space both in your mind and in your home or office.
Tell me a little about your family.
The Morrisons are very much a traditional family of four. Mum, dad, son, daughter and two lovable labradoodles. My husband and I met ‘later in life’ (in our thirties) through our involvement in musical theatre and knew instantly we were a match made in heaven. After a whirlwind courtship we were engaged just 7 months later. The wedding, and then the two kids and two dogs, followed in quick succession.
Please tell me how The Filing Fairies came to be?
Hearing the words “I wish” so often we wanted to provide the ‘magical’ solution to the problems people were encountering with their photo life management.
We wanted to dedicate ourselves to developing simple solutions to help people to organise, utilise, enjoy and protect treasured photos.
My husband knew I was unhappy juggling a boring but time demanding part time job with the demands of a young family. He was completely supportive of me having a ‘good hard crack’ at finding fulfillment and balance of a new and unique business where I was the boss and I made my own hours to suit.
I knew I had the skills to create the business but I also knew I didn’t want to do it alone and I knew the perfect person to compliment my skills. I was thrilled when my business partner Jo came on board because we had worked together as a great team in the past.
Our start up road was bumpy, photo organising being a very new and niche industry. In fact, we are the first certified Professional Photo Organisers in Australia.
We started out as Professional Organisers for all things filing and soon discovered 90% of our work was coming from Photo Organising. So a rebrand was in order.
Being a mother is a full time job and you had to focus on The Filing Fairies. How did you make it all work?
My husband has been my greatest advocate and supporter, and I definitely couldn’t have done any of it without my business partner Jo.
Throughout the start-up years my children have been in preschool or child care and I have often relied on grandparents when last minute client calls or meetings arise. With my daughter starting school this year there has been some relief, but mainly the pressures and challenges are just different now.
As professional organisers, we love our lists and schedules and have discovered some great tools that help us stay on top of a balanced work and family life. Cozi is a great family planner app and workflowy helps keep my notes organised. We also use social media scheduling tools so we don’t constantly waste time on Facebook etc. Scheduling is very important so that when those unexpected family emergencies arise I have the freedom to step up the parenting whilst I continue to operate the business without feeling like I am neglecting my work. For example, we have our blog topics sketched out for the next 12 months so that we know in advance what we are researching or writing about. This gives us the flexibility to write drafts well in advance when we are not busy seeing clients or working on organising projects. Sometimes we have lots ‘in the bank’ and are well ahead of schedule and in busier times, e.g. school holidays, things are completed a lot closer to deadlines.
What were your greatest challenges as a working mum?
I have faced the challenges of expected disruptions like school holidays or unforeseen distractions like sick kids! Good time management, daily, weekly and school term planning of workloads has been essential.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, being organised is essential. Whether it is an organised pantry and fridge allowing me to shop smarter and prepare meals easily or an organised desk and filing system enabling me to work effectively and efficiently. By allocating a place/location for everything I can create a physical system which enables the process of PUTTING everything in its place (the behavioural system) to become routinely simple.
I’ve stayed up until the wee hours to take conference calls with my mentor in New York or to attend webinars and training from the best international providers, and still been up countless times through the night to nurse a sick child or up early for a soccer game. But it has been worth it.
What are your most cherished memories of motherhood?
My most cherished memories of motherhood are bonding with them as a newborn. There is nothing like the feeling of the incredible, tiny human that you created nuzzled contently asleep your arms. Those huge gummy smiles and then later the stumbling clumsy run towards “mummy!” when you collect them after a hard day’s work.
There have been many great entrepreneurs giving advice on entrepreneurship but I think Sir Richard Branson said it best: “Believe in yourself and back yourself to come out on top. A fulfilling career is waiting for those brave enough to find it”
Where can we find out more about The Filing Fairies?