Issa Reyes: Organizing Homes from the Heart

For Professional Organizer and Konmari™ Consultant-in-Training Issa Reyes, making her surroundings neat and beautiful isn't just an aesthetic but a way of life. By Nikki Cagurangan

For Professional Organizer and Konmari™ Consultant-in-Training Issa Reyes, making her surroundings neat and beautiful wasn’t just an aesthetic. It was always a way of life that sparked a holistic kind of joy that she wanted to share with other people in need of that kind of practical magic in their lives.

This mother of three’s initiative, Neat Obsessions, is an inspiring testament of how personal projects can have that positive ripple effect when they’re done with passion and heart.

A calling realized

Having recognized her natural inclination for organizing and beautifying homes early on, she went on to share her passion and nifty ideas through a blog and an Instagram account that started in March 2018. Family and friends were the initial audiences, but her fanbase naturally grew. Before she knew it, she was being showered with inquiries on whether she was offering her services professionally.

With the loving encouragement of her husband, she sought out certificate courses to equip herself with the technical know-how to steer her passion towards a feasible career path. Now, she holds an International Certification for Professional Organizer (IAPO) certificate from New Jersey and is a certified KonMari™ Consultant-in-Training after having pursued a KonMari™ seminar in New York. She is also currently working on her National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) certifications.

Her confidence in her passion wasn’t always clear-cut, as she had doubts about the sustainability of her career and its feasibility in the Philippines.

“I had to assess and reassess myself if I am really eligible to pursue this as a business, especially because the profession is only known in the US and Canada,” she said. “I needed to ask several people, do a lot of research, and ask myself again and again if this is something I can really do.”

With her determination to make it work and her husband’s unwavering support, her passion has now brought her to many places and opportunities where she could practice her passion for real.

Decluttering for the soul

Now, she shares her knowledge and passion with people who, like her, struggle to juggle work, parenting and keeping a happy home all at the same time. A typical session for her starts with her clients asking “How do I start?” to which she does not only solve by answering directly, but also by helping them jumpstart the organizing journey they are willing to take on.

“I can compare this to a situation where a person wants to implement a diet plan but is unsure when and how to begin,” she says.

With the minimalist movement the KonMari™ method has popularized, Issa looks forward not just to the actual organization of possessions and cleaning of home areas, but more importantly, the lasting positive impacts these bring into her clients’ lives. What ensues after the initial discussions are long hours (sometimes 12 to 16 hours straight!) of the actual legwork.

Expert tips for a tip-top home

What are some examples of the tried-and-tested hacks she shares with her clients? She breaks down some for the different parts of the home:

  • Living Room/Dining/Office — Consider making this area shared and multifunctional, with all the items you need kept within reach.
  • Closet — Multi-layered velvet hangers are good for creating more room. So is file-folding clothes.
  • Under the Sink — This is one of the most neglected parts of the house, and it can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Pay more attention to this area, and use it to store cleaning materials.
  • Bathroom Caddy — Use rolling caddies that can double as easily movable storage and organizer — a worthy investment especially in compact spaces like condos.
  • Fridge — If you want to fully utilize your fridge (regardless of the type), use clear food containers when storing food items. Fridge bin containers are also handy for easier access.

Keeping it together

Performing all these tasks amidst the daily chaos of homemaking seems daunting, and Issa understands that very well. This is why in the face of overwhelming tasks, she recommends breaking them down into bite-sized pieces, focusing on one area at a time. More importantly, she reminds people to be more forgiving of themselves.

“To those who already embraced homemaking, remember that life is not perfect. There are days when the house gets messy, and it’s okay,” she says. “Just follow a system or keep a standard in keeping things neat so it wouldn’t be as overwhelming as it looks like.”

We can’t agree more.

To get more decluttering tips and how-tos from Issa, check out the video below.

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