No 9-5: Decluttr Me

Shelina Jokhiya has an unusual job: that of a professional declutterer. As someone who has always like to have things organised, she, like many successful entrepreneurs, has managed to turn a passion into a profession.

If you work in an office surrounded by a mound of paper, or can never find anything in your kitchen, you are not the only one.

So many people are badly organised that sorting out their problems has become a full-time job for Dubai-based entrepreneur Shelina Jokhiya. Always organised by nature, Jokhiya has turned a lifetime of tidying into an unusual business.

People buy so much, but never get rid of the stuff they have purchased previously

Shelina Jokhiya

As founder and managing director of DeCluttr Me, Jokhiya, a former lawyer, has become a professional organiser. Like many entrepreneurs before her, she has turned a passion into a profession and now has the unusual role of helping other people be as tidy and organised as she is.

“My job entails me helping my clients to declutter and then create organised systems to locate the items that are left in their home or office,” she explains.

“I had dreamt of starting a professional organiser company since 2001, but never thought it was a viable business idea. Last year I Googled and found out that it was a massive industry in the UK and USA. There are even associations you can join to get accredited.”

After putting in more research and discovering that there was no one else offering such services in the UAE, Jokhiya took the plunge and set up her own business.

decluttr me
A re-organised pantry

So far, it has lead to some unusual and fragrant experiences. The most unusual thing she has had to sort out was a client’s extensive collection of Oud – perfumes made from Agarwood.

“I smelled each of them with the 4 year old daughter of the client, to decide what was nice to keep and which could go,” she explains.

More common though is sorting out other people’s kitchen chaos and tidying pantries.

“People buy so much, but never get rid of the stuff they have purchased previously,” she says. “With the limited space in homes it results in people being surrounded by stuff. I help to get rid of the stuff by decluttering and then sorting the items that are left into proper organised systems, so that everyone can find items quickly and easily.”

While it sounds very domestic, Jokhiya also provides the same services for corporate clients, helping them to deal with mountains of paperwork and training staff to keep things organised once she’s got them started.

“The professional organising business is big in the UK, USA, Australia and Europe but I have liaised with organisers from other parts of the world including Kenya and Brazil as well,” explains Jokhiya. “All of us organisers have the same issues with our clients wherever we are in the world!”