Women are still expected to be leading in the household organization, so does that make tidying up a feminist issue? Tidying up is work that is invisible and often unpaid, underpaid, and mostly done by women. However, organizing decluttering has been a recent trend in the market and is changing the game.
Faith the Organizer
Faith Kaima is a Kenyan-based home organizer, who started her business in 2017. Kaima is the youngest of 13 children, and she has always been tidy, helping family and friends with their clutter challenges throughout her life. She adopted to turning her passion into her career, and the business ‘Faith the Organizer’ was born. Because of the tidying, she used to do from a tender age, decluttering business was a natural leap for her to grow into.
After giving birth to her firstborn through Cesarian section, Faith came back home unable to do anything for her family. She felt helps as all she could do was order and point fingers. Faith eventually hired a nanny who supported her for some months until she got back to her feet. Her husband realized how good she managed the nanny and eventually her skills, too, and encouraged her to do it as a profession. Having no background at all in this career, she looked for organizers but found none. After gathering enough information and courage, Faith started with organizing her friend’s place, and they were pleased with the job well done. Faith slowly grew and expanded her business through networking.
Is Tidying a Feminist Issue?
The organizing and decluttering profession is a female-dominated industry. This is mainly because of the position of women in the household setting. Therefore, they also become good at paying attention to smaller details as compared to men. However, as women continue to venture into the career world, balancing between household chores and work becomes more laborious. Therefore, women end up looking for solutions that can make work more comfortable and much quicker. It was more about making things more efficient and faster.
The Triple Burden.
When women call for decluttering services, they are already overwhelmed, and the work is usually up above their heads. Their stress levels are typically high and do not have a choice other than a call for help. This is termed as a mental load. The mental load is often used to describe the invisible work that women do in the house, i.e., planning, sorting, and organizing and working outside their homes. This also relates to the triple burden, where women have to balance between productive, unproductive, and communal activities single-handedly. Although some men try to chip in once in a while, the more significant part, such as planning, is left for women. It is surprising how prevalent this trend is in almost all parts of the world despite different cultures.
Despite women being feministic nowadays and independent, having a full-time job, the mentality of women being the homemakers cannot change easily. However, as years go by, men are adjusting and realizing the burden women have to carry single-handedly.
Challenges of Hiring an Organizer.
Calling for help may sound decent and rational; however, some women face challenges when they try to bring up the subject of organizing services in their homes. To begin with, most husbands do not understand why their wives should hire an organizer for work she can do. Therefore, they end up seeing it as a waste of resources because, as the saying goes, “the woman’s place is in the kitchen.”
Secondly, some husbands are not comfortable having another woman in the house. Therefore, most of them have to leave and give the organizer space as they find a place to pass the time. However, the men are usually the happiest because they note the changes, and they love it, plus now they also don’t have to wake their ladies up in the morning to ask for their boxers and socks. Women also end up learning a lot from the services and eventually take back some control into their lives.
However, as much as cleaning up and organizing is done, a lot of education is also passed to men. First, women are encouraged to make it a culture where everyone has a role to play towards organizing. She also needs to communicate and explain why the sudden changes.
Men have a more prominent role to play; they learn a lot about why he has to put his laundry in the laundry basket. Eventually, through the experience, they learn that if they don’t put their laundry in the laundry basket; it doesn’t get washed, and they end up not having clean clothes to wear. It may sound harsh, but if these changes don’t happen, the same problem keeps reoccurring.
Therefore, organizing and tidying may sound easy, but behind the curtain, it carries heavy responsibility and critical lessons for the entire society.