Question: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself
Hello friends, I’m Helena Zachariassen, a certified KonMari Consultant and Lifestyle Coach and founder of My Happy Home. I was born and raised in Finland, the Nordic country of pure, quiet and beautiful wilderness. I’m a total Scandi girl at heart, with a long and difficult-to-pronounce Danish surname, nevertheless loving and embracing all of the opportunities and life lessons living abroad offers. Growing up in the north and spending all my summers on a lonely but beautiful island in the archipelago made me become deeply inspired by nature, beauty and simplicity and learn to respect and honour our precious environment.
Since 2011 I live in beautiful Switzerland, close to Zurich, with my husband and 2 young children. Before that, I used to live in 5 other European countries and I believe I have a wide understanding of most expat challenges by now… 😉
Question: Tell us about your work
After spending most of my adult life in the corporate world of international business consulting supporting people in their professional development I became a mom and life changed over night. In the following years navigating a new world abroad, with two small children and no support network at hand, I was turning inwards to find my own life mission and purpose career wise. I discovered the KonMari Method™ in 2016 and within a few years from this first discovery I got to meet Marie Kondo, became a certified KonMari Consultant and I was able to combine my passions and finally become an entrepreneur doing what I love!
The KonMari Method™ is all about getting to know your ideal lifestyle, and let this vision guide you in choosing joy, not only with regards to your belongings, but in all areas of life. As a Lifestyle Coach I’m passionate about supporting, empowering and inspiring people of any walk of life to simplify and transform their lives by organising their living spaces according to the KonMari Method™. If you feel overwhelmed with stuff and chaos, in other words mental and physical clutter, and you don’t know where to start or are longing for a place to call your own haven of harmony I’m your go-to person. I will hold your hand, lovingly curate and create space for a home and life you’ll love. In our individual in-home sessions (or alternatively virtual sessions!) I will teach you how to minimise clutter and maximise functionality, forever. In addition I consult you with decorating any space you feel needs a face lift or simply just re-arranging or re-purposing what you already have.
“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.”
Question: What’s a day like in your heels?
I used to wear heels to work daily, I even cycled to work in heels when I was living in Copenhagen, a true bike heaven! However, as a mother of two running around from hobbies to playgrounds and nowadays as an entrepreneur having a very hands-on job, I mostly wear flats and comfy shoes, that I totally love.
No day is the same in our busy household. Usually my husband travels a lot, and I’m the one juggling and managing the daily home life as well as my business. Some days I have half or full day client sessions and some days I work behind the scenes creating content, photographing, writing and learning new skills for myself and my clients. Other days I spend my time as full time driver, teacher, coach, nurse and chef to my tiny humans.
To add some more fun to the weekly puzzle I also work part-time as Community Manager for Mom in Balance Switzerland, whose mission is to keep women and moms (to be) fit and in great shape through challenging and fun outdoor workouts. Such a fun and energising concept I can hardly believe I’ve been part of it for almost 7 years already.
My kids are my biggest joy as well as my daily teachers. I love spending time with them, but I equally love getting some needed me-time, no matter if it’s work related or simply talking to a friend over the phone. We’re so lucky to have found some lovely Au pairs, who have helped and supported our family through these busy years. What’s essential to me is that I’m able to be flexible with my work and be at home when the kids need me, especially if their dad is travelling.
Question: What can our readers expect from you?
I love to share ideas and inspire! Especially on all things home related, may it be tidying and decluttering, organising, simplifying, beautiful interior ideas or simply some life coaching tips for a happy home or a joyful thought. I truly hope that you as my readers will get inspiration from me and my own experiences in simplifying, juggling work and family life as well as find beauty, harmony and joy in your everyday lives.
Question: Tell us some fun facts about you
- As the only girl with 3 brothers, I wished I was a boy too and refused to wear any dress when I was little. Later on I actually really missed having a sister!
- I love my morning coffee, even if I rarely manage to drink it warm
- Red wine and salty liquorice chocolate are my real treats
- I used to be a gymnast and later on a gymnastics coach for young girls. I can (almost) still do the split 😉
- I used to be cabin crew for one summer for the Finnish airline Finnair
- I used to sing in the Helsinki University female voice choir Lyran for 10 years
- I speak about 5 languages (Swedish and any Scandi language, Finnish, English, German and French).
Question: What do you do when you’re not working?
Being with kids is amazingly rewarding but also exhausting and without sports and exercise I couldn’t function properly. Whether I do a sweaty workout (which I love!), take a walk or run in nature, a hike in the mountains or a ski day out on the slopes, I’m in my element. I also love spending time with good friends, sharing a meal, a deep conversation, laughter and a glass of bubbly or two. And if I really want to wind down, I start folding clothes or I start an organising project, which are both amazingly therapeutical and I can lose myself completely in it.
Through the right amount of tidiness both in our homes and in our minds together with healthy nutrition, exercise to keep you fit and enough rest, I strongly believe that you will have more energy and be able to live a happier and lighter life focusing on what matters most for you.
“Tidying your home and life is like an artichoke.
Little by little you peel the layers away and with time you reveal the heart of it all.”
Are you enjoying our content? We would love to hear your opinions in the comments sections. Stay tuned for more resources, we are turning a new leaf and we now have an expert editorial panel talking about – ex-pat living, parenting, food, nutrition, mental health, motherhood, home improvement and more. Stay well and stay with us!
To read articles from our corona series, click here.