Comfort and Coping in a Cesarean Birth

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Before I had my first baby, I thought my husband and I had our home life to-geth-er. I had always been very, very organized. We’d managed to split housework evenly without much fuss. We’d read our Ina May, our Harvey Karp. If anyone was ready for parenthood, it was us, right?

Oh, boy.

Our son came into the world screaming and he kept screaming for months. Our previously neat, placid little apartment was soon filled with an astounding assortment of baby calming gear, every surface covered with abandoned dishes, pacifiers, and discarded baby clothes. It felt like we never had a second to even think about picking up.

The easy equity we’d established before baby’s arrival also shifted uncomfortably away from our values and towards traditional gender roles. My husband went off to work and I worked from home, while also wrangling our colicky baby. We were both exhausted and frustrated, me especially so. Something needed to shift.

Using the practical skills I’d honed putting myself through college working as a stock person, I reimagined our use of space and storage to accommodate baby, his accoutrements and our changed lifestyle. To rebalance our division of labor, I put my theoretical knowledge from studying labor and gender economics into practice. In short bursts and long hauls, across apartments, renovations and international moves, our homes became practical, comfortable spaces that worked for us.

I started The House Shuffle, a home optimization consultancy, to provide household systems, organization and design advice. We address a wide range of issues, but each project follows the same three principles.

1. Use What You Have

You can’t shop your way out of most problems you are having with your home. Our method is driven by the desire to make the best use of what you already have. It saves time, it saves money, it saves effort, it saves the environment.

2. Keep It Easy

We’re secretly lazy. We want things to be as easy as possible, but also super nice. By optimizing for efficiency, maintaining your home doesn’t need to suck up all your free time. You need that time to relax and have fun!

3. Be Yourself

You are one-of-a-kind. The challenges you face might be common, but the exact combination of solutions needed to address them will be unique to you. We know there isn’t one single Right Way and we won’t try to fit you in a box.

I especially enjoy helping new and soon-to-be parents adapt small spaces to fit their growing needs and avoid relationship discord by proactively creating equitable divisions of labor and the management systems required to keep their homes running smoothly.

I currently live in Tromsø, Norway, way up in the Arctic Circle, with my husband, our two sons and our three cats. We’re still living small (the boys share a 49 square foot bedroom! It’s like a cabin on a ship!) and I work entirely remotely, helping clients all around the world get the most out of their homes.

During our consultation process, we collaborate with you remotely to find and address the root cause of whatever is not working for you in your home. All communication takes place asynchronously in our client portal, so there’s no need to make appointments or try to find big blocks of work time. We love working this way and we think you will too.

The best way to learn more about us is by heading over to our blog at While you’re there, you can sign up to get our once a week newsletter full of the latest on our love for plastic shoeboxes, life in the arctic and all things systems, organization and design.

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