STL People on the Move – Shannon Tamme
In this episode of STL People on the Move, we talk about how to organize your move with Certified Professional Organizer, Shannon Tamme. Shannon is an entrepreneur and owner of Life Synchronized. Launched in 2009, the company focuses on helping people organize and synchronize homes, moving, and estates. She is especially drawn to clients who are moving or relocating and can manage every aspect of new home move from start to finish. Shannon has appeared on Great Day St. Louis, Hoarders: Buried Alive, and has taught various organizing courses at St. Charles Community College.
- Looking for a great Mother’s Day gift? Consider a pantry overhaul session with Shannon.
- Overwhelmed and don’t know how to organize your move? Life Synchronized can alleviate the stress and oversee your move from start to finish.
- Want some kitchen pantry inspiration? Check out our Pantry Trends, blog post which includes average cost for updating a pantry, ROI data, and trends.
- Listen/Subscribe to STL People On The Move
podcast Transcript – Shannon Tamme, Episode 3
Released March 24, 2023
Dawn: Thank you so much for agreeing to do this. I am really excited to learn more about your business and the history of your business, who you help, and everything that goes along with being a certified professional organizer.
Shannon: Great, well I am super excited and honored to be part of this whole endeavor. I think it’s awesome and I appreciate the opportunity. So yes, thank you for having me.
Dawn: Well, we worked together specifically on my house and ever since then, when people come over one of the things that I show them is my pantry. I want them to see how lovely it is and how it’s organized and labeled. So I just want you to know that the pantry is a feature of the Dawn Griffin home tour.
Shannon: That’s awesome to hear. I love that.
Dawn: So let’s just start at the beginning. Who are you and what do you do?
Shannon: I’m Shannon Tammy and I am a certified professional organizer and owner of Life Synchronized. We specialize in move management so anything that starts at the beginning of the move, like kind of decluttering, getting it ready, packing, and all of that. We oversee the movers – you can hire the movers or I recommend different movers. I have a special one that I like to use all the time. Then on the other end I’ll unpack and organize and get everything set so that you don’t have to worry about it so you don’t have to stress. Moving is such a stressful stressful event so I just try to take that piece out of it – make it easy.
Dawn: That is awesome. So Life Synchronized is the name of the company…do you have a company origin story?
Shannon: Yes, so it’s kind of an interesting story. It dates back to 2009 um my dad acquired my grandmother and grandfather’s home and that was probably around 2007. When we put her in a facility – she had Alzheimer’s – so we had to put her in a Memory Care Facility, he decided “I’m going to clean out the house”. At the time I was working in accounts receivable and it just was not for me. It was behind a desk and I felt like the spreadsheet was just sucking my soul dry so I was like, “Okay, I need to do something different.” I didn’t know what that was at the time, but my dad was cleaning out the house we were going through the process. He was saying, “I’m gonna sell this… I’m gonna do this.” He was retired and he said, “I’m gonna spend all this time,” and I said, “Whoa! Wait a minute. Think about your time versus your money. What are we gonna do here?” I said, “Well just think about that. When you’re ready, you let me know.” And a year later he said, “I think I’m ready.” So I went out on the www and searched ‘certified professional organizer’ or ‘organizer who can do this’. I found NAPO, which is the National Association of productivity and organizing professionals and they had a Saint Louis chapter here. so I went through the chapter and I hired one of the organizers to come out and do an assessment and while she was doing the assessment it all clicked. I was like, “Oh, my gosh this takes my psychology (I have a psychology degree) and it takes my know-how of organizing, which I was innately gifted with. It took all of these steps and things that I knew and I was like, “Oh, my gosh – this sounds so cool.” So I asked her, “How did you get started?” and she said, “Well I just joined the chapter. I joined NAPO and took classes and C’est La Vie.” That is exactly what I did and I actually worked with her as an independent contractor for about two and a half to three years and then went out on my own. So that’s my origin story.
Dawn: That’s so cool and so brave, right? Because you had very probably stable job. You received paychecks for your time, you didn’t have to market yourself, you didn’t have to do billing, and so you took that into entrepreneurship which is just like…I just I love that. I think that is so brave that you you just were like, “This is what I’m built for and I’m gonna go do it.”
Shannon: Yeah, that was it. It was awesome.
Dawn: So what’s the meaning behind Life Synchronized?
Shannon: So it’s interesting because to go on my own I started to think about what can my name be. I went first from Shannon Tammy LLC – kind of just it’s all about me, but itI really wasn’t about me. Then I started sitting down with one of my good friends and I was thinking okay it’s about life you know…you’re taking all these transitions, you’re doing all of these things, I’m going to be doing multiple different things for these people. I’m a Problem Solver by any means. That’s what I try to do, and I don’t know why but I was thinking about all of those things coming together and how do they synchronize together. It also reminded me – I’m gonna date myself – but The Police and the the songs from their album Synchronicity. I was like, “Oh, this makes so so much sense,” because I love music and so I was trying to figure out a way to bring that in and I was like – Life Synchronized. Okay that’s it! So you can synchronize everything along the way to make it a little bit more cohesive and joyous, harmonious.
Dawn: Well, I mean personally I can attest to that because, I’m not kidding, I find so much joy in that pantry and it’s just like put together and everything is labeled and that’s nothing that I could have done for myself. As far as just synchronizing and saving time. When the groceries come home I know exactly where to put everything and we’re getting stuff out for dinner. I know where to get it… like I’m not just not wasting time. Without it I wouldn’t be wasting tons of time but I would be wasting time. I would be constantly looking for stuff and I don’t know where it is and I don’t have extra time. So just like getting all that together… and you did more for me than just organize the pantry right. We can talk about the whole process right? Because you helped me pack you, helped me unpack, then you put everything in a place where I always knew it could be. And that just wasn’t something I was ever going to be able to do for myself to the level that you did it. I’ve moved plenty – but I think what you did for me was you gave me that little piece of zen and that joy. Like every day, I’m not kidding, every time I open the pantry, every time I go to look for a spice, every time I grab my glasses down – like I literally think of you and I’m like, “This is just perfect. This is just intuitive. And I do feel like my life is synchronized. So, thank you.
Shannon: You’re welcome.That’s so sweet, thank you.
Dawn: So I think your business and mind just obviously dovetail and it shows perfectly. Who do you help? Do you do you find a certain kind of client keeps coming to you?
Shannon: Yeah I help a lot of really busy people/ So whether they’re busy with running their own lives and families and businesses or jobs or whatnot, they’re really super busy and they don’t have a lot of time, so those are the people;. I also attract, which I love to work with too, are people who maybe physically can’t do the work so I’m there to do the work for them. I’m going to be their legs their arms and then I just kind of coach and guide them through the decision making process. So yeah, those are my go-to’s.
Dawn: Okay and so it is mostly people moving from house to house or do you help, like in your own personal case when your grandmother went to an assisted living facility, is that also a branch of what you’re doing? Do you find that you have a lot of older older clients too?
Shannon: I have a few. So it’s kind of a niche. I do love working with older people. But oftentimes when you go to an assisted living facility, they have someone that they work with within the facility. They actually hire a social worker who might come in and help them go through the process and things of that nature, but I have helped many of my clients go through and declutter to get everything ready and then pack and move and set up in their in their new place, which is fun for me because the stories that come out are just amazing . So it’s really neat.
Dawn: Do other people call you who like have been in a space for a while and they’re just like, “I can’t take it anymore. Come do this thing.”
Shannon: Yes. For instance, I’m currently working with a client that’s been there for 40 years so they have 40 years of stuff and not just that…I mean they just, they really liked stuff and she loved decorating for all kinds of holidays. So she has all these holiday decorations and she doesn’t want to take them and they’re moving to Denver so they can’t. It just makes no sense for them to move all of that stuff to Denver. So yeah, it’s fun.
Dawn: Okay so in a really succinct way, do you have a business mission? What drives you?
Shannon: Yeah I do. I love to work together to kind of sync things together for you and make it in a fun, non-judgmental, and easy way to, I guess, create peace and balance in your life so that’s my whole mission.
Dawn: That’s interesting. Do you think people feel judged?
Shannon: Yeah. All the time people will come up. You know I guess that hire me and they’ll say. “I bet your house is perfect…please, don’t mind this mess here. And I don’t have any judgment on that. My way of living is different than yours. My way of organizing could be different than yours. There are so many different ways to do things and I found more and more as I do this that I just don’t…you know I’m just there to
support that person through that process – really, honestly – through the transition, through whatever decision they have to make. I’m just there to support. I’m not there to make any judgments.
Dawn: I didn’t really think about that, but I bet it would keep people from calling and asking for help because they might feel that way.
Shannon: Yea, they would look at me like being so perfect. I’m not perfect.
Dawn: The background looks pretty good.
Shannon: I have a son. He’s not keeping the house perfect. So it’s fine so.
Dawn: In your business, what are your favorite kinds of problems to solve?
Shannon: I absolutely love the move management piece. It’s a project with so many little moving pieces to it that I really
like making all of those things come together and also just finding out like oh my gosh this is now changed so…you know as a real estate
Agent that things change at the drop – and you’re like, “Okay the move is now planned for this date,” and then we have to shift everything. I guess I do well under pressure. I’m like, “Okay, let’s figure this out. Let’s shift the team here to do this to do that day and so it’s always fun. One of the other things that I love to do is figure out on the other end with unpacking. Like what solutions will work best with types of organizing products that I use…how they’ll fit in the space and how things will look. I just love that too.
Dawn: So how many people can you handle at a time? How many clients do you generally work with at once?
Shannon: It depends because I also have an employee and I’m getting ready to hire another person. It just depends on how I’m doing that. So this week alone I think we have five different projects. But it’s not all moves. It’s packing here, somebody needs some help with this pantry. So you know it’s like that time management piece really.
Dawn: Are you good at time management?
Shannon: I think everybody could do better.
Dawn: But I mean like is that a natural skill that you have?
Shannon: I think so. I just try my best.
Dawn: When should people call you? How far in?
Shannon: If you’re thinking about moving I really suggest the further out the better because that will then give us time to go through the whole decluttering process and make sure that everything that you want to keep is really indeed what you want to keep, instead of packing all of that and moving it and trying to figure it out after the fact. So as soon as you can. I’ve had people call me two weeks before the move. That can be a little stressful but I can do it. I can usually kind of fit it in, but I do try to say at least like two months ahead of time if you can, to kind of get through that decluttering process beforehand and then that’s the start of the process. So they’ll give me a call and we’ll kind of set up a date and a time to either meet in person. I also do like virtual walkthroughs with them like FaceTime or Google Duo…some way we can walk through the home. I will give suggestions and ideas for things, they can ask me questions about what they should do with certain things. Then I can basically develop an estimate based on their needs. So whether they need the decluttering help, the packing – you know overseeing any vendors or things to that nature, if they want unpacking help on the other end, if they want new product suggestions, any resources – I give them all of that information and then they can make a decision based on pricing. Like this is where I want to put my time and effort or I’ll take the whole package. I don’t try to encompass just one thing. It is based on their needs and their budget. I try to fit it in their budget too.
Dawn: When you helped me with my house the kitchen was that thing that I just needed. Like I needed it moved quickly and in place because I felt like everything was in disarray and if I could just get that one piece settled then all the rest of it could fall into place a little bit later. But I just wanted the kitchen set and ready and you – I mean and you did sort of do it on a dime because I think I called you a week or two…two would be generous, right before and I was like, “Let’s do this!”
Shannon: And it was fun right?
Dawn: It was. And what was great was you had all the supplies. You came with all the supplies for packing. You were packing my glassware, all my plates and everything…you know all the breakables and boxes and you came with supplies. Then when it was time to go to the new place and put it all together you brought all of those baskets and the label maker. Then you put it all in the right place and I mean not only did that just make everything after that so much easier, but that gave me like 10 to 12 hours that I needed to be doing lots of other things.
Shannon: Oh, yeah at least right? Because sometimes I think with our own brains and our own things we over complicate or we
overthink things. I’ve had that a lot of times with clients. I’ll ask, “Where would you put this?” and they say, “I don’t know in this new house.” You just don’t know but if you have someone who’s done many kitchens, we kind of know you’re going to have the towels by the sink or you’re going to have this by there – you know we kind of just put it all together for you and it’s fun. It’s fun for us.
Dawn: I definitely over complicate things. I’m like “it’s a commitment – like oh my God, it’s gonna be here forever – I have to make this decision right this time.” How long were you a business owner before you were like I am the boss?
Shannon: I think really it hit me probably in like year four, year five, where I really kind of went out on my own and was making my own decisions and doing my own thing. Calvin was a toddler so it was like, “Man…I’m running. I’m doing this. This is really happening.”
Dawn: So you started this business with a small child?
Shannon: Well actually it was before him, but it was shortly thereafter that I had him so it was very interesting to try to shift that whole thinking too. Like I was an independent contractor for a little bit but now I was like running somebody else’s you know business and going just out to the projects and all of that. But then to shift into boss mode was like that, and then Mom, and trying to figure out how to shift all of those things was where you know that time management piece came into play, it was neat. I love it.
Dawn: Yeah I know. It’s like you’re constantly growing, you’re constantly learning new stuff. What do you think is the most challenging aspect of running your own business?
Shannon: I think it is just trying to keep all of those projects going and then you know, put dinner on the table, right? Like you’re just trying to like okay I’ve got to make this one call hold on just a second I’ve got to answer this text because you know as an entrepreneur our days really don’t end until we’re like just sleeping we just crashed.
Dawn: You’re like, I literally am unable to answer the phone therefore my day is over.
Shannon: Yeah and not a lot of people understand that. They’re like oh well you can just shut it off at five and like because there are people who call after hours because that’s there after day you know like they that’s when they need to contact us and and they’re not working, so yeah it’s it’s a balance.
Dawn: Do you have three pieces of advice for people getting ready to make the move?
Shannon: Number one – make mindful decisions that you can not purchase a lot of new things to go into the new home prior to the move. Number two – put those things into a bin or basket or something and label it so that people can find them and return them. Number three – is not all things are going to be in the same place at your new home that they were in the old homes so think outside the box.
Dawn: For me, when you helped me move that was a little bit of a struggle because I had these great corner cabinets that had those pull outs and they really …I mean I loved those things and I had two of them. So I just had all this room and one had my spices in it and that drawer was like right next to my stove and so trying at the new house…the kitchen didn’t look like that. It didn’t have those awesome corner cabinets with those pull outs. So like wrapping my brain around where it used to go and it’s not going to go there anymore and it’s still going to be in a nice easy-to-reach, intuitive place, it’s just not going to be down here anymore, now it’s going to be up here. That was not easy. Like I felt sad. I felt like I lost something. Then you came in and you know you stacked it up so that I could see everything and you made it like as intuitive and as easy to reach as before but I like I had a moment where I was like, “We’re not moving!” because I did not want to give that up. I mean it was too late obviously. Clearly. The house was sold, but yeah, it’s so weird how these emotions come at you about the things that aren’t that big a deal right? But it was just like the straw and so I think that’s what’s really interesting about your job and your background in psychology. Because how do you rely on the psychology degree?
Shannon: Mostly it’s just about helping people make the decisions so it’s like that coaching piece and understanding where they’re coming from. The compassion piece. This is a super stressful thing to go through. Moving, it’s on the top ten things that are stressful in a lifetime and to know that the people are super stressed and you just want to be there to help them through it. That’s the biggest piece.
Dawn: Yeah well you did. You were just so calm and easy so it really was helpful. So are you ready to switch to the St. Louis lightning round?
Shannon: Yes! Yes!
Dawn: Okay…favorite place for a girls night out?
Shannon: Recently the girls and I went to a dinner at The Sanctuaria and it was so cool. They actually have this cool iron structure and it’s outside and they put heaters in there for us. We rented out the space and just had dinner tapas and drinks and it was just fun.
Dawn: Oh, that sounds amazing. Where is that?
Shannon: It’s in the Grove.
Dawn: So yeah, on Manchester…I have heard good things but I just I’ve never been there so I will put it on my list. What’s your favorite Park?
Shannon: So the park that I love to go to is Laumeier Sculpture Park because my son and I like to look at the art pieces but there’s also really cool trails to hike on. So we can just walk through the forest and it’s really fun.
Dawn: yeah and that’s a good place for a little boy…if he touches the art it’s not going to fall down.
Shannon: Right I know! He just loves it. For us -I love to go hiking so that’s a big thing for me but our perfect Saturday is to just go to Castlewood State Park and do some hiking and then go and have lunch and so that’s my big day.
Dawn: Favorite fireworks display?
Shannon: Nostalgia let’s me say the Saint Charles Riverfront because I grew up out there.
Dawn: So I’ve never been. Is that one good?
Shannon: I think so. I think it’s comparable to the arch. Maybe not as big and lustrous but it’s still pretty good.
Dawn: Do you have a favorite summer camp? Does your little guy go to summer camp?
Shannon: He does. He really enjoyed the Vetta summer camp because it keeps him moving and keeps him going and then they have a water day and they take field trips. So he just really likes that one.
Dawn: Is that where you guys are going this summer?
Shannon: I think so, but we’re also gonna do a couple of other ones. A robotics camp he really likes doing that.
Dawn: What’s that through, robotics camp?
Shannon: I think it was through the Parkway School District.
Dawn: Do you guys have a favorite day trip within driving distance of St Louis?
Shannon: Yes. so we had gone to – I know it’s not a huge day trip – but we’ve spent some weekends in Kansas City and he always talks about that. He just mentions going back because he loved The Great Wolf Lodge. We stayed there and he loved Legoland. He’s a big Lego builder so he wants to go back to Legoland and the aquarium.
Dawn: Does Kansas City have an aquarium?
Shannon: They do. It’s literally next to Legoland. I would say it was kind of like ours – you know, smaller, but it’s still pretty cool. I will say we also went to Branson and did the Silver Dollar City thing and we stopped in at – I know your first guest had mentioned going to Springfield, and we did the same thing and were floored by that (Bass Pro Shop). It was like a whole day at the aquarium and all of that. It was an amazing place too.
Dawn: All right, that’s two votes for Springfield…
Shannon: The aquarium in Springfield and the Bass Pro Shop – it’s like a ginormous huge thing, yes it’s pretty cool.
Dawn: Okay, all right. That is on the list too. That’s what I like about this whole section of the podcast because you just find out what everyone else is doing and then you know, you get to add a little spice.
Shannon: Oooh, I know.
Dawn: Okay well that is it and I thank you so much for doing this. Again, when we worked together and you helped me with my house like that was not my first move you know. Like that was probably my ninth move and after you unpacked and organized my kitchen I was like, “Why would I wait nine times before I called someone who did this?”
Shannon: Right, I mean because so many people don’t know that it’s even a thing, right? Just getting the idea out there that you can have help like man, that makes your life so much easier.
Dawn: Yeah and it doesn’t just make those six days easier. I mean like packing, putting it in the truck, getting it all in the new house…it makes every day after that easier like it really does. I feel like it is the best money I ever spent. And I like to say on myself, but everyone in my family benefits from that. But that was like a gift to me right? Like please put this kitchen in order let’s get this pantry together and I feel like that was a gift for all of us.
Shannon: Right. You’re making an investment into your new home too and into your lasting happiness.
Dawn: Yeah, definitely the best money you spend. I swear, like hands down. Thank you.
Shannon: Thank you. It was fun and such a pleasure doing it and getting to know you too. It’s awesome.
Dawn: I’m going to put all the information about your business and how to contact you in the show notes and we’ll post this all over Instagram and all the places so I hope that you are very very busy.
Shannon: I wish you the same too!
About STL People On The Move
Welcome to STL People On The Move: where you will be entertained, inspired and introduced to remarkable people in the St. Louis region. Each episode will touch upon Real Estate, from home design, renovations, neighborhoods, schools, moving, kids, and so much more. We’ll cover real estate during life transitions like divorce, relocations, empty nesters, & aging parents, investing, making the most on your home sale, & how to buy and sell at the same time. The intent of each show is to provide a platform for guests to share their stories and expertise, contributing to building stronger connections in the St. Louis community.