Anne Marie Kingston. Photo: Anna Groniecka

Cork Profile - Anne Marie Kingston

Network Ireland West Cork President 2023

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up? I always fancied myself as an air hostess with Aer Lingus and travel the world but it wasn’t my calling in life.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today: I have been decluttering for over 30 years on a personal level for family and friends. I left the financial sector in 2012 by taking voluntary redundancy and soon after found out we were pregnant with our first child. Then Caoimhe our second child was born in 2015.

At the time, Caoimhe (our middle child) was gone for her afternoon nap. I needed to declutter and organise our walk-in hot press. So, I got started and had a totally different buzz from it, and there and then I ran down to my now office that I share with my husband for our dairy enterprise and started Googling professional declutterer. Within 24 hours, an intense 12 month decluttering course came up in Limerick and it also included ways so set up your business. I’m 6 years in business in March 2023.

I joined a small intimate ladies' networking group in 2017 but that was coming to an end in the summer of 2018 and my business coach at the time mentioned Network Ireland West Cork branch. Made up of both professional businesswomen, self-employed and employees, I joined in 2018. In 2021, I joined the committee to support the monthly ezine newsletter for 6 months.

In December 2021, I put my name forward as vice president for 2022 and was elected. Also, as part of the vice president role for 2022, I was the branch business awards coordinator for Network Ireland West Cork. And since 6 December 2022, I am the President of Network Ireland West Cork for 2023. So, my hashtag for the year is #getbackintheroom and looking forward to all in-person events.

Also this year, I am continuing to support my clients with hands-on decluttering sessions every Monday and Friday and virtual sessions on Zoom on Thursdays.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do? With the 2 hats I’m wearing this year, as a professional declutterer I love transforming my clients’ homes and the more clutter the better for me. I love the results I give my clients by transforming their homes within a day, taking away their clutter to charity on their behalf and setting up systems so they can maintain a clutter-free home. The support and feedback I receive from my clients is incredible.

What motivates you? Clutter and transformations. The instant transformations I give my clients both in home and business decluttering programs with White Sage Decluttering in my business definitely drives me.

With Network Ireland West Cork, working alongside like-minded professional women and brainstorming ideas and keynote speakers. It’s like a second business and being able to delegate tasks to members because you’re working on your own is a new skill I’m working on and I’m thoroughly enjoying it at the moment.

I love supporting each of the members of our network and getting PR opportunities and sharing their work within the larger network of Network Ireland and to the locality also.

What advice would you give your 15 year old self? Dream big, and avail of every opportunity! We all have a purpose in this world and go for it, life is precious! Follow your dreams and passion, you only get one chance in life and grab every opportunity.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?Ooh, I don’t have an answer for this question, but something in the outdoors and a decluttering spin on it no doubt.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to date? Training as a professional declutterer in 2016. Birthing 3 amazing kids. Becoming Cork's Queen of Decluttering with a continuous waiting list for my hands-on decluttering service. Network Ireland West Cork Businesswoman of the year awards 2020, Branch Winner & national finalist 2020.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life? Both my parents and myself.Our home was very unlucky and my dad especially went through a lot of sicknesses when I was growing up as well as my mother. As a very young child, my dad was diagnosed with cancer in his leg and as a result, his leg was amputated.

My mum had to run our family farm and from a very young age, I took on the household duties.

What is the life dream now? To be Ireland's top professional declutterer and household name. To teach decluttering and my method to both men and women so that they too can set up their decluttering businesses.

How do you switch off? I love being in nature, walking the beaches of West Cork and especially open water swimming. I started back in 2022 after my 3rd child was born and adored it but with work and family, I must get back to it for 2023.

What is your favourite Cork memory? Heading to Union Hall as a child with my parents and aunts with the picnic box.

What is your favourite place in Cork? I do love Gougane Barra, it's so magical.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto? Just do it! You can only ask, the answer can only be yes or no!

When are you at your happiest? Up to my eyes in clutter and transforming my client's family homes as well as spending time with my husband and 3 kids.

What is your hidden talent? I can visualise a room full of clutter and can see the finished product, fully decluttered.

What might we be surprised to know about you? I’m a qualified farmer! And I love the outdoors and supporting my husband on our dairy farm.

Name and position: Anne Marie Kingston, Network Ireland West Cork President 2023

Age: 42

Lives: Clonakilty, West Cork

Family: Married to John Kingston, celebrated 14 years of marriage on 27 December 2022. We have 3 kids – Ryan, 9, Caoimhe, 7, and Cara, 21 months old

Pets: 2 dogs - Pepper (terrier mix) and Bailey (collie).

Favourite thing about Cork: The beauty and landscape of West Cork - so grateful for where we live

My least favourite thing about Cork: That I haven’t seen half of West Cork as it’s so vast

One thing you’d change about Cork: Make Cork the official capital of Ireland!