If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get organized, Angie Hyche wants to help.
About four years after starting Shipshape Solutions, her organizing business, Hyche has released her first book: “Unholy Mess: What the Bible Says about Clutter.” The book focuses on two of Hyche’s passions, organizing and faith, and gives readers practical tips to declutter their homes, their schedules and even their minds.
“If people really read this with an intent to make changes, I think it can be really life-changing,” Hyche said. “Coming face-to-face with your clutter of all types, it’s been life-changing for me.”
What’s your background?
Born and raised in Colonial Heights, Hyche earned an undergraduate degree from Tennessee Tech University and a master’s degree from Emory University. She worked as a lab researcher for the CDC, a high school science teacher, and a physician assistant before becoming a stay-at-home mother to her daughters.
“During this time when I was at home, I started doing some organizing as a volunteer for the Kingsport Theatre Guild and friends and family,” Hyche said. “While I was kind of knee-deep in costumes and props and different things, me and another person going hours and hours and hours of that, I said, ‘I could do this every day. I love this process.’ ”
She did some research on the field of professional organizing, but didn’t pursue starting her own business until she and her husband became empty nesters.
“I decided to go for it; that was August of 2016,” Hyche said. “It was the most exciting, the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done, but I have just loved it so much.”
How did the book come about?
Hyche is no stranger to writing. For the last four years, she has written a monthly organizing column for the Times News and the Johnson City Press and was a regular contributor to the papers’ Taste pages before that.
“After I had been writing for a long time, I really hadn’t thought about writing a book very much … but the more I did it, the more I enjoyed it,” Hyche said, “and I felt like I was getting better at it.”
Hyche was inspired to write a book after attending a conference of the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals. The idea for the book came from a presentation Hyche had given at several local churches.
“Every time I gave that presentation, I realized, No. 1, that I was super passionate about it and that I had a lot more that I wanted to say,” Hyche said. “I knew there was a lot more scripture, and I guess the more I worked with people, too, I was realizing the concept of clutter and the issues with clutter go really, really deeply. So I wanted to learn some more myself, and I wanted to write.”
What’s the book about?
Hyche writes about the many forms of clutter and how they impact people’s lives, while also providing step-by-step tips for decluttering. The book makes several references to scripture and mentions research on the links between clutter and various health problems.
“There are a ton of other kinds of clutter besides your stuff,” Hyche said. “So I talk a lot about things like schedule clutter, mental clutter, really going with a more broad definition of clutter as anything that gets in the way of you doing what you want to do, accomplishing your goals or anything that distracts you from your primary focus.”
The book was published Dec. 8 and is available as a paperback or e-book on Amazon. For more information or to schedule a presentation about the book, visit shipshape.solutions or email email@example.com.
Hyche is planning to write a companion Bible study that will dive deeper into the topics of her first book.
“After that, I’m definitely hooked on writing and will write more books,” Hyche said. “I have several more ideas that I’m not sure if I’m going to go forward with, but I do know that I’m going to work on a Bible study.”