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Week 3 Winners - Shimokawa Family of Palolo

The Shimokawa Family
Rae, Brynn, Aiden, and Nate

When Rae and Nate Shimokawa had their second baby in October, their spare bedroom became baby’s room. Suddenly, 3-year-old son Aiden’s toys and all the items for Rae’s craft fair business were crowding every nook of the family’s Palolo home. "We just got more stuff, and no time!" she wails.

This is the view of our living room as soon as you enter the front door.

Then Rae glimpsed a possibility for salvation.

“When I saw the contest in The Honolulu Advertiser, I thought of how I always wanted to make the house look better,” she explains. “I’ve entered other contests, but I’ve never won this big! I thought, just try to enter and see!”

As the third weekly runner-up winners of the $30,000 Style My Room contest, the Shimokawas will receive a $1,000 shelving unit from Malia Gurney of Dream Closets Hawaii and organizing services from C. Denise Mazzanti of It’s Your Move. An RSVPstyle Deluxe Style Kit completes the $1500 prize package.

“When Nate found out that I won this prize, he said, ‘Oh no! Now everyone can see what a messy house we have!’” Rae says. “Everything is on the floor.”

The Shimokawas have been married for three years. Nate is an operating room nurse at Queen’s Medical Center while Rae takes care of Aiden and baby Brynn. Before she married, Rae shared a bedroom in an apartment with her sister. She still can’t believe that a 3-bedroom, 2½-bath home doesn’t seem to have enough space.

For their prize, Dream Closets will install a wall unit made of high-density particle board with open shelving that can adjust to varying heights. What color? Malia will assess the best shade to complement the home.

“The beauty of open shelving is they can reconfigure the wall unit as their family grows and changes,” says Malia. “Later, they can add doors to hide the shelves, or install drawers or baskets.”

Sponsors C. Denise Mazzanti of It’s Your Move and Malia Gurney of Dream Closets Hawaii

“People keep adding stuff over the years. Until you physically take it all out, it goes to one room, then the next, and next thing you know you’re in the garage,” she continues. “If you haven’t used something in over a year, get rid of it. You won’t miss it."

Denise of It’s Your Move, a professional organizing service, will step in to help the Shimokawas arrange their things.

Her quick tips for efficient organizing: “Lightening your load doesn’t mean you have to throw everything out. What it does mean is getting rid of things you don’t use or love,” she says. “Until you designate a place for things, you’ll just keep moving your clutter from one place to another.”

Rae is looking forward to a stylish, uncluttered new look. “I’m so glad someone will help us,” she says. "Nate and I are too scared to even poke holes in the wall because it seems so permanent! I hope the Style Kit can teach me how to position furniture, hang pictures, decorate easily and on a budget, and not be so afraid to try things.”

How about you? Have you entered? There are still four more weekly runner-up winners to be chosen, and one lucky homeowner will win the $30,000 Grand Prize!