FAQ

What is “Professional Organizing”?

Professional organizers bring experience and resources to help enhance your life. Whether it is streamlining and maximizing the spaces in your home or office, or diagnosing problems in the systems you use every day, we help to identify the best possible solutions and remove the barriers that get in your way. Spending $1000 at an organizing store doesn’t make you organized. Throwing everything in a dumpster doesn’t make you organized. People fall into those traps without doing the real work to make the future successful. Professional organizers bring expertise and coaching to help you have the best systems and spaces for living the life you hope to live, long after the organizer has left.

 

Who should use a professional organizer?

So many different types of people could benefit from help with their systems in their home or office.  It’s not just the people with extreme disorganization that you might see on a television show.  It’s people who face frustration in their spaces, because things aren’t working seamlessly or their space doesn’t meet their needs anymore.  It’s people who find themselves transitioning into new phases:  downsizing, reorganizing for parents or a new spouse to move in, creating space for children, etc.  It’s for people who understand that, with a nonjudgmental, unbiased outside party acting as a partner/coach during this process, they could totally transform the way they live, even if by only one small project at a time. It’s for anyone who ever made any of these comments when talking about how they feel about their space, their stuff, their systems… their life:

  • I’ve totally run out of space! We’ve just outgrown it.
  • If only I had the time, I could completely get this place under control.
  • I have no idea where to start!  It’s overwhelming
  • I’m just too embarrassed to have anyone over.
  • I’m sick of it; I’m just going to get a dumpster and fill it up!
  • I know what I want to do with the space; I just don’t know what to do with some of these things. I need expert help!
  • My spouse/partner and I disagree on how this place should really work.
  • I don’t know why I keep managing to pay my bills late… another late fee??
  • The grownups are fine; it’s the kids that are the problem!
  • Why can’t anyone in this house tell me when we’re low on (milk, toilet paper, cereal… whatever is the pain point of the day)?
  • We (or my parents) need to downsize… what does that even really mean?
  • I just can’t part with a lifetime of memories in my home.
  • I know I should let go of these items, but I may need them again.
  • I don’t know why everyone tells me I have a clutter problem. I know exactly where EVERYTHING is.  Go ahead… try me.
  • I heard somewhere that a messy office is a sign of a brilliant mind. I’m obviously very brilliant.
  • I wish I could use some of the space in the basement/attic. Honestly, it’s got boxes in there that we haven’t touched since we moved in. I’m not even sure what’s in them at this point.

Sound like you or someone you know? Exactly:  it probably sounds like lots of people you know! All you need is some help to see beyond where you are and help put some new systems in place. That’s what a professional organizer can do for you. Think of it as a personal trainer for your home or office. It’s not a sign of weakness to have a professional organizer come in to help; it’s a sign that you recognize that an expert can help you live the life you desire.

 

Are you going to make me throw out my things?

First of all, I don’t make you do anything. You’re bringing me in because you asked for help; I work for youThat said, there’s a good chance that any space that isn’t working for you may be that way because of the number of items you have there. By walking through what you have, why you have it, and whether you still need to hold it, we will work together to edit your belongings to make your own vision of your space a reality. It may mean letting go of some things, but we’ll always keep in mind what you’re gaining in the process.

 

How do you work? How does organizing actually get done?

My first visit with you, we may not do any organizing work. In our consultation, we’ll talk about your goals, whether they be to redesign an existing space, to revamp or build from scratch the systems you need in your home or office, or to tackle a larger situation, like downsizing or making space for someone new to move into your home. I’m going to ask some questions, but basically I do a LOT of listening. From there, we get deeply into the challenge you’re facing.  We’ll assess everything you have, and we’ll start to evaluate what works for you and what doesn’t when it comes to making changes to meet your goals. In that phase, we’ll focus on decision making and editing (see “ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE ME THROW OUT MY THINGS?” above). We need to make sure that, before we go forward with any new organization, we’re really working with everything we need to include in the space to design the best solution.   We will then design the final plan, identifying the best tools, equipment or layout that will work in the space or system. Next, we move to implementation.  This is where we put all our work into place:  the goal and vision, the editing and retaining of the critical items, and the design for the end product.

Finally, we talk about sustainability.  We want to make sure that the spaces and systems we’ve set up together are ones that live on after I leave. We’ll talk with other users of the space and systems to orient them to the changes we’ve made, and help them share the vision of what living in order will really bring you and those around you.

For some projects, we may need to bring in vendors along the way: junk removal service, online auction vendors, consignment shops, repair professionals, closet organizing system installers, etc. We’ll talk about these steps as they become necessary in our work together.

 

Isn’t it expensive to invest in all the things you need to redo a space?

It doesn’t have to be.  We can make great things happen with what you already own. We can find treasures at discount stores and consignment shops, or higher end organizing stores and closet design companies. We can spend $0 or we can spend plenty.  But any spending that we do will be based on our conversations your needs, your style, and your budget.

 

So, what will this all cost me?

Projects are based on an hourly rate, and we’ll discuss an estimate of how many hours a project may take after I’m able to assess the project.  Of course, variables can come into play that may cause the estimate to vary, including expanding the scope of the project, running into unplanned discoveries, or the pace that it takes us to go through items to make decisions. If you are the kind of person who is compelled to reminisce and contemplate the things that we come across in editing, it’s going to take some time. If you’re the kind of person who just sweeps it all blindly into a trash bin or a donation box, it will take less. We will calibrate as the project goes so that you’re not surprised by the cost when we finish.  

Beyond the hourly rate, any supplies we use for your space, any vendors we need to call in for your project will likely add additional costs. We’ll discuss all of this before ever going forward with a step that has additional costs so that you and I are both clear on expectations. In addition to the hourly rate, pre-paid package of 20 hours, at a discount, are available. This can be great for the client who imagines there is much to do but doesn’t necessarily have a full vision on Day One of what that is. Ultimately, however, you should view this less as a cost and more as an investment in your home, in your quality of life, and in the way you spend your time.

 

I wish I lived near you!  How can I get your help even if I’m not in your area? 

We can work together virtually!  Check out my Virtual Organizing Services page to learn more about how we might work together to support your goals.  It may not be for everyone, but maybe it’s for you?