Q: Why do you do this?
A: I am committed to being a person that helps others. Using the talents and skills I already possess, I help my clients de-stress their lives. I used to be a Social Worker in Ohio in which was not a career path I wanted to pursue long-term. Consequently, I felt compelled to start a business that helps others. I am so grateful for my clients and partners who make referrals that word-of-mouth is my only way of earning new business. Living and working and playing in the mountain community has been humbling and made me a very grateful person.
Q: What is your philosophy?
A: I believe that life is complicated and can be made simpler in some ways. In the US, the storage industry is a multi-billion dollar industry – meaning Americans are spending money to store stuff they don’t want and can’t use. My mission is to help people make room in their lives for what really matters. That is a process and is worth it in the end. I tend to focus on the long-term results that helps my clients when the short-term feels overwhelming. To help make life functional, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing is usually the goal for my clients.
Q: Why is decluttering and organizing important?
A: Looking at things that you don’t like, that make you feel guilty, that are broken, that reminds you that you need to do something but STILL haven’t done it – those things can make you feel overwhelmed. Physical things should help us be more productive, happier, guilt-free, stress-free people. Instead, our things are starting to become another thing on our to-do list (I’ll fix that as soon as I go to Home Depot and find the part….) and they are holding us back from doing things we should be doing. Our consumerist society tells us that we need more, better, newer, etc. but really we need to have things that support our life as it is, not as we wish it were. Getting rid of unnecessary clutter will make room for those things that really do support our life as we live it now. Organizing those items that we keep helps us to see what’s there instead of hiding them in a box. Decluttering and organizing makes it easier to get things out and put them away. Most people do not know HOW to organize – they don’t put like things together or they don’t use the correct organizational bins/shelving/etc.
Q: How do you organize things?
A: Step 1: I start with the big picture. I see your space, look around at the things in it and understand how the clutter started and continued.
Step 2: I then take like items and place them together.
Step 3: Get rid of superfluous, non-essential things that don’t serve your life’s mission. This step sometimes coincides with Step 2 in that they can be done together or flip-flopped.
Step 4: Items are put into categories such as recycle, trash, donate and keep.
Step 5: All remaining items are organized using existing shelving, bins, etc. or new shelving, bins, etc. are bought.
During the entire process, I can explain to you what I am doing as well as ask you questions to find out what things really need to stay and what things really need to go.
Q: Why do you move things around multiple times?
A: I am getting a feel for the number of items you have and the space. Once things are pared down, they might be moved around to see where they should ultimately be placed. I also move things around if it ends up not being functional.
Q: How do you know when to get rid of something?
A: I ask you questions to find out what things in life you love and who you are. If there are items in your space that don’t seem to go along with that, I’ll ask you to consider purging the item(s). By the end of the process, you’ll learn more about yourself because the remaining items should be things you LOVE, things that say something about your personality or your life and things that make your life better. You know you need to get rid of something when you feel guilty when you look at it or use it, when you hate looking at it, when you can’t use it or it is broken, when it was a gift that someone gave you that you don’t like or can’t use, when it served a purpose for your life a long time ago but doesn’t anymore because your life is different.
Q: Should I buy bins, shelving, organizational “stuff” in anticipation of your work in my space?
A: NO! We will discuss anything that needs to be purchased after I’ve had a chance to declutter and organize. The shopping part usually comes toward the end of the project or, sometimes, not at all.
Q: What services do you charge for?
A: I charge for actual decluttering and organizing, researching your specific project (ideas, advice, donation places, etc.), labeling, purchasing items for you, time to sell items for you, travel time and mileage (you’ll know ahead of time if this is needed if I have to drive out of my way). I will let you know if that’s the case before you are charged. Typically, I am able to donate items for you without charging you for my time and travel.
Q: How long will this take?
A: Great question……it depends. For example, some of the projects I work on take 5 hours, some take 50 hours. It depends on how big the space is, how many things are in it, how detailed I need to be in organizing, how long it takes to donate things, how much time you can devote to the project on your own, how easy or difficult it is to coordinate scheduling, how far away your home/office is from where I am. I prefer to work on a project from start to finish all at once but that’s usually not possible. I do my best to coordinate our schedules so I can get done as soon as possible. That could be days or months.
Q: What is your background?
A: I have been organizing since I was a child. I was born an amateur organizer, I just get paid for it now so I’m a Professional Organizer. I have worked with people who had no idea how to get started. Their clutter and disorganization was too overwhelming to even look at. I get excited at the prospect of helping people figure out their mess because my brain just works that way. I also know how to keep the clutter at bay so I work with people and families on ways to stay on top of things. My interests lie in organizing things, decluttering and productivity. I read articles and blogs and books on these topics. Lifelong learning is my goal so I will always be reading, learning and passing along my knowledge. I have organized my own home and have a husband, 2 kids and a dog so I know what it is like to be busy and feel like there is no time for something like organizing. I used to be a Social Worker so I have worked with hundreds of people with many different issues and problems and I feel like I have seen it all. So, I put all judgements aside and just look at my clients with an open heart and hope that what I do for them is life-changing.
Q: How much do you need me for this process?
A: That depends on the project. For example, a home office is usually a place that we need to work together a lot. If I’m working on a garage, I can do a lot of it on my own with minimal input from you. It also depends on your comfort level. We will discuss this ahead of time and, if a key or code is needed for after-hours work, we’ll discuss that (also see the Service Agreement.)
Q: Will you throw things away?
A: Only if you ask me to. I can throw things in a garbage can or bag for you to go through before you put it out to the curb. I won’t get rid of anything until I have your approval. There are times that clients have gotten rid of something that they later wanted but they didn’t regret it and said it was worth it in the end because they can live without it. Anytime you are on the fence about an item, I ask that you keep it until later in the process in which we can go through it again once you get a feel for the decision-making that’s involved in this process.
Q: What do you do with confidential information/letters/memorabilia?
A: Confidentiality is a huge thing for you and me both. Nothing leaves me. I’m a vault. I will not discuss, gossip about, tell anyone about anything you tell me or anything I come across as a result of decluttering and organizing your space.
Q: My spouse and I disagree on what things to get rid of and how to organize our home. How can you help?
A: This is where putting your faith in me comes in. I work with all family members (if that is warranted or needed). Sometimes, bringing me in as a non-partisan outside professional can help to alleviate those issues. Also, the person who is paying me is the person that I take direction from. If that is both of you, I will listen to both people and utilize my best judgement as to what needs to happen based upon the guiding principles in my business which, at a foundational level, to make room in your life for what really matters.
Q: Will you use before-and-after photos to identify me or my home for marketing purposes?
A: When I take before-and-after photos, I make sure to turn down photos that are upright on a surface or take them off the wall. If that’s not possible, I just don’t take photos that have any identifying info like family photos or special artwork. I make sure pets aren’t in my photos either. I post photos on my website, Facebook page, and for other marketing purposes. No personal information (names, letters, addresses) will be included with the photos. You may see these photos before publication if you wish. Just ask!
Q: Are there any approaches such as feng shui, hygge, ergonomics, etc, that you use?
A: I’m interested in any approach that works for the particular client I’m working with. For example, one client really wants things to be functional but is less interested in aesthetics. Another client needs to have an eye-appealing visual set-up. I will work with your lifestyle, personality, needs, and wants.
Q: Who is your ideal client?
A: A person or family who is open to the process of decluttering and organizing. I work with young people, seniors, children, entrepreneurs, parents, etc.
Q: What if my life is completely disorganized? Can you help with that?
A: Yes! If you would like help with the physical clutter, digital/computer clutter, and lack of productivity that you experience on a daily basis, I am here to help!
Q: Will you help me design a room that I can use for a certain purpose?
A: I am good at decluttering and organizing but not as good at design. I will leave that to my design friends who have businesses based upon design work.
Q: I have a lot of heavy furniture/equipment/boxes/etc. Can you move them?
A: I generally cannot lift over 50 pounds. Contact a moving company or handyman who can do that. Let me know if you want help with finding someone.
Q: Do you do cleaning also?
A: No but I know some companies who are really good at that.
Q: Do you help with packing and unpacking if I am moving?
A: Packing is best left to moving professionals. I can, however, help with the decluttering part of packing so that you aren’t taking unwanted/unneeded items to your new home. I can help with unpacking. That part usually includes elements of decluttering and/or organizing.
Q: What kinds of things will you not declutter or organize?
A: Anything I deem to be hazardous, up to and including guns, ammunition, swords or anything that is believed to be used as a weapon, bodily fluids or items contaminated by bodily fluids. Prescription medication and medical equipment will only be moved, decluttered or organized if you specifically direct me to.
Q: If I have possessions that I may want to sell, can you help with that?
A: I can! Typically, I’ll get info about the item(s) to be sold, take photos, post them on social media and take care of any inquiries and set up pick-up dates for the buyer to come to your home to get the items or have you meet the buyer somewhere. This is the basic way it works but there are details we work out together.
Q: Can I stop in the middle of the process?
A: You can but I highly discourage this. I don’t make you sign a contract for a set amount of hours or to follow through to the end of a project. But, the only way I can be effective is to finish what I start. If you need me to stop a project in order to work on something else that is more pressing, I am fine with that. If you decide that this process isn’t for you after I have started, let me know the reasons – I want to learn and grow as a business owner.
Q: Do you charge for an initial consultation to see if this is right for me?
A: No way! The initial consultation is free and usually is anywhere from 45 mins – 1.5 hours.
Q: What kinds of spaces do you declutter and organize?
A: Any. I have not focused on any specific space. I can do, and have done…. homes, garages, offices, warehouses, computers.
Q: What are your hours of operation?
A: By appointment only with availability weekdays, weeknights, and weekends depending on my schedule.
Q: What if I need to cancel a scheduled appointment?
A: Please give 48 hours notice when you can and no fees will be charged. I understand that emergencies arise and no fees will be charged. If you cancel within 48 hours for non-emergencies, then a $45 fee is assessed. The reason for this is that my schedule fills up and giving that spot to another paying client is priority. Charging the $45 is at my discretion. Too many canceled appointments really messes with my schedule and my clients’ schedules.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: As of this writing, I accept cash and checks.
Q: What kind of discounts do you offer?
A: I do discounts when I give presentations to groups of folks and for clients who refer me in which I get a lot of business. I haven’t quantified this specifically but I’m open to discounts for referrals that lead to business.
Q: How do you handle refunds?
A: Refunds for any time that I have worked are not made. Refunds for products purchased are made as long as I am able to return the items to the store for a refund. See the Service Agreement for more details.
Q What if I can’t pay?
A: I am happy to work on a payment plan, just ask. I do require that I receive payment for work done but I also understand that hardships happen so a payment plan is fine. See the Service Agreement if no payment is made.