These are some of the most frequently asked questions.
What does a professional home organizer do?
A professional home organizer provides the skills and expertise necessary to help you throughout the organizing process. Working side by side, you will gain valuable skills and knowledge in getting and staying organized. Professional home organizers provide compassionate support and guide you in the decision-making process. The home organizer will take time to listen and learn what organizing systems will work best for your individual needs.
How long does it take to get organized?
There are many factors that determine the time involved in creating the space you are looking for. The size of the space, the number of items in the space, and the time it takes for you to process the items are all factors in the time needed. It is important that the pace is comfortable to you and that you never feel rushed. Many projects can be done in one visit and others will need to be scheduled over several weeks. As an organizer, I will work with you to keep the project moving forward as easily and efficiently as possible. Some projects may take 3-4 hours, while larger projects and complete homes can take 20-hours and more.
What are the benefits of home organizing?
There is an initial investment of time and money to get your space organized, but in the end you are getting so much in return. Some of the benefits of organizing your home include:
Should I clean up and buy storage containers before my first visit?
No. It is important to see what the space looks like and what is and isn't working for you. Leave the house as it is. This will give us a great starting point and will allow me to design the best plan for you. As we go through each item you will discover in the end that there are fewer items to be managed. More often than not people have all the storage items they need already. The goal is always to keep just what you want, need and what adds value to your life. As we begin the organizing process, recommendations for storage items will be made as needed. We will discuss the many different storage items available that would work best in your space, is the most functional and aligns with your own personal style.
Shouldn't I be able to do this on my own?
I love organizing. Not everyone does. Organizing often gets dropped to the bottom of the list of things to do. Organizing alone, when you don't love it, can seem overwhelming, exhausting, daunting, boring, and just something that keeps getting put on the back burner. Over time things start to feel out of control and you seem to have even less time for doing the things you love. Going through your items can also bring on many emotions and sometimes heavy emotion as you relive past events. I will be there to guide and support you in the process as you continue to move forward.
Working with a professional organizer helps you to stay focused and simplifies the process. There are projects that will take one session and others that will require more time. For larger projects a regular appointment will be scheduled to keep the project moving forward. As a professional organizer I have a proven organizing process and systems that work. I am able to streamline the process to help you reach your organizing goals in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it alone. Through this process you will gain valuable skills that you can then use later to stay organized, giving you time to do the things you love.
As a professional organizer I am able to see the many possibilities for the spaces that are not working for you. I take the time to learn more about you and what will work best for you. I follow a process that will make things more efficient and can create systems that will continue to work for you into the future. In the end you will save time and money and most of all will give you your life back. This is an investment in yourself, your life, and the life of those you love.
How do I get started and what does my first session look like?
I start with an in depth phone consultation to learn more about you and your project. If we both feel like this is a good match we will schedule your free in-home consultation (30-60 minutes) where I will offer a free estimate. This is only an estimate, but it will give you a sense of how long the project may take. Many factors come into play such as the amount of items to sort through, your connection to the items and how long it takes you to process each item. Once we are both comfortable moving forward, we will scheduled the first visit, and in some cases, the only visit. Payment will be made at the start of each session and can be made by check, cash, debit or credit card.
Sessions are a minimum of three hours. Three hours will allow us to see progress which can be very inspiring in moving forward to the finish line. Some may prefer to work longer days to get the job done as soon as possible. The max hours that can be scheduled for the day is 6-hours. We would do three in the morning, followed by a one-hour lunch, and I would return for the final three in the afternoon. I do recommend getting a regular schedule in place to not lose momentum. The goal will always be to get you to where you want to be, but to also enjoy the process.
What do I do with the items I no longer want to keep?
There are many wonderful agencies that are happy to take your donated items to help those they serve who are in need. Letting go of what no longer serves you can bring great joy to another. Those items that can not be donated should be recycled if possible. You will end up with some items that are broken, stained or torn and will need to be tossed. There may be items that you want to sell. I highly encourage a deadline for that. If you don't sell it by a certain date you donate it. Some people love to sell on e-bay and Craigslist and can make a few extra dollars. Determine if the payback is worth your time and effort. The goal will be to get the items out of the home as soon as possible. Letting go of these items is a very important piece in moving forward and creating the space, home and life you are looking for. I discuss options for disposal during the initial visit.
Are you going to make me throw my things away?
No. We will work closely together, and I will ask you questions along the way, make recommendations, keep you focused and moving forward as I help you in the decision-making process. I will always be looking out for your best interest. You will always make the final decision, and you are always in full control of what stays and what goes. Organizing in the past may not have been fun, but my goal is to make it fun and doable and to see you through to the end. The only way to do this is to work together until you get there.
I had a significant loss in my life. What do I do with my loved ones belongings?
Going through a loved one's belongings can be very challenging and filled with heavy emotion. Working in hospice for over ten years and having experienced my own losses gives me a better understanding of the importance of taking this great task at your own pace. When the time comes to go through a loved one's belongings it can bring back so many wonderful memories and painful ones too. You may find things you want to let go of, items that should go to others, and items that you want to keep safe for years to come. I can help you do that. You may discover items that truly connect you to the person you lost that you want to bring out and display. Items that bring you great joy each and every time you look at them. This can be one of the hardest things to do, but it can also be very healing. Some are ready and feel joy as they go through the belongings and others feel pain and sadness and others feel angry. Some may feel all of these emotions in one session. Whatever emotions come up, please know ahead of time that it is normal. It is important to recognize and feel them. Then together, we will move forward in the process. We will always honor your loved one, their belongings and any feelings that arise. The best time to start going through a loved one's belongings is when you feel ready to do so. Only you will know when that time is right. It is different for everyone.