Answers to questions and comments I hear on a regular basis!

unorganized paperI have tried for years to get organized; however, it never seems to stay organized.

  • There are people who are just naturally organized. They have a place for everything and everything is in its place. If you’ve ever been to the home of such a person, you’ve likely looked inside their perfectly organized cupboards and thought to yourself, “How hard could that be??” But when faced with the task of recreating such wonderful order in your own home, the feelings of overwhelm lead you to postpone the task for another day.
  • In reality, most of us are not naturally organized. We tend to create functionally-dysfunctional systems of dealing with our stuff until the piles, projects and chaos bring us to a breaking point. It’s stressful when we are living at odds with our environment. Typically, when we hit that breaking point we enter an organizational frenzy that sends us speeding down the road to the nearest store that sells big rubber tubs, shelves or the latest stacking/hanging wonder product and then head back to our homes.
  • Then we start pulling out all our “stuff” intent on bringing order and peace to our environment by the end of the day. But by the end of the first hour the chaos has only grown and even greater feelings of overwhelm sets in. Now we weigh the stress of continuing this seemingly insurmountable pile of stuff against putting it back into the cupboards and drawers so that we can at least bring some relief to feeling so out of control.
  • Out of sight-out of mind…. At least for a little while longer.

When do I know when it’s time to call for professional help and why should I get organized?

  • When the disorganization around you is causing you stress and keeping you from getting things done.
  • When you buy things you know you already own because you can’t find the one you own.  You purchase another one because you know that is will be less expensive to buy another tape measure or staple remover than to take the time to search for the one you have.  This is the same concept professional organizers use.  It is far less expensive to pay an organizer to get organized then to go on wasting time, energy, and money being unproductive and inefficient.
  • When you’ve accumulated so much stuff that you’ve given up needed living space just to store it.
  • When you  or your family members avoid having company because you don’t want them to see the mess.
  • When your physical environment negatively impacts the emotional environment of your relationships and your home.

How much does it cost?

  • It’s only at the end of a consultation that I can adequately estimate the time and costs involved.  It’s tempting to just want a “rough estimate” over the phone, but until I actually see your space I can’t begin to determine which things require my time and talent and which things can be improved or resolved with just some helpful tips and solutions.  I can show you before and after pictures of spaces I have completed and tell you what the cost of that was which may help give you an idea.

time is moneyI can’t afford to hire a Professional Organizer.

  •  How much is your time worth to you?
  • How many hours, days or weeks would it take you to sort through all of your stuff?  It will take me ONE day or LESS.
  • How much time have you wasted in the past searching for things you couldn’t find?
  • How many times have you organized your home or office in the past only to have it return to chaos because your system didn’t actually work?
  • Everyone can afford to get organized when you stop to think about the alternatives.  First we have the easily measurable alternative.  Time.  Did you know that every time your workflow is interrupted, whether it is due to searching for something, getting up to retrieve an item out of reach, thinking about another task you should be doing, or someone calling or stopping in your office, you lose an average of 18 minutes!  Multiply that by how many interruptions you have in one day and you have just lost a significant amount of productivity.  Simply by being organized you can minimize those interruptions.
  • What is the value of peace and serenity in your life? What has been the emotional cost? What keeps you up at night?  Do you run through a list of things you have to do the next day, or that you did not get done today?  Do you feel overwhelmed and anxious when you look around?  Has your relationship with your family or friends suffered because of the chaos?  Have you stopped inviting people into your home? Many people feel shame or guilt and because of that they avoid having people over or avoid hiring a professional to help them out. This shame leads to depression.
  • The truth is, you can’t afford NOT to get organized!

How does the process work?

  • I’ll begin with a consultation to assess your space, your needs, your work habits and thinking processes. This consultation can be over the phone or in person for a small fee. Every one of us is different. Real organization isn’t about neatly labeled rubber tubs. It’s the end result of a process in which we create a system that works with the way you work.
  • My first step will be to gain understanding of how you do things; which things actually contribute to the disorganization and what changes can be made that would help you create the environment you need and want. I will also talk about the things you’ve tried in the past that haven’t worked so we can tailor a plan that works for your individual needs.
  • We’ll work together during the purging process. This is when we’ll sort everything into categories (save, donate, trash).  This can take a couple of hours. By the time we’re finished sorting you will likely be re-experiencing the feelings of overwhelm that have kept you from organizing in the past. The Good News is that once we’ve finished this part of the process YOU’RE DONE! You’ll leave me and the piles behind knowing that in a matter of hours you’ll return to find your space and your stuff at peace and harmony with each other. And as a huge bonus… you’ll discover you have a LOT more space. Closets, drawers, desks, cupboards… I promise you’ll be amazed. Everything that you need and everything that mattered enough to you to keep will be organized, labeled and easy to find.

How much time will it take?

  • Even though it may have taken years for things to become unmanageable, I can clear your clutter and completely organize an environment that is created to work just for you in a matter of hours.   On average, it takes one day or less to organize a roomOffices take a little longer, perhaps 2 – 3 days because we deal with ALL your paper throughout your entire home or office.  We look at each piece of paper and make decisions on them while creating a filing and retrieval system.  This includes past taxes, memorabilia, children’s artwork, archived financial paperwork, the paper piles in the kitchen, the boxes in the garage… all paper around your home or office!

How involved will I have to be?

  • Once you hire me, I will take care of everything.  I can shop for any necessary product and containers, I will arrange donation and/or trash pickups and I will do all the work for you!  You can be as involved or uninvolved as you choose to be once we have purged together. Many of my clients choose to leave and come back to an organized space.

Will I have to let go of my stuff?  Will you throw everything away?

  • I will never come into a client’s space and start throwing things out.  Although purging is a part of getting organized, it is not about getting rid of everything.  What I help you do is decide to decide.  How many times have you set something aside thinking, “I can’t make a decision right now, I will decide later”?  By asking the right questions, I will guide you to the decision that is right for you.  My goal is to have you come to the decision to get rid of the things that no longer serve you and have become obstacles in your life.  If you are keeping something that evokes a negative emotion why hold on to it?  A great rule of thumb is never keep something out of fear or guilt.  In other words, if the only reason you are keeping something is because your neighbor gave it to you and you are afraid if it is not in your home when he or she visits their feelings will be hurt, that is not a good reason to keep it. Nor are their emotions your responsibility.  Organizing is also about re-establishing boundaries.  There are many kind and loving gestures that you can do for your neighbor that do not include keeping something you find distasteful.   Now that may be one of the reasons you are hanging on to it.  If another reason is you love it, you need it and it serves you, then by all means!  It’s a keeper!
  • I will never be the one to get rid of anything.  That decision will always be yours in the end.  I just help guide you to making the right decision for you.  So if you are not there while I am organizing, I will collect anything I think may go into the “Let go of” category.  You will look at it all.
  • With that said, you MUST be ready to let go of things in order to get organized successfully.
  • You must also re-establish boundaries in your life if you would like to STAY organized.  Not only your physical boundaries, such as not allowing your children to bring toys into your office, but emotional and behavioral ones as well.

organized recycleI don’t want to make waste and throw things in the garbage. I want to be environmentally conscience and reduce my carbon footprint.

  • I will make sure that everything that can be recycled will get recycled.  I am familiar with all the city waste guidelines and what cities or counties recycle even if you do not separate your trash.
  • I will also help you decide what to donate or sell as well as give you the tools and resources to do that.  I am familiar with all the local charities and recycling areas and will provide you with all that information so that you can feel good about the decision you make.

How will you know what to do with MY stuff?

  • Change is hard. I fully appreciate how sensitive it can be to allow someone else to sort through your “stuff”.  By the way, “Stuff” is actually the scientific term for “I’m really attached to this and I can’t bring myself to let it go even though I don’t need it anymore” Okay, so I made that up – but I do understand that everything you own entered your life for a purpose or a reason. Some things have sentimental value. Some things we’ve held onto for years and years simply because they are still “perfectly good” and maybe, just maybe you might need to use it again someday.  Many people hold on to things because they have attached the experience to the object.  Once you realize that the experience is something in your heart and in your head and is something that cannot be taken away, it will be easier to let go of things that no longer serve you.

I can’t make decisions, will you help me?

  • I understand how difficult it can be for you to decide what things should stay close at hand, what things should go in a bin, what things should go to charity and what things should go to the dump…. And that’s precisely why you need my help! My attachment is to you, my client; I have no emotional attachment to your stuff.  And without that attachment I can be very practical and pragmatic.  One of the things I do best is to help you make the best decisions in a way that respects your feelings and values. I am highly trained and it’s these skills that make the experience and investment so worthwhile.

I am too ashamed to have an organizer look at my space.  I feel guilty about letting it get this way.

  • As a Professional Organizer I see firsthand clients that have waited and waited to hire me because they are embarrassed or ashamed or simply feel they do not have time.  You must understand, this is what I do for a living.  I help people like you.  I can’t speak for other organizers but I can tell you that I am humbled and honored, especially when a client in this position hires me, because I know the difficult decision he or she has made and what it took for them to get there.  I greatly respect my clients for this.  I never come into someone’s sacred place, home, or office, with judgment.  I come with compassion and a clear vision of what it will look like when I am finished.  My career is extremely fulfilling because I know that I helped someone change his or her life.

Can I purge on my own before you arrive to save money?

  • The only part of the process that you must be involved in is the purging process.  And even then, it will take less time if I help you purge by guiding you to the right decision and helping you determine if something is really an obstacle in your life or something to honor.  When people try to do this part on their own they get sidetracked, they stumble on making decisions because they are overwhelmed or “stuck” and they tend to take too much time making a decision on each item.  I am not emotionally attached to your possessions like you are.  Therefore I can keep you on track, keep you focused and during that process I will not only help you focus but I will be asking you many questions that will help me determine the “system” that will work specifically for you.  Once the purging is complete you can be as involved or uninvolved in the rest of the process as you wish.  Many of my clients leave or go about their business while I continue and actually do the organizing for you.  Once the system is in place I then will bring you back and teach you how it works.  And it will make perfect sense to you because I have already determined what will work for you.

Can you just give me direction so I can get organized on my own?

  • I am certainly happy to give you guidance, directions and even a step by step plan.  I can even check in to hold you accountable.  However, this almost NEVER works.  How many times have you tried to do it on your own?  It all comes down to time.  I have it….. You don’t!

Can you organize my children?

  • YES!  I organize children of all ages.   From toys to homework, I will work one on one with your child to help them build and improve their own organizing skills.

What makes you different from other organizers?

  • I personally know many of the Professional Organizers in this area and they are all wonderful and talented individuals, many of them good friends. Most other organizers require you to be involved in the entire process. Many clients either do not have this kind of time, or it is just too overwhelming, making an entire day of organizing nearly impossible. This of course leads to extending the project to more and more days. Once you have hired me, you can be as involved or uninvolved as you wish to be after we have made decisions of what you are keeping and what you are letting go. Each one of us has a different methodology or different approach to the same end result. When hiring a Professional Organizer you must establish a personal bond and trust almost immediately as they will be sorting through all of your belongings. Since it is such a very personal service, you should feel comfortable and confident with the organizer you chose.
  • I cannot speak for other organizers but I can tell you that integrity, respect, trust, honor and faith all make up the foundation of my business as well as my life.  I take this responsibility to my clients very seriously.

Change your LifeWhat will be the end result?

  • Imagine living in an environment where you can find everything you need, to do what you need to do. Imagine getting things done in less time with less stress because you didn’t have to waste time searching for something you knew you had. Imagine how comfortable you’ll feel living and working in an environment that has more space than “stuff”; an environment you’re proud to be in and welcome others into.
  • There is a movement afoot.  The world is filled with massive uncertainty.  Politically, socially, and inevitably emotionally.    People want clarity and meaning in their life. Simplifying the things around you is that stepping stone to clarity. Remove the material possessions that no longer serve you and have become obstacles rather than advantages.  Keep in mind that organizing is almost NEVER about your “stuff”.  Learn to be very self-aware. Redefine your relationship with your belongings because physical clutter in your life is daunting and creates overwhelming and unnecessary stress.  Organizing is liberating and it’s a path to incredible freedom.  In every present moment, we have an opportunity to choose a different thought, word, perspective, and attitude.  When something no longer serves us we can choose to let it go.  We can choose to think, see, and do things differently.  In every moment we have an opportunity to choose again.  I hope you’ll choose to fill your mind with thoughts that are life enhancing, positive and energizing.  Go forth with confidence, knowing you have already set in motion a greater experience of peace, order, balance and freedom…Your Life.
  • That is what it feels like to be Finely Organizedsm.

Is your home and office organized?

You bet it is!  There is nothing I own that I cannot put my hands on in 60 seconds or less!