FAQ’s

HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT ORGANIZING? HERE’S SOME HELP.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET ME ORGANIZED?

  • How large is the area to organize? The whole house? Your office? Your home office? The kitchen?
  • How deeply do you want to organize this area? Just get the junk off the floor? Create systems to keep the order in place? A fancy and visually beautiful filing system? Just anything to get the papers off your desk?
  • Are you willing to work on the project in between sessions, or do you find you focus better with my support and presence?

All these factors need to be considered, but generally speaking, if you want to clean up your whole house— your whole life, the process can take anywhere from 3-6 full days, less if you have one specific area to declutter.

But wait! Now we are offering the Clarity Breakthrough Approach™ for those who are anxious to get going and git ‘er done in a weeklong intensive session.

Getting organized is a therapeutic and spiritual journey for most people, and the process of moving things around and letting go of old stuck energy can change and transform every area of your life. As you might imagine, that doesn’t happen overnight! Patience and trust are the most important determinants of success when embarking on the road to order.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

If you have a large job, such as an office revamp or a whole house transformation,  we offer a flexible scale depending on the size of the job and your budget.

We charge by the hour in Los Angeles (with a minimum of four hours per appointment) and by the day for a Clarity Breakthrough (3 day minimum, anywhere in the country) and have several prepaid as well as customized packages, so you are the one that determines how often we meet, depending on your motivation and your finances. I like to work out the best plan for you according to your specific needs.

If you don’t identify yourself as the self-motivated type, or if your work and family responsibilities feel overwhelming to you, I offer relief in the form of a 6 month service contract at a reduced hourly rate. In this way, bit by bit, we will create and maintain “Perfect Order” in your life. (For this service contract, there is a two appointment per month, six month minimum.) Please feel free to call me at 508-237-7994 oremail me, and we can chat about what the best plan is for you.

With In Perfect Order, we are the experts, but ultimately you are the boss, and there is never any pressure to go faster or more intensely than you feel comfortable.

Please be in touch through my Contact page, or call me now at 508-237-7994 and we can discuss the various options for you.

HOW IS ORGANIZING DIFFERENT THAN HOUSECLEANING?

In our profession, we joke around that we are “not a housekeeper, not a therapist, but somewhere in between”. Most housekeepers are not trained to help you create systems that work for you to eliminate (or at least reduce) the piles that inevitably happen in this paper-driven busy rush-around world. They do an invaluable job of cleaning, but that is not the same thing as finding an efficient place for everything and making decisions about what to keep and what to toss. Decluttering is a very personal task that is best done with someone that you trust and feel comfortable with and who has years of experience so you are not wasting your time. For most people who don’t have much time or energy to organize, it’s comforting to realize that we will only have to do the “hard” work ONE TIME because we will leave you with systems in place that will prevent the backlog from reoccurring. Even your house cleaner will know where to put things after we are done!

The way we usually work is to sit and hold the space for you to focus on getting through the piles (or closet or cabinets). Together we create a customized “receiving system” (not a cookie-cutter system that is the same for everyone) so that the piles don’t happen again. We act as a neutral and non-judgmental witness for your process, as we do not have the same emotional or sentimental attachments to your “stuff” that you may have. We assist you in making decisions on what to toss, what to keep, and where to put it. We don’t tell you what to do, but most people are inspired to let go of things that they have been holding on to for years when there is someone there as a “witness”.

We sit right there with you going through papers, boxes, piles, closets, garages, attics…stuff— clutter in whatever form it manifests in your life. We also act as a resource for places to donate things that you no longer are using. Our job is to motivate you to tackle the things that have been standing in your way and we have a few lighthearted techniques for helping you let go of things you no longer need.

We specialize in relief, and most people consider the experience as a very enjoyable and exciting step in their lives, one that has them jumping for joy and hugging us by the end of the appointment. (one of the perqs of our job!)

WHAT IS A TYPICAL SESSION WITH A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER?

One of the things I appreciate most about my job as an organizer is that there is no “typical session”, each person or family has their own individual set of needs and circumstances and challenges.

As an example, one of my clients is an artist and is very aesthetically oriented, the things–knickknacks and memorabilia in her surroundings– are very important to her. To another person, this would feel like visual clutter, and cause anxiety, but in her case not having them in her visual field would be anxiety-provoking as it would feel to stark. What I helped her do was arrange together all the “like” items and found better ways to store them, so that what she was looking at was not clutter, but her loved items, artfully arranged. This also made it easier to find things when she needed them without creating what would feel to her like a sterile environment. She got to have her cake and eat it too!

Usually, the first thing we will do together is identify the place or places in your home or office that are causing you the most frustration. Then, depending on our time frame, we will begin the process of purging what you no longer need. You will be the one making the ultimate decisions about each item, but most people, once we get started, find they are motivated to let go of things they have held on to in the past. This phase of the process can take a few hours or a few days, depending on the space we are working in.
Once we have gotten rid of the things you no longer need, we can now begin the true task of organizing. Again, there is no typical way to do this; it depends on your own preferred style.

Some people want everything labeled perfectly with a labeler, and others don’t mind if it’s written by hand with a sharpie. Some people want all the hangers in the closet to be the same, and others don’t see this as a priority. There is no right or wrong, it is right if it works for you. The way I determine if a system we have created is working is if on the next visit, the system is still in place. Sometimes making something right is just a matter of a minor adjustment in one way or another.

For most people, what created the clutter in the first place is a poor receiving system. This can mean not enough or inappropriate storage, such as a filing system, shelving or closet space. Typically, we begin by identifying what is active and needs to be close at hand, putting the less-used items farther away from the flow of daily life. Along the way, we are making determinations about what kind of storage will work best for each category of items.

It’s hard work sometimes, but what I remind my clients is that we only have to do this heavy duty work ONCE, as we are creating maintainable systems that will prevent clutter from creeping back in the future.

I AM EMBARRASSED TO HAVE YOU COME OVER, MY PLACE IS SO MESSY!

This is a very important and sensitive issue for many people, even preventing those people (would that be you?) that could really benefit from our services. Believe me, almost everyone that contacts me has some sort of shame or embarrassment about their situation, or they wouldn’t be calling me.

I understand the pain and frustration of living and working in an environment that is not supportive or reflective of who you want to be, and that is why I became a Professional Organizer. I love to sit on the floor and laugh and joke around with you while we do the things you have been avoiding or dreading. Organizing can actually be fun, when you know that someone is there on your team. The relief of having a place for everything that makes sense to you is worth the effort that we put into the project, large or small.

Because of what I do for a living, even some of my friends apologize when I come over, thinking that I am assessing their mess and thinking the worst of them. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

First off, I have been in a lot of people’s homes and offices, and have seen a lot of clutter. Chances are, I have seen a lot worse than what you have in your situation. When I come to see you, I don’t look with a critical or judgmental eye, but rather with an eye for how to tackle the challenge. I enjoy helping people feel the relief when a room, closet, or even an entire house begins to emerge from the mess.

I like to roll up my sleeves and get in there with you, and I make sure that we have set up a system that works FOR YOU before my last appointment, so that the clutter doesn’t come creeping back in slowly. I follow up with you, as well, so that you don’t feel like you were stricken by the white tornado and then abandoned.

I AM AFRAID THAT I WILL HAVE TO GET RID OF THINGS I STILL WANT TO KEEP. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE?

It is said that clutter represents unmade decisions. I would like to take this one step further and offer that in some situations, it may also represent unconfronted or unfinished emotions, usually grief. When you are still grieving, it is difficult to let go of an item that represents in material form a connection to a past event or a loved one or a time in your life when you felt most like yourself. It’s not until the chaos caused by the clutter becomes more painful than the attachment to the clutter, that people usually ask for help to let go.

I don’t see it as my job to “convince” anyone to get rid of anything, but at the same time, many of my clients have remarked that it is much easier to let things go when I am there working with them. The magic of what I do is that for some reason, having an impartial and non-judgmental witness affords people a new sense of freedom to lighten their load. People have told me that they actually feel as though they have lost weight when we are finished!

The main reason that I work side-by-side with my clients is that we often come across things that may not seem significant on the surface, but hold great sentimental value. In this case, we accommodate the article in the system we are creating so that it no longer feels like clutter– an orphan in a pile of stuff without a home– but can now have it’s own place and can be retrieved at a later time if need be, or appreciated in the moment.

Clutter has its own energy and has a way of draining our vitality, and lately I have been noticing a strange and wonderful paradox as we are clearing out the clutter. The more we get rid of, the more people are feeling as though they have MORE stuff than before! This has been particularly evident with my clients whom I have been helping in their clothes closet (see Closet Organizing). Getting rid of the things that no longer have meaning to you actually frees up your life force and provides a profound sense of relief.

If you have any other questions that I can answer for you about the process of getting organized, please feel free to contact us.

Shares
Share This