So what’s the process and how does this all work?
I begin by conducting an intake. This is in the form of a conversation where you can explain your needs to me. I will ask questions to help me determine the scope of work as well as uncover any special needs you may have. I will explain my technique in greater detail and provide examples of similar scenarios where I’ve been successful, and how. After we book a first appointment, I will e-mail you a very simple contract.
Who does the work?
Sessions are typically one on one between myself and the client because there’s an ongoing conversation happening during the process. Our interaction can get highly personal– after all, I’m going through your “stuff”, and often you will be sharing confidential information. Therefore, your comfort level and privacy are paramount. Bringing in an assistant can sometimes make a client feel vulnerable, and I want to avoid that until we’ve assessed your needs and built some trust.
I don’t show up with additional staff unless the job calls for it, like a relocation or an estate. Any additional staff brought in are usually other professional organizers I know personally, or those with experience in a specific arena, like someone who has effectively packed and unpacked a kitchen, for example.
Before We Start: On Site
First, let me reassure you that when I arrive, you can let go of fear, shame, and embarrassment. I’ve been in hundreds of cluttered spaces, I”m there to be part of the solution and I don’t judge you or your situation. It’s a gentle process, and I won’t force you to do anything or tell you what I think you should get rid of.
We will do a walk through of your space first, talk about the problem areas and discuss a strategy of attack.
The process is 100% hands-on. I’m not there just to tell you how to fix it. I’ll be working side by side with you to go through the clutter and support you in making good decisions about what to keep/toss/sell/donate/recycle. I don’t judge what you keep, but I’ll be asking you questions to keep it real, and I’m always there to offer advice/opinions on your choices.
50% of the process is the letting go. 50% is creating storage for what you keep. I’ll be offering suggestions and creative solutions for where things will live. Often, the best solution is right in front of us but you couldn’t “see” it without the professional organizer’s eye. I can shop quite efficiently for various products such as shelving, bins, filing supplies, furniture, etc., or point you in the right direction to shop yourself.
Where do we start?
We identify one specific area to start, and continue to work on that area until it’s completed. No zig-zagging around the house or office. Let’s start in the area that is creating the most irritation or inconvenience for you. If it’s residential clutter and you’re not sure, I recommend starting with the bedroom so you’re not going to bed with/waking up to the stress of your clutter. If your problem is paper clutter, we start with the most recent or urgent piles, like today’s mail or inbox, and work backward in time.
How long will it take?
Sessions run four hours minimum. In 12 years of organizing, I’ve found this is the ideal minimum time to make a visible, dramatic impact in the space we select to organize. Things often look worse before they look better, and we need time to make sure things are cleaned up and put away when the session concludes.
How long the entire job takes depends on two things: 1) the degree/severity of your clutter, 2) how fast you make decisions. The client sets the pace, but the good news is, the pace increases as you build confidence in your own decision making. The best organizers are still guesstimating. One closed drawer or box can hold 5 decisions or 100. A typical room takes one day (8 hours), and one full-extension file drawer takes one person around 4 hours.