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A New Year, A New Business

30 Mar

This year I’m diving into (ok, maybe wading slowly into) a new business, Professional Organizing. I’ve always been very good at getting things “cleaned up”, organized and into systems. But I’ve mostly done it for myself, at work or occasionally family. (Even my preschool teacher said I was always very precise in putting toys away.) This year, with all the changes going on with our family and with my other consulting work, I’ve decided to take a real tangible step (beyond the researching and planning stages) in the direction of starting this business.

What is a Professional Organizer?

Professional Organizers use their skills and experience to help clients find the right organizing system, teach organizing skills, and them where they want to be organizationally in their lives. If you’ve ever said to yourself “I wish I could just get a handle on this mess” or “I just don’t know how what to do with insert your most problematic space in your house or office“, then a Professional Organizer can help you.

Services that Professional Organizers offer range from de-cluttering an overfilled closet, room-by-room space planning and reorganization, setting up paper files or computer file systems and coaching on time and task management. They ask the right questions to understand what you want and need. They’re able to customize an organizational system specifically for you. They can teach you basic organizational skills and walk with you through the process of decluttering, organizing and maintaining. They can visual your space in a new way and help you to see the big picture. And they can help you break down your organizing goals into small do-able pieces.

What brought about this step?

As I mentioned above, my family is going through some changes. The biggest is that we’re having our third child. Also with my husband in full time school and two other preschoolers running about, a lot of traditional work positions are not workable options for me. Second, in my other consulting work (Web Design and Project Management), the company who I did all my business since my first daughter was born four years ago is going through some restructuring and trying to land some new contracts, so my incoming work stream is currently very light (well non-existent truth to be told). It’s forced me to take a break (which is nice being at the end of my pregnancy) and also made me look more deeply at what I like to do and what I honestly would love to do as a career.

So the next step after getting that answer is to start taking the steps to make it happen.

Are you certified/ What qualifies you?

Currently I am not NAPO Certified (National Association of Professional Organizers). I would love to be, but it’s cost prohibitive in this stage of the game for me.

Instead my best qualifications come from a lifetime of having a passion and skill at getting things together, keeping organized and the love of working out systematic solutions to problems. In all the years of working for various companies and employers, I have also found myself in the (sometimes unofficial) role of Project Manager and Administrator. Not because it was the “unwanted” role, but because I had a knack for getting things organized and keeping projects running smoothly. Being a Professional Organizer and a Project Manager are not so different from each other. One is more centered on physical spaces and physical systems, while the other can be more abstract and have to do with tasks and timing.

A successful Project Manager requires the ability to setup a system, maintain the system, keep your focus on the Big Picture vision while still being able to handle the nitty-gritty details. All of this in order to bring the end result of completed project and satisfied client, or help bring balance, productivity and efficiency to a ongoing project in a team situation. As a Professional Organizer, these same requirements apply.

And to top it off, I have a degree in Environmental Design (which encompases Architecture and also overall design). This has uniquely positioned me in helping others visualize their space, see the Big Picture on what the function is for an area and then take the next steps in getting organized.

So, I’m interested! What can you do for me?

I am currently offering Professional Organizing Services for your home, your home-based business or small business. I can help you start the process of getting organized, reclaim order, give you tips and tools to be more efficient and find balance in work, home and life. Whether you’re local (I can make a trip for a in person consultation) or halfway around the world (you’d be surprised what a couple of photos and an online consultation can do), I can help you get started in asking yourself the right questions, giving you helpful tips and suggestions for your space, pointing you in the right direction on how to get started and then successfully move you in the process of getting organized.

If you’re interested, please contact me. And Happy New Year of Organizing (for you and me)!

Enough Already! with Peter Walsh

2 Mar

Have you heard of Peter Walsh? Well if you have and you live in the Los Angeles area and and you could use some help organizing your home. You’re in luck!

There’s a casting calls for Peter Walsh’s television show “Enough Already”. (Original post where I got these details are from Unclutterer. Thanks Erin! I too am not in the right part of the country… but am passing it on.)

Enough Already! with Peter Walsh — a series for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network — is looking for participants who are finally ready to say goodbye to chaos and clutter, and hello to an organized and healthy way of living.

APPLICANTS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

  1. Live within a 30 mile radius of the Los Angeles area.
  2. Available to participate for one week sometime between mid-April to late June 2011.

To be considered, please provide the following information.

  • Name
  • Contact information
  • City
  • Description of your clutter and situation (250 words or less)

Please email everything to: bigfishcasting@mac.com
All information is confidential and will only be shared with the program producers.

So bummed I don’t live in So Cal. I’d mess up my house just to have him come in. Or at the very least see if they’d let me watch from the sidelines as he works his organizing magic. What fun!

Organizing Excuses

23 Feb

Sometimes we have reasons for why we can’t accomplish the organizing, decluttering and cleaning up goals we set for ourselves and need to get done… and sometimes those reasons are just excuses because we don’t know how or where to start (or don’t really want to start). That’s where a Professional Organizer can really help “jump start” your organizing project. See this great post (below) from a seasoned Professional Organizer on Excuses on why her clients are  not organized. And you can contact me if you need that “jump start” or locate someone local to you through NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers).

Here is is a great post done by Amanda Kuzak of Kuzak’s Closet on excuses she hears as a Professional Organizer. You may find yourself relating to many of them. If you’d like to read her post at her blog, check it out here.

Excuses, excuses!  As a Professional Organizer I hear them all!  Well, in my mind excuses are just that…excuses.  These are the top 10 excuses I heard from actual clients last week regarding why they can’t get organized and clear out the clutter, can you relate? I am including my responses to these excuses to inspire you to conquer your inner organizing demons and get to work!

 

I’m not organized because…

Excuse:  I don’t have time!

Answer:  Yes you do, you just have to make the time!

(My additional comment: Also just think of the time you’re currently losing by not being organized. It’s a viscous cycle that you know you want to get out of.)

Excuse: I don’t know where to start?

Answer:  I always tell my clients to start in the room that needs the least amount of work so you have a “staging area” for the rest of the rooms.  From that starting point, move counter clockwise or clockwise throughout the house so you aren’t bouncing from room to room.

(Additional tip from me: When you’re doing your sorting for what you’re going to keep, trash or donate/sell – use large clear plastic bins with lids. That way if you have to stop midway through a room you can easily close the boxes and stack them to the side until you’re ready to start again.)

Excuse: I wasn’t feeling well.

Answer: Getting organized gives some people anxiety, once we get started that uncomfortable feeling will go away.  If it is something more serious, take some time get healthy and set an appointment on your calendar to get started another day.

Excuse:  It’s depressing to go through my old stuff.

Answer:  Why let the things that give you bad memories hog valuable storage space in your home?

Excuse: I get frustrated when I see all of the money I have wasted…

Answer:  It is important to learn from your mistakes!  Don’t dwell on what you have wasted money on, get excited about getting control of your home and knowing what you have so you don’t make the same mistakes.

Excuse: My dog died.

Answer: Wow, I am so sorry for your loss!  Take a few days off and get back into your routine.  Staying busy and getting organized is a productive way to grieve and stay positive.

Excuse: I can’t afford it, the shelving options and tools are too expensive.

Answer: Working with a Professional Organizer is 3 to 4 times as effective as getting organizing on your own.  There is so much value in having someone keep you on task, give you professional advice on what to keep, and suggest storage solutions that you already have (FREE) or that are affordable.

(Comment from me: Totally ditto the above!! Organizing doesn’t mean you have to go on a shopping spree, you probably have most of the “solutions” already in your house… but sometimes it’s hard to “see” it without the eyes of a Professional Organizer.)

Excuse:  My parents were unorganized, it’s genetic!

Answer: Being organized is a habit, not genetic.  Once you clear out the clutter it is important to set a maintenance schedule to keep you on track.  Practice makes perfect!

(Another comment from me: Ha lol, you don’t want to see what my parents house looks like. Organization is not neatness, but it is a habit that needs to be honed and will eventually lead to you achieving YOUR optimal level of organization and efficiency.)

Excuse:  I can’t get rid of it, someone gave it to me.

Answer:  I don’t care if it was a gift from the Pope, if you don’t love it or need it right now give it away!

Excuse:  It was on sale.

Answer: I don’t care if it was free, if you don’t love it or need it right now give it away!

Thank you Amanda for letting me share your post. And now put away the excuses everyone and start organizing!

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