Who hires a Professional Organizer?

I am frequently posed with some variation of the question: “What types of organizing projects have you worked on?” or “Who hires a Professional Organizer”? When I first began this business, my first several clients contacted me out of sheer desperation! Their stuff had infiltrated their primary living quarters and had become overwhelming. This is still a common reason I am called-in to help. I’d like to share a few true organizing stories with you. Although the circumstances are real, the names have been changed.

Sam’s Story
Sam called me and shared his challenges: Time constraints, recent move, many boxes to go through, too much paper and family coming to visit. We decided that the “weekend fast track” was the best option to quickly bring order to his home! I learned that many items still remaining in boxes, belonged to his recently deceased mother therefore, understandably so, he was unwilling to part with most items. My response was, “please show me where we can put it all, if purging is not an option.” He showed me to an outdoor storage shed. “You are just going to have to trust me, but I will need to start three steps back from your primary goal”, I advised him. I then quickly emptied the entire contents of the shed and then heard thunder!  Looking up at the darkening sky, I started praying!!  I mean, after I had just told him to trust me, now we’re seriously facing a possible rain storm!? I picked up the speed, moving all the “keep” items from the house into the back of the shed for long-term, safe-keeping. Long, funny story short,  the rain held off and sixteen hours later, the kitchen, living room and dining room were all “clean and clear”‘!  His storage shed was arranged with frequently-used items located at the front. An indoor office area was tidied and set in order, making a home for incoming paper.  Sam was breathing a sigh of relief and was ready to receive his guests!

Mary’s Story
On the other hand, when Mary called me, I knew her organizing goals would take longer to realize. Her challenges included: over abundance of possessions occupying all areas of her large house, unable to find things so would re-buy multiple items which exasperated the problem, and a large shipment of more than 3,000 pounds of more household items would be arriving soon. It was decided that we would take the “slow and steady” path to achieve lasting order. And we would begin with the most urgent need of clearing out the 3-bay garage to make room for the scheduled delivery of “more”.  Over the course of several months, each area of the home was worked through.  As chaos and clutter left, the entire atmosphere changed! Mary’s autistic son, who thrives on order, was perhaps the primary beneficiary!

Jackie’s Story
Jackie called me two years ago. The initial phone assessment left much untold. Vickie mentioned she hadn’t always been a “hoarder.” Depression had settled in and taken over her thoughts as a result of her mess. She had resolved to “reboot” her life by moving back to her home-town as a solution. She contacted me because she couldn’t do all the work required in the time she had to be moved-out of her apartment. When I arrived, it was evident Jackie was apprehensive and embarrassed to let me into her world. I wouldn’t dare have told her, it was possibly the worst conditions I had seen up to that point in my career. What wasn’t shared over the phone was that she hadn’t set foot into the kitchen in six years and hadn’t been into the bedroom in 3 years because of a rodent problem! This was the largest project I set foot into but by God’s grace we were able to not only clean and pack the entire place but we were able to get her deposit back, which is the greatest miracle I’ve encountered in my organizing career! From that which began slowly and methodically by simply creating a pathway from the front door, momentum was gained, the floor was discovered and packed boxes began to emerge and accumulate, replacing the complete chaos and clutter. Countless trash bags were taken out, a donation pick-up was scheduled and packing materials were brought in. Only days later, Jackie was ready for the movers! As I bid her farewell and wished her great success on her “fresh start”, she said, ” I wish I had called you sooner!” I smiled and replied, “Me too!” I kept in touch with Jackie after her move. She is doing great and has proudly shared pictures of her new place. She resolved to never let things get that bad again!

Allie’s Story
I ran into Allie, an old acquaintance, at a coffee shop. At one point in the conversation, she mentioned her storage units (plural) were a source of stress for her and her husband. They wanted to be rid of the high rental costs but the sheer volume of stuff contained within the space was overwhelmingly daunting. Allie welcomed my offer to help and a date was set!  Allie, her husband, their adult daughter and I, spent two 8-hour days emptying, sorting, purging and condensing.  Due to a recent, hurried move, most of the boxes contained various, unrelated items.  Each item identified as “keep” was re-packed according to category and labeled.  At the end of the project, an entire storage unit (the size of a 2-bay garage) was now empty! Reducing by half, the overall storage Allie and her family needed…..now that’s what we call success!

I am so privileged to be welcomed into others lives and to be a part of their success stories! So, who hires a Professional Organizer? I have found it to be a vast array of individuals; people like you and I who may have busy lives and too little time. People who have come to a point of desperation, are met with serious time constraints, have company coming over, are going through a major life change, are moving or people who just need a little help.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, please reach out! Everyone needs a bit of help now and again and could benefit from having a hard-working, non-judgmental, positive encourager on their side to reclaim their space and sometimes even their sanity!

I’d love to hear your story!

amanda@abcorganize.com

amandaorganizes4u@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Time to Declutter! 3 Ways to Let it Go!

As one year ends and another begins, people often seek to make  a “fresh start”.  Making resolutions to become more intentional, stronger, exercise more, become more organized.  Of all these noble aspirations, I’d like share a couple thoughts on organization.  I believe the key to effective organization is clutter elimination.  After all, you can’t organize well if you simply own more than your square footage allows for.  Might I suggest, letting go of the things that weigh you down?  Scale back. Pare down. Declutter. Purge.  Anyway you put it, less is more when seeking order and simplicity. Having a hard time making decisions about your stuff? Here are three tips to get you started in the right direction:

  1. Envision your ideal.  Consider the vision you have for your life, your home and your surroundings.  Describe it.  This picture that you’re painting in your “mind’s eye” will be critical in the purging process. Be as specific as possible in envisioning and describing your ideal surroundings and don’t be tempted to skip this important step. It will be the foundation upon which the decluttering decisions are made. It will be easy to “say goodbye” to your surplus stuff if you understand its holding you back from realizing your envisioned ideal.
  2. Identify a donation location.  Where will your unwanted or unneeded items go? Once gathered, they must leave immediately!  So deciding where to send them is vital. There are many options to choose from.  You may choose to host a yard sale. Contact the Salvation Army to Schedule donation pick up , or take items to a nearby donation station. Consider taking your items to Revolution Thrift,  which is my top pick for donations! Identifying a worthy location for your unneeded surplus will help you to part with your items, knowing someone else can make good use of them!
  3. Choose a starting point.  Begin with an area that will reap the highest reward. Consider the area that drains the most of your time or causes the most frustration.  This may be the desk or the closet.  Excess paper and excess clothing are high stressors. Roll up your sleeves and empty the entire space.  This is like beginning with a blank canvas. Every item you just removed from the space is a decision. At this point remember the ideal life you envisioned. Ask yourself if holding onto the item will help you achieve your vision. This is where it can get difficult which is why step one is so critical.  Stay put. Make piles. Don’t leave the space you’re  working on because there is a high probability you may lose focus and motivation. If something belongs in another room, make a pile for it.  You don’t need to decide what to toss, just decide what to keep!

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Are you among the millions seeking a “fresh start”?  Would you like to resolve to become more organized?  You can! Contact amanda@abcorganize.com if you need assistance getting started or at any point in the process!

Also, I would love to hear your success stories and see pictures.  Please email amanda@abcorganize.com

Happy Organizing!

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Get your home ready for holiday guests!

As you prepare your heart to celebrate this Christmas season, preparing your home is also necessary for gatherings large or small.  Shoving everything into a closet, or the garage may have been the default, desperate, last-minute “go-to” solution you chose in the past, but may I suggest a different approach?  Hire a professional organizer to achieve lasting results and true order.  Didn’t know such a thing existed? Yes, it’s true this industry is gaining awareness and growing in demand (especially around this time of year)! A Professional Organizer works with you to de-clutter your home and identifies an appropriate permanent location for each item to be stored. You receive encouragement and coaching, never judgment but genuine helpfulness for implementing the best organizational system for you to maintain a clean and organized home.

Getting organized is a great gift for your yourself and your family!  Welcome guests with confidence this season and throughout the New Year! Celebrate the birth of Christ in a freshly organized, warm and welcoming home!

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Merry Christmas!

10 tips to have a successful yard sale

Hosting a yard sale is a fantastic time to declutter while simultaneously making some cash! Win-win!!
1. Display everything you’re selling into meaningful groups/ categories-just like they do in stores.
2. Whenever possible, cover tables with sheets, towels, tablecloths, or runners. It adds a bit of class to your garage sale. Remember, it’s all about that first impression!
3. Put a price tag on every single thing you put out to sell — no matter how small. You’ll make more money at your sale, plus pricing every individual item also helps to avoid the slew of questions all day: “How much is this?”
4. Use plastic zip-top baggies to hold small parts & pieces that go with specific items.
5. Have a plugged-in extension cord handy, so buyers can see that the items do work.
6. Don’t put anything directly on the ground. Whatever you’re selling will instantly drop in value. Use a tarp if items must be placed on the ground.
7. Hang clothes on hangers (always). Don’t fold them (ever). People will pay more for clothes that are on hangers than for clothes that are on sheets, in boxes, or on tables.
8. When using boxes to group similar items together for your display, don’t cram too many items inside each box. It’s best to have fewer items inside more boxes, than to have more items in fewer boxes.
9. Bundle items whenever possible. If you have lots of the same (or similar) items, ask a higher price for one of them and a really good price for several of them.
10. To Sell everything: Post a sign advising that all merchandise will be half-price after 2 p.m. Alternately, stock up on grocery sacks and announce a “dollar a bag” special for the last hour of the sale. Buyers pay a dollar or two for each full bag — and you avoid the need to trek the unsold items to a charity site. Whatever you do, don’t let the survivors back in the house!

Have fun!!