|Questions Our Clients Frequently Ask
can I do to prepare for our first meeting?
good night's sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and be ready for a
pleasant, productive day. Please do not try to clean up before the
first consultation. It is more helpful to see things as they are so we
know what our starting point is. It makes for a better needs assessment
and action plan. I admire people like you who conclude that they should
ask a professional organizer for help. I know that it can be a big step
to allow someone else into your private space to help you organize it.
From my experience, many people would truly benefit from help; the
practical and courageous ask for that help.
Who is your usual client? Do you do more
businesses or homes? How long have you been in the organizing business?
point, I service mostly residential clients; that is what I enjoy the
most. Starting in 2000, I organized large staff moves, including at the
San Diego Tech Center for Computer Science
Corporation (CSC). Before that assignment, I organized the office
administration & accounting department of a medical case-management
company. I was also instrumental in streamlining and organizing
the logistics of a health clinic that was located on both sides of the
border, with locations in Tijuana and San Diego. Since 2003 I have
focused on clutter-clearing in private homes. Some of
my clients live alone in a one-bedroom apartment, others
have a large family including pets in sprawling homes of 5500
to 6500 square feet. Clutter can accumulate no matter how large or
small your space is. And it is possible to get organized even if
you think your home is just too small (or just too large, for that
matter). I also assist people before and after moving, which is a great
time to re-evaluate and organize possessions. Of course my
work involves many home offices, and I am also happy to tackle
Does this include cleaning work or only
advice? We will definitely
roll up our
sleeves and start the hands-on process to give you some
immediate relief in your living space. And along with that process
there will be advice and on-the-spot tips to improve your
Do you have any experience with chronically
I have worked with seniors,
adults with ADD, and chronically disorganized people. Chronic
Disorganization is a subject that is now getting the attention it
deserves since it affects so many people. The National Study Group of
Chronic Disorganization has published a number of interesting
newsletters on this subject.
Do you point at a pile of papers and say, "You
have to prioritize and sort all of that, then I'll tell you what file
cabinet to put it in"?
We will work
together at hands-on sorting, and setting of priorities. I
can provide as much help and guidance as necessary and desired. Often,
I leave my clients with specific projects to work on independently
before our next session together. It helps to have bigger organizing
projects broken up into smaller pieces to make them more manageable.
That way you have a better measure of the progress you are making.
Also, a professional organizer can hold you accountable for what
you intended to do. On the other hand, you don't have to feel bad
if you were not able to complete your intended projects before the next
time we get together. This is your journey, and sometimes things take
more time than we expect. I can also help to select a specific
filing system that will best suit your needs and work style.
I've read the books and tried different things,
but have only gotten part way there before. How will this be different? It is helpful to read
inspiring books, and I will be able to recommend some that would
be particularly useful for you. But as you mentioned, books
can take you only so far. Many times it is necessary to
have an "outsider" take a look at your particular situation in
order to get out from underneath it. A professional organizer
can give you a more realistic idea of how long the
clutter-clearing will take for any particular zone in your home. And an
good organizer can give you hope by quickly improving your space with
even just one session. Even after just one consultation and organizing
session you will have gained a sense of hope and momentum. As an
organizer, I can either assist you for short-term and
long-term projects, or leave you with a detailed action plan for you to
implement yourself. With many of my clients, it works well to
schedule a number of intensive organizing appointments in the
beginning of their journey. That paves the way for establishing a more
self-sufficient household routine, and I can check in as needed
for maintenance organizing sessions.
Do you and I make decisions together or do you
tell me what has to be done? It depends on
your preference. I have worked with clients who prefer a lot of
guidance in the organizing process and are more comfortable
leaving the decisions up to me. Other clients are too
busy to be there when I work at their home: they give me
permission to work independently to get the job done, and for
larger decisions I check in with them by phone. For most of my
clients, it works well if I act as the coach, asking them
the appropriate questions so the best solution becomes obvious
from their own answers. I am there to make suggestions and
give advice to make it easy for you to make the best decision.
Sometimes we need to evaluate a particular organizing system after it
has been used for a while to make sure it still serves the
Will you tell me exactly what supplies to get
after our first meeting, or just tell me what is needed and I have to
find it? The easiest way to handle the need for
additional organizing supplies is for me to go shopping for you. I know
where to find the supplies and I can combine it with shopping for other
clients so I only charge half of my regular rate for any time spent
shopping. If you prefer, I can also leave you with a detailed shopping
list including measurements and descriptions.
What is your cancellation policy? I
do not charge a cancellation fee. Please offer the courtesy to notify
me as soon as possible when you are unable to keep an appointment so
that I can adjust my schedule.
What should I do with items that
can be donated? I can give you a list of
charities to choose from. My clients often prefer for me to take their
donations away in my car (or our truck). I will take them to Goodwill
for you and provide you with a tax-deductible donation receipt. That
way you get the immediate benefit of having those items off your
premises. You will have more space right away, and the satisfaction of
sending your unused items on to where they can be used. Then it is
easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
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