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I hired a professional organizer

Posted by suz_natural (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 13, 06 at 15:01

As mentioned in the previous thread, the professional organizer came by this morning to help me sort out my office. I promised to post how it went.
Well, it went wonderfully! 3.5 hours and it's best money I've spent in a long time! I am an organized person, but I had a lot of stuff in my office that didn't have a proper home. I had sorted everything beforehand (a box for memorabilia, another for office supplies, stationary, etc.) and just had 2 banker's boxes of miscellaneous stuff to go through. Well, she showed up and after 15 minutes started diving in and putting away stuff in my closet using storage accessories I had on hand. Two fabric shoe caddies (that hang vertically from the closet rod - is that what they are called?) were repurposed to store office supplies and odds and ends (I wouldn't have thought of that!). Gift bags and tissue paper were hung up on clothes hangers. A Lazy Susan is holding my paint samples and craft glue. She shifted my clothes in the bedroom closet around so that I could fit shoe boxes in there (they had been homeless for months). After 3 months of walking through a minefield to get to my window blinds, I can now see my office floor! I just have a little pile of stuff left to go through, but I can handle it on my own. We even had time to go through the 2 boxes of miscellaneous stuff. Didn't have to buy any containers or closet systems. She used what I had on hand.

Whew! What a relief! No more feeling overwhelmed. No visual clutter in the room. What a great way to start the week.

Suzanne


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I hired a professional organizer

hooray, that's neat!

thanks for the update; I'm always fascinated by this idea.


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RE: I hired a professional organizer

Too cool!

Gloria


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RE: I hired a professional organizer

Suzanne,

That's fabulous! Especially that you didn't have to buy any new bins or organizers. I wonder if fear of that expense (in addition to paying for the advice) keeps some from hiring professionals.


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RE: I hired a professional organizer

Thanks for the great update -- it is so fascinating to hear about folks' experiences with professional organizers!

AND that she used your own storage bits and pieces --- quite unexpected!

Well done on your hard days work!


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RE: I hired a professional organizer

Actually, Lionors, the first question a friend asked me was if the PO had me buy bins and containers. I expect that's one of the reasons people avoid hiring an organizer. They figure they might get pressured into buying new fangled storage systems. Similar to when you go for a makeup consultation at a high end cosmetic department counter. You know you'll get a sales pitch for the newest lipstick or miracle cream. And some people have trouble saying no to this sales tactic. What's more, I hired the organizer thinking I DID need a new system in my office to store all my stuff! Figured she would show up, evaluate all my stuff (spread out on my office floor) and then, recommend, based on her experience and knowledge of what's on the market, what system to install in my closet to hold everything. All I had in my closet was a clothing rod, a shelf and two small stackable shelves. This wasn't practical to hold office supplies, I thought. So, I figured she would point me to a particular wire storage system or stackable boxes or whatnot. I was prepared for this which is why I was pleasantly surprised when she just started shifting things around and picking up some empty containers to hold things etc. She believes in using what you have on hand. That's something that can be asked when hiring a PO.
There are plenty of reasons people are reluctant to hire POs. Another big one is the thought that they'll make you get rid of stuff. They might, but that's not their first priority. And they don't judge. I know that for years, I had a lot of shame attached to my stuff. I'm a big reader and I love books. Once I get interested in a subject, it seems I need to own all the books on the subject. I decide to get more organized, so I get a book on dealing with clutter, and then one on keeping house and then, before you know it, I have over 20 books on the topic. But still, with all those books, my house is not perfect and I have a lot of clutter! "What must people think when they see this dichotomy?" I wonder. "What is wrong with me that I can't get my act together?" And on and on, imagining other people judging this behaviour as a huge character flaw. I made a self-deprecating joke about the excess of some of my stuff and the PO didn't even smile. There was absolutely no judgment in her reaction. A huge relief. I've tried organizing my stuff with a friend or a family member, but I always get the uncomfortable feeling that they see right through me or are judging my failings. How we relate to our "stuff" can be quite interesting to analyze...
All this to say, if anyone is considering hiring a PO and would like more info on my experience, don't hesitate to ask. Also, if you are reluctant to hire a PO, ask yourself why. You might discover interesting things about yourself. This might be just the thing you need to get over a sticking point.

S.


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RE: I hired a professional organizer

Suz, I had a similar experience with a PO. She had so much positive energy and was very motivated. She made the whole process fun. She helped me organize my kitchen and pantry and it made such a huge difference for us. I plan on having her back to help me unclutter bedroom closets, etc. :)


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RE: I hired a professional organizer

Julieunruly1, how did the organizer organize your pantry?

I just ordered a new mixer and want to move all my baking items out of the pantry to the area where the mixer will sit on the counter. Did the organizer do anything like that? I have a cabinet below this spot. Would it be a good idea to put things underneath in plastic boxes so that I can put everything at once on the counter or should I put all of this in my shallow cabinets above the counter?


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RE: I hired a professional organizer

Marie, I have nearly all my baking stuff,esp.the larger stuff like flour, cornstarch, brown sugar, oatmeal--in a drawer below my mixer. (It gets pretty heavy.) Other, smaller stuff (cocoa, vanilla, food coloring) goes in the cabinet above. For one thing, they're more easily lost; for another, they're generally shorter.

If i didn't have a drawer, I'd have switched to pull-outs, so I didn't have to squat down and peer in.

It's nice--I can stand there and put stuff in the mixer, and the only time I have to go to the other area of the kitchen is when I'm ready to scoop or pour stuff onto the baking pans.

One thing I wish I'd done differently: I wish the drawer were not DIRECTLY under the mixer, but off to the side by 1. Bcs right now I keep having to move aside to get whatever it is, out of the drawer.

I'm not always really good at measuring out all my ingredients first, so I normally practice "just in time" measuring. I don't have enough counterspace to get all the big containers out at once.


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RE: I hired a professional organizer

Talley Sue, thank you for posting. I wouldn't have even thought of any problems with putting the items in the cabinet below the mixer. I will now definitely put them in a cabinet over to the side. I also like your thoughts on smaller items being in the above cabinet.

I guess this should be my clean out the pantry weekend.


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RE: I hired a professional organizer

Marie, my pantry is actually an under-the-stairwell coat closet turned pantry. At any rate, we hung a couple of those wire canned good shelves on the door and put lazy susans on the shelves to hold additional canned good items. We added hooks on the wall to hold brooms, etc. and hung a plastic bag holder as well. As far as the baking goods/spices, they are organized in one of the island drawers. I'll try to snap a pic for a better visual. I still have issues with items on the counters, i.e. can opener, coffee pot etc., but that will be addressed in a future remodeling project.:)


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