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FAQs

Have questions? I have answers. If you don't see the answer you're looking for, reach out

What are the benefits of working with a professional home organizer?

I’m certified by the Institute for Professional Organizers™, a professional member of NAPO and follow NAPO’s code of ethics. I also serve on the board of NAPO's Washington State Chapter. I’ve completed Coaching Essentials, 8-week course on basic coaching skills that I incorporate into my client work. This is approved coach-specific training per the International Coaching Federation. And I’ve been trained in the 5S organizing system (an approach used in lean manufacturing). 

 

So basically, I take this work seriously.

 

I also have a lot of fun doing it! I will not be overwhelmed by your basement or closet. Let’s get in there and get started! I work fast and come up with creative and practical solutions. In my previous professional life, I was trained in facilitation and can help people (you!) make difficult decisions. If I was able to help my mom downsize from five storage units to one, I can help you with your kitchen cabinets.

Are you going to make me get rid of all of my stuff?

Great question. Pretty much everyone has some extra stuff around and may need help clearing the clutter. But my approach as a professional organizer is from a positive perspective: what is important to you? How can this space better support the activities in your life that happen here? By identifying what’s important, it’s often much easier to decide what stays and what doesn't. If you have a specific goal about letting go of items or feel like you need help reducing the clutter in your home, we’ll identify that at the beginning of the project and I’ll help you get there. It will always be your decision whether something stays or goes. Whether you are a “more is more” or a “less is more” kind of person, you will keep the items that really matter to you.

How long will it take?

It all depends on the scope and no two home organizing projects are exactly the same. How many spaces do you want to work on? How large are they? How quickly do you make decisions? Do you want me to help pick out bins and make personalized labels? I’ve organized one pantry in three hours and another pantry in 12 hours. (Kitchens and pantries are some of my favorites!) Once I see your space, I can give you a rough idea of how much hands-on organizing time a project will take and you can select a package from there.

How much will it cost?

You can buy home organization packages at different levels. You’re not charged more than that unless you add additional hours. Every package comes with a written plan that you can use to finish up on your own if needed. Productivity consulting and group facilitation are different services, billed by the hour or by the day, and charged at different rates. Learn more.

Do you offer consults and I can DIY from there?

Yes, absolutely. Check out Package A: DIY.

Do I need to clean up or prepare anything in advance?

Please don’t! It’s much easier to create a plan that will work for you if you don’t clean up in advance.

Um, is my closet or playroom or kitchen going to be the worst you’ve organized?

Nope. And I’m not going to judge you no matter how much stuff you have or how it’s organized (or not organized). Really.

What kind of organizing do you specialize in?

I love helping people organize their homes. Whether your project is an entire home, storage area, kids’ area or closet, I love it. I have also helped people set up systems to manage household paperwork and organize permanent records. You can see all of my home organizing services here.  I also help professionals with time, task and email management (check out my productivity consulting services if you want to learn more). If you’re not sure if your project aligns with my skills, reach out and we can discuss. I’m not the right fit, I can refer you to one of my local NAPO colleagues.

What kind of organizing don't you specialize in?

If you believe that you or someone you know is experiencing chronic disorganization or Hoarding Disorder, check out the resources offered by the Institute for Chronic Disorganization and their clutter-hoarding scale. I don’t specialize in working with people experiencing Hoarding Disorder but I know many organizers who do and can offer a referral should you need one.

Am I going to need to buy a bunch of bins and boxes?

Many projects can be accomplished without buying any organizing accessories. We’ll talk about what you have on hand and what you may need to buy at the beginning of our work together. The choice to buy anything will always be yours and you’ll be organized at the end of our project either way.

Do you install shelving systems?

Nope. And you wouldn’t want me to. If we are designing a closet system for you, either I can arrange for someone to install it for you or you can. I’ve designed with IKEA and The Container Store shelving systems. I can also refer you to a great local company if you need something completely custom. Shelving system design counts toward the organizing hours in your package.

I’ve been in my house for a long time. Do you help with downsizing?

Absolutely. Downsizing (or rightsizing) can be an emotional experience. It means addressing a lifetime of memories (and sometimes more than one lifetime if you’ve inherited items from previous generations). I appreciate the trust that my downsizing clients place in me - these decisions are personal! Downsizing can also be energizing and liberating: identifying what matters to you now and creating a home that reflects that.

Can you help me pick out furniture too?

I’m not an interior decorator (though I play one in my own home). I can provide feedback on the style, fit and function of furniture you’re considering. During an organizing project, I also give recommendations on how to style your space using the furniture and accessories you already have (think of this as the “great haircut” versus “full makeover” version of decorating).

Will you organize my calendar/email inbox/digital life?

Yup. A digital organization system can be just as impactful as organizing physical spaces. I work with clients on both personal and professional digital organizing projects. Check out my productivity consulting services to learn more.

Will you help me set up a system to maintain my newly organized space?

Yes! Maintenance is the most important step and I’ll make simple suggestions to maintain the work we’ve done. As your life changes, your space will need to change with it. I also offer maintenance packages at a client loyalty rate should you want that support.

Who does the actual hands-on work?

Typically, it’s a mix of working together and on our own, sometimes with “homework” for you in between sessions. I am also happy to organize your space on my own, but will always need you to weigh in on whether or not items stay or go and where categories belong. The system needs to be intuitive to you and will require your input throughout the project.

Do you haul away furniture, trash, recycling and items to be donated?

No, but I can recommend donation or recycling partners for many items. 

What areas do you work in?

I’ve worked with clients in View Ridge, Bryant, Green Lake, Magnolia, Madison Park and many other Seattle neighborhoods. I’ve also worked in Medina, Mercer Island and Kenmore. My family and I live in NE Seattle and I try to keep my one-way commute to about 30 minutes. If you aren’t sure how your location fits in, reach out. I can always refer you to another member of NAPO Washington State.

What is a death binder?

A death binder is the practical answer to: ohmigosh, what would my spouse/adult child/loved one do if I were to die tomorrow? It can take many forms but is often a literal binder where you collect all of the records - insurance, financial, property and more - that someone would need to settle your estate. I created my own after my mom died (and I found vital financial information on decade-old index cards). This service may not be for everyone but I truly believe that having a death binder gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. I’m also (obviously!) not an attorney, accountant or financial advisor. I provide a death binder outline and help you through the process of creating one but if you have specific questions about what records to keep and what to toss, I’ll recommend you speak to an expert in that area.

What kind of group facilitation do you offer?

I offer custom facilitation services for mid-sized groups, between five and 20 people, in the Seattle area. I’ve worked with both for-profit and nonprofit organizations to redesign work flows, improve how you communicate with customers, develop strategic goals and more. I’ll help you identify the scope, design the agenda and run the meeting.

What are the benefits of working with a professional facilitator?

Knowing how to lead a meeting and knowing how to lead a group through decision making processes are not the same thing. First, I’ll work with you to understand what you want out of the meeting or retreat and ensure the scope is realistic. Then, I’ll design an agenda that uses different tools and exercises to allow everyone to feel comfortable participating. My role is neutral during the session, so everyone else (including you) can openly share conflicting opinions. I help resolve any conflict, create alignment and support the group in making shared decisions. Not sure if you need a facilitator? Reach out for a no-obligation video call or learn more.

Do you offer virtual facilitation?

While I have experience in virtual facilitation, I much prefer in-person. There’s something about being in a room together, being able to sense the energy, knowing whether people are with you or have tuned you out, that contributes to more successful results.

Death Binder
Want an organized home?
Let's make space for what matters to you.
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