Are You Committed?

I’ve been organizing now professionally for 6 years and there’s a common “issue” I come across time and time again.   The issue being maintenance or upkeep.  
There are times (many times) when I get a call from a client several weeks after our work together was completed asking me to come back for another organizing session.  To be honest, sometimes it’s just after a few days.  They were thrilled with the work we did and felt really good when I left, however, apparently, things didn’t stay quite the way we left them and they express frustration.
As a Professional Organizer this is one of my biggest frustrations as well.
We work WITH our clients, “WITH” being the operative word, to create organized spaces. Spaces that are functional, accessible and efficient.   We show our clients what we’re doing, while we’re doing it and explain why in the hopes that when their space is organized that they will be able to maintain it.   We TRY to transfer our knowledge so that our clients will understand the basic principles of organizing.
If a client hires us to implement a filing system, for example, we do so with their needs and goals in mind.  We show them where to file the current-incoming paper and what to do with incoming mail so that the system doesn’t fall apart.   This requires time and effort as with anything new.
We also explain that it will not stay that way unless they maintain it.  You can’t clean your house once and expect it to stay that way right?.  You have to do a little each day or each week to keep a clean house.  Same principle applies to getting and staying organized.   
Maintenance requires a commitment.  It means that the space, wherever it may be (filing system, master closet or garage) needs to be tended to regularly.  Organizing requires time, just like anything else, if you want it to stay that way.
While I prefer to maintain my own spaces daily (think OCD), many people won’t or can’t and that’s fine. For those of you who won’t or can’t maintain their space daily try the following:
1.     Pick a day and time, each week or each month to get things done.   
2.     Put this day/time in your calendar so that you set up a routine for yourself.
3.     If, when you sit down to tackle whatever area you’re working on, you feel overwhelmed, move up the date.   Perhaps once a week might be better than once a month.
4.     Make sure that you have the tools and/or supplies you need (for example, if you’re working on paperwork have files, a shredder and a trash bin next to you so that everything you need is at your fingertips).
5.    Use the right tools and/or supplies.  Use good tools/supplies that won’t frustrate your efforts (for example, if your shredder is constantly getting jammed get one that works properly so the shredding doesn’t pile up).     
Bottom line, you must be committed to the process.  If you are not that’s fine too but at least admit it and figure out an alternative so things don’t revert back.  One way would be to hire an organizer, hopefully us, to maintain it for you.   
OC&D offers weekly, monthly and bi-annual maintenance services so that your systems or organized space(s) stay that way.
Call us anytime!  We’re here to help you get and stay organized

FAQ’S About Organizing with Organizing Concepts and Designs

1. What is a Professional Organizer?
A Professional Organizer is someone who can help you get organized or “better” organized as the case may be. That can mean organizing a room that has gotten out of hand, a closet that needs to be reorganized, de-cluttering a garage or implementing a file system and so much more. There are many Professional Organizers who specialize in particular areas, ie.-Residential Organizing and/or Office Organizing, There are others who specialize in only working with Corporate Clients. When choosing a Professional Organizer make sure that he/she has experience in the area that you want to work on.

2. What does Organizing Concepts & Designs specialize in?
Organizing Concepts & Designs specializes in Residential Organizing, Office Organizing, Relocations and Estate Sales. Please visit our website at: for a more detailed description of our services or click on the video below.

3. What is NAPO and why should I use one of their members?
NAPO is the National Association of Professional Organizers. As a member of NAPO, I am bound by their Code of Ethics, a set of principles that provides guidelines for our professional conduct with our clients, colleagues, and community. As a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, I pledge to exercise judgment, self-restraint, and conscience in my conduct in order to establish and maintain public confidence in the integrity of NAPO members and to preserve and encourage fair and equitable practices among all who are engaged in the profession of organizing.

4. How long will the job take to complete?
The answer to this question depends upon your goals and “wish list.” It also depends upon your availability as we work closely with you towards achieving your goals and wishes. Organizing Concepts and Designs works with you and for you to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

5. I’m embarrassed by my mess. Can I count on you to be discreet?
Part of our commitment to you as a NAPO member is to abide by their Code of Ethics (see #3 above) that is akin to the client privilege code under which doctors and lawyers operate. We will never divulge personal information about you. Additionally, you can always count on us never to judge you or your situation. We are all about discretion and we honor your privacy!

6. How much do you charge?
Our fees differ depending on what services you choose. For Organizing and Relocations we charge an hourly rate. However, we also offer packages, each of which has a standard fee, and includes a discounted rate. Estate Sales are all commission based.

7. Can I give your services as a gift?
Absolutely! It is important to note, however, that organizing is a very personal thing and can be a touchy issue. It would be best to make sure that the person you want to gift, is open to working with someone and isn’t insulted by the notion that you think they need to get organized. See the Gift Certificate that we offer below.

8. What is your privacy & confidentiality policy?
Confidentiality of all client information, both personal and professional is upheld at all times. We will never barter, sell or trade your information for any reason.

If you need help with an organizing project of any kind, give us a call. We’d love to help!

My Experience with a Professional Organizer

For those of you who read last month’s newsletter, you may recall that I needed the help of a Professional Organizer.   As a reminder, my house had been undergoing a major renovation and when everything was finished I needed to put “humpty dumpty back together again”.  iStock_000010631522XSmall

While I was organized before, during and even after the remodel, the thought of putting everything back into place by myself was daunting.  I work, I’m busy and I wanted it to get done in one day rather than days or weeks.   I just wanted to get it done!

A long time ago when I first started organizing a seasoned organizer told me that it would be a good exercise for me to hire another organizer to see what it feels like when someone else is touching your “stuff”, suggesting things to do with your “stuff”.

Well, I finally took the advice and hired a Professional Organizer. She happens to work with me often with my clients but it’s very different when you become the client.

This is what I learned:

1.   It’s not only okay to ask for help… it’s important. 

2.   It’s great that help is available for these types of situations.

3.   We all have different ways of doing things but, sometimes, another way is better.

4.   There are so many products and solutions out there that I either forgot or didn’t know about.  Now I have a few more things to share with  my clients.

5.    EVERYONE, even Professional Organizers, will need help at some time in their lives with some area in their life.

In my last newsletter, I promised to let you know how it all worked out.  IT WAS AWESOME!   My house is back together, I learned about new products and new ways of doing things that I might not have learned otherwise.  

If there’s a place in your house, office, storage unit that you  need help with, give us a call.   YOU DESERVE IT!




Help! I Need a Professional Organizer

I have been sending out this newsletter now for over 5 years.  For those of you who open it and read it, I hope you have gotten a sense of who I am, what I do and why.

For those of you who are new and have just recently signed up or, for whatever reason, decided to start reading, the readers digest version is:  I am a Professional Organizer and one of my specialties is residential organizing.  That covers everything from linen closets to bedrooms to playrooms to the garage.  There isn’t a place in a home that I can’t improve upon.  I help people get organized or “better” organized as the case may be.

One of the reasons I started Organizing Concepts and Designs (aka OCD) is because organizing comes naturally to me.  It’s just something I’ve always done for myself and for others.  I can walk into a room full of clutter or boxes and make sense of it all.  I can make that space more efficient.

Here’s the problem…my house is under construction, and it looks like a tornado hit it. There’s stuff everywhere.  Much as I tried to contain it prior to and during the construction, it was just impossible.   After living this way for a few weeks, I am now completely overwhelmed.  I don’t know where to start to put “humpty dumpty back together again”.  Why is it that I can do this for everyone else but I’m having trouble figuring this out for myself?   The answer is simple.  It’s never easy when it’s your stuff. 

So, even though I know exactly what to do I am going to hire a Professional Organizer to help me.   Here’s the questions and thoughts I had that led me to the decision to hire another P.O.:

1.  Why should I do it myself?

2.  Even if I can do it myself, it’s always better and quicker to have another set of hands.

3.  Maybe another P.O. will have some insight into organizing products that I haven’t thought of before.

4.  Perhaps I can organize things differently which might even be better than it was. 

5.  It would be great to have another perspective.

Bottom line is I’m going to give it a try.  I’ll let you know next time how that worked out. All I know is I can’t wait to get some order back in my life.

If you are asking yourself the same questions about your closet, a place in your house or your paperwork, give us a call.  WE CAN HELP!

What Being Organized Means To Me


What does that even mean? I think we all have a different idea of what organizing means.

As a Professional Organizer, this is what being organized means to me:

1. Being able to easily find things when I want or need them. When I say “easily” it means that I don’t have to spend more than a few seconds/minutes to get my hands on the item that I want. I know where it is!

2. Being able to access things when I want or need them. This means that I don’t have to move around several other items to get to the item that I want.
** The caveat is that sometimes we store things in the garage or in the attic which makes it more difficult to get to or reach. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not organized. If for example, you have some memorabilia stored in a bin that’s properly labeled but happens to be located in the rafters in the garage, IMO, that’s still organized.

3. Being safe in my surroundings. Being able to navigate my way around without having to step over something and/or without having to move something out of the way. Not being afraid that if I reach to get something that other items might fall on top of me.

4. Time management is key! If you’re organized you will have more time to get things done and ultimately more time to yourself. My favorite time management tool is my calendar and I use it every day, all day. It includes all of my appointments, all calls that I have to make and all things that I have to do. It keeps me on track. Of course there’s always those things that don’t get done. When then happens I just carry it over to the next day or the next week to make sure that whatever it is still gets done. I just prioritize whenever possible.

5. Finally, being organized means that my house and office have to be presentable at all times. It doesn’t mean it has to be perfect or look like a picture from a magazine. For me it’s just easier to stay on top of things and do a little every day to make sure that my surroundings are presentable.

Organizing Is A Process

One of the questions I get asked the most from prospective clients is “How long will it take?” What a great question…

Most people want a time frame: one hour, four hours, something concrete. Unfortunately, the answer is not that easy. The answer I ALWAYS give is: “Organizing is a process!

Whatever the situation may be, the process depends on so many different factors. Some factors include availability, interruptions, physical restrictions. However, I think the most important factor is typically how quickly you, the client, can make decisions.

For example, if the job is about de-cluttering one person might quickly be able to pick up an item and decide whether to keep it, toss it, donate it, file it, store it. If you can make decisions quickly and keep distractions and interruptions to a minimum, the process will go quickly.

However, another person might need to tell the story about how they got the item in the first place. They might not be ready to let it go until they make some calls to see if someone else might want it, they may want to take a photo of it before they let it go. If that’s the case, the process will take more time.

Most people would like to think they are great decision makers so they think the process will go by quickly. However, that’s not always the case. Expecially when it comes to family heirlooms or memorabilia. Items that have sentimental value usually take more time.

Whatever the situation is, it’s all okay. We will work with you, our client, as quickly and efficiently as possible by helping you make the decisions, figure out what to do with the items or papers and facilitate the entire process.

Do you or someone you love need to get “better” organized? Need help in the garage? Need to get the filing done?
Give us a call or send us an email and let us help.

(310) 560-5060