1. What type of organizing do you specialize in?
Residential, Office, Relocations, Estate Sales & Clear Outs
2. Who is your primary target audience? Men & women between the ages of 40 and 80 (yes, 80!)
3. Describe your typical workday. There is no such thing. Each and every day brings something new and different. We work with different clients every day so one day it might be downsizing, another it might be working on a filing system and, another day might be packing or unpacking someone who is moving.
4. Why did you become a Professional Organizer? I wanted to utilize and combine the 25+ years of legal experience and managing law firms with my natural abilities to organize. Organizing Concepts & Designs (aka OCD) is the culmination of a lifetime of experience and a touch of OCD.
5. Describe your greatest success in this field. I think my greatest success is starting OC&D from an idea in my head to a successful 6 figure + business. I am now in my 7th year of the Professional Organizing business and there are 10 people that work with me on a regular basis. I have also created, manufactured and sell an organizing product which I currently sell on Amazon.com and of course on my website. Check out Stock-It-Pockets at stockitpockets.com
6. What do you find to be the most exciting part of your business? The most exciting part of my business is doing something different every day and making a difference in the lives of my clients.
7. What do you find to be the most frustrating part of your business? Trying to impart organizing skills and knowledge to my clients who really don’t want to learn how to organize or how to maintain the systems that we put in place for them. That said, we are always happy to maintain the systems for them.
8. Describe a successful, creative marketing technique that you use, or that you’ve used in the past. I use my monthly newsletter to keep in touch with friends, family, all current clients, all potential clients (those who have contacted me in the past but may not have hired me yet), everyone that I meet while networking and anyone that attends our estate sales.
9. Which one marketing technique have you found works the best for you? My favorite marketing technique is networking. I love getting out there and meeting people. I find that the personal connections lead to quality referrals. I also find other business that I use in my day to day operations which are invaluable (ie, trash removal services, shredding services, bookkeepers, etc.)
10. Which social media do you use for your business (if any) and how are you using it to market your business? I am on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin. I usually post once a month on each of these social media platforms by sharing my monthly newsletters. I also post if there’s some exciting news to share.
11. Every person interested in entering the professional organizing field is wondering, ‘Can I make enough money doing this? Definitely! If you work hard, continue to learn, market to the right audience for your business model and give your clients the best customer service at all times.
12. As an organizer, what professional organizing information or tools are you always on the lookout for? I typically look for organizing products that will contain things. From files to bins I’m always looking for different options as my clientele is so varied. Sometimes I need things for a closet, sometimes its for sporting goods to be stored in the garage and other times its for my creative clients that have tons of small items/crafts.
13. Looking ahead, what do you see as your greatest challenge? Hiring my team members as full time employees is definitely one of my goals and, at the moment, it is my greatest challenge. I currently have 10 people that work for me as independent contractors. I want to make sure to emphasize that we are ALL insured.
14. As a Professional Organizer, do you have a funny story to share? Not sure it’s funny, but it is a fun fact. I worked with clients, a man and woman, who were living amongst boxes for several years after they moved into their home as they didn’t know where to put anything. So, they basically just lived out of the boxes. They called me as they were feeling stuck and wanted me to “make their house a home”. I proceeded to unpack everything. They LOVED the results and were thrilled. I told them before I left when the job was finished that they could expect to feel a shift in the energy of their surroundings. Shortly thereafter, they decided to shoot a movie that they had written in their home as it was so well put together. The movie, an independent film, was ultimately bought by one of the studios.
15. What are the titles of the last three books you read (for business or entertainment)? I’m not a big reader unless I’m on vacation. But, I like to stay on top of what’s going on so I typically read Time Magazine and I read a lot of articles on the internet about business.
16. Do you have a case study that details a success you had with a particular client? This has happened many times so it’s not one case study in particular. I often work with people when they’ve decided to move from their home of many, many years into a smaller (or just another) residence. I help them downsize and de-clutter to get their home ready for sale so that their realtor can take photographs to market and ultimately sell their home. Through the downsizing/de-cluttering process I help find value in the things that they no longer want or need and facilitate the sale of those items. If there is not enough value I will facilitate getting those items donated and give the client a receipt for their taxes. We usually pack those things that they want to take with them as we go along to keep things moving along. I am there to make sure everything is under control on moving day and meet the movers at my client’s new residence to get them settled in for the night with any necessities (ie, we make sure that the beds are made, that they can have coffee/tea in the morning). We then return the next day to complete the unpacking process. One of the things that sets us apart is that we will always try, and often succeed, at offsetting the costs of our services with the sale of their unwanted belongings. Sometimes it’s through auction companies or consignment stores that we are affiliated with and sometimes its via an Estate Sale. So, basically, we facilitate the entire moving process from A to Z.
17. What is your best tip for people interested in becoming Professional Organizers? Educate yourself. Go to a NAPO meeting or conference to meet other like-minded individuals. Align yourself with another organizer who you can work with/assist or shadow to make sure that’s something that you truly want to pursue.
18. What is your contact information in case someone wants to reach you? Dina Newman, owner/founder of Organizing Concepts & Designs. Website:www.organizingconceptsanddesigns.com
19. What other information do you wish for me to include with your interview? If anyone is interested in signing up for my monthly newsletters they can sign up on my website (see link above). I write about organizing, provide tips and sometimes post ‘how to’ videos.