Frequently Asked Questions
Everything you need to know about working with me. Still have questions? Contact me »
What does a professional organizer do?
A professional organizer uses their expertise and "tried and true" processes to help you get control over your "stuff" so that you can move through life efficiently and without friction.
A good professional organizer learns about your challenges, needs, preferences, goals, working style, personality type, emotions, and more to tailor their approach and solutions to you.
People from all walks of life hire a professional organizer for a variety of reasons.
- Some are overwhelmed every day at the amount of clutter that surrounds them
- Some don't have friends over because they feel embarrassed about their homes
- Some are paying late fees because they don't pay their bills on time
- Some miss appointments and deadlines because they can't keep track of them
- Some are spending money on storage units to keep stuff they know they don't need
- Some are typically very organized but were thrown off track because of illness, a death in the family, or some other unexpected and/or emotional situation
- Some are preparing for or recovering from moving, having a baby, downsizing, merging households, getting divorced, or some other significant life change
A professional organizer will not make you throw away your stuff. They will help you make decisions about what you want to do with your stuff based on your emotions, needs, wants, and values, and then help you organize the stuff so it's easy to find and use.
No matter why you want to work with a professional organizer, there is no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed.
A good professional organizer is empathetic, patient, non-judgmental, and will respect your privacy.
And when you're done with your organizing project, you'll feel a huge sense of relief, accomplishment, motivation, pride, and a host of other positive feelings!
Are you working during COVID-19? What precautions are you taking?
My clients' safety and my family's safety are of utmost importance to me, so I began doing only virtual work in March 2020. As of late July, I have been doing very select in-person work.
I am committed to protecting you and those close to you. At all times, I abide by guidance from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I have added the following language to my service agreement. I sign it and will require my clients to do the same.
- We will check our temperatures the days we are scheduled to work together and disclose whether we have a fever or any cold- or flu-like symptoms.
- We will wear masks or face shields (which I can provide) at all times.
- We will maintain a distance from each other of at least 3 feet whenever possible.
- There will be soap and water on the premises, and we will wash our hands before and after sessions. I will also provide hand sanitizer.
- If at any time any party is uncomfortable with working together, on or off the premises, they may stop working.
- It is possible that work will need to stop due to illness or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces, and we cannot complete the project. If this happens, we will resume when it's safe and legal to do so.
If you're not comfortable working together in person, let's talk about how we can work together virtually!
Can you work virtually?
Yes! My approach involves reviewing your space and belongings and asking questions about your lifestyle in the space, all of which works well over video.
Here's how it works:
- We meet on Zoom and decide where we want to start.
- I guide you as you go through your items, asking questions that prompt you to think about how each item is going to serve you going forward and whether you can let it go.
- I share ideas on how you can arrange and containerize your belongings so the space works better for you going forward.
- I'll make suggestions about where you can donate, recycle, or sell the items you're letting go.
Many of my virtual clients send me photos ahead of time, and even text me photos during our sessions.
We can work on any space virtually, but the best candidates for virtual work are contained, indoor areas like home offices, pantries, and bedroom closets.
I also offer digital organizing, which is especially suited for virtual work. I've helped many clients organize their email, passwords, photos, cloud storage, and more.
Contact me using the form below and let's set up your free consultation!
How much do you charge?
Every project is different, and the time it takes to complete depends on how much stuff you have, how quickly you can make decisions, and a variety of other factors.
I schedule a free phone consultation with every client, and I then do a more thorough in-person assessment if we think we might be a good fit.
Once I have a good understanding of your unique situation, I can give you an estimate for the project, which might be completed in a single hands-on session or over multiple sessions.
If you're happy with the results, I offer packages that will save you money on future sessions.
Contact me and let's set up your free consultation!
How does it work? What's your process?
Whether you're looking for everyday home or office decluttering and organizing, digital life organizing, or transition preparation/recovery, my processes are very similar.
First we'll have a free phone consultation. I'll ask you to describe your situation, your challenges, your desires, and your goals for the project.
If we agree that we might be a good fit, I will come to you and do a thorough assessment. I'll ask lots of questions and may take some measurements and pictures. (Don't worry, I will never share them without your permission!) If we don't think we're a good fit, I will do my best to connect you with an organizer who might be better suited to you.
After the assessment, I'll give you a time and cost estimate for hands-on organizing. If you want to move forward, we'll schedule our first hands-on session.
Note that the actual, final cost will depend on how quickly you make decisions, whether you need to buy any organizing supplies, and other factors.
I may recommend you buy some organizing products before our session, or I can buy them for you. But most of the time I find that my clients already have what they need. We'll just go shopping in your own home!
I may also suggest some homework — a few small, easy tasks — to do ahead of time. Completing them will give us a head start and, more importantly, will boost your confidence and get you pumped up for our session.
In the hands-on session, I like to use timers and other tools to motivate you and keep things moving — if you're up for it. (I promise not to sing A Spoonful of Sugar.)
At the beginning of our session, we'll do a rough sort of your belongings. You'll find that you'll have items you want to get rid of right off the bat.
Next we'll do a finer sort of what's left, making a decision about whether to keep, donate, recycle, sell, give away, or dispose of each item.
Once we've got our "keepers," we'll get to work organizing and arranging them so you can easily find and use them. We'll also create systems that will help you keep things tidy going forward.
At the end of or shortly after our session, I will make recommendations of how you can part ways with your unwanted items. In many cases I can take them with me when I leave. I may also recommend organizing products you might want to try.
Before I leave, we'll review what we did and talk about how you can maintain the state of organization going forward.
Within 24 hours, I'll send you a follow-up email with recommended organizing products, answers to questions, and other resources that may be of help to you.
I'm willing to bet that you'll be so motivated that you'll want to tackle another space!
How long is a typical session?
My minimum in-person session is three hours, and I prefer to keep it under four, since you may experience "decision fatigue" and lose steam if we work too long. I want you to have a positive experience so you're motivated to stick with it!
My minimum virtual session is one hour, and I suggest booking no more than two hours.
If you've got a tight deadline, or if we've worked together before and know we can maintain our energy, we can do a longer session.
If your project is large, we can schedule multiple sessions to tackle it and/or I can bring in a team. I offer multi-session packages that can help you save money. Contact me to learn more about package pricing.
How should I prepare for my session?
First of all, don't start organizing before I get there! I need to see you in your "natural habitat" so I can base my recommendations on your reality.
We can jump right in and maximize our time if you do the following before I arrive:
- Do your homework. Do any small tasks that I gave to you do ahead of time. They'll boost your confidence and pump you up for our session, and they'll save us time so you can get the most bang for your buck.
- Gather cleaning supplies. While I am not there to clean your house, we will need to wipe down items and surfaces and sweep or vacuum a bit.
- Gather organizing products. If you have empty tubs, bins, boxes, drawer organizers, etc., bring them out. Many of my clients find that they already have everything they need to organize their stuff.
- Get buy-in. It's important that everyone who uses the space knows that you've hired an organizer. They don't have to participate in the hands-on session, but they need to be on board with the idea.
- Eliminate distractions. Block out the time. Turn off your phone. If you have kids and/or pets, please keep them occupied and away from our project space. I want you to get as much value out of our time together as possible.
- Dress casually and wear closed-toe shoes. We'll probably get a little dusty and may be moving heavy items.
- Eat breakfast. You're going to need energy and be able to focus and make decisions. Having a snack and water on hand is a also a good idea!
I will check in with you a day or two before our session in case you have any questions about our big day. And you can always call or email me at any time!
I'm [moving / having a baby / getting divorced / insert your life change here]. Can you help me?
Yes, I can!
I can help you prepare for the change, recover from the change, or both. And I'll make sure to design systems that will help you maintain organization after I leave.
My process for most transitions is similar to the one I describe above, but it may be larger in scope and involve more specific tasks and more space planning.
Contact me and let's discuss how I can help you!
Will you help me get rid of my stuff?
Yes, I will!
I'll bring the trash and recycling guidelines for your town if they're posted online. I'll also recommend places where you can donate, share, recycle, or dispose of your items.
I will arrange for donation pick-ups, and most importantly, I will leave with a full carload of items and take them to a donation center so they can be used and loved by someone else.
I do not sell items for clients. However, I can recommend places where you can sell them, and I can take photos and write descriptions of your items for you.
Will you sell items for me?
I do not sell items for clients. However, I can recommend places where you can sell them, and I can take photos and write descriptions of your items for you, for a fee.
Contact me for more information!