WHO Needs Us?
With today's busy schedules, deadlines, and fast-paced life styles, becoming and staying organized has NEVER been more important. Disorganization can cause loss of time, money, jobs, relationships, and even homes.
The professional organizers at Organize My Clutter have worked with all levels of clutter and disorganization imaginable and with people from all walks of life since 2008. Even people who are typically organized have used our help with looming projects or for catching up on things left undone.
We help busy mothers and fathers, movers and relocating families, baby boomers and the elderly who need help downsizing, doctors, lawyers, executives, teachers, collectors, shopaholics, hoarders, and the physically or mentally challenged who need special organization to meet their needs.
Everyone has clutter at one time or another, including our own team members, each of whom has their own story to tell. Everyone goes through a series of life transitions and unexpected circumstances, and these can be a leading cause of clutter and disorganization. We consider these cases Situationally Disorganized, and no one is immune.
Many people also struggle with clutter and disorganization over their lifetime. They may even seem neat and orderly at first, but their spaces behind doors and in drawers tell a different story. We call them Chronically Disorganized and find that most of the time they just need to be taught basic organizing skills, because they simply haven't been shown them before.
We've also worked with Hoarders, and even assisted on the popular TV show "Hoarders" behind the scenes (Season 8, Episode 5, Ben and Robin.) Of course, real life doesn't always work like TV, and we prefer to take more time with our hoarding clients. It's important the hoarding client is actually ready for the process and not doing it just to appease others. They typically need therapy and sometimes medication to help them make better decisions about their things.
Why Hire Us?
We HELP PEOPLE, because WE "GET IT."
We understand, and we GUARANTEE not to judge you, your home, or living situation, and your confidentiality is just as important to us as it is to you.
We know how clutter and disorganization can leave anyone overwhelmed, often not knowing where to begin.
We are committed to continued education in the professional organizing industry in order to help you in the best way possible. (Yes, it really does exist!)
We believe organization is a skill that can be learned by anyone, regardless of age or circumstance. All it takes is some encouragement and an open mind to get there, because becoming and staying organized is much more than just cleaning things up.
Sometimes, life just takes over.
Life happens. Major life transitions are a natural part of everyone's lives. Marriage, kids, career change, relocation, renovations, downsizing, aging parents, and the loss of loved ones are things we should expect but often are unprepared for. When these life transitions happen, priorities change, and some things need to be put on hold. After the transition has passed, you may become aware of the clutter and disorganization which accumulated due to lack of time to maintain it. This physical and emotional clutter can be daunting and often ignored because you simply don't know where to begin. You may look around your home and think, "I need to organize this," but overwhelm stops you in your tracks and still, life must go on.
When life takes over and you feel you've lost control, know you are not alone, and we are here to help you gain an organized life once again. The DeClutter Crew from Organize My Clutter will never judge you or your home. We will work by your side to help you get through those clutter piles. Our organizing service includes the physical sorting, categorizing, and organizing, and we can help make arrangements to remove donations, recyclables, and trash. We'll walk you through the tough decisions, keep you motivated and focused on your goal, and help catch up the back-log.
On the other hand, many people struggle with clutter and disorganization.
It may have been triggered by a traumatic experience, or it may simply be something they have never been taught. As Julie Morgenstern states in her book, Organizing from the Inside Out, "organizing is not something that is taught in school." If you are not aware of basic organizing techniques, then organization is a constant struggle creating undue stress from not being able to find things or chronically paying bills late.
If this is you, you are not alone and shouldn't feel ashamed. Disorganization is very common and can be found in every level of society, and in clean, neat homes, just as much as dirty, untidy homes. We see it in doctors, lawyers, business owners, professors, leaders, and professionals of all types. A Professional Organizing service will help you learn organizational tips and techniques that will benefit you for a lifetime. We will reorganize your things, your paper, your time, and your life. We will walk you through the process of setting up systems at your pace, and we'll be your support system to help keep you on track.
In 1996, Dr Randy Frost & Dr Tamara L. Hartl provided the first systematic definition of hoarding, identifying three main criteria:
(1) the acquisition of, and failure to discard, a large number of possessions that appear to be of useless or of limited value;
(2) living spaces sufficiently cluttered so as to preclude activities for which those spaces were designed; and
(3) significant distress or impairment in functioning caused by the hoarding.
Hoarding disorder is a significant problem for 4-5% of the population. For people with hoarding disorder open to treatment, cognitive-behavior therapy is the psychological treatment of choice for people with this debilitating condition. (http://mentalhealthsf.org/)
According to the International OCD Foundation, “Hoarding Disorder (HD) is a mental health disorder where people have difficulty getting rid of possessions that are no longer useful. While most people go through periods during which they have trouble getting rid of things — for example, after the death of a loved one or when moving out of a childhood home — HD sufferers have difficulty parting with possessions all the time. Attempting to get rid of their things causes HD sufferers to feel significant distress, including when concerned loved ones try to get rid of possessions on their behalf.
For individuals with HD, the difficulty with getting rid of things causes their living spaces to become so cluttered that they are nearly unusable. Without help, HD can interfere with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, personal hygiene, and/or sleeping. Extreme clutter can lead to eviction, increased risk for fire, and impaired access to emergency services. In addition, HD can lead to poor sanitation and cause serious conflict with families and communities.
A diagnosis of HD requires all three of the following:
- A person collects and keeps a lot of items, even things that appear useless or of little value to most people.
- These items clutter the living spaces and keep the person from using the rooms as they were intended.
- These items cause distress or problems in day-to-day activities.”
For a deeper understanding of Hoarding, refer to the International OCD Foundation Hoarding Fact Sheet. ( https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Hoarding-Fact-Sheet.pdf )
For more information, education, and support, please see our Resources page.
Professional Organizers enhance the lives of clients by implementing systems and processes, and through transferring organizing skills. Professional Organizers also educate the public on organizing solutions and the resulting benefits. (National Association of Professional Organizers)
A Professional Organizer is someone who provides information, products, and hands-on support to individuals, families, and businesses large or small, assisting them in creating a simpler, more efficient work or living space. We help clients assess their current situation and together create a plan to build a healthier environment. It may be in the form of a closet organizer, a better filing system, or a kitchen cabinet pullout. It may be a way for clients to organize their daily tasks better or to complete their work assignments with more efficiency. Whatever form it takes, it is up to the professional organizer to use creativity and skill to design a better organized, simpler environment for clients.
The environment an organizer creates reflect who clients are and what's important to them; it will match their needs and make living and working easier on a daily basis. We organizers want our clients to get on with the business of living life instead of just surviving it. (Dawn Noble, How to Start a Home-Based Professional Organizing Business)
Getting organized contributes to a sense of well being. It increases efficiency and productivity. It lowers stress and helps individuals find more time and energy for the things that matter most. It makes a home or office appear more spacious and inviting.
Lack of organization is draining, making it difficult to focus and affecting productivity. Clutter interferes with our sense of tranquility and the smooth flow of energy in the space. This contributes to lethargy and procrastination. Disorganization can cause feelings of frustration, anxiety and can even lead to depression. It makes a space seem small and inefficient. (Hellen Buttigieg, We Organize U)
Dealing with clutter alone takes commitment, time and energy. A Professional Organizer can kick start your commitment by helping discard what you don't need and show you ways to prevent clutter from taking over once again. Becoming organized will affirm that you are important enough to enjoy more from your life and have less stress. By taking control of the clutter, you take control of your life. When you take control of your life, you are investing in yourself.
Purging is a cleansing experience by removing unnecessary or undesirable items. It's also a process to determine what's important to you. By sorting like items together, then going through them one by one, you will find all sorts of discoveries. They may be emotional or just technical, but in the end you will learn what to do to be happier with your space and with yourself.
Purging is best done when first sorting your belongings into categories such as Keep-Sell-Toss, then re-evaluating the Keep pile (as seen on Clean Sweep, TLC.) However, additional categories may be more productive for some clients, such as Elsewhere (items you are keeping but don't belong in this space) or Donate (instead of Sell) for those not interested in having yard sales. The Keep pile might be broken down even further to jump start the organizing process. Not every Purge process is exactly alike. We will determine your needs throughout the purge as we go.
Once we determine what you are no longer keeping, you have every right to store them for a yard sale, however, you will benefit more from letting it all go immediately. By having the fresh start in your newly organized space, you may not want the stress of organizing a sale. Having a yard sale is also a temptation to bring back inside the items that don't sell, therefore defeating the purpose of hiring a professional organizer. If you do have a sale, you should commit to donating everything that doesn't sell by scheduling a "pick-up" with a local charity. Most clients will donate their items to charities immediately after the purge. Some will simply recycle and/or toss them. Together we will go over your options and I will help you decide what to do with them.
PLEASE don't do a thing! And there is no need to be embarrassed. My crew and I are not here to judge you as a person or to judge how clean your home is. I promise we will not be shocked or negative about what you let us see. We will not share your situation with others. Confidentiality is always a top priority, and the only exception will be to ask your permission to post before and after pictures of the project. We will be professional and compassionate with you and together we will find a solution to help you get organized so you'll no longer be embarrassed by your surroundings and will welcome surprise visitors with confidence and a smile.
It's important that you don't clean up or change anything before we come. We need to see your current clutter habits to help us analyze how you live your daily life and determine what will be the easiest solutions for your personality and different needs.
The amount of time it takes to sort, purge, and containerize depends on the amount of clutter you have and how quickly you are able to make decisions. Other factors could include cleanliness, and safety issues. We are here to help you do the physical sort in every way possible, and we will keep you focused on the big picture and encourage you in every direction. We also make a point to monitor time and progress to help you get the most for your money. No two projects are alike, and estimating a project can be challenging. We will discuss realistic expectations in the consultation with the understanding that many, many variables will alter the results.
Generally, organizing takes much less time than the initial sorting and purging. Implementing your new organizational systems will depend on several factors: the size of the area to be organized, whether or not the project requires additional services such as construction or specialized installations, and whether or not you are involved during the organizing process. It's not necessary for you to be there to organize but we require your involvement to sort and purge prior to the organizing. Most clients prefer to stay involved with the organizing process, but occasionally schedules may not allow it, and that's o.k., even though we recommend you stay involved. Your involvement in the organizing will help make the system more personalized and even better for your needs. Either way, when the organization is complete, we will review and explain the new systems to you in a step-by-step manner until you completely understand and see the big picture of each system and how it works.
Many times, clients already own good products for organizing but are not utilizing them properly. We will do our best to re-purpose any items you already have and make them work better for you. However, additional products are occasionally necessary to give you the best system for your needs. In these situations, we may shop for them together or we will shop for you. The cost of these products is additional, but not marked-up. Most products are small and simple organizational tools such as bins, baskets, drawer dividers, bookshelves, wall shelving, etc. We have also purchased larger items including closet systems, desks, and file cabinets. We mostly shop in the same local stores you do, including hardware and home improvement stores, large box stores, office supply stores, and various others. Depending on the size and number of products needed, a minor shopping fee may be assessed.
You don't. Your self-discipline to maintain the system is truly the key. But we will leave you with the tools and knowledge to help keep it organized.
Unfortunately, the potential for clutter is a daily occurrence everywhere. Everyone has incoming mail, shopping bags, and groceries. Everyone will "temporarily" lay something down where it may not belong. Everyone creates trash, and everyone slips up now and then (including myself!) Once we finish your project we will leave you with a home for everything related to that space. If everything has a home, keeping up with the new systems should be very easy to maintain.
Just remember, in the words of Professional Organizer, Barbara Hemphill, "Clutter is Postponed Decisions." It will be up to you to make those decisions (where something should go) every time you bring in or use something and set it down. Luckily, with the right systems in place, it is much easier to maintain with very little effort. People and families, and their activities or situations will change from time to time. So you can expect the need to tweak your systems now and then. If you discover your system needs tweaking, and aren't quite sure how, simply give us a call. We'll be glad to discuss any concern with you over the phone at no additional charge. If we need to do more on-site tweaking, we can simply schedule a follow-up visit at the normal hourly rate plus travel fees if applicable.
Finally, enjoy your new freedom with a simplified, organized life!