Frequently asked questions:
8. What are your hours?
1. What is a professional organizer?
As defined by the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO), professional organizers "support evaluation, decision-making, and action around objects, spaces, and data helping clients achieve desired outcomes regarding function, order, and clarity." Organizers and productivity consultants can specialize in many different aspects of decluttering, so keep that in mind if you are looking for someone to only sort through photographs or only install garage organizational systems.
2. What are your personal niches?
I have experience in professional offices, but I especially enjoy residential organizing—such as dealing with that "everyday clutter" that keeps building up—because of the creativity involved in designing solutions to improve people's daily lives. I am also very familiar with how to help pack efficiently for short and long trips, and moving in and out of homes.
3. What is the difference between organization and reclamation?
If you would like my help "organizing," then I will help you rearrange and find solutions to organize everything that is currently in the home. Reclamation, however, refers to the more in-depth process of decluttering areas by making decisions on what should stay and what should go. I have separated the two since reclaiming space lost to clutter takes longer because it involves sorting through every item.
If you are still confused or don't know which service you should request, please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss it further.
4. What kind of clients do you work with?
I have worked with all sorts of people, from young professionals to busy families to older couples looking to downsize. Every project is unique, and I strive to give you the most personalized suggestions I can.
Do you work with hoarders?
Unfortunately, I do not work with individuals or in homes that fall on the hoarding scale, mainly because I do not have the proper training or expertise to handle these situations. However, I would be happy to provide a list of resources for you or your loved one if you so wish.
What are the "red flags" of hoarding habits?
General signs of hoarding are:
Inability to throw away possessions
Severe anxiety when attempting to discard items
Great difficulty categorizing or organizing possessions
Indecision about what to keep or where to put things
Distress, such as feeling overwhelmed or embarrassed by possessions
Suspicion of other people touching items
Obsessive thoughts and actions: fear of running out of an item or of needing it in the future; checking the trash for accidentally discarded objects
5. What do you charge?
I offer an as-needed walkthrough for organizing jobs at a flat rate of $99 and reclamation jobs at a flat rate of $198 (the difference usually comes from the size of the project). Individual projects are based on whether you are looking to organize or reclaim your home from clutter, and I prefer to charge a fixed rate (which I quote for individual projects) rather than per hour. If you wish to hire an organizer, but are not sure you can afford to have someone consistently come to your home, contact me and we can talk about your options.
6. What do I do if I have to cancel/change an appointment?
I completely understand that life happens and sometimes we may have to change our appointment to a later date; however, I ask that you let me know as soon as possible (at least 24 hours before our meeting time as to not incur an extra charge). The first time you fail to make an appointment will result in a $50 fine and the first (out of three) "strikes" against your record. The next cancellation, exempting situations where personal or family emergencies arise, there will be a $100 fee added to your account; and the third time will result in a fee of $150. Any cancellations following this "three strikes" penalty will result in another $150 fee, and the contract may be terminated without the completion of remaining work.
7. What if I disagree with the services being done?
Then, first and foremost, I apologize for the work not fulfilling your standards. If this situation arises, I ask that we set another meeting to reevaluate the work that has been done, where you wanted it to be by now, and how we can achieve that. If we still cannot come to an acceptable arrangement, then I expect to be paid for the services I already completed and you may choose to terminate our contract and any further appointments without charge.
8. What are your hours?
I work full-time at California Closets, but can usually make myself available to clients anytime on Sundays and Mondays, and most early mornings and late evenings.
9. Can I "gift" your services?
Yes and no. If you would like to cover the fee for a friend or family member, then I can direct billing to you and I'm sure they would appreciate it; however, I only work with clients who are explicitly interested in acquiring my services. (Imagine if you thought you were the next-best-chef, then someone "gifted" you beginner's cooking lessons.)