Professional Residential and Business Organizing in Cleveland, Ohio since 2003

Call Muffy today at (216) 321-6126

Interviews With A Professional Organizer

In the last two weeks, I have been interviewed by two people regarding the profession of organizing and the concept of minimizing... here are a few of the questions I was asked, and how I responded:

1)  How has Marie Kondo, the Japanese author of "The LIfe-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" affected your business?

Marie Kondo has created an awareness that our society today encourages buying too much "stuff", and she suggests returning to a simpler way of life.  Her book says that if an item does not "spark joy" in your life, you should pass it on for someone else to enjoy.  We embrace this general concept, and always ask our customers to part with items they no longer need or cherish.  We have had customers who were inspired by her book and wanted help with the process.  We do remind people that some items will not "spark joy" in your life but are needed to keep your household running smoothly (appliance, dishes, cleaning products, etc,), so take Marie's advice and adapt it to your own situation.

2)  Why did you become a professional organizer and what is the best part of your job?

JoEllen and I both wanted to start a business of our own - one with flexible hours, low overhead expenses, and the ability to help people.  We are blessed with ability to envision how to utilize spaces to their maximum potential and both had experience in working closely with a variety of individuals.  Over the last 14 years we have met so many wonderful people who have made dramatic changes in the way they live in their homes and perform in the workplace, and we are thrilled we have been a part of that.  Letting go of items can be emotionally draining and difficult but at the end of the process it is liberating.  It is so rewarding to have a customer give us a hug and tell us we have changed their lives...

3)  Are you a minimalist yourself and is your home perfect?

We get asked this question all the time.  The short answer to that is "No"!  I , too, live with other family members and we all have our favorite things that we hold on to!  I do, however, have a bag for Goodwill donations into which I throw something almost every day.  I make trips to Goodwill a couple of times a month with my own donations!  It is easier for me to let go off things now than it was before I began this business.  It is much easier, though, to help others part with things than to do so with my own.  That is the major reason hiring a professional to help you will speed the process up significantly - we keep you on task and keep asking "When was the last time you used that"?

4)  Who are your typical clients and why do they need you?

Usually individuals who call us fall into one of two categories - they have always been disorganized or they have had life changing events which have thrown their lives into chaos.  In the case of the chronically disorganized, we try to set up very simple systems which will be easy for them to maintain - i.e. a simple filing system and place to keep their bills or baskets for magazines and reading materials instead of piles on the floors and tables.  This can help tidy up without requiring time consuming sorting.  For those who have had illnesses, a death in the family or may have moved and never unpacked properly, we find once we help them get the mess from the chaos cleaned up and they are back to their "normal"  environment, the home stays clean.  In both cases, professional organizers can help create systems which are easy to maintain.

 My interview with an eighth grade student doing a paper on "minimizing" included a discussion of her experiment of trying to minimize her clothes to 50 items for three months.  I can't say I would be able to do that, but she was succeessful!  My interview with a New York Times best selling author was especially fun as some of my thoughts may be incorporated in her character!  Both interviews reminded me why we love doing what we do for our customers and how lucky we are to have this career.

                                            Happy April!

                                            Muffy (and JoEllen)

As we have mentioned previously, we both volunteer our time to The Hoarding Connection of Cuyahoga County.  Each year this organization brings in local and national experts in the field to educate our community on hoarding.  This year there is a day long confernce on animal hoarding.  This is something that we admit to not knowing too much about, and are looking forward to learning more along with those on the front lines of this issue.  If you are interested in attending Hope for Animal Hoarders on Friday, April 28th, please follow this link:  http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07edoo8rtl588b6b02&llr=84ieaamab.  CEUs are available for social workers, sanitarians, animal welfare administrators and attorneys.


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JoEllen Salkin
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