If you follow Rene's Home Organizing (RHO) on social media, you may have seen the closet makeover contest we had in August. The winner was a closet that is shared by 3 boys, and I will be tackling it today. Pictures to follow with the results! Our team has been busy the last month helping move an elderly couple to an assisted living facility and clearing out their home to be sold. Some items were moved to assisted living, some were sold online or at an estate sale, some were taken to the dump, others inventoried and put into storage. The process which can take months was done in a few short weeks. It has been a whirlwind. Also, last month one of our regular client's husband passed away, so I have been helping her go through paperwork and manage the details that entail when an event like that occurs. Our team of organizers does so much more than just organizing! How can we help you?
Last week my team and I started packing for our clients who are moving. We had helped them declutter before they put their house on the market, and now the house has sold. So, we are back to help them sort through their belongings to decide what stays and goes and to which location. This is why it is a "complicated move." The items that are staying are going to be sold in an estate sale, since they are significantly downsizing. The items that are going will either go to a house they own or a storage unit in another city, or the condo that they recently purchased. The final phase of this job will be helpi.ng them unpack the condo, once the boxes we packed are delivered by the movers. We are keeping track of where everything goes by packing everything that goes to the house and storage in plastic tubs that are clearly labeled. The items being packed for the condo are going in cardboard boxes and are also labeled. Then, all the tubs are being stacked in one area of the garage, while all the cardboard boxes are stacked in another area of the garage. Certain items that can't be sold and aren't being taken are being discarded like expired foods and spices. We completed the downstairs and guest quarters of the house last week and will be going back next week to complete the upstairs. I have unpacked for so many clients over the years and am convinced that organizers do a much better job of packing than moving companies. The movers' goals are just to move the stuff and use as much paper and boxes as they can to charge the clients the most they can (in my opinion.) Organizers actually pack the boxes in an organized fashion and don't waste tons of paper on items that aren't breakable anyway. We clearly label the boxes, and we don't pack trash and other items that the client doesn't want to take anyway. It may take a little longer and cost a little more to work with organizers when packing for a move, but in the long run you save time and money when unpacking organized boxes and have a more organized and stress-free move.
Organizing for a College Professor, Chronically Disorganized Clients, and a Mother Releasing an Adult Daughter's Stuff.
I thought I would get Friday off, but it got filled at the last minute which is typical of my schedule. My client who scheduled for this coming Monday asked if she could switch to Friday instead, but then decided she still wants to do Monday, also. I worked with the college professor that I wrote about last week. We went through the paperwork for another class that she teaches. The overflowing bin was condensed and now fits nicely in the bin. Yah! It took us 4 hours to go through it all. Paperwork is by far the most time-consuming thing to organize perhaps only comparable to the thousands of beads I organized by color once. LOL. I advised my client to continue to micro-organize each folder as she teaches the classes in the fall. I think using an open filing system and bright hanging file folders to separate the different modules of each class while teaching each class will make the classwork more accessible (see pic.)
This week I also organized for two of my long-time clients who suffer from chronic disorganization. I have organized every room in their house several times over the years, but they just can't seem to maintain the organization. So, I work for them a few times every year to bring order to their chaos. We all have our strength and weaknesses, so I am happy to provide this service which comes so naturally to me.
My client today got the green light to take all of her adult daughter's stuff over to her house after asking her for two years to go through it with no luck. Can any of you relate? I have half a closet filled with my daughter's stuff that she didn't have room to take with her when she moved out last year. So, we filled my client's truck with everything of the daughter's we could find in the garage. There was a lot, so after straightening up the remaining items in the garage, it looked much better! I suspect that when I go back on Monday that we will be loading up her truck with all of the daughter's stuff inside the house. We then straightened up some of her craft supplies, and she found two books she had been looking all over for. So, that was another win!
I finished the week off doing a consultation with a gentleman who is thinking about moving in the near future and needs someone to help him sell or donate his art pieces and furniture he won't be taking. He wants them to find good homes where they will be appreciated and not end up in the landfill, since they are very valuable pieces. It will be a new challenge for me, since I haven't dealt with such expensive art pieces before.. I need to start researching galleries in the area.
Somehow between all these jobs, I found time to record video of my favorite organizing products that I will be sharing on my FB business and group pages, and I ordered lots of moving supplies. My team and I have a big packing job next week, so I'll let you know how it goes.
It doesn't happen often, but I had no client scheduled on Monday, so I had the day off. Tuesday one of my assistants and I tackled a master walk-in closet and near-by coat closet. For the first hour I finished labeling the pantry that we had organized a few weeks before and put some organizing products in place that I had purchased for the client. Labeling is soo important to help the clients stay organized. We had to pull everything out of the bottom of the coat closet which was a jumble of miscell. items. Our client went through her clothing and got rid of three bags full which I took at the end of the day to donate. It took my assistant and I another 4 hours to hang all the clothing facing the same way on the same types of hangers and sort it all by style and color. We even went through bags of mismatched socks pairing up as many as possible. We removed everything from the room that didn't belong in those closets to be rehomed elsewhere. The client scheduled us to come back to continue working on more areas of their home and want us to come once a month to help them maintain their organization.
Wednesday I worked with a client who is a college professor. We are trying to sort and organize all of her teaching materials which is a lot! She teaches 8 different courses and the materials for each course fill up one to two plastic tubs each. We got through one tub in the 3 hours I was there, but she was very pleased with how much more organized she feels and how much unneeded paperwork was gotten rid of. One overflowing tub now all fits neatly in the tub and is in labeled file folders ready for the fall semester. We will continue next week.
Today, one of my assistants and I helped a client who was in danger of being evicted from her apartment if it wasn't cleaned up by Sunday. We worked for 5 hours sorting, cleaning, and throwing away trash. I lost track after about 10 trash bags full. The client was so motivated that she went through tons of paperwork for the first four hours until she started losing steam. Hopefully, having such a fresh start will inspire her to continue to go through the boxes we didn't get to. She said we were worth every penny she paid us. We definitely earned it today. My back is killing me, and I am beat. However, my Friday appt. is being rescheduled, since that client was exposed to Covid, so I have a 4 day weekend and plenty of time to recuperate.
*Update- The client facing eviction above passed her inspection with flying colors! Her landlord was so impressed with her efforts to clean her space that he is now replacing her flooring and kitchen countertops. My client is elated and feels she has a new lease on life. She has since written me a great review on Yelp and has sent me many flattering texts about the great work my assistant and I did. This is why we love our jobs!
It's the end of a busy week with one more day to go! I started the week out helping a client fill up her truck for a dump run. While her husband took the load to the dump, we finished our session by organizing the linen closet which consisted of bedding, towels, and pillows. Then, we filled her truck up again with donations. I helped her take the truckload to the donation center before I left. Then, I did a consultation with a woman who needs to clear out her parents' house, so it can be put on the market by Sept. She wants all the work to be done in August which I thought wouldn't be enough time to do such a large job. I recommended starting asap and sent her an estimate for the project. Tuesday I worked for my client who I've been seeing about every 3 weeks for 3 years now. He is a naturally messy person (without much desire to change), so I help him maintain some sense of order in his condo. After I left his place, I dropped off donations my Saturday client had wanted to go to Weave (a special donation center that helps women recovering from abusive relationships). Wednesday I took my truck over to my client who I see at least every six months to do a dump run. We broke down cardboard boxes, went through bags of mail, cleaned out her kitchen and refrigerator and filled the truck full. Then, I dropped it all of at the dump before doing another consultation. This lady was desperate to get her condo organized by the end of next week to avoid being evicted by her landlord. He had seen the state of disarray her condo was in when she had an unexpected water leak. She was relived to know that two of my assistants and I should be able to organize and haul donations and storage items all in 4-6 hours. So, we booked an appointment for next week. Today, I worked with a new client who is a college professor who is overwhelmed with all of the paperwork she has in her home office for teaching. We made lots of progress in 4 hours getting the floor, under the desk, and most of the desk cleared of paper. An entire trash bag was filled. We will be continuing the project next week. Tomorrow, I will be going to my client who I've been working for now for almost 8 years! I mostly deal with her mail and other paperwork about every 4 months. I open the mail and sort it, toss the junk, file the rest, and show her things that need her attention. I helped her with two moves in the past and have organized all the rooms of her home including the garage at some point. I also sent another estimate to a potential client I spoke with yesterday based on the pictures she texted me today.
I was camping most of the week, so I only worked the last two days. Both day my assistant and I organized kitchens and pantries. Although they were both about the same size, one kitchen took us 2 hours to complete, and the other one took us 10 hours. Obviously, one kitchen had way more stuff in it, but we also packed many keep items that would not be needed before that client's move. There were also 3 junk drawers to go through which are tedious and time-consuming. The client with the 10 hour kitchen was very involved with the process deciding what could be donated. I think we ended up with about 5 boxes full of donations. With the 2 hour job, the clients just wanted us to organize for them, so there was much less input, although we always had questions when they came back in the room. Since the kitchen was done so quickly, we were able to organize the entire walk-in pantry also. There were many items on the floor of the pantry which made it difficult to enter. After clearing out tons of plastic and paper grocery bags and adjusting some shelf heights, we were able to find homes for everything on the floor. Besides food, the pantry also contained household items, tools, medicines, vitamins, cleaning supplies, party supplies, etc. It was challenging to get through it all. Even I feel overwhelmed at times in the middle of projects, but I know it always get done if I keep working. The results were awesome, but we still need to label next time to ensure it will stay organized! I hope both sets of clients are enjoying their organized, clutter-free kitchens.
I did five different jobs this week for five separate clients. Two of those jobs were for a company called Home Sweet Home that I occasionally work for. They help businesses transfer their employees to new cities and homes by assisting the employees with donating and discarding items before their move to save money on the moving expenses. Thus, I either work with the client to help with the decluttering process, or I just deal with the items they decide to donate or discard. Just got home from one of my Home Sweet Home clients. They had a large truckload that my assistant and I took to the dump. It is extremely hot today, so we were dripping with sweat loading everything up. After the dump, we took another load of smaller furniture and other miscell. to be donated. I'm still trying to find people that will take some of the other free furniture, otherwise I will have to have the junk hauler take all the rest.
My assistant and I also transformed a garage this week, so that the client can now fit a car into it. We rearranged all the cabinets and drawers and threw away all the trash. Then, we were able to find homes for all the items that were taking up room on the garage floor. The project took us 5 hours to complete.
We also worked on a kitchen and pantry this week. The pantry had lots of miscell. items that weren't food in it, so we transformed it back into an actual pantry. We had to find homes for all of the other things that came out of it. Some items got donated, some were trash, some went into the garage or other kitchen cabinets. We completed about 2/3rds of the project and will be going back next week to complete it and tackle the client's closets, also.
All together, we did 3 dump runs in the last 2 days and 2 donation runs! I'm going on vacation for the next 4 days which I could really use about now.
Garages tend to be one of the most popular areas of the home that we organize. They tend to become a catch-all for everything. Donations that never got donated, trash that never got thrown out, paint that is no longer good or needed, etc. My assistant and I tackled the garage today in 4.5 hours with the client's help going through boxes and telling us what was donate, trash, or keep. We moved some shelves around and the items that were on them, so everything had a better home and was easier to access and find. The entire garage was also given a thorough sweeping. We ended up with a truckload of donations and a second truckload of trash and paint that will be taken to the dump. We completely filled up her empty garbage bin. Note: We have a tendency to do that. Clients sometimes schedule us around their trash pick up day! The finished garage was tidy, decluttered, clean, and organized. Another success!
I worked last night until 7:30pm. Sometimes, my clients who work M-F only have weekends and holidays available, so I try to be flexible. My clients were two sisters who recently moved into their mom's house after she moved into a nursing home. So, they had to combine the three households into one which has been difficult. Since I discovered they had tons of storage in the garage attic area, I suggested we move some of their mom's boxes up there to free up other storage space for their things. After hauling a bunch of boxes up the attic ladder, we utilized all the empty space for their boxes and loaded up one car full of things to be donated. In the end the garbage and recycling bins were full also. I also hung up some pictures and organizers inside the house, then we tackled one of the bedrooms which was full of boxes of mostly clothes and shoes that had never been unpacked. After purging tons of shoes and clothes already in the closet, there was plenty of room for all the keep clothing in the boxes. It was quite an undertaking for the three of us which I'm sure is why the one sister hadn't tackled it on her own. We made so much progress in 6.5 hrs. that I think we completed most of what my clients had wanted to work on for now. I think they enjoyed working with me as much as I enjoyed working with them. They commented on how mellow I was and not uptight like other organizers they had met before.
The rest of the week, Wed-Fri, I worked for a couple who were getting ready to put their house on the market and needed to down-size. On Wed. one of my assistants and I tackled the woman's closet. We pulled out all the shoes, purses, clothes and other miscell. asking the client if she wanted to keep or donate every single individual item. It took us 4 hours to get through everything, even though our client made extremely quick decisions. We cleaned off the empty shelves in the closet before putting all the keeps back in an organized manner. I didn't count, but we had approx. 12 black trash bags full of donate and 2-3 bags of trash. The closet still looked full afterwards, but very much decluttered. It's amazing how much one closet can hold! The client was extremely happy with her "new" closet. The rest of the week we did many more closets and the basement. By the time we finished on Friday the house was ready for it's first showing on Sunday. The hardest parts of the job were hauling all the bags down the stairs and outside and all of the basement bags and items up the stairs. I'm thinking all those stairs must be why my hip has been hurting me the last few days! I definitely appreciate having the weekends off to recuperate especially since I have a full week scheduled coming up.
I'm Rene'. I've been a Professional Organizer for 8 years now. Since I love to write as much as I love to organize, I thought I would combine my two loves into this blog. Since this profession is still new to many people, I wanted to write about what I do to inform new clients what services I can offer them, and, hopefully, inspire new organizers interested in this profession.