How do you work?
For any new client, we typically schedule a 30-minute introductory phone call to discuss your project and/or organizing needs after you’ve done a little homework to prepare for our call. The homework includes filling out a contact form and questionnaire on the Contact Us page, reviewing the Frequently Asked Questions (which you are doing right now) and client testimonials.
The next step is to schedule either an Assessment or a Moving consultation toward the end of the introductory phone call. An Assessment (for which we charge a flat fee) is a 90-minute session in which we identify your primary goals and obstacles, define and prioritize your unique projects, and create an Action Plan which breaks down the steps and estimated amount of time required to achieve your desired outcomes. Moving consultations are a no-fee visit in-person in which we determine the required services, necessary team size, and the estimated cost of your moving or estate clearance project. Following either an Assessment or a Moving consultation, we schedule in-person sessions to begin the hands-on work.
It is important to note that we commence work after a retainer of half the estimated cost of your project is paid in full.
How do I know if it is time to get organized?
One indicator is that your lack of organization affects your life on a daily basis. For some, it may be that clutter makes it difficult to accomplish simple tasks. For others, it may be the inability to be punctual or meet deadlines. Disorganization can sneak up on you, especially if you’ve experienced some kind of sudden change, either positive or negative. In any case, if you notice that disorganization is a daily problem, I urge you to reach out and discuss it with us. We’re happy to help.
How do I know if I need an organizer to help me?
Have you made several attempts on your own, yet only end up feeling frustrated and upset that you have not been able to accomplish your goals? If you answered, “Yes!”, you probably need a professional organizer. Perhaps you simply need an Action Plan to get motivated to achieve your goals or you need some help with a specific project that you find particularly challenging. In either case, a professional organizer can help.
I’m moving. Should I get organized before or after the move?
We do not recommend investing the time an energy to organize spaces you are about to leave. But we do recommend editing your possessions BEFORE you move. Preparing for your move by editing your possessions reduces the amount of stuff to move AND reduces the moving COST.
I’m moving and interested in getting some help. When should I let you know?
Ideally, 6 to 8 weeks before your expected moving date, especially if you need hands-on help to prepare for your move. We want to help make your transition as stressless as possible, but in order to achieve that result, we need time to prepare.
How much does it cost? Is it expensive?
We don’t know. If your goal is to get organized, you will receive cost estimates at the Assessment for which we charge a flat fee. If you want to hire us to manage your moving project, we have a menu of move management services from the start to finish. You can choose to pick services a la carte or delegate the whole project to us.
If you have an budget in mind for your project, let us know what it is during the introductory phone call.
I’m probably the worst you’ve ever seen and I’m nervous about having an organizer see this mess.
Let us see you at your “worst.” I assure you, we cannot be scared off. Whatever your situation, you will not be judged. It takes courage to ask for help and we believe that this kind of courage must be honored, embraced and given the utmost respect. Our desire is to help you define your goals, find resources that enable you to achieve them and create systems that you will be able to maintain yourself. We can hold your hand through the process and be your champion from start to finish.
Are you going to make me throw out all my stuff?
No. It is not our job to make you throw out your stuff. In our work together, our job is to help you figure out what is most important to you and help you create systems and processes that make what is most important accessible. Frankly, we are more concerned with YOUR relationship to your stuff than the stuff itself. We do not have rules about how many, how long, or how often you touch something determines whether or not you get to keep it. We believe every one of us is unique and we all need to craft custom-made solutions to manage our lives and the things we fill it with. You, and only you, can determine what to keep and what to let go of. Our desire is to support you while you make these decisions.
Do you provide on-going services?
Yes, if you need ongoing support to maintain your systems, we can definitely help!
Can you organize without me?
In hands-on organizing sessions, you must be involved. We may be able to do some part of the project without your direct involvement, but you are the most important part of the process. You make ALL the decisions and your input is vital to crafting a system that works for the way you think and operate.
How long does it take to get organized?
We don’t know. We make estimates of the amount of time required during an Assessment. But you are the most important factor in determining how much time is needed. Your stamina, amount of available time, and commitment to the process influence the time needed to accomplish your goals.
Interview with Janine Sarna-Jones, Founder and President
How did you get started in this business?
In 1991, I began my first “real” job after college as a Photographer and Photo Archivist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Soon after, I asked if I could organize the office in order to efficiently manage the areas I was responsible for. I swear, that office had not been organized since the 1970s. When I finished, my supervisor told me she knew someone who could use my help after work and on weekends. That person became my first client and launched a part-time pursuit. For the next several years, I helped a handful of clients with various projects while working full-time in my career at the Smithsonian.
In 1998, while reading Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing from the Inside Out, I realized I had been organizing all along, both in the Photo Archive and in the work I’d been doing “on the side.” The realization hit me like a thunderbolt. I began to think about the joy I felt helping my clients gain control over their lives and compared that to my work as a photographer. I soon realized that my love for supporting people through the process of making a change for the better far outweighed my love for photography and my role in maintaining Native American culture and history. In 1999, I ended my photography career and transitioned into organizing. In 2001, I fully immersed myself in the organizing community, began to work with and learn from veteran organizers, and founded Organize Me.
What makes you an expert in this field? Do you have a degree?
I continually seek opportunities to learn from leaders within my field and outside of it that have information that can benefit my clients and colleagues. I have been an active and committed member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and the New York Chapter (NAPO-New York) since 2001 and have attended every annual NAPO Conference since 2002. I served as President of NAPO-New York from 2005 to 2007, was elected to and served a three-year term on the NAPO Board of Directors from 2007 to 2010, and continue to volunteer for a variety of committees locally and nationally. I have also been a member of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) since 2003 and partake in an array of their educational offerings. From 2004 to 2008, I was regularly featured in Parenting Magazine as the Mom Squad’s Organizer. I also took it upon myself to study the Process of Change and have presented workshops on the subject for both ICD and NAPO. I also taught a 5-day workshop on Holistic Organizing at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY and have been featured in magazines (Parenting and New York magazine), radio (Martha Stewart Radio on Sirius), and various podcasts (Fast Company, Smead Organized Life, Coffee Break with Sabra) and blogs (Brick Underground).
What kind of organizer are you?
I do not subscribe to any particular organizing methodology because I believe it is essential to create systems that honor the way you think and operate. I believe that anyone who truly wants a change of any kind is capable of achieving it. When working with someone who is looking to become productive, I help clients create systems that honor their way of thinking. I always loved helping people reduce stress and discover their own self-efficacy. Truth be told, I sought to work my way out of a job! Over the years, I developed into an organizer that loves being a project manager. In this role, I am able to take on a client’s move out of and into a new home, helping them reduce the inherent stress. Essentially whatever your goals are, I make an effort to provide the resources required to achieve them.
Who are your clients?
Over the years, I have worked with all kinds of people. Moms, families, business owners, therapists, lawyers, artists, young adults, seniors, and the list goes on. Today, my clients are primarily people moving into, out of and within New York City who are interested in move management and executors who are responsible for the disposition of a home or apartment in New York.