About Getting and Staying Organized
What will a professional organizer do that a housecleaning service won't?
If you simply want a messy house cleaned up, then by all means hire a housecleaning service. But understand that being tidy is not the same as being organized. Nor is being messy the same as being disorganized. Here’s a secret: I like to “work messy.” When I’m in the middle of a project, I’ve got stuff all over the place. But when I’m done, the stuff goes back where I can put my hands on it the moment I need it again.
Isn't being organized just a matter of common sense? What will a professional organizer do that I can't do myself?
Organizing is a mix of logic, common sense, and creativity. All of which tend to disappear when we’re stressed and overwhelmed. The right professional organizer will use objective eyes and ears-as well as a creative mind-to help you step back, regain clarity, and view a situation in new ways.
I have a lot of things that mean a great deal to me. If I get myself organized, do I have to get rid of them?
“Organized” does not mean “sparse.” It does mean surrounding yourself with things you love. I would never ask you to give away anything that means a great deal to you.
Why can't you just give me a sheet with guidelines and tips for being organized?
Because there is no one right set of rules for being organized. Physical and emotional needs vary, as do work habits and routines. Successful organizing requires breaking molds and creating new ones – not trying to force-fit someone into a pre-existing mold.
My messy office doesn't really bother me. But it makes everyone else crazy. Should I change?
Being organized is not about how it looks. It’s about how it feels. Besides, you’re not likely to stick to changes if you make them simply to please others.
My spouse is the one who's disorganized. Can I set up an appointment for you to meet with my spouse?
I can only meet with someone who has made their own decision to work with a professional organizer. And I prefer if they call me themselves. Spouses can help by providing emotional support. They can also do some of the legwork in helping to search for an organizer, if their spouse agrees. But I will take input only from the person I’m working with. Not relatives, a boss, office mates, or other bystanders.
Every time I think I've gotten myself organized, it works for a couple of weeks and then falls apart. What's wrong with me?
What’s “wrong” are the approaches you try to adopt. Realistic strategies, in synch with your style and your needs, will work better over the long term.
How do you change your approach when working with seniors?
I love working with seniors. Maybe because I’ve spent so much time with my own grandmother, I respect the wisdom and beauty our elders bring to our lives. As much as anyone else, seniors need to feel good about their surroundings. Sometimes it’s just a little thing, like honoring someone’s need to hold on to an item because of the memory associated with it.
I make it a point to be sensitive when suggesting changes that take into account the physical aspects of aging, like diminished eyesight, memory, and mobility. I treat your elders as I would want someone to treat my mom: with the respect and dignity they deserve.
How do I know if I'm "chronically disorganized"?
The chronically disorganized have a history of constant and persistent disorganization. The condition affects their quality of life and resists all self-help attempts. For more information, visit the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), formerly NSGCD.
How do I know if I have ADD or ADHD?
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is the clinical term for ADD. It needs to be diagnosed by a qualified therapist or psychologist. ADHD behaviors are excessive, persistent, and handicapping. They include distractibility, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. For more information, visit the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA).
“Standolyn is a pleasure to listen to: her charm, wit and storytelling are a treat to all audiences. She is very insightful, and she shares her knowledge with a delightful delivery.“Molly Brady
About Things in Place Policies and Practices
How will you ensure my privacy?
My practice is all about trust: gaining, building, and maintaining it. Confidentiality and discretion are paramount. I do not advertise my services on my vehicle. Any voicemail message I leave – if I must leave one-will be discreet. And I strictly follow the code of ethics endorsed by the National Association of Professional Organizers.
What geographical area do you serve?
I generally work with people in eastern Los Angeles, including Hollywood, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Pasadena and other nearby areas. For clients outside these areas, additional travel charges may apply.
Do you work with clients over the phone?
It’s crucial for me to see first-hand the work or living space of my clients. So I will always arrange to visit you. Follow-up, however, is either in person or by phone.
How do you charge for your services?
I charge a very competitive hourly rate. Most people are pleasantly surprised at how reasonable my fees are. I feel strongly, however, that the choice of a professional organizer should not be made on the basis of price, but on the results you can expect.
My work typically pays for itself in the results — often on the first visit. Clients have found cash or uncashed checks, improved their inventory control to reduce excessive spending, and eliminated penalties for late payments and missed appointments. Entrepreneurs have also improved their efficiency and productivity.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
How many hours will it take before I see some results?
My clients will tell you: I don’t waste time. After we talk, we’ll get to work. I’m very good at sizing up a situation quickly, rolling up my sleeves, and getting started.
So you don't just give advice and go home?
That’s right. I’m a hands-on organizer. I’ll sit on the floor with you, sorting through the stacks, helping you make decisions, and giving moral support. Not all professional organizers will do this.
“Standolyn is DETERMINED to get the job done RIGHT! She orchestrates all aspects of the cleanup, FLAWLESSLY! Anytime I’ve worked with Standolyn on Hoarders, it always amazes me what obstacles she overcomes, and she always does it with a smile!“Jon Chomiak