Los Angeles Professional Organizer Helps Clutter Victim

I found a very old article published in Celebrities Blogspot about us that I didn’t even know was out there! I thought I would include it in our blog because it explains the typical thing we do – help victims of clutter!

August 05, 2006

Clutter Victims Create a Booming Industry of Professional Organizers

It was a rare, if not an all together non-existent occasion, for Laura Rush to invite people into her home. However, on one particular day she made an exception and opened the door to professional organizer Cyndi Seidler.

The door didn’t open all the way; it couldn’t. It was blocked by some boxes situated at the front entrance. This was the first sign that gave this organizing expert a clue that this woman needed help in a big way.

For many people like Laura, clutter becomes a way of living or living around. The habit of saving everything, of spending on frivolous items or buying an over-abundance of unnecessary items, and of hoarding belongings they no longer need, all lead to too many possessions and not enough space.

“Once an area gets out of control, some people seem to look the other way”, says Seidler, owner of HandyGirl Organizers. “They even get to the point of actually not seeing whats in front of them, becoming unaware that theres a clutter problem.”

Professional organizers were spawned from the growing demand that people had too much and needed to make changes, but couldn’t do it on their own. Many individuals, like Laura, just don’t know how to start such a quest.

In the early days for the industry of professional organizers, magazines and newspapers would sporadically publish articles about getting organized. As time went on, more attention was brought to the subject, and studies were done. It wasn’t that long ago that television recognized the trend and began airing shows like Clean Sweep, Queer Eye for a Straight Guy, and Mission Organization. These programs feature clutter victims and professional organizers getting them organized, launching a nationwide awareness to people suffering with clutter.

For professional organizers who had already found their niche, business became quite prosperous. For those well-organized individuals wanting to shift careers, this newly discovered profession seemed right up their alley.

Seidler reports that she began seeing a lot more organizers join the profession, and many of them came from secretarial jobs and such. They had basic organizing skills, but they didn’t have any knowledge of running a business or working with clients, says Seidler. Thats when she decided to offer training and help individuals wanting to become professional organizers.

Her course and apprenticeship program for professional organizers was the first of its kind when launched in 1996. At that time, the only other way people could get educated in this field was from books, attending the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) annual conferences, and going to local NAPO Chapter meetings.

With hundreds of student graduates coming out of Seidlers training program, it set off a wave of confident and skilled practitioners that contributed to helping the industry grow stronger. Now, the professional organizing industry is well recognized, and people are willing to pay $50-$100+ per hour for their services to help them get organized.

Let’s Celebrate National “Let It Go” Day

Celebrating Let It Go Day

There’s all kinds of events and holidays we love celebrating and so I invite everyone to celebrate National Let It Go Day this month. It can be a fun event!

To plan such an exciting day in our year, you first need to mark your calendar – June 23. I recommend that you invite some friends and family over for the occasion because they could help provide the support you need in this adventurous day. And who wants to be letting go all by yourself anyway? But if your friends or family can’t join in, you can always call us.

Better yet, if friends or family can’t join in on freeing yourself from stuff, you could always plan to have a garage sale and have others join in to make it a massive sale consisting of all the things you and others are letting go of. However if this isn’t the day for it, just do the “letting go” part and save the garage sale for a later time, or donate the stuff you’ve just freed yourself from.

In all our years of helping people let go so we can get them better organized and free of so much stuff cluttering their space and life, there is always a celebration in one way or another.

One lady pulled out the wine and some fancy wine glasses (that she could now find and get to easily) and we toasted to her new organized kitchen. One couple decided to throw a dinner party, which they had not done in 5 years. One family’s teenage son had a live band party in their garage after it was cleared of stuff. And one woman kept saying “Hallelujah” every time she discarded something.

Celebrating comes in all ways. And this national holiday event is meant to let go of whatever it is that’s keeping you from being happy. So if it’s too much stuff cluttering your space for instance, this is the time to let it go!

Happy Letting Go!

P.S. Oh, and there’s always this:

let it go

10 Ways A Professional Organizer Changes Someone’s Life

As a professional organizer since 1994, I’ve seen incredible results with clients whose lives are transformed after order is established. It’s one of those benefits of this profession that make it all worthwhile, no matter how laborious it can sometimes be!

This is an article I wrote about professional organizers and how they make a difference in people’s lives.

The rewards of the professional organizing profession are numerous and professional organizers are often called “miracle workers” after they put order in.

Source: 10 Ways A Professional Organizer Changes Someone’s Life |

The reason I wrote this was to show my students starting out in this career how much of a difference they will be making for people. That’s why it is posted on the Professional Organizer Academy site.

But I realized it is also something that others should know – that the expertise of a professional organizer is something they can count on to help them improve their situation or lifestyle. And that’s why I’m sharing this with you here.

Happy organizing!
Cyndi Seidler

HandyGirl Advice Featured In LA Times

In a recent article published in LA Times and Chicago Tribune, it features my advice on cutting clutter out of your life. It is titled, Lose it: declutter your way to an organized, happier you”.

Here is an excerpt of this article:

No matter how it all got there, reducing the stuff of life is not an easy task, but it is a necessary one.

Even if there are no plans to downsize, getting rid of clutter is always a good idea says professional organizer Cyndi Seidler, founder of HandyGirl Organizers and The Organizing Lady, two Los Angeles based firms specializing in dealing with the “stuff.”

One sure sign that something is not needed is when it is placed in the garage.

“I call the garage the resting place before final burial,” says Seidler. “It’s the place you put things that you don’t want in the house, but you don’t want to throw away.” Seidler says important “belongings” become insignificant “stuff” once they have been unused for years.

Seidler admits that saying goodbye to one’s belongings can be emotional. “Everything can’t be saved as memorabilia,” she cautions. “Keeping the shoes you wore when you first met your husband — shoes you can no longer wear and that you have not looked at in 25 years, is not memorabilia. It is stuff,” says Seidler.”

And, further along in the article …

It is a good idea to declutter now instead of later,” says Seidler. “If you don’t do it now, your children or relatives will have to do it if you become disabled or pass away. Do you really want them to have to go through all your clutter and wonder why you kept these things?”

Well, there you have it! We’re in the news!

8 Top Reasons People Can’t Find Their Keys

With all the hoopla about people unable to find their keys, I decided to dig down to the heart of the matter.

Now, you might think that the main reason is that they just aren’t organized, however being disorganized, in my opinion, is only an excuse. And, albeit a good reason because we all need excuses for something that didn’t go quite right, my prognosis is that we’re dealing with something that goes beyond disorganization – essentially, it goes under it.

My discovery is that these excuses are actually the reason, so let’s examine these. And, when I say the word “excuse” I mean reason.

1. Someone else moved the keys. This excuse only works if there is a “someone” living with you. We can’t assume that a guest moved them, now can we? Unless, of course, you have a housekeeper. They are notorious for moving your stuff, in which case, they are the prime suspect in missing keys.

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2. You changed purses and forgot to change contents. Now, this excuse only works if you’re a woman. However, some men do carry a form of a purse these days, so it could apply to them, as well. Changing purses is a difficult task, as it is, let alone making sure to transfer everything you need from one to the other, sheesh!

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3. Your purse is too big. Again, this works for women, unless you’re a man with a big “purse.” The trouble with big purses is that there are too many compartments. How can anyone be expected to remember which compartment the keys fell into, especially if you were in a hurry to drop them inside? Once dropped inside a large purse, they can eventually be found upon emptying the entire contents from it.

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4. You left your keys on the counter. This is a really good excuse. It has to do with forgetfulness and not being disorganized, thank goodness. Many people confuse these two things, and they are actually entirely different animals. This also applies to leaving your keys on a table at a restaurant or on a counter at a retail shop, too. After all, we get distracted or we’re in a hurry, and this can lead to slight mishaps in leaving keys behind.

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5. Your pet is a thief. For this excuse, you actually need a pet, and one that is known for taking your stuff and hiding them in their bed or under the sofa, or some such place around the house (or yard). Cats are the worse culprit because they love swiping small things off table tops and then chasing it around until the item is left alone after the cat is bored of it, or just can’t get to into the small crevice it got flung into.

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6. Your child thinks keys are theirs. Once more, you need a child for this excuse to be used. Children are notorious for key theft and are considered quite innocent of the crime, too. In most cases, they actually believe the keys are theirs for the taking, especially if they are within reach or just sitting there waiting to be played with. And, they have no boundaries on where the keys end up because the entire home is their play field. So, these key playthings can end up just about anywhere when they are done with them. And, don’t get me going with people who entice them to do this by putting all sorts of dangling things on their key chains either.

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7. Key locations keep changing. This is one of the best excuses for people who don’t have a particular place to set their keys down on. I myself even use this excuse because sometimes I come and go from the back door and sometimes from the front door, and sometimes I dropped them in my purse instead of placing them down in a designated spot. But, let’s not talk about me. I’m sure there are others.

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8. Keys were left in car ignition. This is an easy one to forget, and a good excuse after you’ve looked all over the house for them, and sifted through your purse a dozen or so times. It usually dawns on you eventually that there was the possibly you left them in the car. This discovery can be a happy one or a dreadful one – depending on whether or not you locked your car when you left it. Oh, and a similar excuse to this is leaving keys in the door lock. That could be Excuse #9, but I don’t like odd number lists.

keys-ignition

So, these are the top reasons, or excuses I came up with after extensive research into the matter. I cannot reveal my research resources, however. I promised anonymity.

Our HandyGirl Commercials

Our Easter commercial:

Our April Fool’s commercial with a cute little girl playing a prank on her parents.

Our Mother’s Day commercial:

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Paper Clutter To Paperless

At one of our recent job sites, our newest organizer Megan has a big challenge ahead of her – organizing several years of paper piles in an accounting department. However, for a HandyGirl Organizer, this “challenge” is more of a routine sorting process when it comes to paper clutter.

Handling paper clutter can look like a daunting task for many people, yet all it really takes is to tackle such a project is to just tackle it!

Our method starts with gathering all the paper piles into one area, then begin sorting through each paper pile as we categorize each document. The tools we use range from a hanging folder cart or box to a document sorter.

From there, we implement a filing system for the papers using our uniform subject classification system. In this case, the major classification for the accounting dept. is clearly “Accounting”, so the task here is to get papers filed into the “Primary” category, with most of it being “Accounts Payable” documents in this dept. Then there is the “Secondary” level of classifying documents, followed by the Folder Level – the file folder names.

During the process we can see what went wrong with the work flow in this area. It was an obvious fact that this area did not have a paper management system in place to handle the flow of papers.

megan-organizing

Paper must be managed or it just ends up in piles all over the place. Essentially, paper comes in, it gets handled, then it gets filed (or scanned and/or tossed). Therefore, certain “tools” must be put in place to handle the flow of paper in, pending, and completed.

For example, most work areas should have stacking tray baskets for the paper in. Some may require vertical file holders for pending or action papers. There are dozens of organizing products that manage paper, so there is no shortage of solutions for them.

Then, there is the filing part of paper – the dreaded task to so many people! Which brings me to the client’s plan to go paperless. Although some paper needs to be kept and filed away, a lot of it can be scanned, organized electronically in the computer, and then shredded. Of course, a good computer back-up system is essential when going paperless.

A good hi-speed scanner is recommended and ideally, a desktop one, like the NeatDesk Hi-Speed Desktop Scanner. This scanner also provides a digital filing system which classifies the document and files it into the proper category. This is the one we are implementing for our new client because the big scanning machine they currently have isn’t convenient enough for them to actually use.

New habits will also need to be developed to maintain an organized and paperless office. That’s another subject. Meantime, let the games begin on tackling those paper mounds!

The PaperKarma App Helps Get Rid of Junk Mail

I just made an amazing discovery! A Paperkarma app that helps get rid of junk mail!

All you have to do is take a photo of the mail you want to stop, and the app will contact the sender on your behalf.

If this works, it’s a pretty cool app! I downloaded it today and am waiting for the junk mail to arrive! Can’t wait! (I mean, who looks forward to receiving junk mail, right?)

The developers explain the way it works:

“Our system is simple. We’ve built a massive database of company information. When we identify your photo, we use this information to instantly submit a request on your behalf. If we don’t know about the company already, our database discovers what we need to know automatically.”

If anyone else tries it, let me know how you like it by leaving a comment here! I’ll do the same when I start using it!

 

HandyGirl Joins Thumbtack

We just signed up with Thumbtack, a place to find local services. People can find a local handyman, cleaning service, and many other services for the home. Although they didn’t list the category of home or office organization, we had to list under “Other” service. But, we’re giving it a try anyway! Here’s a link to the gallery we have there:

HandyGirl Organizers

by HandyGirl Organizers

 

Add New Life In Your Space With A Room Makeover

Tired of a particular area in your home (or office)? Need some inspiration to change it? Well, maybe some of these ideas I’ve collected on Pinterest will give you that plan of action you need:

Home Office Makeover Ideas

Home Office area

Home Office Under Stairway

Home Office

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Craft Room Makeover Ideas

Craft room

Craft closet

Ikea Craft organizers

Garden Shed Makeover Ideas

Garden shed

Garden shed

Garage Makeover Ideas

garage storage

garage storage

Living Room Makeover Ideas

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Living room

Bedroom Makeover Ideas

bedrm01

bedrm02

Hope these help in inspiring and motivating you to make your spaces better! Let us know if we can help!

 

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