Happy new year!
The January 2020 issue of Real Simple magazine features an article by Anne T. Donahue titled, “Adventures in Organizing: She thought she had her closets under control—until a professional showed her how it’s really done.”*
Unfortunately, some articles about hiring professional organizers take a negative tone, wrongly implying that anyone considering hiring a professional organizer must be overwhelmed by “mess” or “clutter.”
In reality, people hire organizers for many reasons, and hiring an organizer doesn’t imply anything—and certainly not anything negative!—about the client. We all have areas wherein we benefit from others’ help or knowledge.
Donahue’s piece, a humorous, at times laugh-out-loud reflection on her collaboration with a professional organizer, was thus a welcome change from many organizing articles. Confessing that she “like[d] to think of [her]self as the most organized person on the planet,” Donahue details her surprise and eventual delight at how, even for a super-organized person like her, professional help proved invaluable!
Not a subscriber to Real Simple, but want to check out the article? Inquire at your nearest public library (link is for U.S. residents) for free in-person or online magazine access.
However you‘d characterize your organizing skills, from novice to pro—you, too, can benefit from another perspective on your space or systems!
[Italics in original title. As always, linking does not imply my endorsement, and I don’t accept compensation for links.]
Brainstorming holiday presents? Here are a few gift options, all of which are kind to you, your budget, & the planet.
Each idea also reduces clutter, either directly—like giving your used clothing to seasonal drives—or indirectly: e.g., event tickets don’t take up space or require gift wrapping.
Kitchen and dining tables can feel especially intimidating to tackle by yourself. These surfaces become resting spots for many varied items—mail, bills, bags, snack containers, homework, holiday cards... It's easy to overlook time-sensitive papers on a busy table--let alone actually use the table to do something fun!
I can help you create a customized, self-sustaining system to keep the table organized.
I love helping you create a pleasant dining area, always ready for:
Your space should be soothing and support your dreams. You deserve it!
Kitchens are a source of frustration for so many of us. Dishes pile up, counters get cluttered, kids leave papers and toys scattered about, and suddenly the space feels unusable.
When a kitchen feels too overwhelming to handle, some people hire a cleaning service. In the absence of an organizing plan, however, the kitchen quickly returns to its previous state. That means hiring the cleaning service on an ongoing basis--which means ongoing cost to you.
By contrast, I want to help you get organized and stay organized! I want to help you save money. I want you to have easy, sustainable systems that keep working for you... so you can get more out of life!
Many people think of organization as boxing up old files and office supplies—but I encourage you to think outside the box!
Protect your investment in houseplants by organizing them: i.e., curating them with intention and thoughtfulness, so each can delight you for a long time!
Plants can be arranged for style and appropriate light exposure via the use of inexpensive plant stands, as seen in the photo below, and many other techniques.
The latter include hacking IKEA products to make custom plant accessories; reading books from plant stylists, and browsing Instagram for inspiration.
Simply contact me: together, we can transform your plant inspirations into your greener, calmer space and lifestyle!!
The DC Department of Public Works has a brief, informative video on which take-out food containers are recyclable.
[Note: Unfortunately, this video lacks captioning for d/Deaf and hard of hearing viewers. If you’d like a transcript, I’m happy to prepare one (at no charge, of course): please contact me.]
Organizing your trash and recyclables may seem daunting, but it’s worth it: for the planet, for future generations, and for your own health!
Recycling electronics (vs. throwing them in a landfill) helps prevent toxic chemicals from leaching into our water and food.
If you’d like help designing a functional, unobtrusive, even stylish (!) recycling system, please get in touch!
Binder pencil cases are inexpensive all year round, but especially now, when back-to-school supplies are on clearance.
It’s a great time of year to stock up on cases for your home, office, car, gym bag... you name it!
The cases are perfectly sized for your:
My priorities, in order, are ensuring that the child feels safe, content, valued for who they are, and /then/ whatever the organizing task may be.
Many people wonder if all organizers are like Marie Kondo, the multimillionaire personal organizer of Netflix and authorial fame. The short answer is no--and, without saying anything negative about Kondo, diversity among professional organizers is a good thing!
Different people need different organizing solutions, and sometimes that means a different organizer. As with any personal service, no single individual or approach will be a good fit for everyone.
Here are some hallmarks of my philosophy:
I enjoy working with children and teens: their energy, ideas, and novel perspectives inspire me! I also value knowing that these organizing and executive function capabilities will serve them throughout their lives.
It's a lifelong gift, to help your child(ren) learn to use their innate personality traits for their success. My services are one way to give that gift.
I value the success of children from all backgrounds and am happy to discuss a sliding scale discount with you.
Please check out the full text of this rave review from a pleased client (posted with permission):
"My husband and I have had great success enlisting the help of a professional organizer [Steven] to assist in making sense of our respective home offices. Imagine our surprise, however, when our sons started asking if Steven (our organizer) could please come and help them with messes in their own rooms.
They were literally begging us to invite him over, as my husband and I looked at one another quizzically. “Well, why not?” we figured. These were good skills for someone to grow up with!
So Steven came on a Sunday and spent an hour with each of our children. And it was like watching a miracle worker.
He sought early buy-in, worked with their individual personalities, turned the project into a game for my little guy, and taught my oldest the difference between items used for 'play; versus 'display.' Talk about giving language to things I really hadn’t ever thought much about before."
Steven Cohen is the owner of Streamlined by Steven, a professional organizing company based in DC and Maryland.