A before and after of a clients desk.
A before and after of a clients dresser.
Organizing Your Life: The Natural Way!
DJ: What do you find is the most common thing among people who are unorganized?
TP: The common denominator is excess. Once a client can figure out how the excess got there, it's just a matter of behavioral modification. Once the space is organized, their mindset and behavior keeps them from going back to what they had before. You get the space under control and it's really all about the maintenance from there.
DJ: I know when I think about hiring someone to come in and help me organize anything, the first thing that starts popping into my head are loads and loads of dollar signs. Is it costly to hire a professional organizer such as yourself to help get things in order?
TP: Not at all. I am so good for going into a client's space and utilizing what they already have; things the don't regularly use. I'm famous for turning anything into an organizing tool. With stores like The Dollar Tree, the .99 Cent Store, and even larger places like Target, there are just so many things that you can use that don't have to be expensive. I mean whatever you use, once it's organized and well put together, you slap a lable on it and it's an organized space! It doesn't have to be extravagant or complicated it all. You just need to be creative.
DJ: Being a professional in the field, who do you find to be more unorganized, men or women?
TP: Wow, you know that's a hard question. I would venture to say that neither is more unorganized than the other. However, I think women are more verbal about their disorganization. So it's a bit more obvious when women are not well put together.
DJ: When it comes to ages, is there a specific age bracket that seems to be the most unorganized?
TP: Going back to excess being the common denominator, I feel like seniors are more challenged. They've lived longer and have more things they've collected over that time. I feel like the older we get the more we're inclined not to want to get rid of things.
DJ: Now in addition to running your own business and being a part of the National Association of Professional Organizrs, you also teach a class for West LA College's Extenstion Program. Tell me more about that opportunity and how it all came together for you.
TP: I teach a class called, Organization for the Unorganized. It's a project based class in which I have my students pick an organization goal in which during the course they'll have to completely organize themselves. We start with them bringing in pictures of their intended space, they answer a questionnaire and for the first hour I lecutre on the fundamentals of organization; what the cost of clutter is and things like that. The last portion of class is dedicated to one on one instruction and guidance on how they're going to organize their space. In regards to how I was able to teach the class, that was ALL God! A young lady who I use to mentor saw my business on Facebook. She was currently working for the Extension Program and said that there was a spot for an organization teacher being that the former teacher had just left. So she reccomended me; the school asked me to submit a proposal and I did. Next thing you know I'm teaching my own class. I didn't want to repeat the old class (that's just not my style) so I thought it would be great to help people actually organize something in their life that they can directly benefit from during and after the class.
DJ: When a potential client contacts you to come in and help get their life in order, what’s the process? How do you determine whether or not you're able to help?
TP: When a client contacts me I generally have a list of questions for them to answer, which in most cases surprises the client. I don’t think they’re prepared for so many questions but I need to know certain things as to not waste my time or their time during the process. I want them to have a space that works for them not what works for me. My first question is what their problem space is; what space are they looking to get in order? From there I get an understanding of what’s not working for them and schedule a time for me to come see the actual space they want organized. I give every client a free one hour consultation to see if we are able to put a plan in place and if the client wants to move forward I give them my rates and set up meeting times to begin the work.
DJ: What is the most challenging part of what you do as a professional organizer?
TP: People that are coming to me for help are generally people that are extremely unorganized. With that said, there is a high risk of cancellations or rescheduling. Mostly due to the fact that their schedule is also unorganized. That has been the biggest challenge thus far.
DJ: With where you and your business are right now, where do you see it going in the future? What’s the next big step for Natural Born Organizers?
TP: I’m really open with that Danyol. There are so many different avenues this can go in and I don’t want to put it in a box. I’m not sure exactly what God’s plan for me is but I don’t want to block ANY of what it could be. I would love to have an expert editorial in a magazine or on a blog or even be a celebrity organizer. I’m really just open to where this whole venture will take me because I enjoy doing it so much. The sky’s the limit!
DJ: I think 'open' is a smart thing to be! So many people try to plan out everything and you have to have room for a bit of surprise in your life. I definitely see Natural Born Organizers being around for quite some time; being very successful along the way. I do have a few random and fun questions for you. I'll ask the question and you just give me the first thing that comes to mind. In your experience, what are the top 5 things people can’t seem to keep organized?
TP: Their paper, their children and/or family, garages/attics, closets, cars/purses.
DJ: What are two small things that people can do quickly and efficiently to organize an area of their home?
TP: Lazy Clutter!!! If you can identify your lazy clutter in any area then you can do a quick clean up.
DJ: What exactly is lazy clutter?
TP: Lazy Clutter is pretty much anything that lands on a flat surface or is in an area that doesn’t belong. That’s the quickest way I clean up any area I’m in: Kitchen, Office, Living Room, etc. The second thing is anything that you haven’t used in 6 months , TOSS IT OR DONATE!