House to Home Relocation interview on April 18, 2011 with Heather Lambie — Certified Professional Organizer (CPO) & Editor in Chief, Your Home Editor, professional organizing.
l. What services does your company offer?
Your Home Editor has a team of organizers to help clients take control of their personal surroundings. We do home organizing and will sort and help clients purge any room in the home from bathroom to closet to garage to home office. As Home Editor in Chief, I also do consultations (gives you a plan of attack, you implement it) as well as workshops and presentations to groups of any size.
2. What are some of the most frequent needs of your clients in organizing their home or business?
The biggest request I get is for help with paper management. Most people don’t have a filing “system” in place, so duplicate files are made, papers are misfiled or lost, piles happen. Plus, unlike clothing or collectibles which may come into the home only a couple times a year, paper comes into the house every single day through mail, school and work papers. So if you don’t have a handle on your paper, it can take over. The 2nd biggest request I get is for help with laundry rooms and a laundry system. It baffles me how much laundry a family of 4 can accumulate! My favorite room to organize is the kitchen. I think I was meant to be a Publix stock boy. Nothing fills my heart with joy like seeing all the cans lined up and facing forward in a pantry.
3. What are some of the most frequently asked questions of your clients?
Clients always ask, “how long do I have to keep this?” in reference to papers. When deciding what papers to keep ask yourself two questions: 1. Can I get this information anywhere else? The answer is usually “yes!” thanks to Google and the Internet. 2. What is the worst thing that would happen if I didn’t have this piece of paper. Usually, nothing terrible. When in doubt, toss it out. The other comments I get are not really questions, but excuses:
- “I can’t get rid of it because it cost a lot of money”, or
- “I might need it one day”, or
- “My mother-in-law gave that to me and even though I hate it, I have to keep it.”
None of those statements are true. To respond to each:
- If an item has no function or purpose for you NOW/TODAY, then the value of that item is $0, not what it cost when you paid for it. Let it go.
- Do you have to space to store all the things you might need one day? If not, you’re paying a mortgage or rent every month to cover the cost of storing things you don’t use, need or want. And these things are getting in the way of you living your everyday life. Let them go.
- Gifts are not obligations. The purpose of a gift is to make the receiver happy. If the item doesn’t make you happy (and you don’t use it), let it go. Do you see a pattern here? That’s why my business is called YOUR HOME EDITOR. You need to focus on EDITING out the useless stuff in your life. Before you can organize, you have to purge. It’s not that your closet or home or garage is too small… you just have too much stuff.
- What are some of your favorite organizing projects? As I mentioned, I love love love to organize kitchens. But my favorite projects involve any with clients who are willing to work hard and are 100% ready to make change in their life. Nothing gets me going like a good “Before and After!”
- What are some of the challenges you confront while helping clients organize? I have been blessed to have really great clients in the 4 years I’ve been in business, so there haven’t been too many challenges, luckily.
I love what I do and I think that comes across while I’m working — I try to make things fun. That said, I think the biggest challenge for my clients is when their families are not on board with changing bad habits (like not organizing!). A mother can call me in and we can work for 3 hours to get a room in shape… and then the kids and husband come home and go back to their old ways and pile things up again in a matter of days. It really needs to be a household effort to maintain the organization. Organizing–like prayer and exercise–is a daily ritual.
Heather’s company is called Your Home Editor and is located in St. Petersburg, Florida, www.yourhomeeditor.com. She can be reached at telephone 727-239-3511.