Answers to Your Questions
Do you provide hands-on services?
Absolutely! I prefer to work side-by-side with a client for organizing projects. It provides great teaching moments as well as the ability to quickly make changes to the project. However, when the job requires more hands on deck, I work collaboratively with a specialized team of other local professional organizers. Projects that involve potential safety hazards (heavy furniture, hazardous materials, etc.) will be addressed on a case-by-case basis as they require a different crew.
Should I buy storage bins or a system in advance?
I lovingly say: no, please don’t. The cute bins/baskets and fancy storage systems are very enticing, but it’s far more important to purchase the right-sized containers and systems. And we won’t know what those sizes are until we have purged and determined what you want to keep. So buying containers and systems is actually one of the last things we do in the organizing process.
As part of my planning process, I always like to incorporate existing organizing and storage solutions. When and if it seems necessary to purchase any organizing items, I’ll make recommendations based on what is needed to reach your goals, the purpose, and cost of the item, design/style of the item, and the timing of acquiring the item.
Ultimately, the decision will be yours as to whether it is purchased or not. We can purchase the products together online or I can give an itemized list per store or I can do the shopping for you at my hourly rate and then you reimburse me for my expenses (no markup products).
Is there anything I can do outside of our organizing sessions to keep the project moving?
Yes! I’m so glad you asked. Understand that everyone’s schedule is different; some clients have time and energy to commit to homework while others don’t. It’s certainly not a requirement and there is no judgment. So, if it is part of our agreed-upon plan, I will be assigning small amounts of homework such as:
- Sorting paperwork, sentimental items, photos, letters, or journals
- Taking returns back to stores
- Posting items for sale
- Taking large trash loads to the landfill
Do you provide virtual or online organizing services?
Yes, I definitely take advantage of technology to enhance the process of an organizing project, this includes using texting, email, Facetime, and Skype sessions (instead of in-person meetings). Simply put, virtual organizing provides a way we can work together when we are not in the same room or even the same state.
We’ll start with a phone consultation where I ask questions, then you will email or text me photos of the space you’d like organized. I then create an action plan, then give you my expert advice and recommendations, and you make the magic happen in real life.
Do you have an option for DIY’ers?
Sure do! I fully support Do-It-Yourself projects and am happy to provide some direction. My DIY 2-hour consultation includes a full walk-through of all of your spaces to identify trouble zones and potential solutions. In addition, I obtain your wants, needs, and desired goals. From this meeting, I will email you a prepared action plan that includes a calendaring of prioritized action items, a list of required supplies to consider, resources, and tip sheets specific to your project.
My loved one could really use your services. Can I hire you to work with them?
Yes. However, I need to know that your loved one wants to work with me. As much as you might want to help them, if they don’t think they have a problem or aren’t ready and receptive to change, hiring me may be a waste of time and money. Talk to them about their situation, and if the idea of working with a professional organizer appeals to them, perhaps we can test the waters. I applaud your willingness to support their efforts, so I suggest purchasing them a gift certificate for a certain amount of hours.
How do we get started?
I start with my initial “complimentary” on-site, no-obligation consult, which typically lasts an hour. This opportunity allows me to visit with you in your space of need and discuss options, goals, and scheduling. As important, this meeting gives us a chance to decide if we’re compatible and determine if we’ll make a good team. The organizing process can become emotionally overwhelming, so it is important that we work well together. I am here to help you and I promise I will not judge you; I come in peace to give you peace.
If this is your first time tackling such a project, I find that it works best if we test the waters and start small. You will be delighted at how much we can accomplish in our first hands-on session. This boost will give you the confidence needed to reach your goals.
The next step is for me to provide you with an action plan and proposal. If you agree, then we schedule our session(s) accordingly.
I'm a hoarder or I have a family member who is a hoarder; can you help?
Yes, I am happy to work with someone with hoarding behaviors as long as it is in collaboration with a mental health specialist as a member of the support team. With regards to a family member who is a hoarder, the most crucial factors are to show concern and be supportive of the process. Most importantly, you must remain non-judgmental. Again, I am happy to assist as long as we have a dedicated mental health specialist as a member of the support team.
Will you protect my privacy?
Absolutely! Your privacy and confidentiality are of the utmost importance to me. I abide by a strict code of ethics. My vehicle is unmarked and I do not wear logo-branded clothing. Remember, I am an unbiased professional who comes to you without judgment.
What about before-and-after pictures?
I may take before pictures that are used solely for professional purposes and no identification is attached. We review the pictures during our consultation to determine how you would like to utilize the space compared to how the space is currently used. Then I use the pictures again when I develop the action plan and the research of organizational supplies in order to get a better idea of what your needs are. In addition, I take after-pictures as a record of the completion of the job.
What cities do you work in?
I primarily work with clients who live in the Five Cities Area of south San Luis Obispo County and the Santa Maria Valley of northern Santa Barbara County. If you live further away than that, don’t worry—I’m always up for a road trip; my travel fee depends on where you live. And of course, there are my virtual organizing services where we talk via phone—I ask questions, share my expert advice and recommendations, and you make the magic happen in real life.
How do I pay you?
I accept cash, check, and PayPal transfer. The deposit is due at the signing of the contract and invoice balances are due upon receipt.
Should you choose to pay by check, please make it payable to Central Coast Transitions. There is a returned check charge fee of fifty dollars ($50.00). The client will also be responsible for all other charges incurred by my bank as a direct result of the returned check.
Do you have a cancellation policy?
Yes. It’s important that our relationship is based on mutual respect for one another’s time. Like other professionals, I reserve time slots for my clients. If you need to cancel your session due to something unforeseen, please contact me 36 hours before your appointment. Otherwise, you’ll be invoiced for ½ of the appointment fee, unless you’re seriously ill or you’ve had a real emergency. It’s a business necessity for me since I can’t re-book that time slot if I’m not given enough notice. Thank you for understanding.