23 Feb 2012

This week Maria met with a prospective client who had already contracted services with another professional organizer.  His experience with them was not a good one, but it highlights a major difference between Conquer the Clutter and some of our competitors.

This competitor came in for a free consultation and quoted a price to clear and organize his space.  He agreed, paid and let them in to do the work.  They cleared his space and rearranged things neatly and left.  This includes discarding some items of sentimental value to the client without his knowledge and consent.  Afterwards, the client wanted to discuss some aspects of the clean up and resolve a disagreement about exactly which areas were supposed to have been cleared.  Unfortunately, the competitor didn’t return his calls.  He had to contact the Better Business Bureau before the competitor called him back.  They will be returning to finish the job to his satisfaction.  Needless to say, we will not be getting involved at this time.

It’s very easy to clear, clean and organize a space when the client isn’t there.  Unfortunately, this means that you need to make decisions without the client’s input and agreement.  It also means that you’ve removed the symptoms without attempting to fix the problem.  We don’t do that.

When Conquer the Clutter comes to you for an initial assessment we spend as much time as necessary touring the problem areas and discussing both the possible causes of the problems and how they are affecting you.  We discuss potential solutions including how to go about clearing the area, how to organize your stuff and how to make more efficient use of your space.  We’re not going to take all day to do this and we’re not going to pressure you about all the detailed decisions that you will need to make along the way, we’re just going over a general plan.  Then we summarize our discussion and give it to you.  Yes, we charge for an initial assessment, but sometimes all you need is an outline.

If you contract with Conquer the Clutter to assist you in the clearing and organizing then we come in on an hourly basis and work with you to determine what you need to keep and what to do with the rest.  We teach you strategies for making these decisions yourself so you may not need further assistance.  If you do want additional assistance then we offer a Continuing Care plan where we can come back periodically to help you maintain your situation, or if you just have questions then we will answer your phone calls and emails for free.

We certainly do work on our own, like when the client has moved or passed on, but if the client is still using the space then we want to work with them.  In more intense situations we will even work in collaboration with therapists.  Our goal is to help our clients to restore an order to their lives that they can maintain.  A very stark difference.

About the Author

works mostly behind the scenes at Conquer the Clutter, supporting Maria's efforts to make the world a neater place to live.

5 Responses to A stark difference
  1. Reference lists These are a fantastic way to get Started on oiranizgng your life And your home.List Examples:Personal GoalsImportant Birthdays AnniversariesWish ListsGift Lists for familyTravel Lists places you would like to seeStuff to do Things you would like to see do in the next 5 years .10 years ..within your lifePacking lists Items to pack for get aways day trip/weekender week to 10 day trips .This makes getting ready to go a breezeReading List Books you would like to readEducation List Items you really want to learnThe choices of what lists to make are as individual as you are.IN THE BATHROOMAdd a magnetic strip to your medicine cabinet for things like scissors..tweezers.clippers other small objects ( how about a sewing needle so you will always know where to find one)READING MATERIALToss old catalogs and donate old magazines and books to nursing homes, salvation army or goodwillCULL THE CLUTTERTake a hard look around and find everything that just doesnt seem to Have its own place Cull the clutter by donating or price it , box it and have a garage sale ..use the proceeds to buy closet organizers and under the bed storage containers for things like Christmas Gift wrap/Ornaments/Lights etc.CREATE A MEMORY BOXAs you go through life you will create memories ..create a Box to hold these memories add to it as you create new memories. Take a little time when you are feeling melencholoy to look through these memories to give yourself a little added boost.CREATE TIME BLOCKSWant to work on your hobby but cant find the time? Set aside a time block each day or every other day that is specifically dedicated to an activity .wether its surfing the net, scrapbooking or just reading a book, Time blocks will insure you always have a little balance in your life.

    • People come into our lives for either a reoasn- to help us deal with a situation, to learn a lesson, or to give us a particular experience. Some come into our lives for a season- they are in our lives for a period of time, we share experiences, friendships, and a relationship of sorts, but eventually the season passes and we move on. We remember these people for the experience and while they may come back into our lives from time to to time, the season has passed. Then there are those that are in our lives for a life time these people share more of an intimate relationship, they have been through major life changing experiences, they may be related to us, or just seem that way. These are the people we know we can count on in times of need, turn to no matter what, they are our source of strength to get us through times when we cant get through alone. Sometimes we think people will be there for our lifetime, but in the end we realize like you are remember now it was a season. Those are perhaps the hardest truths to face, but essential if we are to move forward. I am glad I could give you a kick when you needed it.

    • This post hit a cord. With me it is not THINGS but people I have a hard time litetng go of. I have been struggling all morning with the past. Thanks for the kick I needed to remember maybe it was a season not a lifetime. Hope you continue to move forward!

  2. I put permanent didivers in some of my kitchen drawers, rather than using those plastic utensil holders that slide around in the drawer. I use them in the silverware drawer as well as the cooking utensil drawers. I have electrical plugs in my bathroom cabinets and my kitchen cabinets; this allows me to have charging bases of appliances hidden (electric toothbrush, can opener, wine opener), and I have the majority of my kitchen appliances hidden in cabinets rather than on the counter-top. I have a coat/hat rack with a shelf by the back door. I have cabinets over my washer and dryer, as well as them being elevated on built-in storage. My end and bedside tables have drawers. My entertainment centers have concealed storage. We have a CD/DVD carousel (holds 400 in all) so we never have to touch one to play it. I keep sheets for one bedroom in a linen closet and sheets for the other bedroom in another linen closet (the beds are different sizes). I made an envelope out of sheets for the air bed so the sheets stay on it. If I don’t use an item, I donate it to my thrift store. I don’t keep clothes that I don’t wear, that don’t fit, or are out of style.

    • I hear this one. Yes, clutter rea00ly does clutter our lives…this week was stressful, and I think coming home after work to a completely disorganized house only increased my stress level–not surprisingly, I got a cold in the mix too. What a great idea…I might start cleaning my kitchen this weekend too, if I can only get the energy…

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