Rachel, please tell us a little about yourself? Where are you originally from?
I am a professional home organizer based in New York City. I live in Manhattan with my husband and rescue dog, Ralphie. I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, and I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, which is where I met my husband.
When did you start tidyspot? How long have you been a professional organizer?
I launched tidyspot two years ago, although I casually helped friends and family organize for many years before that.
How did you get into this profession? Do you have a team?
I’ve loved to organize for as long as I can remember. Having everything in its place makes me feel relaxed. Growing up, my school folders were always in perfect order and I LOVED going shopping for new school supplies at the beginning of each school year. In high school, I discovered local consignment shops and got a thrill from cleaning out my closet and making money (even if it was a small amount) from my used clothing. I still love to consign clothing – both my own and for my clients.
My husband, Travis, and I live in a one-bedroom apartment in NYC, and we don’t have a lot of storage space. After months of watching me constantly reorganize (and regularly purge) our apartment, Travis encouraged me to start an organizing business. He pointed out that I LOVE to do something that many people hate (declutter and organize), and he was absolutely right. Why not turn my hobby into a business – especially in a place like NYC where most people live in small apartments with very little storage space.
What type of clients do you work with? What is your organizing style?
I work with clients across the NYC and New Jersey area. I find that most of my clients are going through some sort of transition or change in their lives that lead them my way: they’re moving into a new apartment, downsizing, expecting a new baby, the list goes on.
My motto is, “You can live more with less.” I promise, you don’t need as much stuff as you think you do. And once you rid yourself of the excess, you will feel a lot better. A successful organization project comes down to decluttering. You can’t organize until you’ve gone through everything in a space and decided what to keep and what to toss/donate.
While I do enjoy using matching bins and other organizing products, you don’t actually need to use any of these in order to maintain an organized space. It really comes down to reducing clutter and putting things away where they belong.
What are the different services do you offer?
My services include decluttering, organizing (both home and office/corporate), organization product recommendations and shopping, selling gently used clothing and accessories, and move management.
How do you approach a new organizing project?
I offer a free phone consultation to every potential new client to learn more about their organizational challenges and needs. During this call, I like to learn more about the client’s lifestyle - who they live with, whether or not they have children, what they do for work, etc. Some people want a Pinterest-worthy pantry and others simply want to be able to FIND what’s in their pantry. The goal is that my clients are able to maintain the progress we’ve made once we are done working together, so I never push a one-size-fits-all organizing solution on anyone.
When working with clients, what do you think are the biggest hindrances that keep people from being/staying organized?
I find that most people have a “dumping ground” in their homes – whether it’s the entryway closet, a chair in their bedroom, or the kitchen counter. In order to stay organized, we need to put these things away when we’re done using them. Sure, it might take an extra minute to do at the time, but if you let everything pile up, the process is going to take a whole lot longer!
What is your approach with a client who resists decluttering?
I only work with clients who are ready and willing to declutter, otherwise the project won’t be successful. Decluttering is emotionally taxing for many people, as you’re forced to look at years of sentimental items and make a lot of decisions in a short period of time. I try to check in with my clients every hour or so during the decluttering process to see how they’re feeling and if they need a break. Sometimes people simply want to talk through what they’re finding, whether it’s a vacation souvenir or family heirloom, and I always try to be a good listener. If a client is struggling to get rid of a particular item, I often ask a variety of questions to help them decide whether or not it is worth holding onto. If it’s been sitting in the back of your closet, untouched, for years, chances are you didn’t know it was there and you definitely won’t miss it if it’s gone.
What is the most common question you are asked?
“Is my home the messiest you’ve ever seen?” And the answer is no – I’ve seen worse. (And if it is the worst, I certainly wouldn’t tell the client!)
What are your top three tips for staying organized?
Declutter often – at least once a season.
Always put things back once you’re done using them. At the very least, put things back before you go to bed so that you wake up to an organized home.
It isn’t one person’s job to maintain an organized home. Get the whole family involved and encourage everyone to put things back in their proper place.
If you’re not inherently an organized person, don’t hesitate to reach out for help from a professional organizer. We can help identify organizing solutions that you maybe haven’t thought of.
What are some of your favorite products that help you stay organized?
I have a little makeup kit that I transfer between purses. It contains things like gum, bandaids, lipstick, and tissues. It keeps my purses organized and clean at the bottom, and that way I am never wondering what purse I may have left something in.
I love the clear stackable shoe boxes from The Container Store. They’re a splurge, but they’re really fantastic because they allow you to see all of your shoes at once and they keep the dust off them as opposed to if they were on a shoe rack.
What is the favorite part of your job?
I love when my clients look around their home at the end of the session in awe of the progress made. For so many, decluttering and organizing feels like a giant hurdle, and to help them overcome that is a great feeling. I love helping people feel better in their own homes.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I love to cook and travel (well, before COVID-19, at least!). These days, I spend a lot of time in my kitchen and walking my dog in Central Park.
What is the best way to reach you?
If you have any questions about my services or you’d like to book an appointment, please email me. Thank you!
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