This week I’m introducing you to another Certified Professional Organizer (and great friend), Vali Heist. Take a peek at her website at www.cluttercrew.com.
1. What made you decide to become a professional organizer?
I was an administrator at a local University and was going to work uninspired for the last two years and found myself praying for inspiration each day for what I would do for my next career. I was reading a Redbook magazine a friend gave me and came across an article about a woman who started a business in D.C. as a professional organizer. I read the article to the end and thought, I can do this!! I went up to my computer in my office and started doing research and immediately began planning my business.
2. What’s your organizing philosophy?
My philosophy is simple: I go where the client is, physically and mentally, and help him or her reach the goals we set forth together using my philosophy of recycling and remixing.
3. What’s your favorite organizing product(s)?
My favorite organizing products are the items already in the client’s home. I take a tour of the whole house during the assessment so I know what’s available to us as we organize. I use antique furniture to organize such as buffets and breakfronts. I also encourage my clients to use favorite decorative items to organize instead of buying something new: a favorite mug, bowl, basket, etc. I don’t encourage spending more money to organize, especially buying more plastic. I am hoping that by the time we unclutter what the client doesn’t want, we’ll have plenty of containers to house to the things they do want to keep.
4. What is your favorite place to donate unwanted items?
My favorite place to donate is the Goodwill. I grew up going to the Goodwill with my mother when I was very young and wasn’t thrilled about it. I wanted to go to the mall where my friends shopped, but we couldn’t afford that so we ended up at thrift stores. As an adult, I learned to embrace the Goodwill as a treasure trove of unwanted items that others will discover on their search for what they needed and wanted. I do go to many other charities in my area to donate items such as Habitat ReStore, Reuzit Stores (Mennonite), and Mary’s Shelter (pregnant teens) because I like to take the items where I think they will do the most good.
5. If you were given an extra hour in the day, what would you do with it?
Write. There never seems to be enough energy to organize with clients and to write.
6. How does being organized help you live a better life?
The list is long, but here’s the short version. Being organized grants me the time to: spend time with friends and family, go forward in my career, read a good book, be spontaneous, sleep late, travel, stay up late, and handle the tough times with grace.