I wasn’t always an organizer, but I’ve always enjoyed organization. My first career was as an elementary school teacher for 13 years in Chicago. I loved thinking about how people learn and I especially loved creating spaces for that. Parents would say to me, ”your classroom is very organized, it is very reassuring, my children understand what is going on in here”.
While finishing my Masters in Integrated Teaching and Learning—the study of created culture—it struck me. I didn’t want to return to the classroom. Fortunately, I was about to see another door open, and about to find out that my new degree was perfect for what was behind that door.
One day my mother told me a story about a friend with a career I had never heard of—a professional organizer.
My jaw dropped. “That’s what I want to do”, I said.
In 2007 I started my second career as owner of Strategize Organize LLC with the same passion, interest in individual learning styles, and commitment that I had in my first. I am professionally trained, learn from other organizers, and have a vision of who I can help and how.
Since my business began, I’ve helped people with AD/HD, students, teachers, graduate students, homeowners, apartment residents, small business owners, parents, and kids get organized. The common trait that all my clients share is that they either feel stressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, or at their wits end.
My teaching background seeps into my organizing practice in ways that interest me and enrich my clients. Students and people with AD/HD are a specialty—I know how students need to be organized in order to meet their potential and I have seen the impact of AD/HD on the daily lives of my clients.
Most importantly, I realize how uncomfortable it might be for clients to have an organizer in their space. Teaching taught me to listen in a nonjudgmental way, which I aim to do in my work as an organizer.
Yes, people come to me overwhelmed, with papers askew, tasks unaccomplished. This fear or frustration isn’t a problem—I can be hopeful for them when they cannot. I believe in my clients, and our ability to make change happen.
My clients can trust me to be a kind and caring professional. I arrive on time and bring my own indoor shoes to wear in their house so that their carpet stays clean. I’ll never insist that they throw something out…I help them make that decision. They keep their self-respect, but let go of the stuff that is keeping them from meeting their goals.
Clients see results—a notebook where you can find your homework, a system for remembering and doing, and a closet that works. My clients experience change for the better, and watching that change in their lives is energizing and exciting.