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Q&A with a Professional Organizer – Allison Carter

Allison-carter
Allison Carter, CPO® – Atlanta, GA – www.TheProfessionalOrganizer.com

1. How long have you been a professional organizer?
6 years and still loving it!

2. What inspired you to become a professional organizer?
Honestly, it's a mixture of skills I was born with, desire to teach, desire to be in  helping /service profession, and the flexibility of having my own business. Like many organizers, I was not super neat (and I'm still not) but love to do the organization and set-up of systems.

3. What is the most common organizing project you’re hired to do?
The most common issue clients have is home paper management and setting up a working, functional file system. They are unclear on rules of organization, tricks for setting up files, how long to store paper, and what to keep. Even very organized people are often tripped up by the massive quantity of paper there is to deal with every day.

4. What is the most common organizing challenge people have?
My clients are usually challenged by the overwhelming amount of things they have and all the choices that need to be made to get rid of their stuff. I spend the majority of time with clients in the purging process. I tend to attract creative people who like to do projects and they don't want to get rid of things because they see how it can be used again.

5. If you had to pick ‘your’ biggest organizing challenge, what would it be?
My personal challenge is the maintenance. I am a great builder of systems and a terrible tracker and horrible at putting things away. I have to force myself to put things away regularly – from client files to clothing. I treat myself like my own kids – I have to put things away before I'm allowed to take something else out.

6. What one tips would you give to people who are trying to get organized?
There are an infinite number of ways to organize. Don't let anyone tell you there is a right way and a wrong way. Any way that works for you is the right way.

7. How does someone become a professional organizer?

So far, there are no traditional schools that teach this profession. But you can find classes taught by veteran professional organizers. I offer mentoring and training classes for people who want to start off on the right foot. Those classes can be found on my website as well: http://www.organizeru.com

8. What are your favorite containers for organizing homes?
It's so simple, but the single item I use most is the clear plastic bin. I use large ones on basement, garages and attics. I use smaller ones for toys and shoes. And under the bed boxes are great for artwork, wrapping paper, sweaters and much more.

Clear is important for many people because they feel better being able to see into them, and they know what is inside immediately, even if they don't see a label.

9. How can potential clients get in touch with you?
Email: organizer@theprofessionalorganizer.com or by phone: 770-579-9866.  You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/OrganizeAtlanta or visit my website at: www.TheProfessionalOrganizer.com

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2 Responses to Q&A with a Professional Organizer – Allison Carter

  1. Shelving Galore March 10, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    I am particular to the clear plastic bin too, and must say that being able to see what is inside works best. Labels on the outside inevitably don’t get updated, and there is nothing worse than getting to the bottom bin and not finding what you expect in there when you eventually get there. GRRRR!!!

  2. Julie Bestry March 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    So glad to see Allison profiled here. She’s a real mover & shaker in professional organizer, and has a talent for seeing creative alternatives for organizing (and business) challenges. Allison’s a visionary–keep an eye on her, and you’ll see the future!

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