Lorie Marrero, CPO® – Austin, TX – www.clutterdiet.com
1) How long have you been a professional organizer?
I started my business in 2000, but I saved up my allowance to buy a label maker when I was ten, and the teacher asked me to stay in from recess to help other kids organize their desks. I have always enjoyed figuring out ways to create shortcuts and live more practically and simply. I had a team of organizers in Austin & San Antonio doing this work in person for 8 years, then my former employees took over that part of the business, and I went full time with our virtual membership program this year. I love helping people all over the country and the world to get the expert help they need!
2) What inspired you to become a professional organizer?
I have so often heard the advice to “do what you love and the money will follow.” After being in the corporate world for a little while, then staying home with my kids while we moved eleven times and built four homes, I knew that I could really help people with my skills and experience. I used journaling, career assessments, and other tools to discover that this field was what I would like to pursue. Interestingly, this work was in first place in front of web designer and freelance writer—and now with the Clutter Diet program, I get to do all three at once!
3) What is the most common organizing project you’re hired to do?
My work is different, as it’s almost entirely virtual, but our program’s members most often need advice on paper management. Ironically, we have more paper now than ever before, even though we all thought we’d be “paperless” with computers! Computers have enabled us to print out anything we want, and they also enabled companies to more efficiently handle mailing lists, so we get more mail too. It’s a big problem!
4) What is the most common organizing challenge people have?
Well, we are really in the business of personal change. Just like going on a diet, people have trouble sticking to an organizing program and maintaining their efforts. I teach that we require three things to successfully make personal change: Education (the “how”), Motivation (the “why”), and Support (the “hey, keep on going”). Most people can find out how and summon up some reasons why, but “Support” is where failure typically occurs. That’s why Weight Watchers has been so successful—they have weekly meetings to provide that accountability and give people a boost to keep going. We do that daily for our members in our message boards, where our experts answer every question.
5) If you had to pick ‘your’ biggest organizing challenge, what would it be?
Most definitely time management. It’s hard for anyone in this modern world to juggle all of the demands on our attention. I juggle roles constantly as a mother, wife, friend, business owner, media expert, author/writer, and product developer (and I just stopped writing there to spare you the rest). I can definitely relate to everyone who is trying to do it all the best they can. And I want to tell your readers that none of us Professional Organizers are perfect by any means! I preach the gospel of “Good Enough.”
6) What one tip would you give to people who are trying to get organized?
Beware of “All-or-Nothing Thinking!” You don’t have to be either completely on or completely off a program of improvement. If you are continually trending toward progress, it’s okay to slip up and have a few bad days. Forgive yourself and keep moving onward and upward.
7) How can potential clients get in touch with you?
They can visit our site at www.clutterdiet.com, where we offer direct, personal advice from the experts for the price of a pizza. We have a book available on Amazon.com if people prefer reading instead, called The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life. I also offer a daily “#ClutterTweetTip” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/clutterdiet.