Audrey Thomas, a.k.a. Organized Audrey, CPO®
Minneapolis, MN – www.OrganizedAudrey.com
1) How long have you been a professional organizer?
I began a professional speaking business nearly 18 years ago. As I addressed audiences on the topic of Home and Office organization, people often sheepishly asked me if I would ever consider coming to their home to help get them organized. After hearing that same question over and over, I began offering one-on-one consulting to individuals in their homes and offices
2) What inspired you to become a CPO?
I run my company with the highest level of professionalism and train my employees to be current on the industry, with on-going reviews of new products. When the Certification program was announced, I knew that it was just one more way to show knowledge and understanding of the organizing industry. Whatever industry people work in, I encourage them to reach that industry’s highest level of certification. Becoming certified was a personal and professional goal I knew I wanted to reach.
3) What is the most common organizing project you’re hired to do?
Paper is the most common area we help client with. So much for our society becoming a paperless one! Many papers land on the kitchen counter or in the entryway of the home. Being able to help in these areas has such a huge impact on transforming their lives. Clients tell us their credit rating even improves once they’ve become organized because they no longer lose their bills or pay them late! How cool is that??!!
4) What is the most common organizing challenge people have?
We tell our clients that their clutter is a result of delayed decisions. Once they come to understand this, they realize how many decisions they’ve been avoiding or unable to make. Sometimes the tough decisions that have to be made involve cutting back on purchases. And sometimes decisions need to be made about items that are rarely seen or used. Most people admit to not having enough storage space; however, it’s amazing how much space is freed up when they begin managing their “stuff” better.
5) If you had to pick ‘your’ biggest organizing challenge, what would it be?
Even though I conduct corporate trainings on the topic of office productivity, I still have to be careful not to waste too much time related to Email. It’s so easy for me to get lost in my Inbox! I’ve found if I check my Email only 4-5 times during the day, I’m much more productive than having it open while I’m working on other projects.
6) What one tip would you give to people who are trying to get organized?
Start a small project with realistic goals and expectations. I.e. A junk drawer, a closet shelf, one cabinet. You’ll be more successful as you progress slowly and gradually versus trying to organize the whole house in one weekend. New habits take up to six months to become part of your personality so allow yourself plenty of time to learn new ways of doing things. Got a house full of clutter? Then focus on one room a month and in a year’s time you will have organized at a pace that allowed you to reach your goals without burning out.
7) What’s the most unusual item you’ve seen a man or woman save?
– 50-year old man: 8-track tapes even though he no longer had the means to play them.
– 40’ish woman: The umbilical cords to her children.