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Q&A with Angela Ploetz, CPO® – Professional Organizer

Ploetz photo Angela Ploetz, CPO® – Austin, TX – http://www.theposhspace.com  and www.aredbench.com

How long have you been a professional organizer?
I have had my organizing business for 5 years, but started organizing my friend’s purses in middle school and my mother’s pantry and linen closet growing up.  As a child I remember going into the Container Store and just feeling wonder and excitement!  It started early! 

What inspired you to become a CPO®?
Education has always been important to me.  When I started my business it was important to me that I learn as much as possible so I could serve my clients better.  I also wanted more credibility as a professional so it didn’t appear that one day I just decided to become a Professional Organizer and therefore I was.  I started by getting Freedom Filer Certified, Clear & Simple Certified, and when I was eligible I got my CPO designation.  I feel that certifications and continuing education make us stronger as an industry.

What is the most common organizing project you’re hired to do?
Currently I have two hot areas.  One is unpacking people who just moved into a new home.  Literally the moving trucks pull away and then my team and I walk in and help people unpack their boxes and get their homes set up in just a few days.  It is a huge relief for people.  They are feeling so overwhelmed and by the time we leave they are so happy and ready to start enjoying their new home and community. 

The other area is household paper and filing systems.  So many people struggle with what to do with all the paper.  They don’t know how long to keep it, where to put it, and are in over their heads.  It’s great to see a client who moves from being paralyzed by the paper to knowing exactly where things go and having a plan that will work to get the paper out of their home.  

What is the most common organizing challenge people have?
Paper.  People just get so much paper these days.  We have mail that comes in, school papers, magazines, fliers we pick up.  It can be very overwhelming.  People often don’t know how they are going to dig themselves out of it because they don’t understand the basic principles of what to do with paper, the different types of paper, and how long to keep certain documents.  Once people understand these things it makes getting rid of the paper much easier.

If you had to pick ‘your’ biggest organizing challenge, what would it be?
Hmmm…my husband!  Just kidding!  My biggest challenge used to be and is again Paper!  When I started my business I hated paper.  I didn’t understand it and it was a challenge for me.  So I was determined to learn as much as possible so I could help my clients.  Once I discovered the Freedom Filer I was in paper heaven.  My filing system was working well until this past year when I had several life changes including moving twice and my daughter starting kindergarten at one school and switching to another school.  When my daughter started school we were at one house, then we moved to an apartment while our new home was being built and finally our new home.  With that many life changes my system had to be tweaked with every move and new school.  It was difficult because just when I was getting the hang of one way of doing things everything changed.  I’m looking forward to a new school year so we can further tweak what I learned from last year for our paper action systems and I can get back in a good place with the incoming paper.

What one tip would you give to people who are trying to get organized?
Just as I explained in the example of my challenge above, when you have a big life change your systems need to change too.  You can’t expect to set something up once and have it work for the rest of your life.  You have to continually analyze what’s working and what is not working.  When you start a project, remain flexible, knowing that you will have to tweak it as time goes on.  People often feel like they have failed when a system stops working for them.  You have not failed, your life has just changed and you just need to tweak.

How can potential clients get in touch with you?
People in the Austin area looking to hire an organizer can visit the POSH Space web site at www.theposhspace.com.  People looking for organizing tips, resources, and product reviews & recommendations can visit The POSH Blog at www.theposhspace.com/blog.  People can connect with POSH Space on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/poshspace or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ThePOSHspace.

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One Response to Q&A with Angela Ploetz, CPO® – Professional Organizer

  1. Julia September 15, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    What a great idea. I never thought to hire an organizer to help get me moved in. That would be a huge relief!

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