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Q&A with Amber Kostelny-Cussen – CPO®

Amber Kostelny-Cussen, CPO® – Chicago, IL –

Amber Organizing photo 1) How long have you been a professional organizer?
Since January 2004 which will be 7 years in January

2) What inspired you to become a CPO?
Being certified makes me accountable to a higher standard of professionalism, education, and experience. During the certification process I learned so many new things, and I continue to grow and learn professionally because of the strict on going requirements.

3) What is the most common organizing project you’re hired to do?
Paper. Every home in America deals with paper on a daily basis- whether it’s mail, school paper, business paperwork, or newspapers and magazines. If paper isn’t addressed daily, piles can quickly develop and a sense of overwhelm sets in.

4) What is the most common organizing challenge people have?
Not finishing and following through. People often express that they have started an organizing project or tried to organize on their own, but just can’t complete or finish what they have started. This is very common and hiring a professional to help really does make a difference because we don’t leave a project undone or half completed.

5) If you had to pick ‘your’ biggest organizing challenge, what would it be?
My biggest challenge is really organizing meals and meal planning. I know that may sound unusual, but organizing stuff comes natural and easy to me. Organizing a week’s worth of meals, grocery shopping, and meal planning is a challenge. I wish I was more organized in that weekly task, which would prevent me from wasting food.

6) What one tip would you give to people who are trying to get organized?
Hire a professional. Each of us have different strengths and weaknesses. If organization is something you struggle with, hiring someone to help you will make the process easier and faster. Admit you need help and let us, who LOVE to organize, transform your home into a calm, peaceful, and organized home.

7) What is the organizing process like?
After evaluating and assessing your current state, we start organizing. Most organizers know and follow Julie Morgenstern’s simple acronym S.P.A.C.E.- sort, purge, assign a home, containerize and equalize. Each of those steps are very important and we walk our clients through each one. Finally, we make any special recycling trips, donation drop offs or shopping trips at the very end of the process.

8) What do I need to get started organizing?
In my opinion, the right attitude and perspective are most important. If you are ready for change, ready to discard items that are bogging you down, and open to new systems and solutions, then you’re ready to start organizing.

9) How can potential clients get in touch with you?
They can visit our website at or call us directly at 773-628-7404

Amber Kostelny-Cussen has been serving the Chicago area as a professional organizer since January 2004. She owns Amber’s Organizing, LLC , is a Certified Professional Organizer®, and specializes in residential and small business organizing. She especially enjoys getting to know her clients to customize the organizing solutions and systems to their lifestyle. Amber is a Golden Circle member of the National Association of Professional Organizers as well as local member of the Chicago chapter. Aside from hands-on organizing, she enjoys writing organizing articles and blogging.

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9 Responses to Q&A with Amber Kostelny-Cussen – CPO®

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  8. Jen October 22, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    I love to organize and have passed the fondness down to my 6 yr old daughter. I’m going to forward your suggestions to my GF who is cleaning her house out and preparing to move out of state.

  9. Nancy October 22, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who is challended orgainzationally by paper!

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