Pooja Gugnani, Professional Organizer – Chicago, Illinois – www.organizingwithyou.com
1) How long have you been a professional organizer?
For as long as I can remember would be my answer. I organized informally for family, friends, neighbors, professors etc., for many years before I discovered that an actual profession exists around this. I was so excited and didn’t think twice before I formally launched Organizing With You, Inc. in 2009.
2) What inspired you to become a professional organizer?
My passion for detailed work and helping others. Seeing first-hand how the right systems can alleviate people’s stress and improve general well being is reason enough for me to pursue this very rewarding profession. After I heard about the 4,000 other professional organizers that exist in the U.S., I immediately joined NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) and started taking courses and attending workshops to hone my organizing skills. THIS is my passion and I take pride in simplifying people’s lives.
3) What is the most common organizing project you’re hired to do?
The Home Office. I think with the way the economy has been turning in the last few years, a lot of people are working from home or starting their own business ventures. My clients need to find a way to work from home, without having their business and personal lives overlap too much. Home office organization is the most common project I work on with clients, however, closets & kid’s play areas would be a close second.
I also work extensively with people who struggle with ADHD, depression, anxiety etc., to help them cope better in their physical space and help ease their stress. It is so gratifying to see how appropriate systems can keep mild mental health issues from aggravating.
4) What is the most common organizing challenge people have?
In my opinion, the most common challenge that people encounter is being able to detach from belongings. We live in a very consumer driven society and think we need to buy things for a rainy day. This invariably leads to clutter and chaos. So getting clients to part with things they no longer have use for or miss is the hardest part. The second biggest challenge would be getting my clients to have patience to give their new organizing system the time to see if it really works. Change is hard, but you have to be patient before you give up or modify.
5) If you had to pick ‘your’ biggest organizing challenge, what would it be?
My biggest challenge personally is that I like to try too many different approaches on my own systems (from everything I’ve learnt) and end up confusing myself sometimes.
6) What one tips would you give to people who are trying to get organized?
If you’re organizing on your own (without the help of a professional organizer), be sure to create systems that fit your personality. The literature available on the topic of organizing offers general solutions, but they don’t apply to all. If you create systems that incorporate your lifestyle, habits and personality, you will be more prone to maintaining it. Also don’t worry about making your space look just tidy, focus on making it functional. If you create an efficient system, it is more likely to remain neat.
7) How can potential clients get in touch with you?
You can call me at 312.282.8280 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also send me a request via my website at www.organizingwithyou.com
I offer free organizing tips daily on my Facebook and Twitter
I do offer a complimentary initial 30 minute consultation!