Professional organizer virtually assists clients with cluttered spaces
Sep 30, 2020 02:03PM
By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
After Ruth Hadlock’s organizational skills, clients can expect this. (Photo courtesy Ruth Hadlock)
By Kathryn Elizabeth Jones | [email protected]
Ruth Hadlock, a certified professional organizer and owner of Streamlined Space Organizing is a “born organizer.”
She believes in having a space, whether the space be home or office, that makes one “feel calm in their surroundings.”
Only about 10% of us are naturally organized, she said. That leaves 90% of us wondering what to do about the clutter we can’t seem to fix.
Still, “we beat [ourselves] up,” she said.
“People want a relaxed surrounding to lower their anxiety. They want to feel peaceful in [their] surroundings so that [they] can spend time on more important things,” she said.
Hadlock’s business, which has been running smoothly for 14 years, suddenly took on a new type of instructional clean when COVID-19 demanded the need to do everything she used to do in person, via technology.
More people have become “paralyzed” in their homes, she said. They’re “faced with their stuff, and their anxiety levels are high. They want to declutter, but they don’t know where to start.”
That’s where Hadlock and her expertise come in.
A free 20-minute phone call with a potential client usually carries an answer. “I don’t work with everyone. We have to be a good fit.”
After the phone call comes a questionnaire for them to fill out and a 1-hour consultation where they take Hadlock, via Zoom, around the rooms of their home.
After that comes a collaboration process.
“The client and I design a plan. It’s not about me telling people what to do. I don’t tell people to throw things away. I want to know what the client wants.”
Whether the client has a paper problem, heirlooms that need organizing, or decluttering that needs to be managed, “I help them get what they want.”
“Even though I am not physically by a client’s side, I help them a couple of times a week through online instruction as if I was there. It’s the coolest thing. And it’s amazing the projects that get done having someone by [your] side assisting you.”
Through a step-by-step organizing process, which includes continuing to maintain and simplify their life even after the organizational experience is complete, her clients learn how to focus on what is important now. They always know what comes next, and instead of feeling overwhelmed, are happy they are taking care of the issue.
Once such woman, a teacher, was retiring. Others at the school had cleaned out her classroom, packing everything she had used in the classroom for the past 30 years inside 40-50 boxes, all unorganized.
“They left them on her doorstep,” Hadlock said. “The woman was overwhelmed. ‘I don’t know what to do,’ she told me. We went through the organizing process together and she was able to categorize everything, and give many of the items back to the school all organized.”
Another client organized a school area within her home with the help of Hadlock. The client didn’t have an entire room, so they decided on a part of the house that worked best and set up a system where things would go. In addition, trifold poster boards typically used for science projects created a little space for each child in the kitchen where the individual could focus on his/her schoolwork without peering eyes.
The most important thing is feeling successful, according to Hadlock, and to keep the peace going.
She tells people, “We wear about 20% of our clothing, but it’s hard to get rid of what we don’t wear because we don’t have a place for it.”
What to do?
Put a bin on the closet floor. Fill it with clothing no longer worn when you see it.
Hadlock, who has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, has never had to use it in all of the years she’s been in business. “No one has ever asked me to come back and fix something,” she said.
Still, “it’s hard for people to allow me to see their personal space,” she said. “It’s scary, and they feel vulnerable. But the results are amazing and they are always thrilled.”
Hadlock is one of two certified professional organizers in Utah, and has also been certified as a virtual professional organizer. To speak with Hadlock, visit her website at www.streamlinedspace.com or call 801-598-7798.