Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.

–A.A. Milne

Spring is here — Bluebonnets and wildflowers are out so it is official!  In honor of the season and starting anew, California Closets will be offering a Spring Rejuvenation Promotion.

We will have complimentary Certified Professional Organizing services with purchase – it is up to our clients whether to have the CPO® come in before or after the storage system installation. We have wanted to create this program for a while so our clients could have an organizing service to go along with their California Closets custom storage system and therefore have a full-service, life-changing experience.  After all, lives are busier than ever and who has the extra time to devote to the task of re-doing their organizing processes alone? Not many of us have that luxury of extra time or the expertise required to under go such a task.  Enter Living Order — Leaders in the organizing industry, the very best in the business.  Like California Closets, they operate in both Austin and San Antonio.  Also, like California Closets, they are dedicated to professionalism and service.  These are a couple of dynamic, energetic and clever women – I can’t tell you how much the California Closets team enjoys working with them and how much we have learned!  Yvette Clay owns the Austin branch and Helene Segura the San Antonio location and we are thrilled to have them as our professional partners. We want to share them with our wonderful clientele so a new program was born! Professional Organizing is one luxury we cannot live without and neither should you.

Of course, we are fascinated with organizing, specially the emotional element that goes along with it.  We thought we would interview Helene and Yvette and share their thoughts and experiences with you, so here we go!

·      What is the one room in the house that is a good place to get started on the organizing process?

Helene: I always recommend starting in the master bedroom and closet.  You begin your day there, so you want to be able to find your clothes and get ready without struggling or feeling frazzled.  When you return to your room in the evening, it should be a retreat from the long day that you’ve had.  If your bedroom and closet are disorganized, that’s a lousy way to start and end your day.


What is the most rewarding experience you have had in your work?

Yvette: Saving marriages or relationships.  Over the years, I have worked with many clients and their partners in situations where they could not agree on a certain way to get organized.  By having a neutral party involved, it helps alleviate the stress on everyone.  Compromise is the key to success and having the skills to find that middle ground without creating a “winner” or “loser”.

·      What is the craziest experience you have had in your work?

Helene: I think I’ve pretty much seen everything, so nothing jumps out at me as crazy anymore.  There was one time when someone’s pet rat jumped onto my back when I wasn’t expecting it.  Fortunately, I didn’t scream, and it was a very friendly rat.  The only other thing I can think of is the situational craziness I experienced when I worked on the San Antonio episode of A&E’s Hoarders.  We had a junk hauling crew, cleaning crew, camera crew, three professional organizers, a psychiatrist, the client, and a couple of her friends – all squeezed into a house trying to get work done.

·      What is the subtlest organizing tool you might use that has the highest impact

Yvette: Communication and trust.  It is vital for a client to communicate their needs and expectations and have the ability to trust us ~ both personally and professionally.  It can be challenging at first, especially with new clients who don’t know anything about us and vice versa.  A certified professional organizer will have that extra level of skills and knowledge to create trust with the client so that the work can begin.

·      How do your clients feel after working with a CPO®?

Helene: The two things I commonly hear are, “That wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be,” followed by, “My life is about to get so much better.”

·      How have you seen lives change?

Helene: I’ve seen —

*families stop bickering because we’ve reached a compromise on household order

*clients end up with more money in their pockets because they no longer had to buy duplicates or triplicates or pay late fees on bills and credit cards

*children’s grades improve because we set up a realistic study and paper management system

*clients lose weight because working in the kitchen and finding ingredients in the pantry were no longer a chore

*smiles because clients have peace in their lives

·      What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Yvette: When people ask me what I do for a living, I usually respond by saying that “I change people’s lives” and I truly believe that.  Working directly with clients to solve their problems is very satisfying work and I know I was born to do this!

·      Why should someone hire a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®)?

Yvette: Certified Professional Organizers have established they have the business experience, education and an established foundation of 1,500 hours working side by side with clients before they can sit for the exam.  Certification should be a priority qualification when hiring an organizer.  There are many “fly by night” organizers out there who may or may not be serious about their career or the clients who hire them.  At the very least, make sure to hire someone who is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and its local affiliate chapter.

Please join California Closets and Living Order in our quest for a tranquil, joyous existence!

Dwell in possibility.

Jill Siegel, custom storage zen master