How long will the process take?
This answer varies from person to person. Factors that determine time frame are:
The size of the room and amount of clutter
The current condition of your paper and/or computer filing systems (if any system)
Your preferred level of involvement in making decisions about what stays and what goes
Your overall vision for your workspace
I feel my current level of clutter is embarrassing! Should I attempt to clean up before our consult or our first session?
I have been a partner in our small family business for nearly 15 years. I know personally what it feels like to get a little behind, then a lot behind, then to be completely overwhelmed by a project... so much so that it’s difficult to know where to begin, so you don’t begin. And the stress just builds from there, often blocking your ability to work effectively.
Please know I will not be there to judge you or your business based on what I see. I need to see your office space just as it is now to better assess long-term solutions for you. I look forward to using my strengths to help you eliminate chaos and create order in your office space so you can truly focus instead on important business matters on a day-to-day basis. And I’m excited to see your business thrive once unnecessary obstacles to your time and creative energy are removed!
Do you take my specific needs and goals into account?
In short, yes! I will work hard to customize your organization to fit your work style. The more the organization implemented makes sense to you, the more likely you are to keep up with the system and maintain it in the long term for your business.
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to each person’s work style. Some people are linear thinkers, preferring lists and moving in a linear fashion from task to task. Others are more scattered, preferring to establish a main goal but working on many tasks at once to reach that central goal. Some are not able to function with a scrap of paperwork or distraction on their desks while others function better with a few personal items in and around their work space to give them creative inspiration and keep them happy and motivated. I will take into account your unique work style as I create and implement systems for maintaining organization in your office space.
Will I need to buy any organizational tools like bins or folders to complete this project?
This answer varies, as well, pending your overall vision for your office. Often, I find my clients already have empty boxes, bins, usable folders, and other organizational tools available – they just lacked the time or motivation to utilize them before. Some of these tools will become available as an initial purge is completed.
There have been occasions when hanging file/manila folders, hanging file boxes and plastic bins with lids were needed to complete projects. These items are usually on sale at various retail stores and the quality/colors will depend on the client’s vision for their office. Again, the level of sophistication (for instance, color-coding files and printed labels versus re-using file folders already available and handwriting file labels) depends on your preferences and budget.
I'm environmentally conscious and concerned about my business' carbon footprint. Do you recycle or donate purged items?
Absolutely! When sorting and purging items, I create piles for recycling and donation that often far outweigh the piles of items that will go in the trash. I have resources for places not only to recycle large amounts of paper but I also suggest places that will take paper in bulk to be shredded, if needed.
I am also knowledgeable about locations that recycle large and small appliances as well as electronic equipment such as broken computers and hardware, along with old electrical cords of all sorts. I even know a resource that accepts old office supplies, if still in working order.
I allow my clients to handle their own recycling/donations but I am willing to recycle/donate items for them for a small fee on a case-by-case basis, pending the type of recycling and amount to be recycled.
What if I have a hard time keeping up with maintaining office organization in the long term?
I offer quarterly “maintenance” at the same hourly rate of $45/hour to clients who need a brush-up on previously created systems. During "maintenance" appointments, I will evaluate how well the current systems are functioning for you and suggest adjustments as needed.
On occasion, I will recommend to clients who currently do not have administrative staff that they hire someone part-time for light administrative help if I see they are struggling to maintain organization on a day-to-day basis longer term.
Do you offer discounts?
I offer a discounted package – a $5/per hour discount if you book my services for 20 hours or more.
As well, I often give “homework” to my clients, which are tasks to complete (usually sorting and/or purging) between appointments, as a cost-saving measure. I always leave tips and advice for the homework and I’m available if you get stuck or have questions on these “assignments.”