Home Forums Professional Organizers Working with a Professional Organizer Hiring a professional…what?

This topic contains 21 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 6 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #159109

    Julia
    Member

    Ok. I’ve just signed another lease on my apartment…the apartment I’ve lived in for five years.

    I move the furniture every six months. The second bedroom/den/storage room has never gelled. My bedroom is…iffy. The living room feels really busy.

    Since I picked up my dad’s tv this summer, and a number of my parents’ belongings, the place has felt a bit out of balance – and at least one closet is nearly useless.

    I know which of my things I love and which I could part with; I’ve just never found a layout for the apartment that suits me. I don’t want (and can’t afford) an interior decorator. Organization may be a problem, but not much of one – bills are paid on time, I know where to find extra post-its (for example), I can find my books.

    It’s true that I have more “stuff” than apartment, although I’m working on it.

    I could use some help, and am willing to pay for it – but I’m not sure what I’m looking for. Someone to help me position the things I love, and get rid of the things I don’t. Anyone know what that’s called?

  • #179986

    Hiring a professional…what?

    I think you are looking for a designer — they can be hired by the hour and work with the things that you have. You just need to be clear upfront.

    One thing we have here — the adult education program at a couple of the school districts have design consultations — you bring in photos of the area you are concerned about and the designer sits with you for about 15 minutes and makes some suggestions about small, inexpensive improvements you can make. I went to one for garden design to get some ideas for my new planting beds in the front yard and got some really good ideas.

  • #179989

    Julia
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    Oh, you’re good! Did a search for interior design and found a business that will give me “two designers, two hours, two hundred bucks” –

    “We work with furniture, artwork and accessories you already own to give your room a fresh look.”

    It seems like a lot of money but if I’ve worked with this place for five years and never managed to pull it together, well…maybe it’s time.

  • #179990

    bandicoot
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    julia, i know how you feel.
    i felt it until i got rid of a certain amount of stuff from our home.
    now i just feel it in our workshop.
    i have been thinking about hiring someone to help organise the workshop, but i simply do not know what i am looking for.
    plus if this person actually exists in our remote area, it will be a miracle!
    i hope you can find the right person to help you.
    sometimes all we need is a little bit of perspective from someone looking in from the outside…. a fresh point of view.

  • #179992

    ninakk
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    I believe there are designers and others who offer their services over net connection too, especially with you, bandicoot, in mind. Prices might stay lower that way since the collaboration is very focused.

  • #179994

    bandicoot
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    nina, i think i’ll go looking for net help when i get home.
    that is a great idea, thank you!

  • #180001

    chacha1
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    Designers, professional organizers, or space planners can all help with stuff like this. Not all designers/organizers are actually good space planners. A design/build architecture firm or contractor may have a space planner on staff who is available to consult. The Web is definitely a great resource!

    Julia/bandicoot, I am a big fan of using the hand-drawn space plan to decide where things should go for optimal flow and utility (which generally also produces harmonious visual balance). I watched my Dad do this my whole life – he and Mom are serial mover/remodelers.

    Get some graph paper, a sharp pencil, an art eraser, and a hardware-store tape measure (15 feet should be enough for most rooms). I use graph paper that is four or five squares to the inch (being in the U.S.) and make two or three squares of the drawing = a foot of real space, but it really doesn’t matter what the scale is – you can choose how many squares represent a unit of measure.

    Outline the dimensions of the rooms(s) – each room on a separate sheet. Then draw in any built-in elements. Make sure to allow for movement of doors, drawers, mobile furniture like chairs or supply carts, etc. in establishing your floor plan.

    On another separate sheet, make a list of the items that MUST go in that room in order to use it in the way you want, measure the items (by footprint – just width and depth needed here), draw little representations of the items in the same scale as your room plan, label them and cut them out, then start moving them around your sketch of the room.

    It may be difficult to visualize a finished layout when you are working only with footprints (bird’s-eye view). However, if you also use a set of digital photos of the space itself, any built-ins, and the items you know you must use in the room, you can get a better sense of how the finished space would look.

    Only after establishing good flow (comfort, accessibility, and efficiency) with permanent features should you start looking at where/how to use things that are not necessarily essential to the space. Generally speaking, you will want to leave no less than two and a half feet (what’s that in metric??) for traffic paths.

    bandicoot, I am just guessing, but due to the nature of your business I would imagine that you have a LOT of necessary storage, plus prep areas, finishing areas, and packing areas to contend with. In your case, a professional organizer or a time-and-motion consultant might well be the way to go. You could draw the room plan and send it with some photos for a remote consult.

    Would love to hear about the progress of these projects!

  • #180002

    chacha1
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    Incidentally, I ADORE doing this kind of thing and would happily look over room layouts etc for the two of you free, gratis, and for nothing. You can reach me via my blog, http://www.ombailamos.com.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #180005

    Julia
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    chacha1, I very much appreciate your offer…the problem is I really don’t have much of a sense of “optimal flow and utility.” I know how I want a room to feel. I know when there is no peaceful place for my eyes to rest (part of my problem now). I know when it feels out of balance. And I know which elements I love.

    But I seem to have lost any knack I ever had at pulling things together. And the room itself, while nice and large, is a bit off-balance to begin with, which doesn’t help.

    I know there are web tools to help with this stuff. I’ll give it a shot and let you know how it goes.

  • #180022

    SunshineR
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    bandicoot: you could also take time to think over your workshop. Note any areas that you feel should go together, to make your life efficient as you work. Are there problem areas, such as having to walk/reach too far to get frequently used items? Do you feel there is too much “eye clutter”?. Do you like the storage methods? Do you have enough space to work?

    I know that if I shared my DBF’s workspace (self-employed) I would be constantly upset, because he does not put supplies back in my manner/timeframe, and has little sense of filing paperwork. Maybe it’s more of a guy thing, lol.

  • #180048

    kllycat
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    I have a friend who hired a Feng Shui person to come to her house- I don’t know how much I believe in the principals of Feng Shui, but her house looks nicer now!

  • #180101

    bandicoot
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    chacha, thank you so much for your lovely offer!
    i would take you up on it in a heartbeat, but i reckon i need someone to be physically standing in my workshop, watching us work.
    it is a big workshop, with a lot of equipment, and we use the same space for three very different main functions, just by moving product and equipment. ( 1. making soap 2. cutting soap 3.packing soap).
    our shelving is cobbled together from IKEA and second hand and i think it is part of the problem.

    i got home last night and woke up this morning already thinking about it!
    our excellent assistant is flying in for two weeks this morning, and i hope to at least get a plan together before he goes again.
    i think it is time to spend on cohesive and tailored shelving, for a start.

  • #180127

    lottielot
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    I’m having the same problem with my bedroom, the number of times I have got my graph paper out and redesigned this bloody room and still it feels wrong! It worked really well for my bathroom though, it’s true about flow and allowing enough visual space. I love looking at inspirational photos, my issue with them is that they’re usually way bigger than the rooms in our cramped house (quite high ceilings, but small room dimensions and awkward corners galore) and often very bright and airy. Like bathrooms: look at bathroom photos and you notice a complete ABSENCE of towels! Or at most a couple of artfully rolled tiny ones as decoration, rather than something you could actually dry your hands on! Having said that, sometimes just one little detail in one photo is enough to get you thinking about how to do something differently. Often it’s the little things which can have a big impact on a room: longer curtains, or getting rid of curtains, or hanging the towels behind a door (my eventual solution to the Towel Problem), or changing a big radiator which takes up an entire wall (a big issue in our house) for a tall skinny one (I’m thinking about it). I’ll check out your links trillie, you are such a great resource-finder ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #180131

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    lottielot, have you ever tried taking photos of your bedroom? Photos can give a different perspective. Take a few photos of the areas in your room. Put the photos on your computer and change them to black and white. You could have balance issues in your room. Some typical balance issues are the scale of side tables and lamps are too small compared to the bed. Dressers overwhelm the space, or again, to small compared to the bed.

  • #180133

    lottielot
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    ooh, good idea JuliaJayne! I will do that, the black and white idea is inspired!

  • #180136

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    I hope it helps, lottielot.

    I edited my post. I said you have balance issues (as if I was peeking in your window;). What I meant to say is you COULD have balance issues.

  • #180312

    lottielot
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    lol, now I know who was outside with a pair of binoculars the other day ๐Ÿ™‚ I took some photos today but they don’t give any sense of the room at all, even when taken from the corners, just a set of random corners. How do the professionals do it?!

  • #180320

    JuliaJayne
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    I don’t know how the professionals do it, lottielot.

    I used to pour over decorating magazines trying to figure it out. I do know from some mistakes that I’ve made that it’s usually scale and proportion that causes the most problems. Color can be a problem too for some people.

    Do you feel brave enough to post photos of your room?

  • #180322

    chacha1
    Member

    Hiring a professional…what?

    ^agreed – color can be a BIG problem! b/c many people don’t realize the visual weight that color can have. Some colors – not necessarily dark colors – are just heavy, and putting them at the top of the room (for example) makes the room look small and dark.

    Contrasting colors imbue a room with energy; low-contrast schemes (which can be very color saturated, just with colors adjacent each other on the wheel) are more calm.

  • #220056

    Anonymous

    Hiring a professional…what?

    Just another thought on this question. My sister is a “visuals” person for a department store. Her talents for display and placement have gotten her some interesting side jobs. She helps people decorate their Christmas trees (think Scottsdale wealthy), she has helped people lay out plant and boulder placement in their yards, and even got a little gig helping a mom and pop antique store display their wares. Sometimes people hire her help with room design, just for an hour or so of ideas. Believe me, her brain is constantly rearranging MY house!

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