• Professional Organizing

  • “Where does this go?” my mother asked me starting at a young age. The space under my bed was a maze of lidded bins each assigned a different purpose. I won’t say I blame her for my ingrained desire for an organized life, but she definitely started something.

    Like most passions, my love of professional organizing came to light when someone told me I was good at it. A neighbor up the road was getting new hardwood floors and hired me to lift furniture. After the floors were done and the furniture was being put back, I was in charge. While she worked in her office, I reloaded the shelves, repacked the drawers, and decided what to display and what to hide. I was winging it. I hadn’t paid attention to what went where when we took the stuff out, so I made my own systems. She came back. She freaked out in the good way. And she paid me, a 10th grader, $10 an hour to do the rest of her house. As a kid whose family did not do allowances, I felt loaded! And I earned it while feeling productive and good at something and by making someone happy.

    I expanded via word-of-mouth, took on a few one-day jobs and another long-term project. I felt like an entrepreneur. I started getting a reputation for it with my friends. Instead of sitting and talking, we would organize their closet while we chatted. They’d pay me in things we found they didn’t want or had forgotten they even owned. This made the job feel like digging for buried treasure. I liked seeing what wide variety of things people assigned sentimental value to.

    I also noticed I had endless energy for it. It was something to do with my hands to stay productive while I socialized. I never got tired, and I inspired people to push through and finish. The messy apartments of friends started feeling like new games to play, and I had to remind myself that some people didn’t want others moving around their stuff.

    To view some before and after photos of Raye's professional organizing projects visit her old blog The Organized Hoarder.