Frequently Asked Questions
Where are you?
Unjumbler is located in the New York City area. I'm happy to come to anywhere within the five boroughs.
Do I have to be there while you’re doing this?
Getting organized is a collaborative process. Only you can identify what is important to you. And only you can determine if a new system will work for you. Each setup is unique so your involvement is required for continued success.
How long does it take?
It depends on a few factors. A lot of the process involves making decisions and being able to visualize the end result. I'm happy to offer a timeline estimate.
What if I can’t stick to a system?
There’s no one perfect system for everyone. We’ll find one that works with your space and your personality. Unjumbler can also arrange for regularly scheduled visits to help keep you on track.
Are you going to make me get rid of all my stuff?
Yes. Everything but your spoon collection. Just kidding. No, I’m not going to make you get rid of anything you don’t want to. I work under the belief that deep down, you know what is clutter and what is valuable to you. Nothing is inherently clutter or valuable. It’s all in the eye of the beholder and you are that beholder, not me. I merely guide you and offer my opinion. That said, getting organized usually means getting rid of some stuff. How much stuff is entirely up to you.
What can I buy that will make me organized?
I get this question a lot. Nothing you buy will make you organized. Getting organized isn’t a quick fix. I watch those infomercials for organizing devices wistfully too. Surely this fold up desk thing will make my life simpler. In a sick irony, organizing devices often become clutter of their own. It's better to think of getting rid of stuff first and then sorting and organizing what remains. Often, you can repurpose things you already own or buy just the right thing you need. Purge first, shop later.
My beloved Aunt Tina gave me this hideous vase. I love my Aunt but hate this ugly thing. What should I do?
Get rid of the vase. Then call your Aunt and tell her you love her. Your aunt wants you to be happy, not burdened by her gift. Value people and relationships, not ugly vases.
My computer files are a mess. Can you organize that?
Yes. But again, under most circumstances, you will need to be present to let me know what is what and collaborate on an organizational system that will stick.
Do you work green? What are your environmental policies?
I try to work as greenly as possible. I’m a big proponent of reusing and recycling items. I will ask about your building’s recycling policies and procedures. See the resources page for more information.
Do you clean?
Only so much as it relates to organizing. Often, this goes as far as dusting a shelf before putting things back on it. It doesn’t mean dishes, laundry, windows, etc.
How do I get rid of my books/tapes/clothing/batteries?
I love that you want to dispose of things properly! You’re ahead of the game. Check out the resources page for more information.
Do you organize children?
Yes! It’s a nice break for me to think of ways to make organizing fun and engaging for a younger client. As long as the kid is on board, sign me up.
I live in NYC, can’t I just leave my stuff on the sidewalk?
Short answer: Yeah, pretty much. Longer answer: It depends on the stuff. Certain materials need to be collected by the city. Air conditioners need the freon taken out, mattresses need to be wrapped in plastic, etc. I can go over this with you during the session.
How long have you been doing this?
While I was unofficially organizing people for a few years beforehand, Unjumbler Professional Organizing was officially launched in November of 2007.
I’m embarrassed by my clutter. Will Unjumbler judge me or make fun of me?
Absolutely not. I’m humbled by my ability to help and would never do anything to break a client’s trust. I never ever mention anything I see or hear during a session. If it helps set your mind at ease, I can sign a confidentiality agreement before we get started.
Is my apartment the worst you’ve ever seen?
I also get this question a lot. I guess people want to know there is someone “worse” than they are. We are not being graded, friends. But in answer to your question, no. Yours is not the worst I have ever seen. Not by a long shot.
Do you work with hoarders?
Yes, I have experience working with hoarders. I’m not a licensed psychologist so it’s important to note that recovery for hoarders often involves outside therapy. I work in conjunction with intensive therapy, not counter to it.
My husband is disorganized, can we organize him while he’s out of the house?
No. I only organize the willing. If a person is completely comfortable with their level of neatness, who am I to tell them otherwise? I only work with people who actively want to get organized.
Will you give me homework?
Most likely. Throughout the session, I will be assessing your level of commitment to the process and assign you homework accordingly. It can be as simple as “take out the recycling” or as big as “remodel this closet” depending on how much you want to get done in my absence.
Why can’t you take this Prada purse? I want you to have it.
I maintain a very strict no-take policy. I feel that it helps me to remain impartial to your things. If I start thinking of your stuff as could-be-mine stuff, it taints my perspective. Yes, your Prada purse is amazing and I’d love to have one just like it, but no, I can’t take it. (Note the exceptions: Used mobile phones, eyeglasses and ink cartridges.)
What do you do with used mobile phones, eyeglasses and ink cartridges?
I recycle them. I drop the mobile phones off at the Verizon store in my neighborhood to be safely fixed and factory reset or recycled there. The eyeglasses get dropped at the Goodwill where the frames are reused and given to people unable to afford their own eye care. And Staples gives $2 for most used ink cartridges with a Staples card.