For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” Benjamin Franklin
Sheri Spielman has spent the last four years bringing calm and order to people’s lives, reducing stress, creating beauty, and even saving marriages. What is this superpower she holds? She’s a professional organizer, and the benefits of her work extend far beyond an organized drawer or closet.
“An organized home is liberating,” says Sheri. “It doesn’t just look better, it functions better.”
An organized closet or kitchen can also save you time and money.
“I often see clients with multiples of things. They spend time looking for it, can’t find it, so they buy another one: makeup, kitchen utensils, anything.”
Having a few pairs of black pants is one thing, but do you really need 10 spatulas?
“People have more possessions that they have space. We all, to varying degrees, have emotional attachments to things. You feel guilty about getting rid of it—maybe it was a gift, you spent too much money on it, you never wore it. These are all reasons why people accumulate things that they don’t really need.”
The end result is clutter. With her psychology background, Sheri has a unique take on the problem.
“There’s a lot of research about clutter causing stress and anxiety, but it could also be the other way around. People in cluttered kitchens eat more. I believe it can change.”
Sheri hears the same common questions and the answer gets to the heart of organizing.
“People ask, what’s too much? I ask them, do you have room for it? The underlying principle behind organizing is that everything has to have a home. Clutter is a manifestation of avoiding decision making about assigning a home for things.”
This is a common problem.
“You take off a sweater, you know exactly where it goes. You come in and you’ve got your keys, you know exactly where it goes. Everything in your house needs to have an assigned home and then you know where to put it.”
Finding that space for everything in your home can be different for everyone and change over time. After an in-home visit, Sheri works with individuals to create a custom plan that will fit their living space, personality, and lifestyle.
“Everything is individualized to the client. The process should fit the person, not the other way around.”
And a solution that worked well at first, might not work long term.
“Things change. I refresh and reorganize clients over time.”
Though she has been organizing her whole life, Sheri started doing it as a business in 2015 after working for over two decades as a learning disabilities specialist. She’s a life-long learner, avid reader, and art and design aficionado who loves helping people.
“A lot of different parts of my life prepared me for this. I’ve spent a long time teaching and adapting to different learning styles—helpful skills for working with clients now.”
Some of her clients become friends.
“It’s a very intimate relationship when you’re in clients’ homes and you’re seeing inside their life in a way that their own friends don’t even necessarily see. It’s very personal.”
We all have them: that linen closet that is stuffed to the gills, that junk drawer that is a Bermuda Triangle for any pen that dare enter. Sheri’s seen it all and stays completely nonjudgmental.
“I’ve seen all kinds of things. People are embarrassed and want to clean up before I come and I beg them not to because it helps me solve the problem if I see how they naturally exist. I’m just trying to help solve a problem.”
Her in-home assessments allow her to see how a family naturally operates so she can best solve their problems with clutter or disorganization. She also wants clients to enjoy not only the benefits, but the process, too—both critical to keeping it up.
“We have a good time! I try to make it fun. It can be a very tedious job, but put on a song or two and spent the five minutes tidying up. That’s all it takes to start developing a habit.”
Her empathy and relatable nature is grounded in realism.
“There’s good enough. It’s not about perfection at all.”
Sheri admits that though her closet and kitchen cabinets are usually photo worthy, her desk is another story.
“Nobody’s perfect, including me. We all have a weak spot. My desk varies from model to scary, but it never stays messy for long. I am all about maintenance.”
Think you don’t have the time? Peace of mind can come in just two minutes.
“Once you do assign a home and de-clutter, you have to maintain it. My favorite tip is the "Two-Minute Rule." If you can do it in two minutes, do it now. Don’t put it on a to-do list, just do it.”
Results can be drastic and life changing.
“I’ve been called a magician. I’ve been told, ‘You saved my marriage when we moved.’ I also had a client who never had people over to her house and now she does. What a great measure of success, for her and for me.”
Sheri looks towards the future with excitement.
“In the back of my mind, I’d like to write a book. There’s lots of them out there but I may have a different approach to it.”
She has this parting advice to anyone considering help from a professional organizer:
“It’s self care, really. It’s not just about having a cleaner house. Liberate yourself from the stress, from the stuff, and then you’ll have more freedom to do the things that you want.”
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