What Does a Professional Organizer Do?

First of all and obviously, a professional organizer organizes! But in addition
to organizing, a professional organizer does so much more.  A Professional Organizer is a consultant who provides information, ideas, structure, systems, products and processes to create order out of disorder.

Lyn Santina, the founder of Clutter Transformations, will provide beneficial solutions that will motivate you and help you commit to getting organized. Together, we will build an environment that will bring simplicity to your life, enabling you to enjoy a healthier lifestyle…everyday.

Why Hire a Professional Organizer?

Organizing systems are not meant for the one size fits all population. Trying to use an organizing system that doesn’t work for you is like trying to fit a square block in a round hole – not going to happen. It’s only going to waste your time, productivity, energy and ultimately your money.

So even though you are frustrated, annoyed and the last thing you want to do is sit down and organize your stuff, let alone do it with some stranger who you don’t know, a Professional Organizer may be just thing to get you going down a better and more sane path.  As daunting as it can be all by yourself, an experienced and objective view can make an overwhelming project look doable.

Think of it this way, a Professional Organizer parallels a personal trainer, a life coach/mentor, or an image consultant.  Someone who is capable of both objectively and compassionately helping you to reach your own clutter free goals.  Together, we will create the right kind of solutions that fit your personality as well as your lifestyle.  Let your newfound sense of order and freedom reduce your stress, allowing you to be more productive with your time and energy.

Why Get Organized?

First of all, research shows that organized people of all ages are more likely to be promoted. Children in organized families perform better in school. By transforming your daily organizing habits, you can enjoy being clutter free with easy systems that meet the needs of the way you work and live. Wouldn’t you rather be spending time doing the activities that matter to you the most, rather than always playing catch up?

Secondly, you need a home base. Many people believe that they are unable to set aside organizing time because their schedules are too hectic. Interestingly enough, these hectic schedules are precisely the reasons people need to get and stay organized. Without an organized home base, we run the risk of clutter and chaos spreading to other parts of our lives. Think about the time saved by eliminating lost science projects and last minute laundry emergencies from being common daily occurrences.

Specific reasons for wanting to be organized are unique and individual. Identifying your own personal reasons is the first step toward a more organized and healthier lifestyle. Organizing is a process that is learned and practiced; it is not a onetime event, nor is it the same for every person or family. You will achieve peace of mind and relief by applying unique strategies that we help you develop. Together, we will get you organized.

Will the Professional Organizer Throw My Stuff Away?

Anything you throw away is completely your decision.  Lyn will not “make” you get rid of anything you do not want to let go of.  Lyn will help you identify and sort items that you don’t “love, need or use” encouraging you to DDS - Discard, Donate or Store for a rainy day.

Once while reorganizing her home office, Lyn encouraged her husband to donate his collection of Stephen King novels to the local library. What everyone in the neighborhood heard, was that she pushed him to donate his favorite books which he retrospectively regrets. A valuable lesson learned – Lyn never tries to influence you to throw away or donate your irreplaceable things.

To reiterate, Lyn will not throw your things away. Lyn will be your coach and sounding board, asking questions, making observations and suggestions in order to nurture and support your decisions, but ultimately you are the final decision maker as to which items you choose to purge.

How Long Will it Take to Get Organized?

This depends on few things.  First, the size and scope of the project.  If your garage is the focal point of the project, it will take more time to sort and organize than a bedroom.  If you want to reorganize you filing systems, computer desktop including the physical layout and clutter around your home office, such detail and thorough work may take more time than organizing where your dishes and silverware should go.

Secondly, every scheduled work meeting with Clutter Transformations will be more successful if you are able to do some “homework” between our sessions.  After our first work session, we will go into detail regarding what pieces of the project you can do on your own before our next meeting.  “Homework” will make the process go much faster; therefore, requiring less assistance from Lyn and spending less for each target project.

Lastly and most important, organizing time depends on how quickly you make decisions about thinning out your clutter. Knowing which items you want to store, donate or simply get rid of will speed up our progress enabling you and Lyn to be more thorough in a shorter amount of time.  Understanding these factors will make you ready to start your newly organized and healthier lifestyle.

Does the Professional Organizer Do the Work or Does She Tell Me What to Do?

At Clutter Transformations, our goal is to help you get organized and stay organized. Together, we will discuss current habits to understand why you do what you do, and ultimately how to turn those habits into positive and organized actions. We prefer to work together with our clients not only to support their organizing goals but to show them “out of the box” ideas that may be applied to their organizing goals.

Ultimately, who does the work is a personal decision based on your organizing needs and budget.  Most of our clients prefer to work alongside us for a large or in depth project, requiring less time and money than having the organizer do all the work – four hands are better than two!  Other clients use Lyn as a coach, providing direction and an action plan to motivate and start the de-cluttering process. This works best for those “DIY” (Do It Yourself) people.

Will I Stay Organized - Is There Hope For Me?

Yes – of course there is hope for you.  Lyn will help you learn skills to maintain the organizing system that works for you, and chosen by you. Lyn will help you change habits that have prevented you from staying organized.

The first step is wanting to be organized. Those who are already motivated to get organized make significant progress in developing organizational skills.  What makes the difference is YOU! You have to want to get organized and make your own commitment to your own healthier lifestyle. Doesn’t it feel better to have your things in their proper place?

But just in case, if you are having trouble staying organized after our sessions are complete, Lyn can help. Clutter Transformations also provides over the phone consultations or follow-up sessions, which can significantly help you from backsliding into disorder. Don’t be afraid to call, this is often the last step that will keep you organized.

Will My Sessions With a Professional Organizer Be Confidential?

Absolutely!!  Being a National Association of Professional Organizers (“NAPO”) Member and a San Diego Chapter Board Member, Clutter Transformations clearly adheres to the NAPO Code of Ethics, which stipulates strict client confidentiality. Lyn respects your privacy; therefore, integrity, honesty and confidentiality are the guiding principles of Clutter Transformations.

How Much Does a Professional Organizer Charge?

Clutter Transformation fees are based on an hourly, daily or project rate, the type of organizing service you need and your geographic location.  A Needs Assessment is required for every project.  A Needs Assessment is a one hour initial meeting to help Lyn understand which rooms are stressing you the most will help to develop your customized action plan.

During this Needs Assessment, together, you and Lyn will discuss a realistic time frame necessary to achieve your organizing goals. However, this is only an estimate, and not a binding agreement. The amount of time a project takes can depend upon different variables as discussed above in “How Long Will It Take To Get Organized” question, specifically, how quickly you can make decisions.

An economical way to go is Package Pricing. Clutter Transformations offers discounts for 8, 12, 24, and 36 hour packages purchased in advanced. For example, if you are doing a large scale and/or detailed project such as a 3 car garage, buying a package of time with Lyn can provide a significant discount. A packaged plan session is a maximum of 6 hours per day with a minimum of three hours. Each session rarely lasts more than five hours, as productivity and enthusiasm levels drop off as fatigue sets in.

After the Needs Assessment has been made, a deposit is required in the amount of 50% of the discussed estimate; due at the time of scheduling. This deposit reserves the desired times and dates of your sessions with Lyn and Clutter Transformations.

Is it Worth It to Hire a Professional Organizer?

Hiring a Professional Organizer is serious investment in your future. The cost to you for being disorganized hampers your productivity and increases the amount of time it takes trying to maintain organized areas. When you can’t find what you are looking for, you not only waste time, but money as well. Buying another pair of scissors or replacing your lost sneakers takes away the time you could be working and making money.

What does is it cost you in late fees on your bills, because you are disorganized? Some people consistently pay late bill fees because their inbox/outbox system for paper is inefficient. Everyone is different and you have to find the system that works right for you.

A Professional Organizer, is an objective and non-judgmental trained professional, will create systems that are easily maintained by you. The time you purchase and the cost of the service is surprisingly more beneficial than you think. Not only does Clutter Transformations have many success stories and experience in physical organization, but we also provide emotional support to help you through the process of sorting the things you need, want, don’t use, donate or throw away.

Once the clutter is cleared, you can spend the time doing the things you wanted to do but couldn’t when there was so much clutter. This is where Lyn, and Clutter Transformations, is worth it for you.

Should I Tidy Up My House/Office Before the Organizing Consult?


Lyn needs to see any disorder in your home or office in order to see how you live with your clutter. You wouldn’t try to fix your broken dishwasher before the dishwasher repair man came over, because he needs to assess the problem and then fix it. It’s the same with organizing. If you don’t show all the symptoms, it is very difficult to diagnose the root problem.

The best way to assess the piles that habitually appear is to see them in their daily positions. The goal is to address each item in the piles, so that you and I can make the piles disappear and set up systems that will help you keep organized and deter you from creating new piles.

Who Buys the Organizing Products and Will I Be Obligated to Buy the Suggested Products?

Lyn has significant experience knowing which “products” work for certain people and which don’t. There are many inexpensive products that Clutter Transformations uses to help people become organized and to provide more physical space. Additionally, Lyn utilizes the storage items and “products” that you currently use for all you clutter after your things are sorted outside of their containers. If your colored hat boxes and baskets store all of your clutter, Lyn will work with you to use those containers appropriately. However, making the decision to organize for your healthier lifestyle should be a time to start anew and to initiate new habits, of which may include new organizing products.

Together, you and I will discuss what is right for you. I will only make recommendations for products based on your needs. I can shop for products for you for an hourly fee, however there are no markups on any products she purchases for you. As a NAPO member Clutter Transformations actually receives discounts at certain organizing stores, which will aid in cost reduction. Ultimately, the purchase of organizing products, shelving and furniture is your own decision.