Space is at premium in New York City more than any other U.S. metropolis. Whether you move into a shoebox-sized studio or a chic condo in downtown Manhattan, it’s unavoidable that your dollar gets you less space.
Enter a professional organizer. They can help you with everything from decluttering a closet to maximizing every inch of your kitchen. We found these organizers through personal recommendations and combing through various Internet listings (from magazine roundups to checking reviews on Yelp). These are some of the top organizers who work across New York’s five boroughs and their advice.
Lisa Zaslow, Gotham Organizers
Since starting her business Gotham Organizers nearly a decade ago, Lisa Zaslow has lived by the mantra that “less mess = less stress.” This usually involves clearing clutter, creating smart storage solutions and developing ways for her clients to stay organized. For it to all work, though, she says finding a fit with your organizer is key–similar to hiring a personal trainer. Once it works, she says: “I love helping people who feel overwhelmed. It’s incredibly rewarding to show them how following a proven process and applying organizing principles can quickly yield dramatic results.”
Barbara Reich, Resourceful Consultants LLC
When Barbara Reich works with her clients, it’s not just about helping them to get organized but also how to stay organized. She says decluttering is just as important as building trust for long-term success. “While every client situation is different, I am a firm believer in eliminating excess in all areas of life: physical space, digital space and mental space,” Reich says.
Ann Sullivan, Ann Sullivan Inc.
Ann Sullivan, a certified professional organizer, recalls an instance where a longtime client requested her help in re-configuring an apartment within 24 hours for a memorial service. It got done. Sullivan’s personalized approach is tailor-made for each client’s move. She recommends interviewing three prospects and asking for references.
Laura Cattano, Laura Cattano Organizational Design
For organizer Laura Cattano, less is more. She recommends hiring someone who will provide a service that you’ll benefit from the most (needing a room for a newborn is much different than helping you with a move). “I work closely with my clients to help them live the life they want within the space that they have,” she says.
Faith Roberson, Organize With Faith
Allowing an organizer to delve into your belongings, which often hold emotional attachment, is not always an easy process. Faith Roberson considers this a privilege and encourages her clients throughout the process. “There has to be a sincere level of respect and compassion,” Roberson says. “Because no matter how many books people read about organizing or articles on decluttering, it’s difficult and it takes time.”
Natalie Schrier, Cut the Clutter
One of Natalie Schrier’s biggest projects involved helping a client who was nearly evicted for being a hoarder. The project took nearly 40 hours over a week and a half. The first step? Purging. “Be prepared to be shocked by the number of hours an organizing project takes,” says Schrier, who adds that you should never surprise someone with a professional organizer as a gift because the recipient has to actually want the help.
Juli Oliver, OrganizeNY
Organizing isn’t just all about color coordinating your shirts in the closet. Juli Oliver of OrganizeNY handles everything from time management to reconfiguring living spaces to maximize space. “Not all professional organizers work the same,” Oliver says. “We have different approaches, skills and solutions, so it’s important to find one that best suits your needs.”
Aurore Rudnick, NeatNYC
If you hire an organizer that you deem to be affordable, but all that gets done is some tidying up, it’s simply a band aid solution. Aurore Rudnick makes it a point to listen and consult with her clients to figure out their exact needs. She says: “In my experience, the best thing you can do for your clients is listen to them and their needs and help them to achieve what they are seeking, not try to force them to confirm to your vision of order and neatness.”
Kadi Dalude, Wizard of Homes
Trust between you and your organizer is paramount. Kadi Dalude, whose business Wizard of Homes focuses on organizing and cleaning homes, jumpstarts conversations over email asking for photos, conducts Skype meetings and consults closely with clients about what they need done. “That they didn’t even realize that getting your space organized and clean is like turning a new page in life and getting a fresh start,” Dalude says.
Jeni Aron, Clutter Cowgirl
Sometimes it’s best to start with smaller projects before taking on a bigger one. Jeni Aron of Clutter Cowgirl makes sure to listen to her clients needs before developing a plan to help get them organized. “I make sure the project is all about them and their needs not what would work for me or another client,” Aron says.