As we continue the Summer Organizer Spotlight series I’d like to introduce Ellen Delap!
Name: Ellen Delap (Certified Professional Organizer)
Business Name: Professional-Organizer.com
Location: Kingwood and Houston Texas
Number of Years in Business: 12
Making time and space for what’s important to my clients, especially my ADD/ADHD clients.
What is your favorite space to organize? Why?
Pantries and Home Offices tie for my favorite spots.
- To be able to have dinner with your family creates connection! When we organize the pantry, we create family cohesiveness and nurture our family members.
- Many people are overwhelmed by paper. Working in their home office, clients and I erase stress and create functional ways to be more productive.
Time management is my favorite way to help my clients be more productive. We are all way too busy and have way too much to do. When I define tools and routines that work well for my clients, including using a planner and task list, their lives become better and much less stressed.
What is one of your favorite organizing products? Why?
My favorite organizing product is the over the door shoe holder. It is very versatile, uses an available space, and is clear in order to see all the items stored. I use it in playrooms for dolls and cars, craft rooms for scrapbooking, offices for pens and office supplies and kitchens for spices.
What do you find is the toughest part about being an organizer?
The most difficult part of being an organizer is working with a client who is NOT ready to make a change. A client may call because their family insists on their working with an organizer, but they are not ready to let go of belongings or make changes to habits. Working with a professional organizer requires a commitment.
Do you think you were born with the organizing gene or have you developed the skills over time?
I am definitely a “born organized.” Even friends from childhood say, of course you are a professional organizer! You were ALWAYS organized. I am a twin and I have organized my sister’s home too!
What area of your own home do you find the most difficult to keep on top of?
My biggest challenge is keeping my husband organized! I know a lot of my clients would agree that this is a big challenge in their home too. You know that cobbler’s children’s shoes story, and so it goes!
What do you have a collection of? How do you display/organize it?
I love photos of my family. I have them grouped in my bedroom on a dresser, on a long wall on a hallway, and in small spots in my home. My photos are my most prized possessions.
How would your mom describe your room as a kid (in terms of organization)?
My mom would say I was always very organized. Our room was usually spotless, because I am a person of routines, so everything had a place and everything was in its place.
Do you have an organizing mantra for yourself and your clients?
I love the KISS principle – Keep It Simple Sweetie.
In a few sentences, can you tell us what your approach is for taking clients from overwhelmed to organized?
I work with clients one on one to help them create their vision of “organized.” In our work together, we assess their strengths and discuss what works and what doesn’t. We partner to create systems and routines that work for them. In our work, we begin by decluttering, then group and categorize. We find a “home” for items, and then identify and install products that work best for them. The final step is to create routines to help them keep up with maintenance. Our work proceeds in baby steps using a coaching modality, so my clients are completely comfortable with the maintenance process and are so excited about their organizing success.
What is one thing you want others to know about working with a Professional Organizer?
Choose a professional organizer with a high level of training whose personality and skill set are a great fit for you. Your connection with your Professional Organizer is a matter of great trust, including respect for you and your possessions, as well as knowledge of many different challenges about your personal situation that could impact your organizing. Your Professional Organizer should have a knowledge base of many different systems and strategies, ability to deliver superior services through excellent communication skills and a professional approach to confidentiality and strong code of ethics. You can find local certified professional organizers at www.napo.net and www.challengingdisorganization.com.
Before and after pictures are so motivating. Could you share an example of your work with us and tell us a little about what you did?
Many of my clients use their guest room as a “dumping ground.” It is where they store items they purchased, keep extra clothes they are not ready to sell or donate, and have unpacked boxes from a move. This client was overwhelmed with stuff in her guest bedroom. Together we worked on decluttering her items, finding and distributing stuff to its proper spot and donating to Goodwill. Once decluttered, we created a system or where to put her items rather than clutter her guest room and decided on a maintenance style that works for her.
Also find Ellen at: