Summer Organizer Spotlight ~ Marcia Francois

Welcome back to my Summer Organizer Spotlight series where I’ve been interviewing different Professional Organizers throughout the summer. I’ve really been enjoying reading the variety of answers and gleaning some fabulous organizing tips along the way.

I’m super excited today to welcome my long time blog friend Marcia Francois to the blog! Marcia lives in South Africa and has a huge heart and passion for helping overwhelmed, busy women find time and freedom to live life to the full.  I hope I have the opportunity to meet her in person one day!

Name: Marcia Francois

Business Name: Take Charge Solutions

Location: Johannesburg, South Africa

Website: and

Number of Years in Business: 9 years

Career Highlight: A toss up between finally writing my book ( and being featured on a tv show as a time management expert.


What is your favorite space to organize?  Why?

My favourite space to organise is probably the computer but really, my favourite thing to organise is people’s time.

What is one of your favorite organizing products?  Why?

My most favourite organising product of all time is the good, old-fashioned notebook and pen. Second to that, the delete key on my computer.

What do you find is the toughest part about being an organizer?

That people expect a quick fix when the problem area took weeks, months, sometimes years to develop.

Do you think you were born with the organizing gene or have you developed the skills over time?

I think it’s a bit of both. I’ve always liked the feeling of calmness and peace that being organised brings and some of it was innate, but a lot of the skills are learned. I say it often because I believe it – ANYONE can learn to be organised.

What area of your own home do you find the most difficult to keep on top of?

It used to be my photos… but I put into place some systems last year that now work really well. That said, if I don’t work at it consistently, it can get bad really quickly because I take TONS of pics.

Other than photos, I’d say receipts. The rest of the house can get out of order but I’m only ever about 30 mins from feeling on top of things.

What do you have a collection of?  How do you display/organize it?

Oooh, Laura, you’re revealing my secrets :) I LOVE HANDBAGS and buy new ones all the time. Which also means I always have a couple I’m selling/ donating/ giving away. I change the organising of my handbags all the time. They’re currently in a bench at the foot of my bed with a few favourites hanging from large binder rings in my wardrobe.

How would your mom describe your room as a kid (in terms of organization)?

Messy bed but papers always in order :)  I used to tell them I wanted to work in a paper shop when I grew up :)

Do you have an organizing mantra for yourself and your clients? 

I like to emphasise getting organised just enough. Just enough to keep your life going smoothly and on track but not too much so you become a crazy woman when your kids don’t put something back the way you wanted :)

In a few sentences, can you tell us what your approach is for taking clients from overwhelmed to organized?

I feel that it’s very important for people to feel good about how they function so we do a lot of work on their organising style. What that does is they stop comparing themselves to others (so important in this Pinterest world we now live in) and learn to embrace their own organising strengths. And then, I emphasise that nothing stays that way forever. You’ve got to keep tweaking your system.

What is one thing you want others to know about working with a Professional Organizer?

It’s really not that bad and your home is probably not the worst I’ve ever seen.

Seriously though, we are there to help you, not to judge you and we want to see you succeed in life.

Before and after pictures are so motivating.  Could you share an example of your work with us.

I no longer work in people’s homes since my twins were born 3 years ago so everything I have is way out of date.  But I will share how I organised my little girls’ hair accessories recently with a cheap plastic container, a covered formula can and some washi tape :)

Thanks Marcia!!

Filed under: Organizer Spotlight


11 Responses to Summer Organizer Spotlight ~ Marcia Francois

  1. 1
    Marcia (organising queen) says

    You are definitely on my list to meet one day too, Laura.

    Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to your awesome blog! :)

  2. 2
    blackhuff says

    One day when I can afford Marcia, I will definitely hire her. She’s so inspirational with regards to being so organised. Great interview.

  3. 3
    Louisa says

    Well if there is an organised gene I don’t have it! ;-)

  4. 4
    Mrs FF says

    I would definitely remember that I need to get organized just enough and stop trying to be an all or nothing girl. And that nothing stays the same forever. Don’t we all need to be reminded of this constantly.

  5. 5
    cat@jugglingact says

    I love Marcia’s mantra because yes, being orhganized without being slightly over the top is possibly the secret

  6. 6
    MandyE says

    I agree that my favorite organizing tool is a pen and paper…and it works “better” when I use my favorite pen, of course!

    This summer I “took a vacation” from my list-making. The world continued to revolve, but it’s been so great to get back into the groove and feel more productive with my weekly / daily lists.

    And I would love to be able to peek back in time and see Marcia as a kid…I’ll bet her bed wasn’t really all that messy! ;)

    These are great questions! Thanks for the insight!

  7. 7
    dollimama says

    I like the good old notebook and pen too!

  8. 8
    Jess says

    I also love to feel good about how I function!

  9. 9
    Mandy says

    I soooo do love to make lists!

    I also loved your honesty in dealing with people. I often think that, in general, people fail to realize that there isn’t always a quick fix to any problem. I certainly believe that simply living a more organized life will would probably help fix many of life’s hiccups.

  10. 10
    eaglenestmomma says

    It fell to be my lot to clear out and manage my mom and dad’s home, after my mom died, and Dad remarried. My mom was very organized, but a closet hoarder. She has over 20 years of things and papers and pictures that she collected, that I am now going through. At the same time that my mom died, we were pregnant, my dh lost his job, I was given my niece to care for round the clock, and we had a car accident.

    Marcia has been so helpful and such an inspiration to me. Some days I just want to quit, but she’ll post something, and I’ll take a deep breath and I’m able to keep going.

    I keep telling myself (what Marcia says – it took time to make the mess, it will take time to get it under control), Mom took 25 years (since her last move – she always purged during a move) acquiring this stuff – it’s just going to take me a while to get it all organized. Plus I have my own home to care for.


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