Frequently Asked Questions


If you don't find the answers to your questions here, please contact us!

Contact Us »


How long will my organizing project take?

Each project is different. Aside from obvious factors such as the scope of the project, some clients are speedy decision-makers about most things while other clients take a bit more time with many items. An organizer keeps the organizing process on track by helping to maintain focus and asking key questions or offering suggestions when a client is feeling stuck about making a choice.

How will you help me decide what to keep and what to let go of?

Professional Organizers have lots of experience here! Almost all clients have areas of their lives that are easier to make decisions about than others. For example, one person might have a tough time focusing on paperwork while another might dread dealing with a storage space that has items which have been there for years and might "one day" be used. Most people find mementos or inherited items to be challenging! Organizers help by asking useful questions or providing suggestions based on experience.

Will you make me throw everything away?

We don't make you throw ANYTHING away. You're the primary decision-maker. We're here to assist you as you make decisions. Our goal is to help you keep the things that bring you joy and functionality, and then arrange them so that everything can easily be located.

Will i need to purchase special items for organizing?

Sometimes storage containers, shelving units, calendars or other organizing tools can be quite helpful. However Live Lighter Organizing does as much as we can to creatively repurpose storage items that the client currently has.  And of course you might find that you have less to store by the end of our session!

Should i neaten up before you arrive?

It's often better if you don't neaten up much prior to the organizer's visit. Seeing the way your home or business is right now will help the organizer to determine where the disorganization is coming from and identify ways to help.

Is there such a thing as "too much mess" for an organizer?

Professional organizers are accustomed to a wide range of "messes." Those with extensive experience should be able to help with most organizing projects. Be aware that when a person is struggling with significant clutter to an extent that is considered to be hoarding, they often benefit from a multi-pronged approach that includes working with a counselor trained in this area, and sometimes other community support.

Can you help with hoarding?

I have helped clients with significant clutter and hoarding. It is common for the person who is struggling with hoarding to also work with a counsellor specifically trained in OCD and hoarding tendencies. Be aware that unlike TV shows in which a team shows up and takes over a person's home, working with someone who struggles with hoarding is a compassionate and ongoing process. It takes time and care.

Do i need to be there?

Most projects do require the presence of both the organizer and the client because choices have to be made about what to keep, as well as where to place things. Sometimes the organizer can pre-sort a room or area while the client works on something else. In the case of Estate organizing where the person is no longer living, an organizer can sort through quite a bit of the possessions as long as clear instructions have been given by the relatives about what types of items to keep and which to hold onto for further discussion.

Can you organize my business or home office?

We're very experienced with office filing and organizing, as well as tweaking office systems to be more productive. We love working with anyone from solopreneurs to larger businesses to create more inspiring and productive spaces and systems.

Do you offer coaching or organizing services via phone, skype or facetime?

Yes. Off-site services tend to work well for consultations about organizing processes and solutions, as well as sessions more oriented to life coaching for organizing and productivity in any area of life. See the Pricing + Services page for information about the Motivational Magic and Accountability Ally packages, which are excellent for long distance organizing. 

How much do you charge?

Prices are clearly stated on the Pricing + Services page. We offer rates by the hour as well as discount packages for larger projects. We also have a one hour consultation that includes the write-up of an action plan.

Do you do cleaning?

Live Lighter Organizing is not a cleaning service. However we do partner with a conscientious green cleaning service who can come in and spiff your home or office right up! Contact us to arrange for one-time or ongoing cleaning services.

I'm a smoker. is that an issue?

Because Helena is sensitive to smoke and its residue, we're unable to take on projects with people who smoke inside their houses. If you smoke outside only, that is generally not a problem.

What is a professional organizer?

NAPO (National Association for Productivity and Organizing Professionals) defines a professional organizer as someone who is dedicated to helping individuals and businesses bring order and efficiency to their lives by designing custom organizing systems and teaching organizing skills. They help people take control of their surroundings, their time, their paper piles, and their lives.

Professional Organizers are compassionate, supportive allies for their organizing clients.

Why should I hire a professional organizer?

Often a client has a vision for a small or large organizing project, and they simply want to enlist the experience and motivation of an organizing professional to offer solutions and quickly accomplish their goals. Many clients have realized they're so busy, stressed or overwhelmed that they're falling behind on organization and could really use a boost. Sometimes clients hire Professional Organizers because the person is experiencing significant struggles with clutter and is reaching out for knowledgable help. A great Professional Organizer provides an upbeat, experienced ally throughout your organizing process.