Frequently Asked Questions

*Do you have an hourly rate or do you charge a flat fee per project? My hourly rate ranges, depending on various factors, which we can discuss during our initial consultation* where I "assess your mess". Initial consultation: $75.00. If an organizing appointment for your project is then scheduled AND COMPLETED, this $75.00 consult fee will be deducted from your project’s invoice total. This $75.00 payment is due upon my arrival at your home or office. Please rest assured that a confidentiality agreement** will be signed at the time service begins.
**Do you offer a Confidentiality Agreement? Can I trust you with my personal belongings and extremely private documents? Because I come in contact with many personal documents/belongings (pay stubs, spousal/child support payments, IRS documents, Wills, Trusts, bank statements, journals, letters, etc…) a confidentiality agreement will be signed by both parties at the time service begins. Rest assured, whatever I see or hear will stay within your four walls. This is especially important if you have referred a friend and have a concern that your own personal information might be shared with them – because it will not. Also, being a proud member of NAPO, I strictly abide by the National Association of Professional Organizers' Code of Ethics which states:
  • I will keep confidential all client information, both business and personal, including that which may be revealed by other organizers.
  • I will keep client information confidential and not use it to benefit my firm, or myself or reveal this information to others.
How long will you take? During our initial consultation, I can give you a general estimate of how long your project(s) may take. However, what I think will be a simple 6-hour project can sometimes turn into a full 2-day deal. But this can be avoided if we both agree to stick to the original contract, minimize chatter during the workday and stay focused on one task at a time.
Why choose you over someone else? I insist upon an initial consultation so we can get a better understanding of one another and create an air of comfort between us. Ultimately, you must choose the organizer with whom you are most at ease. You will soon realize that I am an honest, dedicated, autonomous person who receives a sense of calm and happiness when I organize. Strange, right??
I see you organize entire rooms and other big tasks…. but would you mind smaller, tedious projects like giving order to cutlery drawers, alphabetizing vintage music albums or even organizing my shoe racks? Clutter is clutter is clutter. Whatever you need to organize, I'd love to help – no matter how tedious the task. For one project, I was hired by a music producer to sort and then alphabetize over 2,000 records and later categorized each album by genre for easy access. I have another friend who leads me directly to her Tupperware cabinet every single time I visit… and I don't mind one bit. Organizing gives me joy!
Do you clean, as well? No, I do not clean homes – but I do clean whatever furniture or other structures I am currently working on organizing (ex: shelving units, desks, cabinets, countertops…)
I work all day. Would you mind organizing in the evenings or on weekends? I don't mind one bit. I prefer to have you alongside me in case I have any questions, so I am more than flexible in trying to accommodate your schedule.
May I call some of your past clients to hear how pleased they are with you and your work? Absolutely! In fact, I welcome it -- simply because I have yet to leave a client disappointed. Each person has been thrilled with the way clutter disappears and a sense of calm and order is restored. I love the bliss the freed-up space brings to each client. They don't call me "The Clutter-Free Bee" for nothin'!
How long have you been organizing and decorating peoples' homes and offices? What made you start this business? I began organizing in 2001 --- and I have yet to tire of it! When I realized I had the knack for ridding clutter and found that my own family members would offer to pay me for my skills, I decided to make a business out of it… and I'm thrilled I did. I receive pleasure when I see a giant mess and just KNOW that chaos is soon to be turned into calm and order. The "after" picture is worth it all.
Do you maintain what you organize or is it simply a one-time deal? I offer a maintenance program which is left entirely up to you. This organization gig can be a one-time deal or we can arrange to have me return every week, month, year, decade. You choose.
May I trust you enough to leave you alone in my home? Absolutely, however, I prefer to have you there in case of any questions that may arise. Also, any pets you have that wander freely may not feel very comfortable with a stranger in their home without their owner present. But if a pet isn't a concern and you are more than comfortable having me work on stuff while you are away, then call me up so we can get started. Also, I have general liability insurance through RLI which allows us both peace of mind.
Is there a weight limit for items/boxes you may need to lift? Between 15-20 lbs.
Do you pay for necessary materials? I will gladly pay for any materials needed and I'll keep the receipt – you can reimburse me separately or I can add it to your current invoice.
I see that you organize within the Los Angeles Foothills, Santa Clarita Valley, Ventura, Orange and San Diego Counties. Is mileage included in your hourly rate? No, mileage is not included in my hourly rate. The first 20 miles are complimentary – but any additional miles will be billed at $0.54 per mile.
Do you pro-rate hours spent working? Yes, to the nearest quarter hour.
Do you mind small children or pets? Not one bit, provided they allow me free and constant access to whatever I am working on and do not provide a dangerous hindrance or distraction to my safety and concentration.
Will I ever need to help you? Not particularly, no. There will be times when I need to sit next to you and discuss photos, paperwork, shredding and just your basic "keep it or toss it?" situations. But if I am simply reorganizing some clutter or alphabetizing an entire DVD collection, then no, your help will not be necessary. However, I do ask that you please keep your home looking as "normal everyday" as possible before I come over for our initial consultation. This will help me assess your clutter and space needs more efficiently. There is no need to tidy up beforehand to impress the organizer when it comes to decluttering.
Do you have any helpful books to help the chronically disorganized or even just a slightly messy person like me? I have SEVERAL great books that will be helpful for you! But let's first take a look at what your actual organizational needs are so I can better evaluate which book to suggest…. because there are MANY. And while you may feel you need literature designed for the extreme hoarder, a simple get-motivated-to-declutter type book may be all you really need.
I'm so embarrassed by my messy apartment/house/rental. Also, I have quite a bit of clutter and "stuff" I have accumulated over the years – are you going to make me throw it all away? Not at all!! Whatever gets tossed in the trash or recycling bin is entirely up to YOU. I will never insist you throw anything away because that is not my job – I am not here to shame you or tell you "it's time" to get rid of your old memories or your buried treasures. I am simply here to organize and create a more orderly place for your stuff! However, as an "organizational coach" of sorts, I might challenge you by asking what purpose holding on to certain items serves if you agree they are just adding more clutter and chaos to your surrounding space.

Also, there is no need to ever feel embarrassed or ashamed by your "mess" or your cluttered living space. It is an absolute privilege for me to be able to help make your home more comfortable for you to live in and leave your mind with complete satisfaction and tranquility. It is a very big step for someone to admit they need help with their clutter -- and I'm very sensitive to that fact. It is not easy to ask a complete stranger into our home and have them rummage through our personal belongings without some sort of fear or embarrassment. But there comes a point where we have to surrender any pride or shame and just ask for a bit of un-biased help to get us back on track and sleeping better at night.
What is your cancellation policy? I believe in being mutually respectful with one another's time so should I ever need to reschedule an appointment with less than 24 hours notice, I will be more than pleased to offer one hour of organizing at no charge to you. Similarly, I kindly request that you provide me with 24 hours notice should you need to reschedule an appointment we have made together.
Do you offer any other services? I offer most writing needs (creative writing, thank-you cards, Christmas cards, etc…), time management for teens and/or family, schedules/creating family calendars, and space management as well as interior design suggestions.
Will you donate my unwanted/unnecessary items and if so, to where? If you are completely fine with ridding yourself of your unwanted items, then I will always suggest being philanthropic with your goods. Besides being a blessing to those who could actually benefit from your discarded items, there's always the tax write-off benefit everyone enjoys. I have several sites I enjoy donating to and several of these companies will come to your home to pick up the goods -- so you would never even need to load your trunk with heaps of stuff you don't have the time or energy to drop off.

Donation sites include: The Salvation Army, Dress 4 Success, The American Red Cross, Elizabeth House/Family Hope, Goodwill, The American Cancer Society Discovery Shop, Midnight Mission, Haven House, Union Station Homeless Services, Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and any other local churches or men's & women's shelters accepting clothing donations.


Website: Hillcrest Design and Ann Simon Designs