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Her organization will get you back in order
She can transform the clutter into calm.
That’s her mission.
Sheila Taylor is the force behind Clutter Controllers, a business she officially opened in 2013. As a Navy wife, she was looking for something to get her back into the work force.
She and her husband and their daughter came to the Bremerton-area in 2009 after her husband retired from the Navy to be near family.
“I had a background in accounting and so I went looking for something, not knowing how intense the competition would be,” she said. “A friend said to me that as OCD as I am, I should use what I’m good at and offer my services.”
OCD — obsessive compulsive disorder — is often used as a term to denote people who are highly organized. Taylor admits the term fits her and that she was often called in to help family and friends get organized.
“I’d been doing that for years, helping many of my Navy friends who were often disorganized because of having to move so often,” she said. “I’d be at a friend’s house and she’d say something about how disorganized her panty was and I’d say ‘Oh, let me help.’”
She spent four months putting together a business plan and opened in January of last year.
She offers one-time services, and follow-up maintenance sessions if desired.
“My goal is to teach the client how to keep themselves organized,” she said. “But in some cases, they just don’t have the time and they opt to have me come back once or twice a month to keep them in order.”
In each case, she spends 60 to 90 minutes on location walking through the area to be organized with the client.
“I ask a lot of questions,” she said. “I ask them if they were to picture the area as they wanted it, what would it look like?” she said.
Taylor gives her suggestions for how to get things in order. Then she schedules time for the make-over.
In most cases, she works on an area or a room at a time. Small projects can take one or two days. Larger projects can take three days or more. She will work by the hour at $40 an hour or will give a cost per project on the larger projects.
Many times, Taylor said, all that is needed is a fresh set of eyes.
“Once someone has walked around a pile for so long, or avoided a mess, they feel that that can’t tackle it,” she said. “They know what they want, but they just can’t get started.”
When she organizes, she looks for ways to use what’s on hand.
“If there’s a straw basket in one room that is just sitting empty, but can be used in another, I do that first,” she said. “I like to recycle, reuse and repurpose.”
If other shelving or containers are needed, she’ll make the trip to the store to get them.
She works with clients to determine what needs to be kept handy, stored, and what can be given away. She will take loads of clothing, furniture and other goods to charities she likes, or to the charity that the client requests.
She doesn’t run into much resistance, she said, because by the time the client calls her, they’re ready to make a change.
“There’s only been one time when I had to walk away,” she said. “It was obvious when I did my walk-through that the husband was ready, but the wife was not. She didn’t want to part with anything. So I told them that I’d be happy to work with them and to call me when they were both ready to make changes.”
There really isn’t one kind of room that’s any harder than another, she said. But she likes pantries and garages.
“With pantries, I like lining everything up neatly so you can see what’s in there,” Taylor said. “And with garages, they are great because you recover so much space that can be used for something else.”
Like the car. Or the RV. She once cleaned out a two-RV garage that was full, but had no vehicles in it.
One thing she doesn’t do is judge.
“I always tell my clients that what we do is private and won’t be shared with anyone,” she said. “I tell them that I’m not there to judge them, only to help them.”
She takes before and after photos, but only with the client’s permission. She’s done all rooms of the house, garages, art studios, photographer’s prop rooms, business warehouses, and even classrooms.
“Schools in this area are adopting that Common Core standards which include saving time by being organized,” Taylor said. “We organize classrooms in agreement with the Common Core’s sub-dimensions of use of physical environment and classroom routines and rituals.”
Her work can actually save clients money and time. She noted that many times cleaning out the pantry and keeping it that way helps a client know what they have so that they don’t over buy or let food go bad.
In the home office, it means saving time.
“It’s estimated that the average worker spends 55 minutes a day looking for things in and around his or her desk,” she said. “Being organized has a profound affect on productivity and efficiency.”
Taylor will have a booth at Military Appreciation Day and can be contracted through her website, www.cluttercontrollers.org, or call her at 360-917-9004.