Monday, July 21, 2008

Best Breakfast in Town

It says so right on the sign...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Owen Sound Organizer Q&A

I had the great pleasure just last week of meeting a fab lady and fellow organizer on my summer vacation. I checked out some sites of organizers in the area, and chose Patti. Yes, that's us in that wickedly good photo (haha!) Patti is the one who looks like Kim Cattrall. Me, not so much. Thankfully she humoured me and agreed to meet a total stranger who claimed to be an organizer! We met over "the best breakfast in town" for this pseudo-interview, just after she got off her night shift. What a trooper!

I encourage - in fact I put the challenge out there for - all organizers to pick up the phone if they are visiting out of town, and just hook up for coffee and chat about the 'biz. So, without further adieu, here's our big innovative interview.

Hi Patti,
I was happy to speak with you today. Thanks for humouring me and meeting with me.
I'll start off easy...
What is your name?
Patti Marie Smith: note what my initals are... I didn't change my name when I got married this year, partly because I didn't want to screw with that!
Where do you live and how long have you been an Organizer?
I live in Owen Sound Ont. and have been an Organizer for about 2 years
If money were not a factor, what would be your occupation?
Home Stager and Organizer, Store Owner and Operator of Patti's Paraphernalia, or Show Offs Store
Have you always been organized, or is it something you've learned?
I have always liked some order or pattern. I am the eldest of 6 girls, and I tried to keep my little island of control in my room by keeping it tidy.
Who is your ideal client?
She already exists! In general, someone who is open and willing to do what it takes to make a necessary change or shift in their lives.
How do your sessions work? Do you offer maintenance packages?
I go to a consultation, and charge my hourly rate, but they get half of it back if I come back and make the changes with them. Otherwise, I give a free follow up visit if local.
You are also a nurse. Can you explain how nursing has helped you become a better organizer?
I work in an ER dept in a small hospital... sometimes alone until I call the MD in for a visit in the night. That experience has ensured my productivity and organiztion. There is a lot of multitasking and prioritizing in my
career. It makes the job of helping somoene else with it that much easier. I know what needs to be done and the simplest shortcut that is appropriate. We have to keep things simple in order to get all of it done. Breaking
things down into managable little pieces makes it all bearable at times.
What do you find most rewarding in your organizing occupation?
It's the smiles at the end of the session, and the aha moments that my clients have during a session that is the most rewarding, other than the fact that they network for me. Word of mouth advertising can't be beat!!!!
Do you prefer staging for home sale or personal organizing? Could you explain how your approach differs in each?
That's a tough one. Each has it's ups and downs, pros and cons, shall we say. I think that in both of the disciplines, no matter why I am called for the job, I am intertwining one service with the other.
You put on educational talks. Can you tell how you began and how you
summed up the courage to speak in front of a crowd?
In 2000 I joined Toastmasters International, not knowing why, but knowing that it was a step to SOMETHING. The journey has been amazing. I don't know if I could have even considered my first request to give a workshop at the
college if I didn't have that background. I think everyone has a good reason to try out the club for a while.
You are a very personable soul. In regards to organizing, do you find your clients really open up to you, and put their trust in you? How important do you think a trait like that is to have?
I feel that they DO open up to me, as they can see that I am a very straightforward person, and ask the same.
There's no sense in wasting energy and time if we can't be honest with each other. I tell them right out that I'm here to help them better their lifestyle in some way, so lets get at it!
All Organizers seem to have a favourite tool...what is yours?
My little Dollarama timer. I want all my clients to use them, and I teach that in my workshops.
What is the best advice you have for up-an-coming Organizers?
To remain unjudgemental, believe in yourself, and be out there for the right reasons.
What's the best advice you can give someone who is feeling overwhelmed organizationally?
Take the task and divide it up into small pieces. Use your timer. EAt that frog, as Mark Twain said, and chew it well. Think of something as a positive instead of a negative experience, as that is what causes procrastination:
turning a feeling of a task into a negative one.
Lastly, how is your new doll house coming along??!
Haha... very funny. I made a barbie house for my daughter with wallpaper and
little odds and ends, which fulfilled my adult 'playhouse' cravings.
Thanks Patti!
Loved meeting you Kerith... I think we will be friends for a very long time!
(note...Patti gave me one of those favourite Dollarama timers as a souvenir / parting gift.)

Thank you so much, Patti! You were a blast to meet and I felt like I was catching up with an old friend.
You are truly inspiring and knock-out-knowledgeable. I still can't get over how computer savvy you are, wireless girl!

Making the world just a little bit smaller,
(My Q&A is coming up soon on Patti's Paraphernalia