Interview with an Organizer: Yve Irish



Interview with an Organizer – Yve Irish

Yve Irish is a professional organizer, blogger, and active NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) member, planning and chairing the upstate NY group meetings since joining in 2010. She has been featured in numerous articles on organizing and has been an active volunteer in organizing efforts within her community. We’re very pleased to feature her in our latest Interview with an Organizer segment.

LH: Can you tell me a little bit about your history? What was your path into professional organizing and how long have you been doing it?

YI: I have had a passion and a flair for organizing for as long as I can remember. Born and raised in Germany, I started helping friends and family with their organizing projects from a very young age. In my 20s I worked as an optician, then took time off to stay home with my daughter. After 10 years at home, I yearned to do something that I was passionate about, yet gave me the flexibility to still be there for my daughter. In 2006 I decided to take my organizing skills to a professional level and have loved every moment of it! It has been my greatest pleasure to help make positive changes in my clients’ lives, while doing something I love.

LH: What kind of services do you offer?

YI: My services include residential organizing, staging, downsizing, moving assistance, as well as virtual organizing. A detailed description of each service is available on my website.
LH: A lot of people find the time constraints of modern life at odds with their ability to organize. Do you have suggestions for people who are short on time?

YI: Daily and weekly planning are a vital part to staying organized, even more so for people with busy life styles. Goal setting and scheduling tasks in your calendar will help keep things on track, while reducing stress and anxiety.

It’s also important to create new habits, such as:

  • Preparing every evening for the day ahead (both parents and children)
  • Staying ahead of paper clutter, by routinely sorting and filing mail and incoming papers from work and school
  • Quarterly purging/reorganizing of closets and storage spaces

LH: What is the most common problem people have with getting organized, in your experience?

YI: In many cases, it’s years of accumulated belongings. We acquire new things, yet often neglect to purge the old, which leads to cluttered storage spaces and homes. Once a person is at this stage, it can often feel too overwhelming of a task to get out from under all that clutter.

Another reason for many of my clients, is simply not having enough time in their busy schedule to getting things done. Between family, career, and maintaining the home, there is little time to devote to organizing. Often people take on too much, not wanting to say no, yet end up having to make concessions somewhere along the way. Unfortunately, our quality of life suffers, leaving us stressed and overwhelmed, with cluttered homes and schedules.

LH: What would you suggest to someone challenged by their clutter as a first step towards getting their house/life/everything in order?

YI: An important first step to getting organized is to start by creating a plan. Thinking about which areas of one’s home/life need attention, then listing each area in order of importance.

For example, if you are constantly running your children from one activity to the next, you may benefit from first setting up a “launching pad,” where everything you need is readily accessible. Backpacks, sports equipment, shoes, etc. should live here. Many times, I recommend creating a spot in the mudroom or garage for this. A “command center” is also a vital part to keeping the family on track, with a family calendar that clearly shows everyone’s activities and responsibilities as well as folders or cubbies for each child for holding school papers, etc.

Once a plan has been created, it is important to schedule time in your calendar to get started on the projects. Asking for help from family members, friends, or even a professional can often make the process less daunting and, dare I say, even fun.

Learning to simplify by cutting down on clutter and commitments (saying no at times), as well as improving one’s time management skills will reduce stress and greatly improve one’s life.

LH: Do you have suggestions for people interested in becoming professional organizers?

YI: Start by joining NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) which provides a multitude of education, networking with colleagues from around the US, as well as volunteer opportunities.

Taking online courses, reading books on organizing, and most importantly – getting hands-on experience by organizing for family members and friends.

LH: Thank you much for sharing your work with us.

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