Sutton Mason

If you own or manage an office or small business, you know better than anyone the importance of first impressions.  Having an organized, clean business sends a subliminal message to clients and vendors that you have really got your act together! 

While you most likely already have a cleaning service of some sort, ask yourself these important questions:  Are they viewing my business through the eyes of a new client / customer?  Are they spending time on the details that impact my bottom line, or are they more of a whirlwind of vacuum and dusting?  Are you absolutely satisfied with the job being done, or are you merely accepting it because it’s just easier than finding someone new?

 The most common complaint amongst business owners is that they feel the cleaners are rushing through in order to move on to their next job.  Being that I do not run my business ‘by the hour’, I take the time to give your space all the personal touches and attention to detail that make a difference.  With my service, things like air vents are cleaned out, windows are washed, woodwork is routinely washed and polished and light switches, door knobs and the like are disinfected; particularly important as we are in the midst of flu season!

Having worked in the insurance and financial industry for more than a decade, I hold myself to the highest standards when it comes to confidentiality within an office environment.  That being said, I also have a background in compliance and operations and am available for short or long-term organizational projects your insurance agency or investment firm. 

With reasonable rates & professional service, don’t settle for an office your clients will think of as being ‘clean’, but contact me today to have an office that will leave a lasting impression and best reflect the level of service you and your staff pride yourselves in.

Filled Under: Business Sense

Tips on HIring an OrganizerWould you love to hire someone to help you in your home but you’re not sure what to look for? While it’s understandable that the idea of a third party lingering amongst your laundry may be uncomfortable at first, the benefits of finding the right person far outweigh this short-lived squeamishness.

First and foremost, look for someone that projects a professional image.  If your new assistant (I’ll use this term in place of housekeeper or cleaner since most good services do tend to go above and beyond ‘just cleaning’) shows up disheveled and unkempt, you can bet their eye for detail is in need of a bit of tuning.  Your ideal candidate will be not only someone that can effectively whip your household into shape, tending to the daily chores, but also someone you’re okay with having around when company pops in, or to help you with parties and gatherings.

Next, look for someone that mentions cleaning things that would never cross your own mind; this is where a household assistant will prove his/her weight in gold.  If in the interview process your candidate asks what rooms get vacuumed and what sort of furniture polish you prefer, this isn’t the person you want.  A domestic superstar will take control of things right from the get-go, asking when the last time you changed the filter on your furnace was and wanting to know if you have a screwdriver handy so the vent covers can be taken off and washed.  You’ll know you’ve struck gold if you come away from the interview feeling more like YOU were the one being interviewed as your candidate gathered data, making mental notes for later on.

It may go without saying that when looking to hire someone, check references.  Whether you need someone daily, weekly, monthly or even seasonally, it is always important to know ‘who’ is in your home and has access to your family life.  A few minutes on the phone asking if the person is reliable, what their work ethic is like, and what their performance is like can save you a potential headache later. 

So remember, next time you’re thinking “gosh, I wish I had a clone…”  it’s really not that far fetched!  We’re out there.. you just have to know where and how to look!

Filled Under: Helpful Hints

January

12

When Clutter turns to Chaos!

Are you, or is someone you know, a ‘hoarder’?  While not everyone may take it to the extent of those featured on the A&E program of the same name, there is a vast percentage of the population that can’t let go of the possessions they’ve accumulated over time.  Without the proper tools and guidance to free yourself of clutter, paperwork and collectibles, it can be overwhelming.  If you are chronically disorganized, here are some steps to keep yourself in check and avoid the stress and mental anguish that comes with becoming a ‘hoarder’:

-          Don’t procrastinate on mail or other incoming paperwork.  It may seem easier to set aside papers your children bring home from school and incoming bills and correspondence, but unless you have a designated time of the week that you actually sit down and tackle these items, they build up quickly.  Whatever method of disposal you choose, although I suggest recycling, just get it out the door! You do not need papers cluttering your kitchen counters and your bedroom dresser!

-          Recycling is great, but only if you follow through with it.  Recycling receptacles should be kept in your garage, shed or outside the house where it can be easily put out for your local recycling company to pick up.  Storing these things inside your house can lead to them quickly building up, causing you to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Get it out the door!

-          Assign each family member to a ‘zone’ .  If you are feeling as many do, that there just aren’t enough hours in the day, and can’t quite make the leap to enlisting the help of a professional, recruit the other members of the house to help!  Perhaps putting your six year old in charge of the kitchen is not a safe, practical idea, but he/she can sure make sure the livingroom is ‘livable’ , with dishes brought into the kitchen, the floor picked up, coffee and end tables cleared, etc.  It’s okay for a house to seem ‘lived in’ but piles  of items and stacks of things you’ve ‘been meaning to get to’ should be addressed immediately.

Keep in mind this is just a START.  Being organized doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s  an emotional process for many of us. If you, or someone you know, is a ‘hoarder’, please reach out for assistance.  Hoarding is a serious mental illness that not only affects the people that live with it, but those around them. Everyone deserves a clean, healthy living environment and I’m here to help you work toward that goal, no matter what state of disarray you may currently be in!

Filled Under: Helpful Hints

The best way to conquer clothes clutter: Hold your own once-a-year fashion show. Empty the closet, then try on each garment in front of a full-length mirror. Does it fit? With what outfits and on what occasions will you wear it? Does it need mending? Will you ever be able to get out that ink stain? Separate pieces into four piles: keep, mend, donate, throw away. Follow the same steps for shoes. Now you can start organizing the keepers, eking out extra space with over-the-door storage and hanging shelves.

Toss mismatched hangers: Their irregular shapes take up more space, and the wire ones that dry cleaners use are hard on your clothes. Try a coordinated set, like the Huggable Hangers ($14 for 12, HSN; HSN.com).

Keep your clothes stored by outfit: For example, store cardigans with matching slacks, blazers with skirts, rather than by type. Then return hangers to the closet so the hooks face out. Once you’ve worn a set, hang them the other way (with the hook facing in). At the end of a year you’ll be able to tell which clothes you haven’t worn — it’ll help streamline next April’s fashion show/spring-cleaning.

Remove out-of-season items: Wash or dry-clean your winter gear, then bag or box it and stash out of the way.

Smart Storage

You can maximize your sartorial space without spending a fortune on a custom closet. Use labeled, see-through, or otherwise easy-to-scan boxes and bins to hold accessories (e.g., scarves, nicer shoes, hats) on the floor as well as on the higher shelves. Your pieces will stay dust and damage free — and ready to wear at the drop of a hat. We like this Tweed Drop-Front Sweater Box ($30, The Container Store; 800-786-7315, containerstore.com).

“Looks Good” List

As you try on clothes, document which items make flattering ensembles, and create lists for different seasons and occasions: summer weekends, winter work outfits. It’ll pay off the next time you’re packing for a vacation or prepping for a big meeting and don’t have time to play dress-up.

Filled Under: Helpful Hints