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A Bizymoms' Exclusive Interview with Janine Godwin

1. You have been across the world; which experience stands out?

Oh my gosh! I lived abroad for 10 years, and I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s see… Well, living in Africa was an exciting challenge because we didn’t have many of the luxuries we were accustomed to in the United States. My creativity in setting up and running a household really came into play, and it made me realize how little we really need to possess to live a comfortable life. In Europe, what stood out for me was the ingenuity the Europeans possessed when it came to spatial organizing. The homes are much smaller and older than here, and what they could manage with in a small space was amazing.

2. Organising is a very different area as a career, what do you find most fulfilling about your job?

I would say hands down – helping people who are overwhelmed. Organizers have a gift of being able to see ‘the big picture’ and we can offer solutions to those who are unhappy with the clutter in their surroundings. It sort of comes as second nature. When a project is complete, and you see a smile of satisfaction on a client’s face, or they hug you because they are thrilled with their new systems, it makes what I do so enjoyable.

3. How key is organising home/ office for effectiveness?

I think it is a critical piece in any surrounding when it is organized. You gain so much – time, mental clarity, money. I hear clients complain about being frustrated that their homes or offices are a mess all the time, and how it prevents them from being productive. I can’t think of many negatives to being organized. Have you ever heard someone complain that his or her home or office is organized? No. On the flip side, people who don’t have systems in place are always commenting on it.

4. How do you start assisting a client?

First and foremost I start with a phone consultation to see if I am able to assist a client. From there, I like to suggest and recommend doing an on-site assessment, once again to really get a grasp of what the project entails. I will speak with the client in depth to find out what their needs are, what their expectations and goals are, and their spatial layout of the room/area to be organized. By meeting with the client prior to a project, it also allows them to get to know me to see if they feel comfortable with my personality and if they like my ideas.

5. How do you balance work, life and family requirements?

Funny you should ask that of a Professional Organizer! I will sum that up with a few words – Time Management and Prioritising.

6. How did you get into organising as a career?

It was almost inevitable. Since I have a background in the corporate and entertainment industries, every position I held revolved around sharp organizing skills. Once I realized I could venture out on my own and begin my own company assisting clients with organizing their homes and offices, it was a match made in heaven. However, in saying that, I will admit this is the hardest job I have ever had. It isn’t as easy as people may think. Sure, you can possess incredible organizing skills, but the key is having the know-how to run a business and working with various personalities. Organizing is only a small part of being a Professional Organizer – it’s the daily running of a business that is key, along with strong people skills.

7.  What are the most challenging jobs you had?

I think each job is a challenge to some degree because each one is completely different than the last. You are working with different area layouts, different products, and a varied degree of personalities. You have to be extremely flexible and roll with the punches, and at the same time, be quick on your feet (physically and mentally) Clients look to you as an expert, and you have to be up on all the latest trends and information in order to give them what they are looking for to get organized. Overall the most challenging clients are the hoarders. You have to really be knowledgeable on so many levels in order to make an impact with them.

8. What advice would you give people who just simply cannot get organised?

I like to ask them if they truly want to get organized. Sometimes people like the idea of it, but when it comes to getting down and getting serious about it, they really don’t want to embrace the change. I think anyone can get organized if they want to, and if they are willing to work at it. It definitely isn’t something can be addressed overnight. It takes time, patience and ‘baby-steps’ to get the desired results they are looking for.

9. What do you tell your clients to do first?

This is the truth and it will most likely make you laugh – I tell them to take a deep breath. Seriously! It helps them to relax and it also ‘breaks the ice’ so to speak. I explain to them that we are in this together, and I won’t leave then stranded – I am here with them for the entire project. We are a team.

10. What are your future plans?

I hope I can expand my business to the point where I can have a couple of assistants work for me, and I can do more of the consulting versus the hands on work. I also enjoy writing for various publications, and hope to continue doing that for a while. Eventually when I do retire, I will happily hang my hat at our ranch where I raise Texas Longhorn cattle. That is my second passion next to organizing.

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