There are a lot of things that live rent-free in my mind, but one of the most unfortunate thoughts is the inside of my closet. I want to be an organized person — I buy little containers and baskets, and frequently chuck anything that’s not bringing me joy. Somehow, I just never manage to get my stuff in perfect, Instagram-worthy order. Which is why, when I got the opportunity to try a closet organizer on Yelp, I leapt at the chance.
To caveat, I’ve always been a little skeptical about whether it was worth it to hire a professional organizer for any part of my home. Yes, it does bother me that the food in my pantry isn’t lined-up and color-coded, and my sweaters are in a heap of controlled chaos. But, I reasoned, if I really wanted my home to be perfectly organized, I could do it myself.
I continued along that line of thinking for years, until I recently bought some organization products of my own and attempted to declutter my wardrobe on my own. Unsurprisingly, it was not a success. Not only did I not understand how to implement them into my closet, I also didn’t know how to store my clothing within the containers in a way that was accessible, or how to use them to create a true system. I realized that there might be something to those professional organizers after all.
Fast forward to my first session with Kim Jones of Lock & Key Home in Louisville, Kentucky and — spoiler alert — my suspicions were confirmed. Read on to find out more about the process of hiring a home organizer from Yelp, my experience having my closet organized for the first time, and why I now believe it’s 100% worth it to leave some things to the experts.
Finding The Organizer
Because this particular organizing service was provided by Yelp, I didn’t have a hand in finding Lock & Key on the platform. But being that it’s the most important step in the whole “hiring an organizer” process, I reached out to Yelp to get some insight from the brand on the best way to approach a search.
Cost is typically one of the (if not the) biggest deciding factor of whether or not to hire someone, which is why Yelp Trend Expert Tara Lewis recommends utilizing the platform’s “Request a Quote” feature from the get-go. “Oftentimes, figuring out where to even start on an organization project is the hardest part,” she tells TZR. “With Request a Quote, you can gather interest and pricing from multiple businesses at one time, all within the app.”
To narrow things down further, Lewis also suggests looking at reviews — an obvious but important step. “You’ll be able to read other people’s experience with a specific organizer, see if it was positive, and feel confident you’re working with the right person.” And, don’t forget to check out each organizer’s photos as well. “It’s hard to envision what you’re committing to without a visual, so take advantage of those photos!” she says. “Yelp users often upload photos of a project’s final results and it’s a great way to see if it’s along the lines of what you’re looking for.”
After you’ve found a few businesses that interest you, set up calls with each to get a feel for how they work, their style, and their availability, continues Lewis. When you’re speaking with anyone you’re considering for the job, be transparent with your needs as well. “One of the most important things to consider is the timeline you have in mind for the project,” stresses Lewis. “Whatever end date you have in mind, be upfront with the home organizer to ensure you’re on the same page.”
Preparing For The Session
Because there are a lot of aspects to my closet — I have dresser drawers and some other small spaces where I store accessories — I expected the lead-up to the actual organizing session to be complicated. It was shockingly short and straightforward.
Since Jones lives about an hour away from me, I opted for a virtual consultation to discuss my space and my needs. In all, it took roughly 10 minutes. During the call, Jones asked me a few questions about my wardrobe setup, what I liked about it, what I didn’t. Once we were finished talking, she asked me to text her pictures of everything and measurements of the space. A few days later, she sent me an email with a selection of some organizing products she was planning to use to check that they fit my home’s decor style. With that, we set a date.
This was all incredibly easy, but it’s important to note that I did some preparing of my own before our call and initial organizing session. I had been cleaning out my closet for months beforehand, so I didn’t have anything to clear out once Jones arrived. During our phone call, Jones told me that was a huge help since it meant no time would be spent getting rid of things as well — something to consider if you want the process to be a little faster and smoother.
During The Session
Like the prep, the actual organizing session was much easier than I expected. Jones and a member of her team of her team showed up at 9 a.m. on our agreed date, and I immediately showed them around my closet and storage. They asked me a few more questions, such as what I typically wore day-to-day (so that they could create any “grab and go” spots if needed), told me about their process, and got to work.
While they were organizing, we had little interaction; sometimes they would come downstairs and get products out of their car, but otherwise, they did their own thing. I was working from home during all of this, and I was shocked by how quiet and efficient they were — though I’d never done this before, I was sure it would take up more of my time. But honestly, there were moments I forgot they were there.
Around 2:30 p.m., they told me they were finished and asked me to take a look. They then walked me through everything they did, made sure I liked it, and gave me a lesson in folding my clothes so that I could keep up the system they created. Aside from a quick return that weekend to implement a few storage products that didn’t arrive in time, that was it for our session.
It may sound like I’m exaggerating, but I was blown away by the results of Lock & Key’s work. To be fair, my closet and drawers weren’t in a complete state of disarray to start (or not all of them, at least), so some of the changes Jones implemented didn’t look that drastic. But in using them every day, my life is completely changed by how strategic and effective the alterations were.
Sadly, it would probably take days to list out everything her team did, but I do have a few favorite details from the session. In my closet, Jones separated every piece of clothing into specific categories, such as short sleeves, jackets, and dresses. Before, I just had most things by color; now, it’s easier to find clothes by season and hue, which makes a much bigger difference than I expected. As for my shoes, she didn’t add in a bunch of annoying cubbies. Rather, she arranged them by categories on my shelves, and placed any smaller shoes into boxes for stacking. My flip-flops and other related items went into baskets — a much smarter solution than my previous pile on the floor.
The best part, though, was my drawers. Before, every item I owned was stacked haphazardly, making it impossible to see anything but the piece on top. Jones stopped that by including products like drawer dividers, clear open-top bins, and grid organizers. And the most drastic change? She used the “file” method to fold everything (and I mean everything) so that I could not only view my clothing, but also not mess things up while trying to find an outfit.
On top of all that, the Lock & Key team labeled everything. My closet has rod dividers noting each category, and my drawers have label tape marking each individual section’s contents. It’s a simple addition, sure, but it’s yet another detail that makes my mornings that much easier.
None of the changes Jones and her team made probably sound very drastic. But in short, they’ve completely changed how I get dressed. No longer do I dread opening my drawers, or have to dig through piles of discarded shoes, or try to find a tank top in a sea of jackets. Every item I own is in a place that makes perfect sense with the way I live, and is arranged to make it possible to find pieces simply by looking. Really, my only qualm is that file-folding my clothes is *slightly* more time-consuming (and I haven’t yet perfected it), so I do drag my feet about putting things away now. But thankfully, I’m improving each day.
Lock & Key brought an expertise I simply don’t have to this project, and did it in a way that was simple, fast, and pain-free. I’m still shocked by how easy the entire process was from start to finish, and I’m already wondering what I should hire them to organize next.
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