“I feel like I’ve always been organized. It’s just innately a part of me,” said Kimbra Naber, founder of the ReOrg Project.
What many struggle with — keeping closets, pantries and garages clutter free, comes naturally to Naber and after helping friends organize their home, it was suggested her skill could be the creation of a business.
Naber launched ReOrg Project two years ago and said it has just “blown up”.
“People love it. They need help with organization and don’t know where to start. My business has mainly been word of mouth and I haven’t advertised much at all,” Naber said.
She assists in any room of the house and has worked through several move-in and move-out situations. Once the customer places a call to Naber, she comes to the home for a consultation.
“I look at what their frustrations are, what their vision is and how they want it to feel and I take measurements. A lot of people get stuck because they don’t take measurements for what they need before they go to the store,” Naber said.
The job is what the customer requests; some want Naber to come in and organize a room herself, others, want to work alongside her and learn how to do it themselves. Most often, the customer is involved in the purge of items whether before she arrives or during the process.
Her top three areas people request are kitchens and pantries, master closets and the garage.
“Sometimes it’s just a matter of having another set of eyes look at the situation. Some people want that extra push to say, ‘Do you really need that eighth white button-down shirt?,’” Naber said.
After the consultation, Naber hits the stores for organizational materials, shelving and anything needed for the project. Then she returns, rolls up her sleeves and gets to work.
While the initial set up can cost, the end results often save money.
“People always comment on how much space they have. They think they don’t have enough space, but once you get everything out of the room, wipe everything down and it’s put back in with the proper containment, they always say, ‘It looks so much bigger now,’” Naber said.
“Sometimes, it’s really simple things. For instance, pulling everything out of the pantry, you realize that you had three boxes of pasta in the back. You’ve been buying peanut butter every week, and you have six jars in the pantry already. When you clean out an office space, do you know how many notepads and pens you can find? Once it’s done, they can stop over buying, they can see what they have and only buy what’s needed,” Naber said.
Can it be expensive for some budgets? Possibly.
Can it be embarrassing? Usually.
But Naber said the process is a judgement-free zone and we all have someone we go to for something that we need help with.
Due to the recent increase in tiny houses, minimalism and Netflix specials like Marie Kondo and adding the reservations of client’s embarrassment or financial restraints, Naber said her wheels started turning.
“The Netflix series really spurred a lot of conversation, but it was interesting to me that I saw a small dip in business and I thought, I’ll bet people feel like they can do this themselves — which is wonderful. But I started thinking what if I not only organized for people, but I teach them how to do it,” Naber said.
Next month, Naber will host her first Clutter Clinic in Zionsville, giving guests the tools they needed to organize their homes, introducing them to different types of clutter in their lives and how they can rid themselves of it on their own.
“If I can teach people to feel empowered to know how to do this themselves, that would be even cooler,” Naber said.
The Clinic has received a lot of interest and Naber is considering hosting another in January once the holidays are over and people begin to reorganize from winter chaos. Clinics will be in an intimate setting and hands-on so guests are able to be open about their struggles and Naber can address specific needs.
One topic in the Clutter Clinic will revolve around the different varieties of clutter.
“There’s emotional, physical and calendar clutters. I think there’s a very direct correlation between physical clutter and emotional clutter. If you have a space that’s just a nightmare, your mind doesn’t ever feel at rest because you constantly tolerate what you’re looking at,” Naber said.
“I struggle with calendar clutter. I tend to overschedule myself or the kids because everything looks fun, but you get to the point of being exhausted and that’s not healthy either,” Naber said.
Tips to the trade
Naber says assign yourself manageable pieces.
“If the whole kitchen is a mess, just tackle the drawers. If that seems overwhelming, tackle one drawer. Once you get that space completely done, then move on to something else. It gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation,” Naber said.
Clear everything out of the space and only put back what is necessary.
“Moving a lot as a child taught me above and beyond the basic organizational skills I’ve always had. It also made me realize the value of experiences over things. Being involved in the purging of items is really crucial.”
How do you maintain the work you’ve completed?
“There’s no magic formula. It’s just a learned skill and something you can teach yourself. It’s like creating a new habit. Once a week, edit your closet. Is everything put away? Every time you go to the grocery, edit your fridge. Throw out anything that needs to be tossed. Once it’s set up, it’s just a process of teaching yourself how to maintain and create the habit,” Naber said.
“I think there’s a movement where people are interested in bettering themselves. Some want to live a simpler life, others want to be more organized. For me, if I can help people along on that journey, that’s what fills my heart. I love the conversation going on about it right now and it just makes us all that more aware.”
The Clutter Clinic is 6:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 28. Visit the ReOrg Project website to register or find out more at www.reorgproject.com or call 858-775-5663.