Jul 29, 2022

Sunbound Asks: Jennifer Snyder of Neat as a Pin

Nat Miller

This week on Sunbound Asks we sat down with Jennifer Snyder, a Certified Professional Organizer and owner of Neat as a Pin Organizing & Cleaning. It was a pleasure talking toJennifer, covering everything from her favorite professional organizing practices that she uses in her own life, to how she uses her background in corporate operations as a professional organizer. Learn more about Jennifer’s business at her website here, or check out our interview below.

 

Q: How long have you been a professional organizer?

A: I have been a professional organizer since 2010, so almost 13 years.

 

Q: How’d you get into professional organizing?

A: That’s a really funny story. I was a wedding planner and a wedding client was struggling and kept re-scheduling meetings. I came from an operations and quality control corporate background and one day I said “hey I can help you with these processes during the week.” She showed me her home office and she cried tears of shame and frustration and asked me if I could fix it. I organized it, made it fantastic for how she would use it and then she cried tears of joy and relief! I came home that day and I said “that was the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.” When I told my husband he said “you’re not gonna go out and start a business with a website are you?.” And the next day I had done it.

 

Q: What’s your favorite type of project to work on since you started your business?

A: My favorite type of projects are projects where people come to me and they say “here is what I need, just do it.” I get to outline the project, manage the people necessary, and just get it done. One of my favorite projects that we’ve had recently involved a move where we were helping a client whose parents were downsizing and moving to senior living. We went through so many objects that were so sentimental including all their most important paperwork. We then worked with the estate sale company and the realtor on behalf of their parents and then helped them move into their new home. During this time the client we worked for had gotten married and was on their honeymoon. When they got back, everything had been handled for them while they were away!

 

Q: What’s your favorite memory as a professional organizer?

A: It has to be my first client who I saw go from crying tears of shame and frustration to crying tears of joy and relief. Some of my other favorite memories are all the hard work I’ve done alongside some of my clients. There was one older woman who the first timeI got to her house stuck her head out the window just a little bit and said “are you sure you want to come in here?” And I said there was nowhere else in the world I’d rather be that in that house. You share so much going through this together, we sometimes even cry together! But it’s never in judgement. I really love those moments when you can help people who feel like no one can help them, and being in that space with them is the best part.  

 

Q: What’s your most unconventional professional organizing tip or trick?

A: So honestly I tell people this all the time. If they have teenage boys, stop trying to use a dresser. Boys that are anywhere from the age of 7-17, if the drawers are hanging open, if there are clothes everywhere, stop trying to make them use a dresser. Get big plastic buckets, one for each type of clothing like one for shirts, one for shorts, one for athletic gear, and then hang up the nice clothes. It’s better to just lean into what’s happening rather than trying to swim upstream. We’d have a lot more organized world if people listened and followed their instincts.

 

Q: What professional organizing practice do you use most in your own life?

A:  Have a home for everything. In my home I have a holding area where if something comes in and it doesn’t have a home immediately, it stays in the holding area. And the holding area isn’t out of the way, it’s right in my face and I see it so it’s a reminder that I need to assign it a home. Sometimes I have to marinate on it for a minute and to ask myself “where would I look for this in the future.” Answering that question usually helps find the best home for something. 

 

Q: What’s one thing you wish more people knew about professional organizing?

A: I wish more people knew that we are not decorators. Television shows make things look really pretty, but organizing isn’t about making things pretty, it’s about making things make sense. People think we’re all about making things pretty, but if things are pretty but they don’t work then they’re no use. We are really thereto help you learn and develop methods for keeping your own life organized.Another thing is that a lot of people think we’re going to make them throw everything out, when that isn’t the case at all. Instead, professional organizers simply help you go through your possessions and make sure which ones truly matter, and how best to organize them.

 

Q: If you weren’t a professional organizer, what else would you be doing?

A: If I weren’t a professional organizer I would be a therapist. A lot of people actually ask if I am a therapist! I see where people are and I see where they’re hurting and I can speak to that. I can’t always fix them, but I can help them and let them know they’re not alone. And I think that professional organizing has really helped me develop that skill.

 

Q: What professional organizing resources would you suggest for our readers?

A: The best free resourcesI have found are hosted by The Institute for Challenging Disorganization. They have a clutter hoarding scale where you can see how much clutter you have. There’s also a picture version of it where you can print the pictures and see which of the pictures your areas most resemble, and be able to get help from there. They also have a clutter quality of life scale, which is a question and answer where you can see where your clutter is getting in the way of living the life you want. Having these tools to understand where you really are is so helpful. We sometimes feel like our circumstances are worse than they are, or we minimize and think they’re not so bad, so having an objective measurement tool is super helpful. 

 

If you want to learn more about how a professional organizer like Jennifer can help you with your move, please reach out to us at info@sunboundhomes.com or check out our services page to see how Sunbound can help you have your easiest move yet.

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