Today marks five years since I drove to Freehold on a whim and registered my business, On Track & Organized. Under the About section on my page you can read how I got my start but here in this post I want to share some of the details of my earlier jobs and all the aspects of home organization and personal assistant services I offer. Feel free to comment or ask questions about any services that may interest you or someone you know.
Job Description: Custom Garage Storage System & Repurpose items from house renovation
Job Type: One time install
A Women in a Man’s World
A wife and very successful business women hired me to organize her husband and sons toys. Big boy toys in a high ceiling, lofted two car garage on the water in Lavallette. Big boy toys that included lots of boating and fishing equipment, a few kayaks and multiple home beer brewing jugs. A few other things that needed a seasonal home in the garage are common things everyone has like beach chairs, flower pots and patio decor.
As the inside of the home got a makeover from an Interior Designer full of new rugs, furniture, bedding, custom window treatments and painting she wanted the boys to keep outside things outside. The problem was that they would enjoy a day of fishing, bring home a great amount of fish, then take it into the kitchen which is now newly renovated and clean. The idea of bringing in the days catch to butcher on the new “butcher block” island was not what she had in mind.
I was very hesitant to go into a mans garage I had never met before and up root his things, which of course he knew where everything was and she wanted me to make it “look nice” as she put it.
After a few visits, removing all items from the space, cleaning are reorganizing what they had I was able to give the men their own newly renovated space they would truly appreciate.
In the before and after photos below you can see the same items got put back but in a way that made sense to keep the mess clean. Installing Gladiator garage wall mounting solutions to keep everything off the floor helps store everyday items and leaves a place open to put them away when finished using them. Installing high shelving and utilizing the loft for seasonal storage in the high ceiling garage makes for full use of the space. Below the high shelving was the “work bench” that was always cluttered with tools that never got put away. Using the already existing peg board I left spacing for tools and configured it to fit everything these boys could need to grab at a moments notice. Also repurposing a built-in closet unit from one of the bedrooms instead of it going to the curb helps house rain coats, gloves, hats and shoes.
Job Description: 10 years and growing
Job Type: Child Care to Design Assistant
A Very Personal Assistant
After 10 years as a Personal Assistant things can get very personal. With another year left of High School I originally took over a babysitting job for a friend who was going to college. With two daughters in school I was arriving at a Interior Designers home based office early to prepare for the girls getting off the bus. A few questions about her new Apple Desktop computer and putting in a couple extra hours earned me a full time position after graduating high school. My position evolved to a Personal Assistant to Interior Designer, Mary Catherine McCarthy owner at MCM Design, LLC based out of Monmouth County.
Working hands on in clients homes was great experience for me to see many different types of clutter and organization. When I go into a home that is either new construction, under renovation, been in the same family for 30 years, a single male or a family of 6, it all brings many similarities, everybody has stuff. How each types of home and family lives with their “stuff” is different. When a homeowner makes the decision to hire an Interior Designer they usually don’t realize the process that has to evolve with their stuff. MCM Design offers their clients to opportunity to hire a personal organizer to care for and manage clearing items for renovation, organizing the newly redesigned space upon completion and selling or donating items that will no longer be needed in the new design.
Over the years, in and out of the office, I have completed a multitude of tasks from child care, pet care, organizing all areas of the home and office, floor plans, logo, business card and letterhead design, email, phone and fax communication, social media and web site design and management, managing consignment and internet sales, shopping, selecting and ordering everything from samples to final selections, home staging and accessorizing.
I will always be grateful for the experience and guidance the team at MCM Design has allowed me to learn from and grow my own business into today.
Photo credit: http://srsphotographer.com/
Job Description: Army wife and stay at home mom, able to hire help to enjoy all the hours in her day
Job Type: Child Care, Multiple moves
A mentor in mothering
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this family. I started working for them during their first pregnancy packing them up to move to from a condo unit in Wall to Fairbanks, Virginia. After a few years in Fairbanks, the husband got transferred back to New Jersey where they temporarily moved into Residents Inn in Neptune then to a rental in Sea Girt where I had helped prepare the new rental for the growing family. After many moves they’ve finally settled in their first home as a family in Little Silver. Through all of these moves with two young children I was there when they needed me whether for packing, unpacking, preparing, cleaning and child care. As a new mom I now realize how helpful I was to this wonderful women who taught me so much about taking care of children, taking care of yourself and keeping your sanity in such conditions.
Job Description: Assistant to Accredited Architect at the Jersey Shore
Job Type: Assistant services, graphic design
It all starts with great architecture
At the Jersey Shore, Cate Comerford gained a reputation for her ability to transform older homes into more livable, open and functional spaces. Now, relocated to the Pacific Northwest her new homes reflect the “Not-so-big House” philosophy of author Sarah Susanka. They are small, architecturally stunning homes, “filled with flexible spaces and nooks, built-in cabinetry, and rich details”.
I was a fan prior to working with her on design presentations. We had met through the Interior Designer I worked with as well as the photographer she was using at the Jersey Shore. I had seen her work and never imagined her requesting my services in her office. The most elaborate job I had completed with Cate & MCM Design was the renovation of the master bath at Sheep’s Run, in the Rumson Show House involving floor plans and accessorizing.
Photo credit: http://srsphotographer.com/
Job Description: From Wall to Wall
Job Type: Packing/Unpacking, Basement/Holiday Storage & Organization, American Doll Storage, Planting, Pet Care
Packing up a house that I frequented as a child unveiled a childhood full of memories. Four children were raised in this beautiful hilltop home in the Allenwood section of Wall Township. The first three story house I had ever been in, as a child I thought it was amazing, I still think it is amazing. As you follow the spiral staircase up to the third floor you enter into a great room dedicated strictly to American Girl dolls, every one, every accessory. When my client moved to her new home in Wall, her oldest daughter went off to college and the younger daughter started high school, I organized all the dolls and accessories to preserve them in storage totes with the hopes of grandchildren in the future. In all, I had packed up majority of the entire four levels of the home, unpacked and installed organizing solutions at the new home.
In between both homes I had shopped and planted summer flower beds usually with impatient flowers as well as took care of the families dog while they were traveling.
Photo credit: http://srsphotographer.com/
Job Description: City girl on the farm
Job Type: Assistant services, weekly maintenance of walk in closet, maintaining, cleaning and organizing each room of this historic farm house, installation of basement shelving, complete clean out of barn, organization of storage annex attached to second house on the property, preparation for weekend guest, catering & waitressing holiday parties, planning & decorating a milestone birthday celebration in the garden, managing consignment accounts, Pet Care
Just another day on the farm
A busy business woman who had an apartment outside of New York City and the family home on a farm property in Wall, she was constantly juggling packing bags for the work week in the city, unpacking laundry and dry cleaning, maintaining a well designed walk in closet became a job to her when she really wanted to be enjoying the time home with her family and friends.
Over the course of three years I was involved in the renovation of most every room in the house. All the storage areas including the attic for clothes storage, properly protected from moths, the linen closets with labeled shelves in hope the husband would manage putting items in their place while she was away, the basement storage of paints and pet supplies, the annex that housed extra kitchen items and photo/document boxes and the historic barn full of years of collected items and over flow from some rental properties they owned together.
A few nights a week the husband would stay at the apartment with his wife and I would manage the two indoor/outdoor cats, watering indoor and outdoor plants and prepare the house for weekend guest as well as the return of the Mrs. to a clean, well managed home.
Before moving his office to Allenhurst, the husband ran his Attorney business from the apartment above the carriage house which I had created business letterhead, logo and business cards for.
To be continued….
Happy 5 Successful Years to me! Thanks for the encouraging support from family, friends and of course clients!