Space is a precious thing to New Yorkers. It’s incredibly expensive to acquire more, so learning how to be efficient with the space you have is key to maintaining peace of mind in the city. Perhaps more so than in any other American city, professional organizers in New York declutter minds as much as they do homes and offices.
If you are making a move into the city (or if you’ve lived in New York all your life and have simply accumulated an overwhelming amount of stuff), here are 23 professional organizers who can help you sort your things, settle into your home, and breathe a little easier.
Jeni Aron at Clutter Cowgirl has been helping New Yorkers organize their homes and their lives for the past 13 years. Her approach to getting organized focuses on creating habits that neatly fold into a client’s existing routines — for example, using the plastic lids on your take-out orders as disposable cutting boards, or separating your mail into things that require action and things that can be stored or thrown away.
Faith Roberson offers one-time help getting your home organized or with a move; she also offers ongoing coaching and aid to help maintain your clutter-free habits. For anyone going through a big transition in life, Faith really shines with her “rich experience in helping people who are going through life-changing events by giving the proper attention, patience, support, unwavering confidentiality and her organizing expertise.”
Big Apple Organizers
Big Apple Organizers help people across the city declutter their homes, get organized for a move, and straighten their office spaces. For each situation, Big Apple Organizers says the mental clarity you find after getting organized extends benefits to all areas of your life: “We become the culmination of everything that we do, so when we begin to organize in one area, that same exact mental frame carries over into other things that we do.”
Andrew Mellen is one of the big names in professional organization in New York and across the country. He focuses on the holistic notion of decluttering — both physical and mental spaces — to improve your overall wellbeing. He’s even given a fascinating TED Talk on how clutter robs us of our time and energy.
Laura Cattano has spent the last 10 years showing clients how to live better with less, which she says is better for your space, your wallet, your mental wellbeing and the planet as a whole. Her philosophy has earned her hundreds of referrals and high-profile clients (who include Lena Dunham, creator of the HBO television series Girls).
The Clutter Whisperer of NYC
Cynthia Kienzle, The Clutter Whisperer of NYC, has built her career on being tidy, organized and personable. As she tells Crain’s New York, this includes handwritten thank-you notes to clients and periodic check-ins over the phone.
“I help people simplify their lives by purging and then setting up customized sustainable systems to help them maintain order,” she says. “I love taking care of my clients and helping them get through life’s major transitions. My goal is to leave a Zen-like feeling to their space by using simple and practical solutions.”
Lisa Zaslow’s Gotham Organizers have a mission to reduce clients’ stress levels by organizing their homes and their offices. Last year, Zaslow spoke to Fast Company on what traits define an organized person, and she noted the ability to prioritize was key.
“They know what their goals are, what needs to be done when, and what can be put off,” she said. “They start the day with a clear plan of their ‘MITs’ — their ‘most important things.’ And they review their plan throughout the day and adjust as necessary.”
Organizing Goddess Sharon Lowenheim is the perfect professional organizer for new New Yorkers because she has “devoted a lifetime to living large in small spaces.” One trick she’s learned is avoiding having to declutter altogether by making organization an everyday priority.
“It’s easier to stay organized than to get organized,” she tells BudgetDumpster.com. “Set a timer for 15 minutes and tackle one small spot until the timer goes off. Doing that every day will have a greater impact on clearing your clutter than setting aside a full day and then losing steam after half an hour.”
A Hell’s Kitchen resident, Juli Oliver at OrganizeNY has been helping New Yorkers organize their spaces since 2005. “As a longtime New Yorker, she understands how to make every last inch of space count,” her site points out, which has been a crucial skill that she’s shared with international clients, including people as far away as Beijing.
Zen Home Cleaning
Though Zen Home Cleaning‘s main focus is cleaning clients’ homes with sustainable, eco-friendly products, its team understands how to organize a space to make it as efficient (and Zen) as possible.
Deanna Hains founded the company in 2005. Born in New Orleans and with a background in fashion modeling and interior design, Hains brings a strict vegan ethic to her work to ensure it remains as Earth-friendly as possible.
The Organizing Zone
Stephanie Shalofsky at The Organizing Zone promises to turn your “combat zones into comfort zones” by decluttering, giving your home and workspaces organizational structure, and applying a project manager’s discipline to creating habits that will keep those spaces forever comfortable.
A former VP at Sony, Shalofsky became a professional organizer in 2008 because she recognized how many people in New York (and everywhere, really) would benefit from having a less stressful place to work.
Amanda Wiss at Urban Clarity hosts in-person workshops on time management in addition to offering home and workspace organization services. “Clutter is just delayed decision-making,” she told The Wall Street Journal, whose reporters challenged a group of professional organizers with a variety of tasks for a 2010 article.
The WSJ’s reporters were impressed by Wiss’ ability to impose logic and order on an entryway that had become cluttered with mail, newspapers, and other ephemera that can quickly create an overwhelming to-do pile.
Amelia Meena at Appleshine focuses on helping clients find ways to live less stressful, more efficient lives through organization. In April, Meena talked to My Domaine about how busy professional women in Manhattan can edit their wardrobes down into something much more manageable — after all, she says one-tenth of a woman’s wardrobe comprises 99 percent of everything she wears.
Her end-of-season closet edit is remarkably simple: “Take 15 minutes to quickly sort into three piles: yes, no, and maybe. Go with your gut, and be honest—if you haven’t worn it recently (and it’s not a special-occasion outfit), it’s a no. Then, take the maybes and group them (tops, shorts, sweaters, etc.) and assess.”
New York native Angela Kantarellis founded AKorganizing in 2006 and has plenty of first-hand knowledge of the challenges of working with the limited space available in the city, as well as the difficulties newcomers face when they first arrive. That’s why two of Kantarellis’ special services focus on helping clients pack their belongings and edit down the things they might not need to bring with them to their new homes.
Become Organized founder Jessica Decker holds an MBA from George Mason University as well as professional accreditations in time management and professional organization. Few professional organizers anywhere can bring this level of business acumen to organizing your life, which makes Decker an ideal go-to when you need help with your office or some other workspace.
Cut the Clutter
Long Islander Natalie Schrier founded Cut the Clutter in 2008 “to bring order into the lives of people who don’t have time to do it themselves, don’t know how to do it themselves and/or are just completely overwhelmed by the mere thought of doing it themselves.”
Schrier brings a seven-year background in HR to her work, which translates to top-flight communication and organization skills.
Serving the city and all the way out to The Hamptons, Nicole Abramovici at Genius Organizing helps people organize their spaces because she says it reinforces mental wellbeing, self-esteem, and even your relationships with friends, family and significant others.
“I have seen my clients relax and smile, and have their energy renewed, as their homes and offices become user-friendly,” she reports.
Urban OrgaNYze‘s Laura Kinsella is an NYC native and says she knows all too well the challenges of trying to fit an entire life into a small space. But she also understands that downsizing isn’t an option for everyone. “You are in complete control of all decisions regarding your ‘stuff,'” her FAQ reads.
“If someone forced me to throw away my super worn but oh so adored sleep shirt from the 90’s, I’d cry for days. However, if you struggle with making decisions, I will certainly help guide you towards realizing if something is enhancing your life, and bringing you functionality or joy.”
Seriatim are experts in professional organization and relocation. CEO Sonya Weisshappel founded the company in 1999 and brought with her the wisdom that only military children have — her family moved nine times before settling in New York. For Weisshappel, the daughter of a U.S. Air Force veteran, relocation is second nature, and she helps clients navigate those challenges every day.
“No one should ever have to face a difficult life transition alone,” she says. “I understand how people relate to spaces, and have the staff and resources to bring harmony into people’s homes and workplace. Whether you live in a one-bedroom apartment, or a mansion, whether you work in a corporate office or manufacturing warehouse, Seriatim can step in and create harmony for you.”
Barbara Reich at Resourceful Consultants is one of the city’s premier professional organizers, making appearances on the Today show and even getting featured in The New York Times, which described Reich as “home organizer to the rich if not-quite-famous; streamliner of Hermès bracelets and Birkin bags, board games and third-grade art projects; subject of awe-filled recommendations at private school fund-raisers and cocktail parties from West End Avenue to Park.”
She founded the company in 1999 after a career in management consulting, a background that pairs excellently with her MBA from NYU and her eye for design.
Carrie Gravenson founded Unjumbler and says organization is both a natural gift and her true calling. And her FAQ page is a treasure trove of wisdom and humor. For example:
“My beloved Aunt Tina gave me this hideous vase. I love my Aunt but hate this ugly thing. What should I do?
“Get rid of the vase. Then call your Aunt and tell her you love her. Your aunt wants you to be happy, not burdened by her gift. Value people and relationships, not ugly vases.”
Lidia Doura founded J’Organize in Flushing, Queens, to create productive environments for clients. “One of the most important elements of life is organization and we are here to provide just that,” she writes. Doura offers bilingual services, too, for clients who prefer to speak Spanish.
Done & Done Home
With locations throughout the New York metro area, as well as across the country, Done & Done Home is uniquely prepared to help people make the move into the city. “With energy, compassion, efficiency, and a sense of humor, we take our clients from the dread of tackling the stuffed filing cabinets, the packed kitchen shelves, the drawers overflowing with clothes to living in order and calm,” the team writes.
And if, after the decluttering and organizing that happens when you move to a city like New York, you still need a little extra space – or even if you’re a long-time resident in need of some after a re-organizing effort — Extra Space Storage has facilities all across the city to help you out.
images by: Unsplash, Ben Garratt, Rob Bye, Drew Coffman, Annie Spratt