The Caretaker’s Daughter

Do you know the old song that asks the musical question, “Who takes care of the caretaker’s daughter while the caretaker’s out taking care?” My family lived a version of that last week when I hired a Professional Organizer to help my daughter.

Emily just finished her freshman year at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. I’m still slightly traumatized by the experience of packing up her stuff for college, getting her to D.C., and settling her into her dorm room last August. As the end of the school year approached, I knew that she could really use my help to pack up and come back home for the summer. Then I had a brilliant idea: why should I take time away from my organizing clients – and incur the travel expense – when I know so many lovely organizing colleagues in the D.C. area? I asked Emily if she would like me to hire a Professional Organizer to help her, and she said yes.

Emily's closet when I unpacked her last August

Emily’s dorm closet

Things have changed since I was in college. Campuses are now affiliated with companies who provide boxes and store students’ stuff over the summer, delivering it back to their new dorm rooms in the fall. Emily picked one of those companies and arranged to have boxes delivered to her after her finals were over. The next day, Certified Professional Organizer® Kim Oser of Need Another You helped Emily to divide her possessions into four subsets: items that would be packed up and stored, items that would be shipped home for the summer, items that she would take home in a suitcase via Amtrak, and items she wanted to donate. The whole process took 3 1/2 hours, and Kim was nice enough to take away the bag of donated items.

After Emily came home, I asked her how it went. She was very pleased with the experience, and she pointed out that it is less stressful to work with a professional than it is with your own mom! Kim was polite and respectful, and Emily never felt like she was being judged. She made her own decisions about what to keep, and Kim supported those decisions while streamlining the process for her.

We can all use a helping hand at times, and while it is natural to call on close friends or relatives, sometimes the best alternative is to hire a professional.

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