Organizer clears away the clutter
“I walk into chaos and I see it straightened and organized and alphabetized and in chronological order,” saidNancy Katz, whose business helps clients all over the North Shore and beyond organize their homes and offices. | Jackie Pilossoph~for Sun-Time Med
Nancy B. Katz, Clutter Consultant
Updated: February 5, 2013 12:38PM
EVANSTON — Six years ago, when Patricia Andes was moving out of the Glenview home where she and her family had lived in for 43 years, she was not only feeling immense emotion, but she was overwhelmed.
“I had a lot of stuff that had to go,” said Andes, who now lives in an apartment. “I had to figure out what to donate, what to sell, and what to take with me.”
Andes said she needed help, and found it when she met Nancy Katz, a professional organizer and founder of the Evanston based company, Nancy B. Katz, Clutter Consultant.
“I had a four bedroom house full of things and she came over and plunged right in, and I never felt any criticism,” said Andes. “She didn’t judge, she just helped.”
“I walk into chaos and I see it straightened and organized and alphabetized and in chronological order,” said Katz, whose business helps clients all over the North Shore and beyond organize their homes and offices. “It’s not what I do, it’s who I am.”
According to Katz, there are many different types of clients in need of her services.
“There are circumstantial clients, who are the people who don’t have time to organize themselves,” said Katz, who started the business in 2001 after having careers in the arts and in the corporate world, both which she said taught her how to be organized. “They’re corporate executives and busy career parents who are raising kids or who might be traveling. They know what they want, they just don’t have time to get there.”
Another group of clients are people who are experiencing grief or depression, or people who are going through a transition.
“They might be adult children whose parents or spouse die, or older people who are downsizing, and I help them clean out the house,” she said, “I come in and separate them emotionally from the clutter.”
Katz, who is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers has also worked with hoarders.
“In the extreme, I’ve seen floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall clutter with paths and often lots of cats,” said Katz. “The more ordinary is someone who has made many attempts to streamline and they can’t quite get there.”
Katz charges $75 per hour for her services.
She said one of the first things she does when she walks into a home that’s extremely cluttered is clear one space and put a photograph or a vase or something decorative so that there is one place they can rest their eyes.
She asks lots of questions, and together with the client prioritizes the clutter.
“I ask things like, ‘What items do you use daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally and never?’” she said.
Bea Weiskopf has an appraisal business in Northbrook, and contacts Katz when she has a client who needs help emptying his or her home.
“Nancy is fabulously organized,” said Weiskopf, “It’s not always the best time for people, there’s been a death or someone is going into senior living. They are not easy situations, and Nancy always knows what to say and how to get the job done.”
“I love when my clients say, ‘I feel so much better, I have more time in my life, my home is beautiful now,’” said Katz, “It’s so satisfying to improve their environment and their life. It’s so much more than the clutter.”
“Nancy still comes over from time to time to help me organize my place,” said Andes, “And aside from helping me, I enjoy having her around.”