At Home: An organizing pro helps spa owner create her own retreat

When Cara Solomon, of Philadelphia, was moving into a new apartment 14 years ago, she knew one thing: She didn’t want to live like she’d been living.

The move to a new two-bedroom, two-story apartment was her chance for change. “Maybe if I had an organizer,” she thought, “I could start out on the right foot and turn my home into some place I wanted to be, not just a place to sleep.”

Solomon, a massage therapist who owns and operates a successful day spa, excels at creating an atmosphere of calm and serenity for her clients. But, the single entrepreneur said, “I had gotten so busy building my business that I never took the time to make my apartment my home.”

So she called certified professional organizer Darla DeMorrow, owner of HeartWork Organizing.

One of the biggest transformations happened in the closet, a crowded mess with heaps of clothes. DeMorrow dug in, asked a few questions and learned the problem was not simply an unwillingness to hang clothes up. “As is often the case, the issue was deeper and had to do with how Cara felt about her clothes and herself,” she said.

“My weight fluctuates,” Solomon said. “I had a lot of clothes that I didn’t like and that didn’t fit.” DeMorrow put her in touch with a local boutique clothing store that specialized in plus sizes, where she found clothes that flattered and fit.

“No amount of organizing was going to motivate her to hang up clothes she hated,” said DeMorrow, who encourages clients to live well where they are, “in the home they’re in and the body they’re in.”

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Solomon purged the clothes she didn’t like and started caring for the ones she did. Once she stopped fighting her wardrobe, her closet fell into place.

“People think we make cabinets look pretty, but really we are problem solvers,” DeMorrow said. “If we don’t solve the underlying problem, the clutter will come back.”

The women worked together for two days, finding homes for belongings, organizing computer files, and donating items no longer needed. Darla drove the donations away and mailed Solomon receipts for deductions. “If left to me, everything would stay here,” Solomon said.

When they were done, “the whole energy in my apartment changed. Even my head got clearer,” said Solomon, who recalls the initial effort cost around $700. “Now when I come home, I can relax and not be overwhelmed by things out of place. I can entertain and host overnight guests.”

What began as a mass organizing project blossomed into a relationship that has lasted almost 15 years. DeMorrow comes back once or twice a year for touch ups.

“Friends say, ‘I can’t believe you spent all that money.’ But they don’t realize the expertise they are paying for,” Solomon said. “A good organizer makes sense out of your clutter. You can’t see your way out, but they can.”

So when should you call a pro? Most clients call a professional organizer when they’ve reached a tipping point, experts say. Often, the call is from an overwhelmed …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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