They labor to get you organized

Get It Together steps in to reorder out-of-sync homes and offices.

Who wouldn’t like to finally get it all together?

Patty Raymond and Sheilah Wilcynski don’t promise miracles, but they can help put a sizable dent in life’s more solvable messes. For nearly five years the pair has operated Get It Together, a professional organizing service.

“We do everything from kitchens to bedroom closets to entire homes for some people,” Wilcynski said, “starting with the garage and working our way through.”

Most of their clients are young families. “The kids are going 900 different directions and so are the parents,” Wilcynski said. “They keep thinking that they’ll get to it, but they never do.”

The pair also does a lot of home offices, which usually involves helping organize piles of paperwork. Most businesses have some kind of filing system in place, Wilcynski explained, but they’ve gotten too far behind or their system is out of date.

In between home and office organization projects, Raymond and Wilcynski have put up Christmas decorations and taken them down, helped people pack for trips and unpack after moves. They can help decide what color a wall should be before they hang the pictures. They’ll even juggle the furniture, if it comes to that.

“A lot of the time,” Wilcynski said, “if the furniture isn’t working, then nothing’s working.”

The two subscribe to many principles of feng shui, though neither is a serious practitioner of the traditional Chinese art. “It’s fun to try and bring in some of that stuff,” Wilcynski said. “And a lot of it’s just common sense – which direction a bed or desk should face, or not having things above your head on a closet shelf.”

Their emphasis on removing clutter also meshes nicely with the feng shui principle of letting the chi, energy, flow freely through a room. Wilcynski expresses it somewhat differently: “If you have a lot of clutter piled up behind the doors, it’s just going to make you feel icky.”

There are more than aesthetic reasons for cleaning things up, she says. “It really is true that clutter can be dangerous – things perched precariously on a shelf, for example.”

Dynamic duo

The pair usually double-teams the clutter on home and office organization projects, Wilcynski said, but each partner brings her own approach to the process. “Patty’s more of a big picture person and I’m more detail oriented. She’s more inclined to just jump in, while I tend to stand back and observe for a while.”

The typical Get It Together project starts with an on-site walk-through. Raymond and Wilcynski then develop a plan to address the problems they’ve identified.

Once the client agrees to the proposed approach, they’re ready to go to work – usually the same day.

Since there’s often no way to predict how long a given project will take, they charge a flat hourly rate.

That can be a bargain – especially considering the complimentary wrap-up they provide.

Get It Together actually deals with the pile of unwanted stuff that’s left, organizing it for a garage sale, taking it to Goodwill or making a run to the recycling center.

“If you still have that one more little thing to do,” she said, “it can make all the difference in keeping you from getting a project done.”

The pair has taught numerous organizational courses for the Bainbridge and North Kitsap park districts, in which they offer tips for the organizationally challenged. These include:

• Yes, a place for everything and everything in its place. “Especially when it comes to things like paperwork,” Wilcynski said.

• Take baby steps. “You can accomplish an amazing amount in small increments of time. Take one drawer, or one section of a closet, or one stack of papers at a time. Don’t think ‘If I can’t get this whole thing done, I shouldn’t even start.’”

Above all, these professional organizers say, remember that “Life happens.”

“Everybody’s house can get out of sync now and then,” Wilcynski said.

“But it helps if you know how to put it back together.”

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