An organized life is a happy life.
At least that’s what Catherine Dryden of Neat Chic Organizing believes.
“I feel like people who aren’t organized or live messy, sometimes feel there is something wrong with them or they’re embarrassed,” said Dryden. “The fact is, everyone has periods in their life where they can’t keep up.”
Dryden decided to start her own organizing business after working more than 30 years in information technology and analysis. It was her job to speak with clients about problems their businesses were facing, help them understand the issue and introduce a new process.
“I think what I did translates well to what I do now,” she said. “People need to understand the challenges they are having and develop a plan to solve it. The same is true in both fields.”
Dryden said after a while, she wanted to take the skills she’d developed over time to help people on a more personal level. Many of her clients are people who have recently gone through a crisis and don’t know where to begin to get their lives back on track. Some have gone through a divorce, have recently become widowed or had a health scare.
Dryden said it’s during these major life events where people lose focus and need help to once again organize their home or office. She does far more than just rearrange closets.
“I do any room in the house, and I like to start with whatever room or area is seen as the most challenging,” said Dryden. “They usually need help with more than one room, but I start with the room that will give them the most piece of mind to complete.”
The scale of the projects can go from a simple desk reorganization to a case of hoarding. Dryden said her approach is much different than what viewers may be use to seeing on reality television shows.
“I’m much gentler,” she said. “I don’t tell people what to do, but more coach them so they understand what it is they want to achieve.”
Dryden also doesn’t do the work for her clients, but works to teach them new techniques to help them stay organized. She also gives her clients in between sessions so they learn new habits.
“It takes weeks to learn a new habit and change a person’s lifestyle,” Dryden said. “The homework helps people to stay on track so they can keep using the new techniques even after I’m gone.”
Dryden will drive up to an hour away to do a complimentary assessment before she begins each new job. She also belongs to two different organizing organizations, the National Association of Profession Organizers and the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.
“I believe in empowerment through organization,” said Dryden. “I like to think I’m helping people take back their lives and make them whole again through what I do.”
To learn more, visit www.neatchicny.com or call (518) 227-0605.