Jamie Shaner Q+A: ‘What overwhelms them, energizes me’


Jamie Shaner, a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and founder of Home Solutions of WNY Inc., approaches organization the same way she used to approach her work as an accountant: methodically and with sensitivity.

Shaner uses organizing to blend her creativity with her natural inclination toward order. We sat down and talked with Jamie earlier this year about her background, her expertise, and the important role that professional organizers plays in the lives of serially disorganized individuals.

“There’s Help for People Who Want to Get Organized:” A Talk with Jamie Shaner

Get Storganized: How did you get started as a professional organizer? Was there a moment or an event when you decided to do it?

Jamie Shaner: I got started when a friend and I decided to join forces and start our own company focusing on home organizing and home staging. We both ran very organized households and I had previous experience with a company that provided office and organizational services to small businesses.

I knew it would be a ton of fun working with my friend, and as much as I loved my job as an accountant, I didn’t love accounting. Accounting is a great skill to have, but it didn’t nurture my creative side.

Jamie Shaner and Home Solutions

Get Storganized: What is the biggest challenge you face, in your business?

Jamie Shaner: The biggest challenge is getting the word out that there’s help for people who want to get organized. Working with an organizer can jumpstart and streamline the organizing process, whether it’s developing a better system for handling mail and paperwork, or setting up a more functional kitchen.

Everyone worries that their clutter is the worst I’ve ever seen. I tell them I’ve seen it all before, and what overwhelms them actually energizes me, because I know I can help.

Get Storganized: What is the hardest part of getting and staying organized?

Jamie Shaner: I think the hardest part about getting organized is often deciding where and how to start, and realizing that it’s not a weekend marathon event — it’s a process.

People also need to understand that their space has to define how much “stuff” they can realistically keep and store there. Staying organized requires discipline and the development of some new habits in order to maintain things, but it’s totally worth the effort.

Get Storganized: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Jamie Shaner: The most rewarding part of my job is the relationships developed with my clients, and the frequent exclamation that I’ve changed their lives for the better. We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun together during the organizing process.

Get Storganized: Who should hire a professional organizer, or why are professional organizers’ services important?

Jamie Shaner: Anyone who feels overwhelmed by clutter or frustrated with the way their home or office looks and functions. Anyone who needs help downsizing their lives or the lives of elderly family members. These are great examples of who should hire a professional organizer.

I tell people to think of it as an investment rather than an expense. Getting organized can save time and money — no more searching for car keys or important papers, no more late fees for bills that get misplaced.

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At Home Solutions, our mission is to help clients create a home or work environment that is functional, visually pleasing, reduces stress and meets their current needs. I think that sums it up pretty well.

We think so, too. Thanks, Jamie!


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