Q+A with Monica Friel: ‘So many innovative ways of organizing’

Monica Friel

Monica Friel, founder of Chaos to Order in Chicago, Ill., started her business in 1990 to help people improve their organization and all aspects of their lives.

The founding member of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers also maintains an office in Atlanta, Ga.and has worked with everyone from businesses moving offices to individuals who just want to get their homes back in shape.

Monica Friel’s Inside Scoop: “We Help Your Issues In a New Way”

Get Storganized: How did you first get started in professional organizing?

Monica Friel: I started it in 1990, during a recession. I had been working in a corporate job and thought to myself, ‘What do I really love to do?’ and realized that what I really enjoyed was organizing my cupboards!

I started out doing it for friends and the business began to grow. Today, I work more on the business side, with a staff of 12 organizers and a full office.

Get Storganized: What is the best part of the job, for you?

Monica Friel: I love that it allowed me to raise my family. I love spreading the word about how getting organized can make life easier. If you spend some time on the front end, it saves time for the future.

A lot of people think organizing is just going through stuff and putting it away, but there are so many innovative ways of organizing–things like Uncle Bob’s container products, and creative things people don’t think of, like reusing products that are already in existence.

For example, I like to take a belt hanger for the closet and use it to hang camisoles. It’s about using different products in new and different ways.

Get Storganized: What can be the most difficult or challenging aspect of organizing?

Monica Friel: We try to walk people through the process, and sometimes we do encounter people with fear or resistance to making a change. On “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” a lot of people have this mental block. Your mind is telling you, “You need to keep these things,” when the reality is, you need to clean it out.

We try to sit down with people and make sure everybody is on board. If not, it’s a waste of their time and money.

Get Storganized: When would you suggest a person hire a professional organizer?

Monica Friel: If the clutter of your life is getting in the way of living it, if you come home and you’re stressed out by the state of your home, if you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start–we can come in and offer a fresh perspective.

If you don’t know how to root your toilet, you call a plumber. Some people have lived in their house for years, been in the same office forever: we look at your familiar chaos in a different way.

Some people have grandma’s rocking chair in the middle of their basement and they keep tripping over it. We tell people that grandma wouldn’t want her legacy to be in the way like that; she would want it taken to a new home, where it would be appreciated. We help look at your issues in a new way.

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Thanks for your useful tips, Monica!


Are you ready to tackle your clutter and start organizing? Find an Uncle Bob’s Self Storage near you. We offer a variety of storage units for any situation — including climate controlled self storage, humidity controlled self storage, heated self storage, and more. Let Uncle Bob’s help in getting you started.



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