My latest organizer interview is with Kathrin Shenk of FreeYourSpace, LLC. Kathrin is a NAPO member who provides residential decluttering, downsizing and estate liquidations throughout Southern Maryland and the Greater Washington, DC Metro area. She also offers residential organizing as well as paper and electronic document management.
I connected with Kathrin earlier this year when she contacted me about a new website. Before I share her interview, I’d like to tell you a bit about that project.
Kathrin created her own website when she started her business in 2015.
When she was ready to take it up a notch, she had professional branding photographs taken, and realized she needed a more professional website to really do them justice.
A colleague recommended that she contact me, and she liked the fact that I had experience in the organizing industry. We hit it off immediately, and together we made a plan for her new website.
The goal of the project was to generate leads for Kathrin’s business by helping potential clients to understand how she can help them to downsize, organize, move, or liquidate an estate.
To improve her search engine positioning, her service description were expanded and we started a blog so she can continually add new content to attract new visitors.
To build on her established brand, the new design was created around her existing logo.
Learn more about my Web Design Process.
As Kathrin mentioned during her interview, she now has as much business as she can realistically handle, and I’m proud to have played a role in her success.
Here’s what she posted on my Google Business page:
I hired Janet to revamp my website letsfys.com after interviewing a number of candidates, and I am so glad I did. I had very specific ideas about how I wanted my website to look and function. Janet was very resourceful – and patient – to execute my vision perfectly. I wholeheartedly recommend Janet to anyone looking to elevate their website to a professional look and feel.
And now, on to the interview!
Kathrin Shenk Interview
Kathrin, how did you come up with your business name?
The name is the mission! if you need someone who helps you squeeze every last inch out of your home to store all of your stuff, then I’m not right for you. However, if you are ready to get out from under the dead weight of stale possessions – your own or someone else’s – and free your space, then I am all over that.
How has your business changed since you first started out?
The biggest benefit of being in business for a while are the partnerships I developed with trusted resources. For example, I work exclusively with MaxSold on downsizing or estate liquidation sales instead of traditional estate sale companies. I find their model to be the most efficient and cost effective way for my clients to disperse large amounts of stuff in a short period of time with minimal to no involvement on the part of the client.
At what moment did you consider yourself successful?
My job is my passion and my calling. Setting my own hours making a living doing what I love is what I consider the ultimate success. I look forward going to work every day, and I wouldn’t want to trade this life with anyone.
'I look forward going to work every day, and I wouldn't want to trade this life with anyone.' ~ Kathrin Shenk, Professional OrganizerClick To Tweet
How do you approach a new organizing project?
I always, always, always insist on a free in-person consultation. I’m a very visual person, and I need to see a situation and get a feel for the prospective client before signing on.
It’s also very important to set expectations ahead of time. The client needs to understand that if they have too much stuff and not enough space I can only help them if they are willing to let things go.
Once the client and I have determined we are a good fit we make the first appointment and get the show on the road!
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about running an organizing business?
I’m continually surprised by how many people need help, from organizing a sock drawer to a whole-house purge and cross-country move. There is a great need in my area, and I’m happy to help fill it!
What is the biggest challenge you currently face in your business?
It’s a happy problem. I’m booked so far out that I sometimes have to turn down clients who need help sooner than my schedule allows. This happens a lot when people realize they are overwhelmed by a move, and moving dates are set. Luckily in my area there are plenty of other organizers available, although everyone is quite busy. I can’t emphasize enough that it’s NEVER too early to start decluttering or downsizing!
Hiring more people or working with subcontractors is not an option for me at this time. I personally am the defining part of my brand, and I don’t want to change that.
What’s your favorite organizing product? Why?
Plastic bags or cardboard boxes for those items that are no longer needed and that are leaving the house to go to donation!
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I own a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and like to ride and fuss over him. When I’m not at the barn I like to spend time outside puttering around in my garden, swimming or hiking. I’m also a big believer in Yoga. You can find me on the mat most mornings, getting ready for the day.
What else should we know about you?
I want my clients to feel relieved when they’ve decided to work with me. I’m in their corner, we got this, and they will be OK. The biggest compliment to me is when a client says “I feel so much better!” at the end of a session.
Kathrin, thank you very much for telling us about your organizing business!
If you’d like to be interviewed for Your Organizing Business, simply fill out the questionnaire.
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