Spotlight Interview: Nathalie Ricaud, Get Organised and Beyond
We focus the spotlight on Nathalie Ricaud, who shares how her love for organising and transforming spaces has freed up space for happiness not only for her, but also for a lot of people.
1. What’s your story?
I am the Founder of Get Organised & Beyond, a company that helps individuals and their families de-clutter and organise their space, belongings, paper, and time so that they can make the most out of their lives.
My love for organising started as a child when I was volunteering my help to my mum and neighbours to sort things out in their home. I carried it through my professional life by embracing a career in Logistics Management which involved optimising warehouses’ space utilisation and revamping their processes and systems to increase efficiency.
I loved that work but it was missing the personal element. That became really clear after the birth of my son. I was travelling quite a bit at that stage, and I needed to establish systems so that our household could run efficiently, even while I was gone. I realised how organisation and time management were so crucial to keeping a family happy.
As my friends started to seek my guidance in creating order in their homes, I realised there was actually a huge need for organising. People generally have too much stuff they do not need, use, or love or try to fit many activities into their schedule that do not serve their goals in life. They end up feeling overwhelmed and stressed and looking for organising solutions. But not all people are born organised. No one really teaches organising skills in school, and parents quite often do not transfer organising skills to their children.
The idea of looking into Professional Organising as a career came incidentally as I came across an article about a lady entrepreneur in France who was helping others get organised. I became more and more certain that this was my calling. It took me a while to take the leap and start my own business. But how I wish I had started it earlier, I love what I do so much , I can’t get enough of doing it!
2. What are the things that held you back at first? What type of background work did you do before starting your business?
I must confess that it was difficult for me at first to envision leaving the security of a job and the corporate world. I had to venture on my own and establish a type of business that hardly anyone had heard about.
So I did a lot of research and found out that there were thousands of people out there, especially in the US, a bit in Australia/New Zealand and Europe, who were as passionate about organising as I was and who were doing it for a living! I talked to a few of them to understand more about the profession.
I also found out that there were industry associations worldwide such as the US National Association of Professional Organisers or the Australasian Association of Professional Organisers (AAPO). I found it reassuring to know that the industry was mature enough to provide training courses and professional guidelines in terms of conduct with clients, colleagues, and the community at large. I joined AAPO as a member to benefit from the experience of fellow Professional Organisers.
Although my academic qualifications and logistics experience were extremely relevant to a work as a Professional Organiser, I attended many training programs and read many books about professional organising and setting up and running a professional organising business. I spent a considerable amount of time developing approaches, techniques, and tools to work as a Professional Organiser.
But the most determining factor in taking the leap was the work I did with a career coach, who helped me find the confidence and courage to embrace my passion. I am so very grateful to you Sabreena Andriesz!
3. So what it is that you do as a Professional Organiser?
All clients are different and I tailor my services to suit whatever area of their lives need organising. But I typically help them in 3 main areas:
- Clutter management. This is for people who own too much stuff and as a result, have space constraints. They waste time looking for things or buy things they already have but can’t remember they have or can’t find, and who generally feel overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they own. I help them de-clutter their home (or part of it) i.e. sort through their belongings, help them decide what to keep or toss, and organise their belongings in the most efficient way. It can be clothes, shoes, bags, books, toys, kitchenware, food, medicine etc.
- Paper management. This is a subset of clutter management but deserves specific attention as it is the number one enemy in many households. It is for people who are overwhelmed by paper, waste time looking for documents, pay their bills late and as a result incur late payment fees. I help them set up an efficient workspace, establish procedures to manage the flow of paper and set up filing.
- Time management. This is for people who struggle to be on time for appointments, to juggle several areas of their lives or to find time to do the things they enjoy. I help them manage their time better by establishing schedules, routines, and time saving tools.
4. What do you love about your job?
I know it may sound weird to a lot of people, but I derive a huge personal satisfaction to transform a cluttered space into an efficient one and a chaotic life into a harmonious one.
I love empowering people by de-cluttering and organising their lives so that they can get in control of their space and time. Beyond clearing clutter, freeing up space, saving time and money, my clients report that the greatest benefits of the work we have done together is about how it has helped reduce their stress level, bring harmony back into their lives and boost their self-image.
I also like to impart organising skills to my clients so that they can maintain the results of their efforts on their own and continue their organising journey after we have finished our work together. I quite often receive messages from previous clients telling me that I have given them the motivation and the confidence to tackle other areas of their homes or lives on their own. I find it so rewarding!
5. What are your top 2 tips to getting organised?
- Just start. Start with whatever time you have. Even 5 minutes a day can make a difference! Start wherever you want. It can be the area that will be the easiest for you to tackle. Or the one that bothers you most – maybe your bedroom because that’s the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see before you fall asleep.
- Engage some help. Having an accountability buddy is always helpful provided the person is sensitive to your personal circumstances and not judgmental. It can be a friend or a family member or a Professional Organiser like myself.
I started a blog earlier this year giving tips to help people make their life a little more organised. Read them here!
Get Organised & Beyond
page to find out more about Nathalie's work.
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