Tell us about you, a little bit about your company and how you got started.
Meredith Hulen, Hulen Organization & Design. My company specializes in home & office organization, style revamping, and streamlined moving.
I have 3 sons and I homeschooled them for seven years. As a former teacher, I decided to set my homeschool room up the way I had done my classroom—with bulletin boards, school desks, and cubbies. I had friends who would come to my house and see my school room and say…please come do mine! It began as a hobby, then became a part-time job, and eventually my full-time career.
Working with Michelle, how have you helped her clients?
Michelle hired me several years ago to help unpack/organize her kitchen. We now joke that she asked me to come for one day and I stayed for two weeks–I ended up doing every room in the house! A year later, she hired me to pack that house and unpack at the new one. I took one room at a time, a day at time, and Michelle was able to continue helping her clients while I helped make her house a home.
I am so thankful to know Michelle both personally and professionally. We have become great friends and she refers me to all of her clients. I’ve been able to help them in numerous ways and we are able to collaborate on many projects. I have learned a lot about the real estate business by watching her–she’s an amazing business woman!
Your top 5 tips for organizing a closet.
1) Empty: Take everything out. Everything.
2) Clean: Wipe down shelves/drawers, Vacuum baseboards/flooring.
3) Edit: Go through your items and take out what you KNOW you don’t want back in the closet. You can decide later whether you want to store/donate, but this allows you to keep moving and not get held up trying to decide what to do with each item.
4) Organize: Purchase containers, storage solutions, or hangers that will work with your closet. You don’t need to spend tons of money on this–Home Goods, Wal-Mart, and Target have great options. Be sure to measure shelves/drawers before purchasing!
5) Install: Take a deep breath, carve out time to complete the process, open the windows/turn on some good music–it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it may seem. Put everything back in. Sit back and enjoy.
Your top 5 tips for packing up a home.
1) Prepare: Purchase all packing supplies and boxes first. Buy boxes in multiple sizes so that you will have the size you need when packing–buy more and return whatever you don’t use. Tape, packing paper, foam wrapping, and Sharpies are necessary supplies.
2) Prioritize: Choose the spaces that are least-used to pack first and pack the kitchen last. Remember to plan time for attics & garages–these can be labor-intensive, especially if they are not climate-controlled.
3) Plan: Write out a packing timeline and get the family involved. Children can definitely be part of the process and should be when it comes to packing their rooms. Set aside 1 hour each day for everyone to commit to packing.
4) Purge: Use this time to donate/throw out items that you are not using. It’s so much easier to unpack on the other side when you only take what you need.
5) Pack: Fragile & heavy items need to be specifically labeled and should be in small boxes. Use packing supplies liberally–you would rather spend a little more money on packing paper than have to replace broken items. Stack items in the room they are packed in until the room is completed.
One favorite moment with your job and why.
I had a client’s daughter post about me on her Instagram page. I organized and redecorated her room and she told all of her friends that I was the “best thing that happened to her in 8th grade” Ha! The teacher in me loves working with children and I’m always so touched to make a difference in the lives of the families I work with. At the end of the day, an organized home allows for less stress and more family time. I love getting to be a part of that.
In one word (or sentence) your secret to keeping your life / work organized
Daily Agenda; I handwrite my agenda each night for the following day, writing it out helps me think through and prioritize.
Meredith Hulen, Hulen Organization & Design