Getting Started


How Do I Get Started?

Call 410-259-1466 and speak directly to Professional Organizer, Cheryl Osterhouse, owner of In Order for Life, LLC, about your area(s) of concern. Alternatively, you can email Cheryl at cheryl@inorderforlife.com.

We will then set up an appointment for a free, 20-30 minute, phone consultation. The phone consultation is an opportunity for us to get acquainted, and for you to tell me about your situation. I will seek to determine what is out of order, whether it is one area, or your entire home. I will attempt to find out what your organizing challenges are, and what your goals and expectations are. You will have the opportunity to get a feel for how I work with clients. If we feel that we are a good match, you can then either schedule an In-Home Consultation or, you may choose to schedule your first hands-on Organizing Session or Organizing Package.


What if I want to move forward with In Order for Life, LLC?

We will then schedule an In-Home Consultation, which I refer to as The Forecast.


What can I expect during the In-Home Consultation?

During the In-Home Consultation, In Order for Life will evaluate the area(s) in your home that are out of order, first hand, whether it is one area, several areas, or more! This is a time for me to ask many questions, as I seek to figure out your unique organizing, working, and living style. And, it’s a time for me to catch YOUR vision for your home and for the finished project(s). How do you want your space(s) to function? What tasks will be accomplished in each space? I ask many questions, attempting to get a feel for how you and/or you and others in your home work, what systems you currently have in place, and how we might improve on them or create new systems. I take pictures, both to refresh my memory throughout the process, and to motivate us both along the way.

By the end of the consultation, you will have a clearer idea of both the time frame and the process, and also a better idea of my organizing style, personality, and how I work with clients.

The In-Home Consultation usually lasts between 1 and 1 ½ hours.


Is There a Cost for the In-Home Consultation?

Yes, “The Forecast” or The In-Home Consultation costs $75, and is due at the end of the Consultation. $50 is applied to your first Organizing Package, if purchased within 30 days of your In-Home Consultation. After the Consultation, back at my office, I will establish a basic Plan of Action.

What if, After the In-Home Consultation, I Choose Not To Hire In Order for Life, LLC? If you initially choose not to schedule an Organizing Session or purchase an Organizing Package, you will receive your Action Plan within 5 business days. You are then free to use the Action Plan as you move forward on your own.


What if I Do Choose To Hire In Order for Life, LLC?

If you do choose to hire In Order for Life, LLC, $50 of the In-Home Consultation Fee will be applied to the cost of your first Organizing Package, if purchased within 30 days of the Consultation. It is now time to begin scheduling your Organizing Sessions.


What if In Order for Life, LLC is Not Equipped to Handle the Job?

Generally, through the Phone Consultation, I have a fairly good idea of the scope of the job, and will inform you, at that time, if I am not experienced or equipped to handle the job. The field of Professional Organizing is vast, with individual Professional Organizers and companies specializing in different facets of organizing. If that decision was made during the In Home Consultation, you would not be charged the $75 for the Consultation. In each instance, I would refer you to a trusted colleague or organization.


Can We Skip the In-Home Consultation?

Although, I highly recommend that you do not skip it, If you know exactly what you would like to accomplish, and where you would like to start, you can choose to begin with an Organizing Session or Organizing Package and forgo the Forecast In-Home Consultation.


Now That I Have Decided on In Order for Life, LLC, What Can I Expect?


How Do I Know How Many Hours it will take and Which Package to Purchase?

After speaking with you during both the Phone Consultation and the In-Home Consultation, and after seeing your space first hand, I will be able to offer my professional opinion regarding the package to purchase. However, the number of hours of actual hands-on, one-on-one, organizing services will depend on the size and condition of your space, and your desired result. It will also depend on whether or not you choose to complete homework, and how quickly you make decisions as we sort, purge, and organize.
Do I Have to Complete Homework? No, you do not need to complete homework. I do, however, suggest specific homework, jobs that you can accomplish on your own, after each organizing session, reducing the number of hours that we work together. You may, however, choose to have me work alongside you throughout the entire process. The choice is yours.


What Happens During a Typical Organizing Session?

Using your personalized Action Plan, we will decide together, where to start and how to proceed. Let the hard work will begin! This is the time to dig in and get down and dirty. It generally gets worse, before it gets better. But, as you will see, the results are definitely worth it! During our first session, we will begin by working together to sort and purge, one area at a time. Subsequent sessions will involve organizing your space and belongings in a manner that is both stylish and functional.


How Long Do Organizing Sessions Usually Last?

I almost always schedule organizing sessions in 4 hour increments. I have found that shorter sessions are not cost effective, for either the Professional Organizer or the client, as it takes a few minutes at the beginning of each session to truly get into the heart of the work, and a few minutes at the end of each session to clean up and clear out the space. I do try to leave your space in order after each Organizing Session. I will not schedule sessions for fewer than 3 hours. I am willing to schedule longer sessions, but find that most clients are worn out after 4 hours. It tends to be an emotionally laden process.


Will You Make Me Throw Away a Lot of My Stuff?

No. I don’t try to talk clients into getting rid of their belongings. I do, however, help them see the trade-off (and there is always a trade off!). The reality is; more stuff = less space and less breathing room, while less stuff = more space and more breathing room. Generally by the time a client contacts me, they are tired of living in the midst of so much stuff, and are ready for change. We make well thought out decisions regarding the best place(s) to donate belongings. And, we attempt to store or display memorabilia in a way that brings honor to the memories, and allows the client to access and enjoy those memories.

I am often asked if I will throw out or get rid of other family member’s belongings. It is my policy to only work with my client’s belongings. If there is ever a question about other people’s belongings, they are set aside in a pile or bin so that the owner(s) can sort through and make decisions.


What is Professional Organizing and what is NAPO?

Professional organizing is an industry that has been developed in order to help individuals and businesses design systems and processes using organizing principles and transferring skills.

NAPO is the National Association of Professional Organizers®, and has a membership of approximately 4,000 Organizing and Productivity Professionals dedicated to helping people and organizations bring order and efficiency to their lives. NAPO’s mission is to be the leading source for Organizing and Productivity Professionals by providing exceptional education, enhancing business connections, advancing industry research, and increasing public awareness.