Qube Expert Series:
Simply Sam Organized
Qube Money Expert Series with Simply Sam Organized
Sam (Guest): Okay! Simply Sam Organized, and you’ll see my face, and I’m at a little computer, follow me!
Callen: So we chose her to be our expert this month. She’s all things organization. And I’ve personally loved following her he past couple of months because organization is not an area where I am an expert, so we thought it would be fun to bring her on this month. It’s turning into springtime here in Utah and all things spring cleaning and stuff, we thoughts could share some good tips! First, Sam, tell us how you got started in organization. Was it a natural thing? Tell us how it started!
Sam: So I’ve always been naturally organized, but not tidy. I’m definitely the person that when you get dressed in the morning, you end up with like 10 things on the floor. But I’ve always been pretty organized. Just when I put everything away, it’s always organized. As I was going through high school and college, it was kind of a skill that I enjoyed. I loved finding a place for things and organizing, or helping my friends clean out their closet. I just always loved organization. And so I was in grad school to be a marriage and family therapist, totally unrelated… and I just needed something to do for money and essentially working at a treatment center, like, lower level mental health jobs before you’re a therapist, don’t pay really well. Which is totally fine, but I was supporting my husband, who was also in college. So I needed to make a certain amount to support both of us because he wasn’t able to work at the time. So I thought I’m just going to start a business.
Callen: That’s not a big deal at all, just start a business!
Sam: Yeah, just start a business! And I thought maybe I’ll have to do Uber, or this, or that, or whatever. And I just thought I’ll just do whatever I can. I just want to get through school. So I’ve always been entrepreneurial. Like I’ll just do whatever I need to make what I need. Well, within three months, I was completely booked and had to hire help. I got lucky with timing. I started my business in October of 2018 and by January, about three months later is when Marie Kondo came out on Netflix. So it kind of propelled this whole organizational world. And since then, we always are function first. We always care about organization and the function of the home. But now we also do interior design and construction and pair all those three things together. But my goal with all my clients, whether we’re building a new home or just organizing a garage, is function.
Callen: Does your husband work with you?
Sam: Yes! So my husband does work with me, he is a general contractor. He was not always planning to be a general contractor. He grew up in construction, but then went to school for psychology and economics. And then when he graduated, he got his contractor’s license.
Callen: The he jumped on ship with you?
Sam: Yeah, I told him, you’re not allowed to get a job. You need to work with me. Now it’s definitely more of our company, but when I started, I was like, you’re working for me.
Callen: I love that. Okay so you’re in Utah, right? How many houses or how many clients are you seeing, on average, a week? Like post-covid, getting back to normal?
Sam: So that’s a great question. There are a lot of great organizers out here in Utah, but my company specifically specializes in larger projects. So we do a lot of whole homes or like, multi-day projects, but we always can do a closet or pantry in a short amount of time. So we usually are seeing one client a week, and we only work 3 days a week. So organizing is very labor intensive. So my organizers that work with me, it’s not 9-5, 5 days a week. Which is why a lot of people hire it out, because sometimes on a job, we’re completing 40 man hours. Even more sometimes, I think we’ve done like 80 man hours in one day, which is two weeks of work for one person. So it’s becoming a thing that people are paying for because it’s too much time.
Callen: I’m staring into my kitchen right now, and you would just be horrified if you walked in, but you probably look at it and say, easy! It would probably be very easy to you. But the thing that you’re saying resonates with me and why I would probably be interested in hiring help. I work a full time job, so getting that done, I’d either have to commit to a weekend and try to con my husband into doing it with me, or doing it after hours where you’re tired and the skill set, it might take me longer to figure it out. But the functionality is where I’ve seen professionals like yourself make the most difference is like finding a “home for everything” and making it so stuff isn’t in the wrong spot after three months. It’s still in the same spot because it’s functional. And that’s what I’ve noticed on your page and looking at your before and afters, and the work you’ve done is not just to look pretty, which everybody loves, the aesthetic, like tap for the after, tap to see it clean, we love that! But then it actually makes sense that you put that there, and this is all sorted. So that’s one thing that I’ve seen looking at your page, and I think that’s pretty awesome. You focus on really helping people. It’s like a lifestyle change in their home.
Sam: Which is so cool! 100%. And honestly, everyone’s home is different and super customized. You’re not always going to put the spices in the same place or the silverware in the same place, because you know everyone is different. And when I’m working with someone who cooks a lot, versus someone who bakes a lot, those two are different. And then I also organize for people who barely cook, but mostly are using their kitchen to serve, because they eat out. But I think that having a place for everything really makes the difference. And truthfully does save you money, because when you know where everything is and you know what you have and your can opener doesn’t go missing because it’s always in the same spot. Versus if your kitchen is unorganized, you’re digging through all these things.
Callen: I’m buying the same spice every time. I’m like “I bought that spice three different times to make it in three different recipes.” So it does make a huge difference. Okay, tell me this, if you were to give our followers, I know everybody’s house is different, but can you give us a starting point? I talked to a fitness influencer the other day, and I was interviewing her and asking her some questions about fitness and I’m not a fitness guru or in shape by any means, so I was asking her, it’s overwhelming for me to be like “oh, I want to be like you and work out seven days a week” and so what she said was she gave a tip, and said if you just commit to doing one more than you’re already doing. So if you’re working out zero times a week, you’re going to commit to doing that once a week, and then commit to doubling. And I thought that’s a great tip. Like I can commit to once a week, and then I could commit to higher. So if you’re looking at it from an organizational perspective, if someone’s starting from scratch, can you give us a tiny foundation? Even if you go into a room, like a few tips on what you can do to start the organizational process.
Sam: Okay, a couple of things. So number one, when I’m talking to a client and we’r trying to figure out where to start because some of my clients don’t have the financial capability to just do their whole house at once, that’s obviously really expensive, and we’re talking about where do we start? I always say to start
at what impacts you the most. So for me, I always organized my closet. I love clothes, and I love getting dressed. So I’ve always made it a huge priority to organize my closet. And for other people, it might be cooking, it might be a mud room, might be a laundry room. It just depends on your life. But figuring out the space that gives you the most anxiety because it’s disorganized, start there. Then once you actually pick a space, I think a big problem I see is that people go to Home Goods, buys a couple of hangers for their closet, a spice rack for the kitchen, and they buy things for multiple spaces, which won’t have a high impact. So I always tell people to finish one full space before you move onto the next. And then the steps to organizing are simple. It’s just time intensive. But I think if you have your friends over and say come help me, I’ll pay for your dinner, or just binge watch a show, like you could binge watch The Home Edit on Netflix while you’re organizing. So I think another thing is setting aside the time. Kind of like as if we were going to take a trip. A lot of my clients take time. I mean, most of them have PTO, but take time off when w’ere there. Like, they take pork off for the day. They don’t need to be with us all day, that’s not how we do things, but there’s still a lot of questions and it’s emotional. There’s a lot of different reasons why organizing is emotional. But the actual steps for organizing are, you want to pull everything out of the space, like everything. Which sounds terrible, but you need to because you need all the little things from the drawers, all the little things that are on the top shelf. You pull everything out and then you need to sort it by category. So all your cords together, all books together. If you’re in a closet, all t-shirts together. But then simultaneously, you’re also going to edit it. So you’re going to get rid of things you don’t need, things that are broken. As you’re putting it in categories, you’re also saying, maybe I have 10 of the same thing I don’t need. Some of them are broken, let’s get rid of them. So as you’re putting them into these categories, you’re able to see it. Then you want to add in product. So bins, baskets, I always recommend products of some sort. I think that is what makes the highest impact is having product. And Walmart has good products these days. They just partnered with The Home Edit, which is amazing. And then also the Container Store, while expensive, does have storage bins with lids that are just multipurpose bins. You have to budget for it, but I do think product makes the biggest difference because then it has a place. And the final step is labeling. So putting it all away and labeling it, and then you know where everything is. So while there’s like that investment upfront, whether you’re doing it for yourself or someone else is doing it for you, having that product, and having it labeled is what is going to give it the most longevity. So then you know where your stuff is, you know what you have. And I think it gives savings in the end. It takes less time to find the items and it saves money to know what you have and be able to plan more just when you know where everything is.
Callen: Okay that’s amazing! I might list out these steps for everyone, too, but that’s perfect! So let me ask you another question I had when you were talking about, I know you have clients that come in and they can afford to do their whole house. Do you ever have clients that might say, hey, we have this big room or this room and then you do that process for them, and then they want to try and tackle the rest of their home?
Sam: Yeah, I think that I’ve had a lot of clients where we did their pantry or their kitchen, and then they were motivated on their own to tackle another area because it goes back to what I was saying is picking that first area that’s giving you the most anxiety. Sometimes our whole home becomes messy because the highest impact area doesn’t have that function. And if our kitchen functions better, then we’d be able to tackle the closet. Or for some people, the closet is more emotional. So it totally depends. But yes, I think sometimes hiring a professional for that first project to kind of learn the basics and go through it with someone else and then being able to apply those principles on your own, that’s what I want. I think you want to teach people, and that’s my goal. Originally I was going to be a marriage and family therapist. This whole thing comes from the need to help people. Yes, it’s materialistic. Yes, it’s about aesthetics and making things pretty, but also about helping people. So I think that hiring a professional, we want to hire therapists, or accountants, or doctors. It’s just like a house cleaner. It’s just like anything else. And it helps you get back on track. But then you have more time to spend and I think you can do it on your own.
Callen: One thing that I think is similar is when I’m talking about what you need and I think about Qube Money, right. We tell people it’s an investment into your finances. Like, you save money by using Qube. Most people, by using our app will end up saving money because they don’t actually know where their money is going and they haven’t kept track. But we keep track for you. I saved $300 because I just found it. So I’m thinking this is like an investment into your home and your time in your future, having this organization ink your home. That’s pretty cool.
Sam: Yeah! And I think setting a budget for it, I think we sometimes feel like a budget is limiting. Like, oh I only have $300 to spend on organizing. Sorry it’s expensive but it is. You could spend less. Then you go to the store and you have that $300 and you’re able to maximize that because you already know that budget.
Callen: That’s awesome. Okay last question, wrapping up, tell me your favorite part. The most satisfying because I watched the before and afters, and I’m addicted. The tap to clean is my favorite. What’s the most satisfying part about your job?
Sam: Oh my gosh. Back to what we were just talking bout helping people. And it really is.
I think I am my client in a way. Like, I am someone that would pay for this service. If I didn’t do it professionally myself. I like serving people. I think giving back is really important, but I also really like pretty things. So I feel like this is the combination of that I get to make people’s houses really beautiful and functional, but in turn, it’s giving them more time. And I’ve even had people I have a client who was really stressed out. They are well off. They are very well off. But when you run a home and have five kids, it affects us all differently. And so she was really struggling emotionally and then hired us. We were able to organize and set up their whole new house, which is such a privilege. But then now she feels so much better, and now she’s planning this organizational trip to Ecuador. That’s like a service trip. And she was like, I don’t think I would have been able to do this unless my home was where it is. So it’s like it is materialistic, but it also gave someone else the opportunity to give back because their home was under control.
Callen: Yeah, that’s awesome. Okay, last thing, your clients and how much it’s helped them, which, I mean, if you came into my house and did it all, I bet I would feel weight lifted and just be like, I can breathe again. One thing I’m thinking, this is such a great gift to give people. Like, if you’re thinking of, like, my sister who is pregnant and about to have a baby and been like, yeah, everyone, instead of going in on, like, random shower gifts, we can give her the gift of getting their home organized before the baby, and everyone can give it during Christmas or for mother’s day like your mom. I think that’s pretty cool, and people really will appreciate it. It’s a gift. It’s like a service. But to me, I’m always like, what do I get my parents that have everything or, like, my in laws? And I’m like, wow, organization is one thing that they could really use, and nobody knows how to do it as well as the professionals, and they would love that, so I think that’s something to keep in mind. That’s really cool. Okay, well, we’re going to wrap up. Thank you so much for being on our expert series. You are truly an expert. We are so lucky to hear from you. I will tag you and we will share this with everyone and we hope that we will be able to work together again soon. And I’m going to sign off here and go get my kitchen cleaned up and organized, and I’m going to send you a pic and you’ll be very proud.
Sam: Yes, I will be proud!
Callen: And I’ll meet you at the Container Store later! Thanks, Sam! Thanks for being a part of this. This is such a cool series. I’m so excited for everyone to see this and learn from you!