Getting organized

AT WORK

She'll pack for you, move you, clear out all your clutter or just put your closets in order

October 04, 2006|By Tyeesha Dixon | Tyeesha Dixon,Sun reporter

Rose Zappa-Jehnert

Professional organizer and business owner

Get It 2gether Organizational Services, Forest Hill

Age --55

Salary --$35,000

Time on the job --Five years

How she got started --During a previous job at an insurance company, a co-worker suggested Zappa-Jehnert make a profession out of organizing because she was so good at it. Five years ago, she started her own organizing business. "Everything in my life is organization. It's my second religion."

Typical day --Zappa-Jehnert starts at 8 a.m., when she goes to clients' homes and offices for appointments. They can last from three to eight hours, depending on the client. She visits two or three clients a day when appointments are shorter.

Services --Zappa-Jehnert specializes in packing and moving, paper management, time management and closet organization. She also makes house and room maps. "My goal is to make people's lives easier."

Certifications --Although no certification is necessary to be a professional organizer, Zappa-Jehnert is certified by the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization to assist those with attention deficit disorder and the chronically disorganized. For those certifications, she took mini-courses with teleconferences, reading assignments and passed an exam. She also is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and the Maryland Association of Professional Organizers. And she teaches courses on clutter control and management at Harford Community College.

Extreme cases --Zappa-Jehnert has had clients with so much clutter on the floor, they had to create paths just to walk through their home. She has been working with some clients every week for several years. "I do have people who call me and say, `Where's my Scotch tape?'"

Pay --Zappa-Jehnert's rates range from $40 an hour to $100 an hour, depending on the type of service a client needs. "Looking through paper is very different from pots and pans. Organizing is very individualized."

The good --Helping people get their lives together. "People who are disorganized waste a lot of money. I try as much as I can to soothe people as I'm helping them."

The bad --"I become so involved in my clients' lives, I treat them like my kids or my family. I can't let it affect me personally too much, or I can't help them."

Philosophy on the job --Her company slogan: "Bringing balance and freedom to your life."

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