Friday, November 29, 2013

Collector Care's 4.5 Tips on Preparing for an Organizing Session

Hi Collectors! One of my favorite questions is "what should I do before you get here in order to prepare for our organizing session?". Here are 4.5 things you can do before a Collector Care Professional Organizer comes to your home!
  1. Get plenty of rest the night before. Decluttering is exhausting, having a rested mind and body is important.
  2. Do not clean before we get there! We want to see your space as it usually is, and we want you nice and rested before we come.
  3. Eat a healthy breakfast. If you need protein bars for quick snack breaks keep them plenty close.
  4. Drink a lot of water. Organizing can make you thirsty! Make sure you have plenty of water on hand so you aren't parched during a session. 
  5. Relax. This is an exciting time in your life. Think about how wonderful your space will be after we leave. Don't worry about what we will think when we come. It takes a lot to shock us. Why just the other day we saw
So there you have it Collectors. Rest, eat, water and peace. We know you can handle it!

 Rachel Seavey, Professional Organizer and Blogger for Collector Care

Collector Care specializes in hoarding disorder, chronic disorganization and professional organizing. We  love what we do, and  provide realistic expectations and timelines. Please visit our website at  or call 925-548-7750
Tweet us on Twitter : Like our Facebook page : Pin with us on Pinterest

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Collector Care Interviews: Cedric Elzey Collector Care Organizer

Hello Collectors! Our little business has grown quite a bit this year, and I am very excited to introduce you to Cedric one of our new Collector Care Organizers.
Cedric reminds me of a young Sidney Poitier, if Sidney were a fire-medic. Oh yes, besides being incredibly well mannered and dashing, Cedric is a fire-medic when he is not helping us out. Read on to learn more about this awesome guy!

Rachel: Cedric, tell us a little about your background. You are such an active guy! What do you do when you are not organizing with us?
Cedric: I was raised in San Francisco, CA.  I speak French very well. I enjoy sprinting, traveling, and spending time with my lady and my family. Basketball, bowling, and racquetball ball are the sports that I enjoy playing. My professional background includes Fire, Paramedicine
Cedric Elzey
Cedric Elzey
, and Construction.  I enjoy interacting with people from all walks of life which makes me a well-rounded individual. 

Rachel: One of my favorite things about you is your in depth safety knowledge. From a paramedics perspective (in respect to clutter)what are your three biggest safety concerns when helping someone who is hurt?
Cedric: Among many safety concerns that a Paramedic may come across while helping a person in need, medically,  would be the risk of injury or death due to being trapped under falling debris; risk of disease, injury or infestation by insects or rodents; and,  slips, trips, and falls are often compounded by the fact that the paramedic is carrying a patient on a stretcher.

Rachel: We so often hear of Collectors that are injured by landslides of STUFF. What about your concerns when you are wearing your Fire Fighter hat? Is it harder to rescue someone with a lot of clutter and why?
Cedric: Among many safety concerns that a Firefighter may come across while helping a person in need would be the increased risk of fire due to the accumulation of combustibles such as papers, clothing and rubbish which poses a severe fire hazard; Risk of structural damage due to the weight of the items being hoarded; and, blocked escape from fire due to the exits, hallways, windows and doors being obstructed by debris. 

Rachel: It sounds like rescuing STUFF is not even an option, if you can barely rescue people inside. What about pets in the clutter? Are you able to rescue them? Many of our clients have pets.
Cedric: I never was in the position or situation to rescue any pets from a cluttered home.  I could imagine that the fire would grow very rapidly because of the home being very full of personal belongings; thus, making any rescue efforts futile. The clutter would get in the way of the rescue effort.

Rachel: What is the worst situation you have encountered when trying to help somebody with a lot of clutter in their home?
Cedric: Responded to a difficulty breathing call to a 50's male at his residence.  My crew and I arrived to be greeted by a young girl whom directed us to her grandfather who was located on the 2nd floor of this gorgeous home.  She made her way through piles of trash and paper leading to the stairs.  The pile of trash and paper came up to her waistline.  It was decided that the gurney was to be placed at the foot of the stairs leading up to the second floor.  On the second floor we were greeted with piles and piles of paper and clothing while trying to access the patient.  A non-rebreather mask w/O2 was hooked up to the patient after climbing over the piles of clothing and paper just to get to him.  It was decided to just carry the patient downstairs and onto the gurney and out to the ambulance and into a safer environment in order to continue to access patient.  Time was wasted trying to negotiate the piles of mess in order to get the patient and the crew out of the home safely.

Rachel: Wow. How scary for all involved.  Please give us three tips on ways our Collectors can make easy access in their homes for paramedics and fire fighters:
  1. Keep doorways and all points of entry and exit clear of clutter.  
  2. Identify and relay any potential occult hazards that wouldn't be obvious to rescue personnel.  
  3. Keep floors clear of any spills and any slip hazards. 
Rachel: I love number 2. Collectors, please let others know (including your organizer) of any potential avalanches. Very helpful as I have personally been caught in quite a few.  
Thank you for visiting our blog Cedric, what are your plans for Turkey Day?

Cedric: I intend on volunteering at either a convalescent home or a nursing home again for this holiday season. 

Rachel: There you have it Collectors, you gotta love this guy. He comes on the scene with an energy like nobody's business. He can flip a room as well as I can AND our clients love him. He has got to be one of the nicest guys I have ever met.

Collector Care is  licensed, insured and bonded. Get the help you need today by visiting or calling 925-548-7750.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Collector Care: 4.5 Holiday Travel Tips for Collectors, Savers and Preppers imageHappy Holidays Collectors! Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest travel weekend of the year. Traveling during Thanksgiving often requires patience and a lot of preparation.

Here are 4.5 Travel Tips for Collectors like yourself who are information junkies, prepppers, clutterers, and savers. Enjoy the humor, absorb the good tips and travel on!
  1. Plan ahead. Collectors, we know you like a good deal. Take advantage of lower rates in the early fall by using social media. Sign up for sale notifications from your airline of choice on Facebook and Twitter. It’s never too early to start your holiday travel planning. 
  2. Pack light/travel light Most of our Collectors have multiple travel bags, before your trip designate one specific travel bag.  Do NOT buy any  travel products, look inside your many existing travel bags and purses for what you need and consolidate. We know you have many toothbrushes, toiletries, and hand sanitizers laying about the house. Take a day to corral them all for your trip. It will save you money and a trip to the store.
  3. Find your ID's and Passports. Every week our team recovers passports, ID's, social security cards, checks, check books, gift cards. Collectors, you are going to have to designate ONE safe place for these crucial items. They do not belong in the kitchen pantry under a computer. I'm just saying. If you need help finding something our Tony Leonardini is a recovery specialist and he is more than happy to come help. image
  4. Print your boarding pass at home, or have the link on your phone. We know you battle with losing papers, try your best to keep these in your "current" purse or in sight. I find keeping them in a bright orange folder helps. If all else fails, leave enough time to wait at the counter for check-in.
  5. Plan a day to unpack after your trip. I have emptied countless travel bags filled with
We wish you happy travels Collectors! Do your best to not collect too many shampoos and soaps while you are traveling. Note pads and pens can be left in the hotel room. You have everything you need at home, enjoy your clutter free trip!

Collector Care Professional Organizers specialize in custom solutions for clutter, chronic disorganization and hoarding. If you need help locating documents, important identification, or money in order to travel, we can help! Our Organizers are thorough, efficient and honest. We are licensed, insured and bonded. What do you have to lose ... besides the stuff we can find?!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

4.5 Reasons You Should Hire a Collector Care Professional Organizer

Hello Collectors! A bit nervous about hiring a professional organizer? Worried about letting someone in? Being judged? Pressured to throw things away? I know this all too well, I hear it all the time.
What I hear after we have worked  is "why didn't I call you a long time ago?!".

Would you trust your neighbor do your dental work? No, you would go to a dentist.
Would you let an 8 year old drive you home? No, you would call a taxi.
Would you hire a school teacher to do your plumbing problems?! Of course not, you would hire a plumber. So when clutter has got you down, why would you not call a professional organizer? It makes sense folks.

We are trained to be extremely thorough, efficient and professional. We handle your stuff with the most delicate of care. We are smart, funny, energetic and non-judgmental. Collector Care Professional Organizers are NAPO members and ICD subscribers. We train our staff on managing client expectations, working with clients with disabilities, and teaching OSHA standards. We pride ourselves on our work, and are always learning new methods and techniques.

Need more encouragement? Here you go Collectors!
  1. Misc. clutter builds up. You find yourself overwhelmed and don't know where to start. We come over, with a methodical plan and we organize your belongings in a functional way.
  2. You have a bunch of stuff in your garage/attic/kitchen/basement and you want it gone through, organized and/or hauled away. We have all the tools and skills to help you do this efficiently.
    Bye bye clutter!
  3. You can't have repairs done in your home due to clutter. We will help you get your place up to par so those repairs can happen. We are not state mandated. We won't call your landlord.  We won't call the police. We won't post your pictures on the internet without your consent. We really want to help you.
  4. You are limited by your disabilities.  We work side by side with our clients to develop custom systems that work. We have clients with Chronic Fatigue, Lyme Disease, ADHD, and Clinical Depression (just to name a few). We create a pleasant and healthy work space to help you feel comfortable during the entire process.
  5. You don't want someone bossing you around and being in control of your stuff. Wonderful Collectors, YOU are in charge of the entire process. You say what stays and what goes. We donate to the charity of your 
Did I mention we are licensed, insured and bonded? Ok Collectors, I hope that gets your wonderful minds going. Thank you for reading this blog, most of our clients are knowledge collectors and I love hearing that you follow us on our blog and social media (hugs!).

Rachel Seavey, Owner & Blogger of Collector Care
Collector Care specializes in hoarding disorder, chronic disorganization and professional organizing. We  love what we do, and  provide realistic expectations and timelines. Please visit our website at  or call 925-548-7750
Tweet us on Twitter : Like our Facebook page : Pin with us on Pinterest

Monday, November 11, 2013

Collector Care: 4.5 Products That We Love

Hello Collectors! Want to know what our favorite products are? We want to share them with you! These are products that we use all of the time from our minor #clutter jobs to our major #hoarding jobs.

It's always nice to get free samples, so if you are one of these companies, no pressure!

  1. Husky Contractor Bags. I fell in love with these years ago at Home Depot. They can carry a LOT of garbage and donations! These bags are in no means flimsy and are WAY heavy duty. 
  2. Lysol Disinfectant. Spray, spritz, pour whatever it comes in, it gets the job done. And it does not leave spots on your clothing like bleach. For someone who wears black a lot, this is important. 
  3. 3M N95 Respirators and masks with particulate filters. Ow! Keeps dust and odors out while decluttering.
  4. Dickie's Pants. We can't get enough of the multiple pockets and the long lasting wear.
  5. Hand Sanitizer from Bath and Body Works. Small enough to fit in your pocket, with many fragrances to

Random Rant On Plastic Bins - from a Hoarding Specialist's Prospective

Howdy Collectors! It's time to corral up all of your plastic bins. They could be clear, many of them are a solid color and some of them have patterns.

The one thing I will tell ya, is they all have DIFFERENT SIZED lids! What is up with that??? Why are lids not UNIVERSAL?? Lids should not be PROPRIETARY! How am I supposed to be efficient while searching through lids for that perfect fit?

Much love to our #hoarding and #ocd clients who know exactly which lids goes to what with the quickest glance.