By Tina Paknejad '10
We have all been in this situation: an unused space begins to gather piles of paperwork and extra memorabilia that should have been thrown away years ago. The mess continues to grow, until it eventually begins to impact the way you live. Then, you come to realize, this mess needs to go. Perhaps, Stephanie Shalofsky '77 can help in turning that combat zone into a comfort zone.
Shalofsky is owner of The Organizing Zone, a New York-based professional organizing business helping both residential and business clients “tame their overflowing closets, sort through piles of papers covering their desk, address workflow issues and more efficiently utilize their space.” Having launched her business in July of last year, she was inspired to use her past experience working both at Sony and Central Park Media where she managed deadlines, technological issues, clientele, finance, and marketing.
"I was constantly having to juggle many tasks and prioritize everything going on around me," Shalofsky said. “When I decided it was time for a change, I looked into what were my skills. Organizing skills were top of the list, along with communication, project management and problem-solving skills.”
Shalofsky’s goal is to help clients create a sense of control over their environment. She says this can be done by taking small steps during each session, so the client will see a difference and become motivated to continue working hard. The benefits of de-cluttering are fairly straightforward: less stress, saving time, and saving money.
Debra Dixon, president and CEO of Light of Gold PR in New York, realized she needed assistance establishing better systems for managing clients and projects as her company began to grow. “[Stephanie offered] great customized service based on how your company works and what types of products and services you offer,” Dixon said. “When we’re organized, it helps us be more focused, directed, and ultimately more successful.”
Shalofsky said Dixon, and many others, are reluctant to throw items away, thinking they’ll be needed later. Shalofsky asks clients during their organizing sessions, “Why do you need it? Does it exist someplace else?” If the item is valuable, she advises clients to keep it. If not, she suggests donating the item to a not-for-profit organization. "Why not give it to someone who could use it," Shalofsky said. "Let the new owners enjoy it as much as the client had."
Shalofsky is offering Binghamton University alumni a free 45-minute assessment and a 15-percent discount on all organizing services. For those alumni not living or working in the New York City area, a phone consultation can be arranged. Contact her via e-mail.