Strisik is a professional organizer based in the District.
Were you a born organizer?
Yes, I would definitely say I am a Type A. But I started out as a lawyer, and I worked on Capitol Hill.
Why the career change?
It was a big jump, but I'm working in a different field and helping people in a different way with something that comes naturally to me. It's life-changing, in a sense, when I work with someone, which is wonderful, and it's one of the reasons I'm doing this now and not law.
What do you teach people about being organized?
I tell people there is a distinction between being neat and organized. They work together, but they are not the same.
What's the difference?
One can always be organized. There is a system for everything, but it may not be neat all the time.
How do you help people get organized?
There is not one overarching rule. I work with small-business owners and individuals. It's what is bothering them most. People always come to me because they are stressed and losing money, and they can't find things. My job is to help them take away the stress, help them save money.
Is there one overarching rule for staying organized?
I find what works is putting like items together. For example, we use light bulbs and batteries for different things, and we store them together.
What is a common problem people seek help for?
Putting together a mail system, because paper is a No. 1 problem for people. Also children's homework.
Is there one piece of advice you commonly give to people?
Simple is best. People often feel that getting organized means color-coding and putting in place this complex system, but if it is complicated, you are not going to do it. You don't want to spend 10 minutes figuring out what file you put something in. So I do a tiered system. And I stay away from piles.
- Susan Ferrechio