I am so excited to be featuring a Q&A session on the subject of simplifying spaces with my friend, client and colleague, Tracy Mayo. A resident of Wellesley, MA, Tracy has created her new company, Simplified Spaces, based on her passion to help people “create living spaces that are comfortable, organized and functional.” She has been doing these tasks informally for years and has now decided to start a business based on her talents, passion, creativity, thoughtful ideas and more….. So without further ado, here are some “Questions” from me and “Answers” from Tracy about her fabulous new business:
What or whom inspired you to start Simplified Spaces?
Launching this business has evolved over the past 8 years. It started when my kids became toddlers and our house became exponentially more chaotic. No one task was difficult, but they weren’t linked together in any linear fashion so I was constantly feeling overwhelmed. I started designing systems to keep my family organized and moving forward. Those tasks evolved into designing spaces and closets for new homes, which then expanded into helping friends and family solve their organizational dilemmas. So, in reality, Simplified Spaces has been in existence for quite some time, but took on its “official” moniker this past spring.
Who are your primary clients? And what kind of services do you provide for them?
My primary clients are stay-at-home moms and busy professionals, who are always long on what needs to get done and short on time. I also work with teenagers (and their parents), who are looking for assistance in transitioning their spaces during the “tween” to teen time and then again from high school to college. All of my clients are people who want to get organized and streamline an aspect of their home, life or office. I recognize that this process can look different for each person. For that reason, my services range from basic de-cluttering of a space, to designing and implementing filing systems, editing closet spaces, re-purposing rooms or areas that need to fill a new role, packing up homes and staging homes to sell.
What do you hope to achieve for your clients?
Of course I want my clients to enjoy their houses and work spaces because they are organized and functional, but even more I want them to experience the peace of mind that comes with having that more functional space. (See the “Before” and “After” photos here.) When systems run smoothly, we have a strong sense of control, increased confidence, higher productivity and far less stress. All of these positives translate to more time and energy to do the things we really love.
What kinds of business advice would you offer to buyers? And to sellers?
To buyers AND sellers, I would say a move is a perfect time to get organized. Why expend the time, energy and money moving things you don’t need? See your move as a clean slate and use the opportunity to streamline areas that have been bothering you.
And to all the sellers out there, studies have shown that de-cluttering your house before putting it on the market is one of the most savvy and cost-effective ways to help your house sell faster and at a better price.
Given all that you do in your business, is there one piece of advice you give to all clients no matter what the task at hand?
My advice to all my clients is “chunk it down.” If something is overwhelming to you or you don’t know where to start, break it down in to smaller parts. When tasks seem too big or complicated we go to great lengths to avoid doing them. But, unfortunately, we don’t stop feeling guilty that we need to get them done. So, start with something small like cleaning out one drawer or committing 10 minutes per day to one area. You will be surprised how quickly those small tasks and time commitments add up to something bigger!
How much do you charge, and what is the process?
First and foremost, through July 1, I would like to offer a free assessment and a credit towards one hour of my services for those who mention this blog when contacting me. But generally, when taking on a new client, the first step is an on-site assessment of the area that needs work. This initial assessment is charged at my hourly rate of $65 but is credited toward the client’s account if he or she commits to using my services to complete the project(s). Based on the assessment, I compile a detailed proposal that maps out the time and supplies needed to complete the work. From there we schedule a series of 2-3 hour appointments. I only charge my clients for time spent working with them on-site and for the supplies used; I do not charge additional fees for shopping time and off-site work that is sometimes done to maximize the appointments.
What is your favorite room in the house and why?
Hands down, my favorite room in the house is my living room. I call it the “mom cave” because I decorated it to my liking in bright, fun colors that always lifts my spirits, even on a rainy day. In addition, it does not house a TV or toys and there is a strict “no food” policy (my cup of coffee being the exception) so it never gets cluttered or taken over by my little people.
Thanks so much, Tracy (pictured here), for sharing your thoughts, ideas and perspectives about simplifying spaces. To contact Tracy and Simplified Spaces, please call her at 617-877-7239 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget Tracy’s generous offer through July 1, 2012 that if you mention this blog when you contact her, she will give you a free assessment and a credit toward one hour of her services….. So use this opportunity to have some fun simplifying spaces, de-cluttering, getting organized and much more!
And for additional information about the real estate market in Weston, Wellesley, Wayland and the surrounding towns or if you are considering selling your home, please contact me, Lisa Curlett Williams (781-267-2844 or www.homesalesbylisa.com), to answer any questions or for a complimentary home appraisal.