Interview with Professional Organizer Barb Eimer
This page may contain links to Amazon.com or other sites from which I may receive commission on purchases you make after clicking on such links. Read my full Disclosure Policy
It is my pleasure to introduce Barb Eimer of Settle Down. Barb helps people in Northern Indiana prepare for and get organized after moving, as well as traditional organizing.
Barb has gone through some exciting changes since we connected several years ago, so I invited her to share her story.
Barb, welcome to Your Organizing Business! How did you come up with your business name?
My first business was Yikes Organizing with a tagline of Lose the Clutter – Not Your Mind and I wanted this name to also convey kind of a fun message. It could mean Settle Down like “I’m going to help you settle into your new place” or SETTLE DOWN! as in “Don’t go too crazy, I can help you with your stuff.”
How has your business changed since you first started out?
I started out organizing homes in Nashville, then changed the business when I went on the road and also organized RVs, and now I’m back to home organization. The focus on moves is also new.
How and why did you transition from organizing homes in Tennessee to organizing RVs?
I switched from organizing homes to organizing RVs when we took to the road in the summer of 2017. My mother passed away over Christmas 2015 and my dad on Christmas Day 2016 and six months later I just found myself needing to do something different. So, my husband, bless his heart, agreed to sell our stuff and buy an RV. We had only ever tent camped before, and this was before kids, so it was quite an adventure. We saw 47 states in about three years. It was a lot of fun and I got to winter in southern CA, which I highly recommend!
When we would stay in one spot for a month or more, I would just get the word out that I was a professional organizer and several people had me organize their RVs for them. I also did some regular home organizing in southern CA during the winters.
How did you end up in Indiana? How does life there compare to Nashville?
My husband and I ended up in Indiana this past May because we were getting a little tired of living in 300 square feet. We have six grown children and three live in Fort Wayne, IN, so Indiana was a natural spot to settle. Also, it’s my hometown and we have three young grandkids here.
It’s different from Nashville in a few ways. The good news is that the cost of living is WAY less in Indiana. The bad news is that the weather is quite a bit colder, and professional organizers are a lot less known. I’ve informally polled quite a few people since moving back and most are totally clueless as to what I do unless they have seen the show, The Home Edit or are familiar with Marie Kondo.
What would you do differently if you were starting your business today?
As I am basically starting my business over in a new city, I can’t answer this question. I’m still doing the same things now that I did in 2012 when I first started Yikes. I’m trying to build a great website, network and build my business one step at a time.
How do you approach a new organizing project?
I do a free 30-minute on site consultation. I take notes and listen to what the client is saying and what he/she is saying in between the lines. I typically don’t give time estimates on how long a project will take until I have worked with them once, as people have wildly different speeds as to how fast they can sort and part with things.
What’s your favorite organizing product? Why?
I love the divided Lazy Susan that The Container Store sells. They are all great but the one with sides is amazing. I have one in my refrigerator, but they are great in pantries too. I also love the sweater box and the deep sweater box from TCS. There are so many uses for both of those items and the clear lid is fabulous!
What professional associations or other organizations do you belong to?
I’m a member of Faithful Organizers.
Can you tell us a bit about Faithful Organizers?
I just joined a few weeks ago so I don’t know a whole lot about them.
I wanted to join a group of like-minded professionals, but rejoining NAPO is expensive and there are no local groups in my area. I know I can join the virtual organizer group and, truthfully, rejoining NAPO is a goal for 2021, but I thought this organization would also have like-minded women in it. (And maybe men too? Although I’m not sure I have ever met a guy who did this. I think they are kind of rare!)
Wow, that is a very long answer to a very short question! Basically, Faithful Organizers are Christian women who meet to encourage each other in their faith and in their organizing careers.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve discovered about running an organizing business?
That often I’m thinking: Sure it looks so much better, but if you had matching baskets (or whatever my Pinterest version of their home would look like) it would be perfect, and almost always they don’t want or need perfect, they just want manageable. They just want order. They just want all the junk gone.
I have to continually tell myself if they are happy with the end result, I am happy with the end result.
What is the biggest challenge you currently face in your business?
Starting over in a town that is much smaller than Nashville.
At what moment did you consider yourself successful?
Oh, that’s a good question! I set a very high bar for myself so I’m not sure I would say that even yet. But when I passed my CPO exam that was a big moment.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years I see myself still in Indiana but hopefully spending six weeks in a warmer climate during the winter. I hope to have solidified my customer base here and maybe even have a few employees. I would like to recertify and get my CPO designation again. I would like to be the premier organizer in northeast Indiana.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I love to read and play tennis and pickleball. I love hanging out with my grandkids.
What else should we know about you?
The best thing about growing older is that you can reinvent yourself. I wrote my first book when I was 44 and started my first company at 49. If I could share one tip with someone younger, it would be: don’t let fear keep you from trying something new. I truly feel like failure is just a part of life and I don’t regret doing things that ultimately haven’t worked out like I planned.
Thanks, Janet, for giving me the opportunity to express myself in this way. It’s always fun to stop and take a moment to see where I have been and where I am going.
Pin this post
This is my last organizer interview for this year, but if you’d like to be featured in 2021, simply fill out this questionnaire. My readers and I would love to get to know you better!