Interview with Karen Furman, Home Organizer & Decluttering Expert

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Karen Furman

This month’s organizer interview features Karen Furman of The Klutter Koach. Karen is a Home Organizer with a focus on moving services: downsizing, decluttering, unpacking and home setup, and moving sales. She is located in Israel and serves clients in Bet Shemesh, Jerusalem, and surrounding areas. You may remember her from 8 Things You Should Know If You Want to Be a Home Organizer.

Welcome, Karen!

Did you start your organizing business before or after you moved to Israel?

I started my business after I moved to Israel. I dabbled in helping people before the move, but not as a business. I was busy teaching middle school and high school. However, I’ve been organizing since 1st grade. I used to go around the classroom organizing everyone’s desks and pencil boxes.

How did you come up with your business name?

At the time, there were coaches for all different fields such as life coach, health coach, business coach, so I became a Klutter Koach. K is for Karen. I was a blog before I was a business, so if my mom was my only subscriber, it didn’t matter. I enjoy writing. At the time I didn’t know what SEO was, so spelling wasn’t a hindrance. The spelling proved to be problematic later on.

Is the organizing profession well-known in Israel?

It’s not well-known with Israelis, and generally not a needed service. However with those who came from English-speaking countries, many have heard of home organizing. Homes are smaller here. Storage is at a premium. Closets are free-standing and not built-in or walk-in. When people move here, downsizing is a must. Many arrive and discover another round of decluttering/downsizing is needed. On social media groups, the question keeps popping up as “Who does this here?” There are a handful of us available for the task.

How has your business changed since you first started out?

I niched out once I discovered what I loved doing the most. I started by taking any client but now I will refer another organizer if it’s an area I don’t get excited about. My enthusiasm doesn’t shine if you ask me to organize an office or go through decades of paper. Ask me to organize a kitchen and I light up like a light bulb!

What is the biggest challenge you currently face in your business?

Israel is in the middle of a war, so business is very slow. Other than clients who are moving and need unpacking, getting one’s home organized isn’t a priority. People don’t have the disposable income or head space.

I can’t even imagine what it must be like to live where there’s a war going on, but my heart goes out to you. 

Thank you. Prayers appreciated.

Are you able to use some of your downtime to work on your business? If so, what have you been working on?

Things have “settled down” somewhat so thankfully business is picking up a little.

I’ve been ‘planting seeds’.  Working on networking, and getting in front of people. Trying to get connected with those who can use my services. Creating social media content. I’d like to create a product in print that will reach an audience outside of Israel, but still hashing out details. That was one thing about teaching, I liked creating content but didn’t enjoy the long term-planning. I just roll with it when inspiration hits. So I’m working on microsteps at the moment to reach that goal.

At what moment did you consider yourself successful?

I think it was when I would introduce myself locally to someone and they said ‘Oh, you’re that organizer lady. I’ve heard of you’.

What’s your favorite organizing product? Why?

I love Sharpie markers. They are great for labeling directly on a box or container.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I enjoy reading and listening to music on Spotify. I have a wide range of music ranging from 80s metal, to 50s, to classical and country. My playlists match my mood. I’m mom to six kids ages 8-24 so that keeps me busy.

What else should we know about you?

Random facts: I’m originally from Chicago, mint chocolate is my favorite flavor, and I’ve trained and worked as a teacher and a massage therapist.

I recommend...

A former professional organizer, I now eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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  1. Avatar Seana Turner on March 7, 2024 at 11:20 am

    Wow, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be working in Israel right now. Nevertheless, I’m sure there is need! So wonderful that Karen had the courage to step out and commit to this business even on unfamiliar soil. I think she’s inspirational, and wish her both luck and safety!

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on March 7, 2024 at 11:42 am

      I agree, 100%!

    • Avatar Karen Furman on March 12, 2024 at 10:16 am

      Thank you. ??

  2. Avatar Julie Stobbe on March 7, 2024 at 3:21 pm

    It is so interesting to hear from other countries’ organizers and how they started their business. She sounds so upbeat. I can’t imagine working in a country where there is a war. Thanks, Karen Furman for sharing your business journey with us.

    • Avatar Janet Barclay on March 7, 2024 at 3:37 pm

      She really does, doesn’t she! I really admire her!

    • Avatar Karen Furman on March 12, 2024 at 10:19 am

      Thanks for reading about the journey. It’s a shared global challenge to assist clients in getting organized.

  3. Avatar Carrie Cooper on March 11, 2024 at 8:50 pm

    Karen, I really enjoyed reading about your business in Israel, and the opportunities to serve others there through your love of organizing. How amazing! “May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

  4. Linda Samuels Linda Samuels on March 18, 2024 at 11:44 am

    What an inspiring interview on so many levels—starting a new career, raising six kids, and working in a country experiencing the devastation of war. I love reading about how organizers began their businesses and their unique paths. With being one of the few organizers working in Israel, Karen has her work cut out for her with marketing and awareness. But it sounds like she’s made tremendous headway and has found her niche.

    I wish you success with your organizing business and am sending you prayers for your safety.

  5. Avatar Sabrina Quairoli on March 18, 2024 at 12:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing an organizer outside the U.S. and Canada. It’s exciting to hear about other business owners and their lives, successes, and struggles. Good luck to you, Karen.

  6. Julie Bestry Julie Bestry on March 19, 2024 at 1:47 am

    It’s always exciting to hear about fellow organizers, but especially those beyond North America. What an exciting and fraught adventure, especially someplace where the industry is much less known.

    Zei gezunt and stay safe!

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