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Interview: Taylor Vogel, SORT Organization Services

Hi Taylor, Tell me all about SORT!

SORT Organization Services helps our customers streamline and manage their belongings in ways that best serve their needs through custom organization by a professional organizer. We’re Oklahoma and woman-owned, and are passionate about helping our clients reduce stress and better live the way they want by putting systems in place to manage their belongings. We love being invited into our clients homes and joyfully clearing clutter and making spaces beautiful and functional!

So we’ve probably all seen some reality show version of professional organizing. What is it actually like to work with you?

First off–it’s judgement free. Everyone I have worked with says something along the lines of, “It’s a mess,” or “It’s probably the worst you’ve seen,” during their consultation. That’s literally what I want in a client! I’m here to organize your stuff so you don’t have to, and if it were perfect, you wouldn’t have any reason to work with me!

The process starts with a consultation where I go to the client’s home and we chat about goals, take some pictures of the space, measure if they’re interested in getting containers for the space, and talk about budget. I understand people’s desire for financial transparency, so I’m upfront about cost, what can and can’t get done in a certain period of time, and what you can expect your involvement to be as a client. I answer questions and then get to work planning and shopping for the client! My favorite, though, is organizing day. I like to pop on some music that the client likes and we just work through the plan toward our goals, step by step! I haul off things they no longer want (or help them arrange that service if it’s larger items like furniture) and check in a few days after to make sure they love the transformation still. Most importantly–I want you to love your space.

It often can be difficult to know where to start when tackling an organizing or decluttering project. Do you have any suggestions to help this feel less overwhelming?

A trick of the trade for very cluttered spaces is to start with actual trash. It’s the thing I start with when I touch up my purse every week and when I overhaul a kitchen. It’s obvious, it’s not sentimental, and when it’s removed it’s a lot easier to see what items you need to spend your decision-making energy on!

My organizing services focus on digital photos. How do you help your clients organize physical photos and memorabilia? 

When it comes to sentimental items, like photos and memorabilia, I start by asking my client how they want to actually use these items. If they want them strictly as archival, cool! We can organize them into photo boxes in a system that makes sense to the client (year, generation, location, family member, etc.). If they want to enjoy their photos without cluttering their space, I recommend solutions for that in their home! A recent favorite was a client who wanted to display and enjoy looking at family photos but was short on space. We figured out how to put a digital slideshow of his favorite 30 family photos on his TV so it acts as a frame when he’s not using it. 

Either way–I strongly suggest clients with photo needs get specialized services for archiving, backing up, and displaying photos (just like the ones YOU offer).

The holidays and gifting season can be so busy with shopping, decorating, entertaining, and events! How can organizing keep the focus more on joy this time of year? What are your favorite holiday tips?

I think my former teacher brain takes over at the holidays, because I’m all about zones and stations. When you intentionally set up a specific area of your home for a seasonal activity you minimize your time looking for stuff and maximize your time spent sipping cocoa and caroling with friends (if that’s your vibe). The classic zone is a gift-wrapping zone, but I also recommend switching which kitchen appliances are on your counter if you’ll be baking more or create a dedicated box for holiday card writing, addressing, stamping, and sending. 

My other biggest suggestion for reducing visual clutter during the holidays is to swap holiday decor for your standard decor. I pack away some books in the box that my Christmas village collection is stored in while the village is in the bookcase during the season. I’ll pack my daily linens in the tote that stores my Christmas linens the rest of the year. When we swap instead of just adding to, we continue to utilize that valuable decoration storage space and reduce visual clutter.

The underlying purpose of Scissortail Digital is to help people tell their stories. Photography is one way but there are many others! How do you encounter stories in your work?

I love when clients tell me about the things they inherited from loved ones who have passed away. Inherited objects give a tangible opportunity for connection to our memories and a picture into the life of someone who is loved. It’s always a wonderful moment to imagine a grandparent purchasing and using a set of mixing bowls to make birthday cake with the grandchild who now keeps them in her kitchen or an aunt who told stories of her travels to the American southwest through her collectable sculptures. People’s entire body language changes when they touch these objects, and it’s a humbling thing to encounter the stories of ancestors through my clients’ belongings.

Anything else you’d like to share?

If you’re on the fence about working with a professional organizer, let’s do a consultation! It’s cost and commitment free. I come to you in your home, office, classroom–really wherever. You have every right to determine if you like my vibe and services before you commit to working with me! I won’t be offended or off-put by you or any mess. I’m just excited to help you meet your goals!

Taylor Vogel is owner and lead organizer of SORT Organization Services. She has been organizing spaces for friends and schools for over a decade, helping function meet purpose and blossom into joy. Her experience as an educator brings method and compassion to her client interactions and her prior nonprofit administrative roles have rooted her in seamless customer service and a firm respect for financial transparency. Taylor is a Certified Organizational Specialist.

Connect with Taylor on Instagram @ sortorganization and Facebook @ sortokc

Learn more on her website at https://www.sortorganizationservices.com/

Through Friday, November 12, 2021, save 10% on a Self SORT project when you first book any service with Scissortail Digital. Or save 10% on a video conversion project when you first book any service with SORT.

Taylor also interviewed me for her ongoing series featuring Oklahomans and organizing. The first was with a local news anchor discussing how he organizes his banjo collection!

It’s basically a podcast episode! Learn more holiday tips and hear us discuss the deeper motivation we share in helping our clients get organized.

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Hi, I'm Lisa

Photos have always brought me joy and are one of my favorite mediums for storytelling. But let’s be honest, the sheer volume of digital photos we all have can be overwhelming. It’s my goal through Scissortail Digital to help you enjoy, use, and organize your photos so you can go from jumbled to joyful!

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