I can’t recommend Kristin highly enough. She is not only an incredible Organizer but has a particular expertise with sensitively and professionally working through dealing with an estate after a loved one has passed away. After a death in our family, we needed someone to not only help us sort through all of the contents of the house, but handle the project management of clearing out the estate, getting the house ready for sale and then moving everything out post-sale. She managed this whole process with skill, diplomacy, discretion, and a mastery of details that would make a military logistics officer feel inadequate. Hiring her helps reduce the stress of one of life’s most stressful and emotional times, by taking this huge endeavor off your plate. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
After 10 months of preparation, our move from the big house in the suburbs to our new condo in the city is complete. I wish I had a more novel way to say “we could not have done this without you”; but that truly does say it all! In the beginning, we started with simple tasks like improving organization in general family areas (pantry, basement, media room) and then moved on to more complex work to address major milestones (children leaving home, retirement). Throughout it all, and by all I mean a 3 story house, a huge basement and a 3 car garage, you had a smile on your face and an energy that NEVER faltered. And then, in the middle of “home organization”, when we switched direction to “downsizing & moving to the city” you never skipped a beat. You shifted course at that point, becoming indispensable as a leader of our moving team. Your team taught us how to inventory household belongings, distribute treasured possessions to our children across the US and donate and sell items no longer needed. You helped us learn the REAL JOY behind your motto “Clear the Outer, Calm the Inner”! You made the process purposeful, productive and as painless as possible. When we finally made the move downtown we were able to come with ONLY the possessions we loved and wanted to carry forward; no clutter, no unnecessary baggage and no confusion. What a wonderful way to begin anew! Thank you, Kristin, for your wisdom, guidance and support in our transition. We greatly appreciate your efforts and serve happily as a reference to your broad capabilities
Lisa & Kim Foster
Kristin’s approach to organizing is refreshing, inspiring and innovative. She is fun, vibrant but yet calm, and the most amazing trait I found in her is her lack of any judgment, in any of her client’s circumstances or situations. Her clients feel safe, feel understood and enjoy the process and her guidance. After working with Design+Conquer, her clients feel relieved, successful and unstoppable. She has a way of making organizing simple and inspiring. She’s the best!
I have been disorganized, and have been using Professional Organizers to try to improve the situation, for almost 20 years. I have tried to figure out why she has had success with me when others have not (or why I have had more and better success using her than using others). Here is some of what I've come up with:
- While she is working with me, across a table or desk, she is a very good listener and an excellent observer. So what does this mean for me? It means that if I am scowling a little bit (but not saying anything) about a suggestion that she has just made or an approach she has just recommended, she stops to try to figure out why I might be having a problem with the suggestion or recommendation. Then she asks me what I'm thinking and tweaks it to make it something I am more likely to actually do.
- She has not only helped me sort through vast piles of paper (and I do mean vast), she has somehow – and I haven't quite figured out how, but it works – motivated me to get started working through the piles, when numerous other attempts either by me on my own or working with other Organizers were not successful.
- Not only were my piles of paper vast, they were vastly disorganized. What this meant was I wasted a lot of time looking for pieces of paper or files, often including some that I knew I had worked on earlier in that same day. Thanks to my work with Kristin, I have thrown away much of the paper, and organized (almost all of) the rest of it into six labeled and distinct "cubbies" in my office. Plus, I can actually find things in the cubby they are supposed to be in (sounds simple, but it's a minor miracle as far as I'm concerned!).
- Not only is she very flexible in how she helps me tackle a given problem, she is both willing and able to come up with modifications – that work – while I am in the middle of working through some approach tailored to my working style, likes and dislikes. She is clearly smart enough not to disturb an approach that is working well for me, but she is also a sharp enough observer and "fixer-upper" to suggest changes when she can see that the approach is only "sort of" working and I am getting in my own way as I try to do it. (Unfortunately, that is a somewhat regular occurrence for me.)
She is very dedicated to figuring out ways to help her clients overcome whatever issues they may have that prevent them from being organized – however the client defines "organized." And she is very good at it, as my work with her over several months has demonstrated.
Steve M., Attorney
We hired Mrs. Van Dusen after our beloved Aunt Jane passed away. She lived in the same home for almost 50 years, and like many of her generation, saved practically everything. Kristin was wonderful in helping us sort through years of belongings while respecting her memory. Her professionalism, compassion and guidance made what could have been an emotionally difficult project into one that uncluttered a home and provided closure to a life well lived.
Steve and Judy Sweitzer
We lost control of the clutter in our house about 3 years ago and the thought of starting to organize our things was extremely overwhelming. I started working with Kristin with the goal of organizing our bedroom closets. Now 4 months later, she has touched most rooms in our home and we are sooo much lighter. I keep saying, “we have our home back” again. Everything is easier now — laundry, mail, grocery shopping — we know what we have and everything has a place! She even worked with the kids showing them how to organize their rooms. Thank you Kristin!!!!!
I always thought "Oh I don't need a professional organizer, I can do it myself". Well, no, I couldn't. Buying containers and reading magazine articles does not get the job done! And add to that, having to drop everything to take care of ailing family members, then taking in all of the family memorabilia. I needed a professional's help and guidance! Having Kristin in my home gave me a sense of control and calm that I was definitely not feeling with all those extra boxes in my home. She was able to help me let go of so much and in such a nonjudgmental way. I have to say that is one of the things that still stays with me even months after working with Kristin, she has a way of making you feel ok with it, no worries, nothing bothered her. Like I said, calm and in control. I highly recommend Kristin.
I can't say enough about Kristin's organizing skills and the huge impact she has had on my life. She helped me clear my clutter which in turn has cleared my mind. Not only did she help me sort and purge but she helped me to create 'homes' for all of our belongings. Three years ago she came into my home and together we executed and created a plan. She put systems in place that were designed for how our family lives. To this day I remain organized and am able to stay that way even with the all of life's changes that seem to constantly take place. Hiring Kristin was one of the smartest things I've done and I would recommend her without hesitation. You will see that your mind works faster and more efficiently when you have systems in your home that are designed for how you live. You will save time and money when you are truly organized and the peace of mind is priceless.
Working with Kristin was a pleasure. She was so accommodating and really took the time to understand my needs. Before Kristin transformed our large walk in closet, it not only looked terrible but was a source of stress. I couldn't find anything and hated being in there. Now it's my favorite room in the house! It's so organized and everything has its place. I look forward to tackling more home projects with Kristin!.
I wish to highly recommend Kristin Van Dusen as a personal organizer . Kristin helped me to become "unstuck" in reorganizing a new office at work. After that project worked so well, I had Kristin spend time helping me to reorganize my entire house. I am not a messy person and I am generally organized, so friends laughed when I said I had hired a personal organizer. However, I would say that hiring Kristin was the best decision I made in a long time, given the rewards I reaped! In both projects, I think Kristin's most useful ability was helping me to think "outside the box" and to look with new eyes at my work and home spaces. We worked to design spaces that are organized, appropriate for my new lifestyle as mother of children moving out of the nest, and pretty. She recommended solutions to my most problematic areas – e.g, an organized space in my kitchen that serves as a "command center" for the family, hidden behind a door. The solutions she suggested are working and also motivated me to define other problems and solve them on my own. Much of my work has involved a total "declutter" of my office and house of no longer needed or not much used objects. She also suggested ways to make my living room look brighter and larger, as part of my buying new living room furniture. I can say that room is now a favorite! I am now very happy and content with my newly organized home and office. In addition to Kristin's great organizing skills, she has a wonderful personality that makes working with her a real pleasure. I wish I had other projects to work on with her!
Kristin has helped me on several occasions to get organized and to de-clutter my life! She is extremely easy to work with – she is a motivator and she gets things done. She also does not need lots of direction – she comes up with great ideas and executes. For example, after renovating my kitchen last fall she came over to my house and moved me back in. She decided where things needed to go and what items didn't belong. She took the remaining items that didn't "belong" and donated them to a charity or sold them on ebay. That was extremely helpful to get the unwanted items out of the house. I highly recommend her for all your organizational needs.