Brenda Borenstein owns the Organized Zone, Toronto's finest independent professional organizing home service. With a solid and varied background in management, Brenda easily transferred her keen planning and problem-solving skills to the Organized Zone. Her creativity, compassionate nature and charming wit help Brenda's clients to open their homes and hearts to her organizing team and dramatic results! Brenda has miraculously transformed unimaginably cluttered homes, into sleek, functioning spaces.
Stephanie: What made you decide to become a professional organizer?
Brenda: I have been organizing people all my life and I had been hating my job at the accounting firm where I worked. I decided to go back to business school – for what I didn't know. Ideas were coming from everywhere. While I was in school, friends and associates from the firm were asking me for help moving their offices or getting ready for a new baby, etc. I did some research and found out that this work I do naturally is a profession. The rest is history.
Stephanie: How did you become a professional organizer? Is this something you can take courses for, or is it a largely self-taught skill?
Brenda: There are many professional organizing courses out there. I joined two associations: Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) and the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO).
Organizing is a skill that can be learned but to be in this industry you must have common sense and physical strength.
Stephanie: What do you like about what you do?
Brenda: I love the feeling of a job well done. I get job satisfaction after every job. The physical transformation is amazing. My clients are so happy and energized by the change.
Stephanie: What is your least favourite part of the job?
Brenda: Sometimes the emotional aspects of the job are overwhelming.
Stephanie: What advice do you have for someone considering becoming a professional organizer?
Brenda: Try working with an organizer for a day for free to see if you like the job.
Some people think it is a glamorous job. They might be surprised!
Stephanie: What kind of an education do you need to be a professional organizer? Are there other areas (small business management, advertising, psychology, etc) in which you need some courses in order to succeed?
Brenda: The more education and life experiences you have, the more likely you will succeed.
Stephanie: What do you find is the hardest thing for your clients to get rid of? Why do you think that is?
Brenda: There is never one common thing that is hard for a client to get rid of. Most of my clients put value on different objects that are sentimental or hold memories. We deal with that by having a container for the items and storing that away.
Stephanie: How organized is your home? What room or area in your home do you find it easiest to keep organized? What room is the hardest?
Brenda: I practice what I preach; my home is organized. One of the reasons is because I delegate chores. Another is I don't have what I don't need in my home. A system is in place. A place for everything, and everything in its place. When this is the case, there is no dumping.
Stephanie: Organizing shows like 'Clean Sweep' and 'Mission: Organization' are really popular these days. What's your opinion on shows like this? Do you like them, watch them, hate them?
Brenda: I don't watch those shows; I don't believe they are realistic. I live the real thing everyday.
Articulate and engaging, Brenda is recognized and respected as an industry expert. She writes a bi-weekly column in the Metro. She has been featured in the Toronto Star, Mirror, and 24 Hours just to name a few. She is a monthly guest on CFRB 1010 Talk Radio. She has been interviewed and quoted in several articles including Reader's Digest's "Simplify your Life" and HGTV 's website in Barbara Dingle's "Controlling Clutter". Besides teaching courses at The Learning Annex (‘Increase your apartment size by 20%’ and ‘Home Office 101’) Brenda has been featured on Breakfast Television, Rogers Television "Daytime", "Dufferin Peel Living", and HGTV Discovery Health's "Resolutions" series. Brenda recently appeared on Toronto One's morning show. She is also a featured keynote speaker at the National Home Show, the Fall & Metro Home Show, the National Women Show and the Baby Time Show.
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