A Waco woman is helping Central Texans get their lives in order.
Jennifer Snyder operates Neat as a Pin, an organizing business. She helps clients clear clutter out of their homes, offices and garages, and set up storage and filing systems to keep things in their place.
When she started six months ago, she became part of a growing industry.
“There is an increased awareness that professional organizers exist,” Snyder said.
When it comes to money, potential clients should remember the cost of staying unorganized.
It’s proven that being messy is costly in itself, said Snyder, who charges $25 an hour.
For example, lost and forgotten credit card bills result in expensive late fees, she said.
There is at least one other organizing business in Waco. Jan Thomas, who manages the other business in town, Set it Straight, said the emotional lift for clients is a big advantage to hiring an organizer.
“What I really like about it is how they feel about themselves and about their space when we’re done,” Thomas said.
Snyder, 37, is a Waco native and Mexia High School graduate. She attended McLennan Community College for a while but then opted to go to work full time.
She worked at WRS group for 11 years, where she started in customer service and ended up as a production manager.
She also worked for five years at Blackhawk Modifications, where she started as an executive assistant and ended up as customer relations coordinator.
To get started in organizing, Snyder leaned on experience from the corporate world.
“I feel like all that experience helped something that I was naturally good at anyway,” she said.
When she gets a client, Snyder talks with the person about individual organization problems and comes up with ideas to help.
It goes beyond just clutter and piles of papers, she said. She also helps clients manage computer information, such as e-mail accounts, and will hook them up with life coaches for life management problems.
Often people have an unhealthy emotional attachment to things they don’t really need, and Snyder helps customers face that.
“I give them thought-provoking questions to help them decide if they can part with belongings,” Snyder said.
She recalled one client who clung to a box of papers, but papers weren’t the only thing in the box.
“She had 4-year-old lemons in a box that she had been carrying around for four years,” Snyder said. “They were just shrunk up and really hard.”
Some businesses satisfied
Waco business owner Heather Field said using an organizer is worth it, even at a cost of hundreds of dollars. Field spent about $800 initially to get straightened up with Neat as a Pin after moving into a new house about six months ago and finding herself overwhelmed. At first hesitant to get help, she decided to hire Snyder.
“I realized I would be more successful,” said Field, who owns a pediatric therapy clinic doing speech, occupational and physical therapy for children.
A key to the successful outcome was that Snyder listened.
“She was very compassionate; she accepted my input. She was great,” Field said.
* * *
Organizing firms in Waco
* For more information about Neat as a Pin, go to www.neatasapin.net or call Snyder at 254-715-3888. Also, the National Association of Professional Organizers has information on its Web site at www.napo.net.
* To contact Set it Straight call 254-214-8082 or go to www.setitstraight.org.