On this month's podcast episode, I sat down with fellow organizer Kim Jones from Lock and Key Home in Louisville, Kentucky and we talked about stress free moving! Kim and I met at the Organizers Collective back in the spring in Georgia and we connected on all things organizing! Kim is a professional organizer in Louisville. She is a mother of twins and they helped inspire her business! Kim's family moved not too long after having the twins and found that she had both hands full and no extra hands to unpack after their move! After consulting with a similar business in New York, she was inspired to open her own home organizing and move concierge business in the mid-west, where this type of business wasn't very common.
Kim decided to start her own business that weekend she unpacked from the move. She sent her husband away on a guys weekend and the kids went with her parents and she just spent the entire weekend unpacking and organizing. She recalled sitting down after everything was completed, feeling super fulfilled but too exhausted to even enjoy a glass of wine, and had what she describes as a "Disney movie, a-ha, moment". She could do this for other people as well! As it turns out, she has a natural knack for organizing that she had been taking for granted!
Every organizer has a favorite space to organize. Some of you know I love organizing spaces that most other organizers don't typically enjoy, like the garage, offices and paperwork. I asked Kim what her favorite space was and she divulged that she loves organizing closets. Kim has a passion for fashion and had originally gone to school for fashion merchandizing, so the closet just makes sense!
Lock & Key actually specializes in concierge moving. Kim explains that concierge moving is a white gloved touch to moving but not one size fits all. Services range from decluttering and staging for before the move as the client is getting the house ready to sell, packing everything at the time of the move (but at a luxury standard), overseeing all of the logistics that come with moving, and unpacking and organizing once in the new house.
We also discussed the little touches that Kim does during their concierge services. They bring drinks, snacks, and lunch for the movers to keep the movers clean and energized. If Kim is doing a full service concierge move, she learns their household inside and out so the client's are free from the majority of the process.
Kim mentioned that she's talked to a couple of other organizers about offering this service as well and the number one question she gets asked is about risk and insurance. Sometimes they are dealing with some really high value items, such as art. It's super important to make sure you are properly insured because things do happen, no matter how diligent you are. It's also important to have a highly trained team.
Speaking of teams, I wanted to get more information about Kim's team and how she manages them. To get this type of service done, it takes a lot of people. In the summer, during the busy season, she will usually have 10 - 12 team members. During the winter, they have a smaller team of four. Packing and unpacking items is a grueling process, especially when you're working with a strict time frame. Kim likes to have a team come in to pack and then a fresh team for the unpacking to keep the teams fresh.
Outside of constantly packing and unpacking things, Kim's team lead coordinates team building activities. They went and created a signature candle that they gift to their clients. Kim admits that this is something that she specifically struggles with but wants to do more team building events outside of work.
Sometimes Lock and Key isn't doing the entire moving process from start to finish. It's not a one size fits all situation. Sometimes they just do day of move coordinating, sometimes it's just packing or just unpacking. Kim makes sure to ask the client what is stressing the client out most about the move and then she can build the services around that.
I also asked Kim for advice for people who just want to pack and move on their own. Her number one tip is to give yourself a schedule! This will help avoid a mad rush right before the move. You can start packing up things that you don't use everyday earlier in the process and leave the everyday items for closer to the move. She also recommended having an "open first" box. This is the very last thing you pack and the very first thing that you unpack. She also mentioned packing hand soap, toilet paper and a towel so you have the staples you need.
Doing the same thing day in and day out for anyone, even us organizers, can leave you questioning whether this line of work is for you. Everyone feels burn out. I wanted to know if Kim every felt this and what helps her get through that. She admitted that she does sometimes feel the burnout, like she just doesn't want to do this anymore but once she gets to a job and sees the moving truck and gets excited and reenergized. Knowing that this is her passion and what she was meant to do really helps her continue forward. It's also important to learn when to say no to jobs.
Kim also has written a book, The No-Nonsense Home Organization Plan! She received what she thought was a prank email on April Fools Day about possible authorship. She chose to response anyway because writing a book was on her vision board. She auditioned for months for the books deal and it finally happened!
With every guest, I make sure to ask them what is currently cluttering their life, because let's face it, even professional organizers have something that is cluttering their life as well! Kim said that her office is cluttering her life! She can't even work in there right now because she hates it! There is too much product and clutter in there. She's looking to eventually redo the whole room and create a new inventory for the future.