My Journey to Becoming a Professional Organizer
My name is Jolin and I’m the proud owner of my small business called Sage Organization & Design, LLC. I absolutely love what I do, but my journey to becoming a home organizer has been quite the long and twisted one. It all started back in 2012 when I decided to move to New York City. I had been working in the midwest as a professional Shakespearean actor for years. I was lucky enough to have had several back to back year long contracts. As an actor, thats like winning the lottery! I should have been ecstatically screaming from the rafters, jumping for joy, blessed with this incredible gift of consistent work. I adore Shakespeare’s plays. Theres a reason they’re still performed some 500+ years after they were written. They are beautifully poetic and profoundly relevant to the struggles we as humanity cope with even today. But for some reason, I still wasn't fulfilled. I wasnt happy. I was not enjoying my time on stage. I knew I needed a change.
So, I decided to be brave. I gave up my year long contract and guarantee of work in pursuit of something bigger. A bigger dream. A bigger city. A bigger life I knew was out there for me. I left the Shakespeare company, put all of my belongings in storage, packed two duffle bags, got on a Greyhound bus and came to New York City in 2012 with no job, no apartment, practically no money and one amazing friend who said I could sleep on her couch for a few weeks!
Right away, I got a job as a server in a restaurant, typical for an out-of-work actor. It was glorious! I met incredible people, ate delicious food, learned a ton about food and wine, and slowly but surely departed with the stress of being a starving artist. I loved my life. After about three years of exploring New York City and my new found interest in the hospitality industry, I began to become restless. I wanted something more. I knew I had talents and skills I wasnt sharing with the world. It was time for another change. But what? I didnt know.
I had an opportunity to take a cross country road trip with a very close friend named Sarah. It was the trip of a lifetime. We drove for days taking in some of the most beautiful sights this country has to offer. Seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time was pretty epic! That trip is a whole story in and of itself that I’ll save for another blog haha
Our journey ended in San Jose, California. When we finally reached our destination after days and days of driving, we expected to walk into a fully furnished and set up apartment since Sarah’s boyfriend had moved there a month earlier. To Sarah’s deepest chagrin, we came to the realization that that apartment was not only not ready to be lived in, but not one single box had been unpacked! Disappointment, frustration, and an overall general smoldering anger were the sentiment for the next hour. After the scene calmed and tempers stopped flaring, Sarah turned to me. “Ok Jolin,” she said taking a deep breath. “Tell me where to put EVERYTHING. This is your thing. You understand the use of space and design. I trust you. Go for it.” My eyes saucered with excitement and delight! I put my head down and went to work, tearing through boxes at a rapid pace, allowing my natural sense of organization and functionality to take the lead. I was having the best time! I was like a kid on Christmas morning. Each box revealed a new puzzle to be maneuvered into the Tetris of their new home.
Twelve hours later every box was unpacked, picture frame was placed, rug was unrolled and the kitchen was ready for the chef. Sarah’s boyfriend couldnt believe his eyes when he returned home from work that night. The entire apartment was set up! Sarah and I were exhausted but I loved every second of it. After some much needed rest, food and several bottles of wine, Sarah turned to me in a moment of brilliance. “This is what you should be doing! You’re the only person in the world that loves moving and dealing with all the boxes and stuff. You just get it. You should help people organize their homes!”
Was this a job?? I had never heard of a home organizer. I didnt know it was even a profession. I returned to New York City with a fire under my butt and excitement about what this new adventure would bring. I did my research, reached out to a bunch of home organizers and started working for an amazing company called Appleshine Lifestyle Organization. My boss Amelia was amazing! I learned so much from her in such a short amount of time and was incredibly grateful for her mentorship. After about ten months with Appleshine, I decided it was time to venture out in my own. I started my own company called Sage Organization & Design, LLC and have been working my tail off ever since!
Its been about two years now of being a small business owner and I am so incredibly proud of what I’ve accomplished. There have been tremendous challenges along the way but its definitely been worth it. Because of all of my hard work and dedication, I’ve recently been hired by The Container Store as their newest Contained Home Organizer!! No joke, I have been pretty much obsessed with The Container Store for years haha so it’s amazing to be working for them now. Its like a dream! I not only get to help people optimize the function and flow of their homes with ease, I also get to help design their entire closet systems and provide the best products the industry has to offer. Its a win win all around!
I cant wait to see where this journey of discovery will continue to take me. For now, I’ll continue to focus on the amazing gifts I have in my life and all the incredible people I’ve met along the way. Here’s to the future and following your own path, where ever it may take you. Cheers! And as always, Happy Organizing!