Q&A with professional organizer Perri Kersh

Perri Kersh owns and operates Neat-Freak Professional Organizing, LLC in Chapel Hill. She spoke to Assistant City Editor Paige Ladisic about her business and some of her favorite projects, as well as tips for college students moving into their first dorm or apartment.

DAILY TAR HEEL: What is Neat-Freak Professional Organizing, and what kinds of projects do you tackle?

PERRI KERSH: I primarily work with residential and small business clients, helping them organize their space, their time, and their data. My main goal is to help people function at their very best. 85 percent of my business is residential clients where I’m working in people’s homes.

In eight and a half years I’ve organized everything. I’ve done a dentist office and helped a lot of people who have home-based small businesses.

DTH: How long have you had a passion for organization?

PK: As the story goes, when I was 3 years old, my mother claims that my imaginary friend was an organizer named Wrinkles. As a mom with young kids, I just saw how important organization was. There are people I know don’t love doing it or struggle with it.

DTH: Why did you decide to open Neat Freak Organizing — and why in Chapel Hill?

PK: Because we lived here, it was mostly based on my own personal network of friends. When I started the business, it was as simple as applying for a business license and sending an email out to 60 people saying “Hey, this is what I’m doing now.”

I was really surprised and pleased that in the beginning several of my friends hired me.

DTH: What kind of tips do you have for a freshman moving into a dorm?

PK: I love dorm room space because it’s so small. It really forces you to be super functional in your space. You want to think about your vertical space, thinking about your walls as much as you can. Truly think about every single thing that crosses the threshold of your dorm room door. You’ve gotta have some boundaries.

It might also be helpful to have a one-in-one-out policy, if you bring something new into your dorm room you should get rid of something old. There are some great tools out there that make dorm room organizing so much easier.

DTH: What would you say is the most important thing to remember when tackling a huge project — like moving into a dorm or an apartment?

PK: Anytime you’re tackling any big project, I think breaking it down into small manageable chunks is always my best word of advice. Instead of looking at the whole big picture, feeling really overwhelmed, take a few moments to plan.

DTH: When it comes to organizing, what are your favorite projects to work on?

PK: I personally love to organize kitchens. To me, a kitchen is such an important part of a household because it’s where so much happens. It’s where kids are doing homework, it’s where people sit down to discuss things.

DTH: What is the most interesting or unique project you’ve ever tackled?

PK: We had a client who was going away for 6 days to Disney World. And while she was gone, she wanted her entire house revamped. The client hired me to project manage the entire thing.

And my business partner and I reorganized the entire house. It was a lot of drama, it was a long week, but it was really fun and rewarding and this house was completely transformed in one week. We really did finish 30 minutes before the family got off the plane in Raleigh.


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