Spring Cleaning: Chatting With A Pro Organizer About Messy Men, Weight Loss And Life Transformation!

Artist Song Dong's Installation "Waste Not" featuring the contents of his mother's home in China where he was raised to waste nothing.

Organization is a huge part of a life that runs well. Clearing clutter and getting things put away— and keeping it that way!— will make such a huge difference in your life that you can’t afford to not do it!  Sometimes we don’t know where to begin to really “get organized”, and little containers and labeled drawers sometimes create more problems than solutions! If you’re stuck in a mess, a call to a professional organizer can be key in making your life run right.  Lucky for us, today Los Angeles pro-organizer and man-organizing specialist (more on this to come!) Robin Fuqua of Miss Orderly Conduct gave me some insight and tips that can help you approach your house and life organization in a bold new way!  Get your trash bags ready, its time to make changes…

Men come to you in droves to get their lives straightened up & whipped into shape (literally!)… How do guys approach spaces differently from women? & are they truly more messy than women in your experience?

Robin: I have found that my direct, no-hand-holding approach works very well with men. For the most part men aren’t home-aesthetic oriented so I come in and give them a female but non-girlfriend perspective on things. I don’t feel it’s in their nature to care about things like whether or not they have pillowcases or my concern with the science experiments that are breeding in their refrigerators! I show them a new way of doing things that can enrich their lives if they choose to get on board.

I know you approach organization a bit differently than most do, and tailor your “organizing style” to your clients… can you talk a little about that because it is so key to what makes your organizing projects so successful…?

Robin: I basically try and get a true understanding of the client’s personality and lifestyle. Dudes are my favorite because most of them have a set routine although they are very suggestive to switching things up if they realize it might better serve them. I tend to work around habits and routines so that my changes jive with their day-to-day patterns. I will fight with client’s until they are blue in the face but in the end I will win and they walk away stoked!

Song Dong's "Waste Not" art installation features an artistically purposeful "organization" of mass amounts of stuff to make a powerful statement.

I freak out if I have too many small drawers and containers in my house, but some people love it. Do we all need the same things to be organized? I mean, some people think that creating piles is “organized”…so, what’s your definition of “organized”?

Robin: Everyone is different. I tell guys things like “If you are constantly leaving your shoes in the bathroom then that’s where the shoe rack goes!” My definition of organization is making your environment work around YOU not the other way around. The goal is to be the most creative, happy and productive person that you can be and have your home be a direct reflection of your personality and your intent. I must say that it also doesn’t hurt to hang up your clean clothes. 

If you work with a couple and they both want things done differently, who wins?

Robin: Hahaha! Good question! I haven’t come across this problem yet BUT when I do I will lay down the law. “Find a common ground people, this is your home we are talking about! Less fight, more order!” I am not above putting adults on time out.

What’s the most massive organizational offense you’ve seen (if you can share it!)…

Robin: I walked into a guy’s home for a consultation and after an hour of very deep thought I asked him the following questions: A. “Do you know the difference between a shower curtain and a regular curtain? The reason I ask is because your living room windows have duct taped shower liners as curtains.” B. “Do you understand that having a toilet seat is important when having people into your home?” C. “You told me you have no pets so I am curious why you have old newspapers spread about all over your floors?” “ My translation of what I have seen here today is that you are a serial killer and I will not make it out of here alive!” He was laughing so hard he was crying! It was seriously awful yet awesome all at the same time.

In feng shui, clutter-clearing and organization are closely related to losing weight, making money and finding more inner peace. So, can you share a success story ?

Robin: I had a single male, mid 40’s and over-weight. I went to his home to find he was an absolute hoarder and had basically given up on himself. I talked him into letting me overhaul his apartment. I finished the job and he said “I really wish I could feel on the inside as amazing as you have made my apartment look on the outside” I explained to him that his home condition is a direct reflection of how he feels about himself. “In changing your environment and changing your perspective you will ultimately end up changing the way you view your life.” He is now on a strict diet and has lost 85lbs and his home looks just as beautiful as the day I left it! I have never felt more proud to be a bossy, anal retentive, neat freak!

This is amazing!!! Thank you Robin for sharing  with us!  & everyone reading this… grab a broom and a box for all the stuff you can take out to shred and recycle… its almost Spring and time for a big Spring Cleaning!

Robin Fuqua is the founder of Miss Orderly Conduct, a professional organizing service that is exceptional for all, and especially for the messy and resistant men out there!  Robin is a professional painter with a fine arts background. Expanding on her neat and aggressively creative nature, Robin started her organizing career by helping a large number of her male friends re-organize their lives and get their homes suitable for female guests. Now, her thriving business marries her love of the beautiful and the meticulous. You can- and should!-  find her on Facebook and Twitter.

xoxo Dana

Carolyn March 3, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Awesome article! Isn’t it the truth, your outer space reflects your inner feelings. This is the main reason that people who go away to weightloss boot camp or rehab tend to relapse after they come back home. Their space needs to change with them and reflect their new inner reality or it will be back to square 1!
Keep up the great blogging!

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Tina Holden March 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

So true Carolyn, outer space can take over the whole inner space and the more you appear to fight it, the worse it can get:) Thanks for the share.

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danaclaudat March 4, 2012 at 12:16 am

thanks carolyn, so much!!!

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