Sample Client Projects

Bringing A Family’s Heritage To Life
Claire, who was 89 years old at the time, was the matriarch of her family and the keeper of all the family histories and stories. As a gift to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, she wanted to pass down that family history and all of those great family stories. Claire and I decided that the best way to preserve and share the family history and stories was to create a photo story book. So over the course of six months, Claire and I sorted through all the family photos, some dating as far back as the late 1800s. Because of the sentimental value and irreplaceability of this treasure trove of photographs I agreed to digitize all of the photos by scanning on-site at Claire’s apartment. After scanning was complete, Claire and I reviewed the newly digitized family photos while she relayed the stories that went with each. I captured her memories in writing. Claire delighted in sharing her stories with me, from her grandfather’s arrival at Ellis Island from Ireland to her father’s first disastrous driving lesson. Because the family was prominent in the local community, I was able to head to the local library and research articles in the local papers on members of the family to add to everything I learned from Claire. She chose to include some of these newspaper articles in the photo story book. Some she simply shared with the family separately. The final product of Claire’s project was beautiful linen covered digitally created photo story book that contained not only the family photos but the histories and stories that went with them. After sharing the photo story book at a family birthday party, requests for copies were rampant and we finished the project off by ordering 12 copies, one for the head of each family in her line.

Downsizing From the Family Home To An Apartment Built for Two
Judith and Paul lived in a gorgeous 5,500 square foot home on Long Island. It was the home where they had lived and raised their children. Now their children had grown up, moved out and had homes of their own and the big five bedroom house was no longer what they needed or wanted, too much upkeep, too much work. They decided that a two bedroom accommodation was a much better fit with their current lifestyle. As you might imagine the decision to move homes carried with it many mixed emotions. There certainly was the excitement at the prospect of a new, easier life but there was also an overwhelming feeling with regard to the move itself and the amount of work it was going to take to get from a large house to a modest apartment. I was thrilled to be recommended, by a client, to help Judith and Paul with their move. After our initial meeting we came up with a plan of attack. We started with the big old five bedroom house and over the course of four months Judith and I worked systematically to address each room in the house. We discussed, photographed and tracked all the items in the rooms and identified the next steps for each item. Each item was tagged for moving to the new home, for donation, for a tag sale or to be tossed. While Judith had some beautiful items and extensive collections of objects from Europe, Asian and Israel she decided they were not things she wanted to make the move to the new place. These items were a big hit on tag sale day. Once we had pared down, thinned out and sold, donated or tossed everything that wasn’t going to make the move to the new apartment we were ready. Or so we thought. We did have to wait until the apartment renovations were finally complete. Finally, it was time to move. The logistics were a little tricky but I was there to help move the process along, communicate with and stay on top of the packers and movers and smooth the way into the new apartment. Within just a couple of days, Judith and Paul were completely unpacked, all the boxes and packing materials were gone and they were up and running in their new home.

Moving Out of the Apartment Long Distance: All the Way From the Middle East
For years John had a bachelor pad in midtown Manhattan. It was convenient and useful as he made frequent trips to New York from his permanent residence outside the City. But times had changed and so did John’s permanent residence. It was now really outside the city, 25,000 miles outside the City. John now lived in the Middle East and his business rarely brought him to New York anymore. John no longer needed his NYC bachelor pad but he couldn’t spare the time to come to NYC to deal with everything. What to do? He called me. Even though we were thousands of miles apart and many time zones away, I became John’s woman on the ground to deal with this apartment and all its contents. John wanted to empty the apartment. Most of the stuff there he no longer wanted or needed. John and I, mostly through email, settled on the following priorities for getting rid of his unwanted stuff. I set about it by first offering items to family and friends, then Craigslist took over and next the Salvation Army. After all that I found I had whittled the one-bedroom apartment full of stuff down to one mattress, one box spring and some trash. So after a small battle with the big box spring and a small stair case which I took care of with the assistance of a fairly sharp saw purchased form the hardware store around the corner, the apartment was clean, empty and ready for John to turn it back over to the landlord. All this accomplished through email and voicemail from the other side of the world.

A Little Bit Over a Long Time
The Wyle family contacted me for some assistance. As a busy New York City couple and the working parents of young twins they had a number of organizational challenges in their apartment but never seemed to have time to attack those projects. After consulting with them we walked from room to room and compiled a list of their project goals for each room. We then prioritized the projects and I set about tackling them in order. I worked mostly independently to accomplish each of their projects. Over time, the projects were completed, new spaces were added and things became more orderly. After the apartment came their storage spaces. When we started they were unsure of what was where or even what was in some of the storage spaces. Now the Wyle’s know what they were storing in their storage spaces. They have photographs of and a tracking chart for each space and each item in each space to remind them what they have and where they have it. Our working relationship now extends into its fourth year. Most of the major hard work is complete, but situations change and as the twins have moved from babies to toddlers so have the organizing challenges and solutions, a little change here and a little tweak there. I have loved watching the children grow and helping the family enjoy their home in a more organized, family-friendly environment.

Making Space In Order To Help More Children
New Alternatives for Children (NAC) is a Manhattan-based non-profit that serves families of medically fragile children who need assistance. NAC is an amazing resource the families and children they support. The organization has had tremendous growth from its rather humble beginnings 27 years ago to the organization it has become today. There were many challenges along the way one of which I was privileged to help them solve. As you might imagine NAC, and organizations like it, generate a tremendous about of paperwork, much of it confidential in nature. What to keep? What to toss? What do they need to keep forever? What do they need to keep for a while? How long is awhile? Between the legal need to keep some documentation forever and some for a specified period of time and the space constraints of office space in New York City, NAC needed help. They needed to develop a storage plan and a corporate-wide retention schedule. That’s where I came in. I worked with the executive director of NAC for a number of years to advise and assist in the development of a solution to their storage and retention schedule. This ranged from developing a questionnaire to determine the rules, regulations and legal requirements of each department’s work to the exploration of outsourcing scanning and off-site storage services. Throughout, I have been committed to work with NAC to assist them in this process. As an outside consultant, I have the luxury of being able to see beyond the day-to-day work process and the flexibility to question existing policies and procedures. I am pleased to say that NAC now a retention schedule in place, a process for detailing discard dates has been created and the procedure for archiving closed files to off-site storage is complete. NAC can now get back to doing what they do best which is helping families of medically fragile children who need assistance.