Hi cuties! If you’re a regular Kuotes reader, you definitely know that two of my favorite things are connecting with fellow female entrepreneurs in the home space, and stylish storage–enter Done & Done. Let me explain: As a busy mom and business owner, storage solutions and efficient organizational systems are key factors in my day to day. So when one of my team members told me about the women-founded home organizing service Done & Done, I knew I wanted to chat with them about their favorite tips and tricks of the trade.
Founded by mother-daughter duo Kate Pawlowski and Ann Lightfoot, Done & Done is a Tri-State area-based professional organization company. They offer move management, relocation services, photo organization, pre-sale staging, estate movement, and more. In short: They are comprehensive home efficiency pros!
Read on for some expert insights from Done & Done co-founder Ann herself and key info to keep in mind if you’re considering hiring and organization service–oh, and a fab selection of some of my fave KKH storage furniture and organization accessories from our assortment.
Tell us about Done & Done–what is the mission of the company and what are the core offerings?
Done & Done Home’s mission is to help people organize their homes and put systems in place to keep the home running smoothly. We earnestly believe that organizing is more than pretty pantries and rainbow bookcases. To us, an organized home means more time for all of the things that truly matter for a more rewarding and fulfilling life.
How did the company come to be? Tell us a bit about your founder story!
Kate and I have been partners in organizing practically from day one! Nature/nurture? We have no idea, we just know that we’ve always been on the same page. Growing up, I took on the role of the cleaner in my large family of seven and Kate followed in my footsteps. When her friends were busy experimenting with make-up, she was finding ways to keep all of the lotions and potions organized.
Knowing how skilled she was at getting things done, a high school friend asked if she’d be willing to help her parents get ready for a complicated move. She enjoyed the experience and given how well we had always worked together, she suggested we start a business.
That was almost a decade ago, and our business has grown from helping friends and family get their homes in order to assisting clients with everything from simple declutters to multi-staged cross-country moves. We currently have a 13 member team and while we mostly work in the NY Tri-State area, we have teams that will travel anywhere in the country.
Tell us a bit about the philosophy behind your “Owning Well” motto. What does that mean to you?
“Owning Well” is our core philosophy here at Done & Done. After seeing how many items were leaving our client’s homes, we figured there had to be a better way. We’re not minimalists in any way, but we also know that the endless cycle of buying/decluttering is unsustainable. Owning Well is the simple idea that you should buy the very best products you can afford and then take care of them for as long as possible.
Whether it’s a t-shirt or a toaster, every single thing we buy ends up somewhere. Donation only goes so far, and even though we hate to think about it, most of our possessions will end up in a landfill. So if you need a new vacuum, even if it means saving up, buy the very best product that fits into your budget.
The upside is that buying quality things typically means you’ll save money in the long run. One higher end vacuum will probably cost less than two or three cheap ones that have to be replaced (and thrown away).
A Done & Done closet organization project
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What tips would you give to a person who wants to get organized but isn’t sure where to start?
So many people want to get organized but don’t know where to start. Like many journeys of self- improvement, the first step is the hardest. It can be overwhelming when you look around your home and all you can see is clutter and disorganization.
Similar to a new exercise routine, you need to build up your organizing muscles one step at a time. Start small with something that will give you an immediate sense of accomplishment. Maybe it’s the junk drawer in your kitchen or the socks in your dresser. A quick fix (set a timer for 15 minutes) will show you that change is possible! We don’t recommend starting out with a large space such as a garage or basement, that’s just a road to frustration and failure.
When you’re ready to move on to bigger projects, we highly recommend purchasing our course, Love Your Home Again. We worked incredibly hard to make sure that every single area of your home would be covered. We have advice, tips, photos, checklists and print outs that will assist you every step of the way. We break it down into doable capsules and if you follow our advice, your entire home will be organized before you know it!
For anyone who hasn’t ever worked with a home organizing professional before, what should they know? What might be helpful for a person considering Done & Done services?
The first and most important thing to know when working with Done & Done is that you will never be judged. Yes, we’ve seen it all! No, that isn’t the worst we’ve ever seen! We have worked with enough people over the years to know that behind every cluttered closet is a story. We’re very sympathetic to the hows and the whys and we’re uniquely suited to help you get your chaotic spaces under control.
We know that opening up the less than perfect areas of your life can be stressful and scary. Our team is primarily made up of moms who’ve raised families and managed households and they have the expertise to guide you through your items with care and compassion.
Whether you just need a quick reset or a full pack up for a major move, we have the resources to get you through any situation with a minimum of stress and worry.
Have you noticed any trends in your customers’ asks during this past year of being inside so much? Has there been an uptick in families wanting to get organized?
The past year has certainly been a crazy one for us! Like so many many small businesses, we were unsure of our future at the beginning of the lockdown.
But as people spent more and more time in their homes, the problems that are often overlooked and set aside could finally be dealt with. We had a huge uptick in families wanting to restore order and find a sense of peace inside when so much was chaotic outside. Our team was able to safely assist people both in person and virtually.
Additionally, we had a ton of people who were relocating and moving out of NYC and now many are returning, so the move management arm of Done & Done has been going nonstop. We have been busier than ever and we’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to help our clients when they need us the most.
You offer real estate pre-staging services–such a useful offering! Tell us what that entails and why it’s so important when a person is selling their home?
When selling your home, you need to allow the potential buyers walking through to be able to envision themselves in your space. It’s hard to do when there’s a lot of personal things and clutter. We work with you to declutter and store the personal things that don’t need to be out and visible so that potential buyers won’t get overwhelmed when walking through your space. Once your home sells, we will manage the delivery of your stored items and we can unpack into your new home.
A Done & Done playroom organization project
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