You know that best friend that inspires you to be a better person? You’re going to feel that same way about Jennifer Ferrari from the Chaos Boss. We are thrilled to introduce you to her and share her wisdom today.
2023 Update: We wrote this post in 2019. As of 2023, Jennifer’s business isn’t taking new business. We hope you’ll still learn some organizing tips and tricks from this experienced pro!
Wondering where to begin? Get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!
Meet the Professional Organizers That Organize Your Life
This is part of an on-going series where we interview professional organizers and home organization enthusiasts. There are so many people that inspire tidiness and order every single day. Where would we be without them?
If you live in their area, you can even find a professional organizer near you from these interviews. Life gets chaotic, but these organizers are here to help.
These business owners and bloggers are rockstars! They have a serious talent for creating order out of chaos. And that deserves a standing ovation!
Jennifer Ferrari – The Chaos Boss
Jennifer Ferrari is the owner of The Chaos Boss, a professional organizing service that specializes in home, family, and business organization solutions. Through her work as a professional organizer and organizational strategies blogger, she helps clients and followers consolidate, organize, and simplify in order to optimize their lives.
Before organizing, Jen was a visual art teacher in the Massachusetts public school system. She is a proud alumnus of both UMass Amherst (BFA Art, BA Communication) and Springfield College (M.Ed).
In addition to helping clients “become the bosses of their own chaos”, she is the mother of two very active young boys. In her “spare time”, Jen enjoys being crafty, yoga, reading, hiking, running and working in her family’s garden.
We are thrilled to share some of her secrets with you!
What Are the most common questions you are asked as an organizer?
The most common questions I receive as an organizer are always about getting started: “How do I start?”; “When should I start?”; “Where do I start?” I always answer these questions with the client’s best interest in mind.
I should really call myself a personal organizer because I always cater to the needs of my clients. Organizing a home is incredibly personal. My job requires the client to trust me completely with their belongings, and I, in turn, need to honor and respect that trust by doing the best job possible.
What are your favorite storage hacks?
I have three that I love:
Use Vertical Space – don’t let it go to waste! (see my blog post about how to utilize and maximize it)
Use pictures to label things instead of words. For anyone who struggles with written cues and is more visually oriented, having picture labels would help to minimize confusion about what goes where (especially helpful for families with kiddos who can’t read yet).
“Prep time”: This is not so much a storage hack as it is a life hack. Spend the last 10 minutes of your day setting up things for the next day. Clear countertops, put away dry dishes, lay out clothes, make lunches, pack bags, set out important papers or bills you need to take care of… all of the small things you prepare today will help you to have a smoother, less stressful tomorrow.
What made you really enjoy organizing in the first place?
I’ve always been an organized person. All people are born with innate interests and passions. My mom still tells me stories about when I was 2 or 3 and would line up toys (such as cars or blocks) by size, shape, or color. But my main passion when I was a child was art. Over the years, I’ve taken that passion and turned it into a purpose.
My purpose in life is to use my creativity to help others visualize the possibilities of their spaces so they can enjoy being in them. I was very lucky to have support from family and friends along the way, and that (coupled with my post-secondary education in fine art and communication) has helped me greatly as I developed both as an individual and as a professional organizer.
Who is your inspiration?
Walt Disney was my first and most important role model. He inspired me to develop my affinity for all things art into a career. He was also integral in my mindset regarding success, failure, and professional growth. Disney always used the success of his last project in order to work toward developing his next idea, and was always trying to invent new ways of seeing the world.
George Parks was one of my college professors and had a huge impact on my outlook on life. He instilled within me a drive to always give everything I did 110%. Whenever I do something, I do it with energy, enthusiasm, and excitement – because why bother doing it any other way?
Joanna Gaines is a more recent addition to my role models. About 5 years ago, I really got interested in Fixer Upper in terms of the design aspect. But after reading and learning more about her, her family life, her past struggles, and her passion projects (such as raising money for St. Jude’s), I can’t help but add her to my inspirations. She is just overall the kind of person I strive to be: the best possible, truest version of myself.
This is more of a movement, but minimalists such as Joshua Becker are inspirational to me as well. I am inspired by other parents who are drawn to minimalism as a way of raising their children. I wouldn’t call myself a “true” minimalist, but I am inspired by parents who share a similar desire to highlight experiences for their children over material items such as toys (which quickly lose their novelty).
Just start. The biggest hurdle to overcome is beginning the organizing process. Once you begin and get past the initial hesitation, momentum will take over and help see you through until the end.– Jennifer from The Chaos Boss
What is your favorite way to label things?
I use my Dymo label maker for most things, but sometimes I enjoy making custom labels with my Prismacolor markers: there’s a creative side to organizing that I enjoy almost as much as the tidying / decluttering aspect.
What are some of your favorite “must-have” storage products?
- Multipurpose Bins from The Container Store. I use them for everything and in every room of my house. There are 4 different sizes so they can contain (almost) anything. They are SO versatile!
- 3M Command Hooks. I put them everywhere, they create SO many storage opportunities on otherwise boring vertical spaces (walls, furniture, etc).
- Glasslock Food Storage Containers and Reusable Snack Bags (saves lots of money!)
What is the most popular thing you organize?
It’s a tie between kitchens and basements. They are so different from one another, but both so much fun to work in!
Has anything funny or memorable happened to you when you were on a job?
- I once cleaned a pantry and found spices that expired in 2008.
- Not memorable or funny, but I LOVE seeing items I grew up with that aren’t around anymore (CD players, Tomagotchis, film negatives, etc.)
Jennifer Ferrari’s Best home organization blog posts
Now that you know a little bit more about her, go check out some of her work! She is an organizing genius. You’ll learn so much from her and these posts are the perfect places to start:
1. Genius Ways to Organize Your Kids and Their Stuff
Kids have so many toys and extra things sometimes. And it can be super difficult to keep them all contained. But Jennifer shares 7 genius ways to keep them organized long term.
2. Coupons, Clubs, and Clearance: The Birth of Excess – Part 1
There are so many real and honest truths shared in a post. One of them is that you shouldn’t buy things just because you have a coupon. Owning an excess of stuff can create more stress and storage issues.
3. On Selling Your Home: 3 Reasons to Clean Out Before You Move Out
Are you getting ready to move? Jennifer has a really kind way of giving you the brutal truth. Cleaning might not be our favorite thing to do when we are moving, but it is so important.
4. Five Truths I Learned From Apartment Living with My Family
One of the most common excuses for being disorganized is “but I live in too small a place for my family.” Jennifer knows this one personally. She lived in an apartment with her family. This experience gave her some wisdom that she shared on her blog.
5. Vertical Space: An Important Aspect of Organizing That’s Almost Always Ignored
What do you think of when you hear the term “vertical space storage?” Jennifer breaks it down into all the different ways to take advantage of this often-wasted space.
Struggling to get motivated? Sign up to get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!
More Home Organization Guides
Learn how to organize your home like Jennifer. Here are some in-depth organization guides that will walk you through every step.
- Basement Organization Guide
- How to Organize Your Closets
- Complete Guide to Organizing Your Medicine Cabinet
Be sure to also check out the other home organizing experts we have featured. Follow them and pick up a few tips from their years of organizing experience.