Naeemah Ford Goldson, CPO, owner of Restore Order Professional Organizing, LLC, wears many hats! She’s a children’s book author, professional organizer, and Closet Envy designer. Get to know some of her biggest tips and hacks!
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When you are feeling overwhelmed and completely confused, where do you go for advice? We know that struggle! That’s why we created this Organizing Experts series on Clutter Keeper®.
We hope that by reading real stories and tips from professional organizers, you’ll learn something new that could be the very lightbulb you need!
Naeemah Ford Goldson – Restore Order Professional Organizing, llc
Meet Naeemah. She’s a woman who wears many hats. Not only is she a Certified Professional Organizer® and the owner of Restore Order Professional Organizing, LLC, but she is also a founding member of the National Association for Black Professional Organizers.
She also a children’s book author of Tidy Tessa, and a Senior Designer at Closet Envy!
If anyone has wisdom to share, it’s Naeemah! We’re so honored that we had the chance to chat with her.
You are going to love hearing the wisdom from her heart.
You wear so many hats! What is your favorite one?
My absolute favorite hat to wear is being a mom! My boys have taught me so much and give me the motivation to be the best version of me.
How did you go from a bachelor’s in broadcasting to a professional organizer? What was the change?
After I graduated from college in Nebraska, my goal was to move to Atlanta and work at CNN for two years, then move to New York (where I was born and lived until age 10) to continue my broadcasting career. I started out working in the CNN Tour department with other recent college graduates, and that is where I met my husband. He moved on to CNN Sports, I moved on to CNN Radio, and after working there for a year I realized hard news wasn’t for me. I’m more of a fluff kinda gal!
So I went to the opposite end and worked for Radio Disney as a Promotions Assistant. Loved that job, but it paid high school wages and was only part-time, so I moved on to Cox Communications where I quickly became the Senior Encoding technician for their Campaign Fulfillment Center. The easy way to explain what I did there is to say I approved commercials to go on-air in the various Cox markets. It was a very demanding job.
While I was at Cox, I got married and had my first baby. Being a new mother was difficult for me, I struggled a little bit with postpartum depression and didn’t have a support system since most of my family was still in Omaha, NE. To top it off, my son Ethan was a terrible sleeper, and would not drink out of bottles… yes, you heard that right! I was the only person able to feed him and it was the most exhausting experience of my life.
When the time came for me to go back to work, I realized I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t imagine jumping back into an extremely stressful working environment while worrying about my child being hungry, so I resigned from my position.
When my son Ethan was about 10 months old, things got much easier. He was drinking from cups and eating solid foods, so I was ready to go back to work. I interviewed for several media positions, was in the top two for one of them, and top five for the other, but received no offers. I was extremely discouraged and felt like I wasn’t allowed back in the corporate media world.
Now to how I decided on professional organizing.
I’ve always been a very tidy person. I come from a big family, I’m the fifth of eight children. So as you can imagine, my house was complete and utter chaos! My earliest memory of being tidy is back when I was 6 years old and I wanted to wash the dishes so bad, that I took a chair to reach the cabinet, and I took clean dishes and put them in the sink so I can wash them. From that point on, I was sort of a Tidy Tessa.
Throughout my life, I’ve been the one out of my siblings that can’t sit in a messy room. I start straightening up immediately. I recall watching a show called The Amandas and thinking, you can do this as a job? So a few weeks after watching that show, I hired a professional organizer to help my mom.
The light bulb didn’t go off in my head until my sister recalled what the professional organizer did while she worked with my mom, and said “she just did what you always do. You should start a professional organizing business.” And I thought, well why didn’t I think of that? I then reached out to a popular professional organizer in Atlanta, and she let me come on a few jobs with her and encouraged me to go ahead and start my business. So in 2013, Restore Order Professional Organizing was created, and the rest is history.
What are the most common questions you are asked as an organizer?
When I first started out, professional organizing wasn’t known like it is today. When I told people what I did, they’d say “so you clean houses”? I’d tell them, no, I’m not a maid. I teach people how to sort through their items to declutter their space and create systems so they can maintain the organization.
Many people also assume they are hoarders, I always tell them, if you called me on your own, you are not a hoarder. I haven’t had many hoarders as clients, and when I do, it’s usually a family member who makes contact with me.
There are some people who a chronically disorganized, and that can be caused by many circumstances like having ADHD, mental health challenges, getting older, and going through loss just to name a few. There are many reasons a person can become disorganized, but it’s important to know there are people out here to help you through it.
Tell me about Tidy Tessa – how did you come up with an idea to write a children’s book?
Having kids will change everything you know about organization! My kids have caused me to organize, and reorganize throughout their lives. Realizing how many adults just don’t know how to organize, I thought I would write a children’s book to teach kids while they are young, so they can become tidy adults. (You can find Tidy Tessa on Amazon.)
If you could give everyone ONE piece of advice or word of encouragement, what would it be?
Staying organized is a lot simpler than you think. To quote my book Tidy Tessa, “When you are done with something, put it back where it belongs so you will always know where to find it.”
When you are done with something, put it back where it belongs so you will always know where to find it.Tidy Tessa, by Naeemah Ford Goldson, CPO
Who Is Your Inspiration?
My biggest inspiration will always be my mother! Not just because she is the most disorganized person I know, but because she has always expressed to me and all of my siblings that we can achieve anything! She has always supported my goals and dreams no matter how silly they might have been.
What are your favorite storage hacks?
In addition to being a Certified Professional Organizer®, I am also a custom closet designer.
My top storage hack is to redesign your closet to fit your needs. Taking an inventory of how much short hanging and long hanging items you have. Also counting your shoes, handbags, belts, scarves, ties, and whatever else you store in your closet. Then getting a design that works around those items, it’s life-changing!
I also love file folding, although not the Marie Kondo way, more of a modified version of retail folding so you can actually see the front of the shirt so you know what you are pulling out. I also love using a decorative bin for anything. If you have extra shoes, and nowhere to put them, get a montauk bin from The Container Store, slap a bin clip on it, and voila! Your items now have a home.
What is the National Association for Black Professional Organizers and how can people join it?
NABPO was created because I along with five other women, saw a need for black people and other people of color to be represented in an industry dominated by white women.
When choosing a career, it’s discouraging when you don’t see many people who look like you. I was raised for most of my life in Omaha, NE, and I understand how it feels to be the only black person or person of color in the room. You often feel ignored and that is how I felt getting into the organizing industry.
When I finally met more black female organizers after creating a Facebook group specifically for us, I realized I wasn’t the only person who felt this way. NABPO is an inclusive group, but it is also a safe space for women of color to come and know their voices are being heard. Anyone can join NABPO through our website.
What are some of your favorite “must-have” storage products?
I absolutely love Montauk bins, and bin clip labels! I love having a toy sorter, I have one upstairs and one downstairs. Ikea sells a magazine rack that I use to sort permission slips, mail, school work, etc.
As a designer for Closet Envy, how do you come up with new designs?
The designs are typically a collaboration between myself and the client. I take notes on what their needs are, and what they are hoping to achieve. It’s important to take inventory of the space and note the height of their hanging clothes. I definitely have an aesthetic that is simple, clean, and functional so all of my designs are typically done in that manner.
Every now and then I’ll get a client who wants a cool funky space. The space is custom, so measurements have to be precise, from the slanted ceiling, down to the baseboard. I am very detail-oriented, so I always make sure my clients have the best designs for their needs.
You have a certificate in ADD – if someone has ADD and has trouble keeping their home organized, how can they overcome that challenge?
In order to overcome the challenge, they first need to consult with their doctor and determine what is the best course of action for them to cope.
With past ADHD clients, I found it important to really listen to them on how or why they organize the way they do. What works, and what doesn’t work for them. I then collaborate with them to determine what might be best for them to maintain the organization. Sometimes it’s as simple as labeling something with a name that makes sense, rather than what you think it should be.
So if you have a stack of papers that need to be sorted, simply label them as “sort these”, instead of something like “important papers.”
It’s also important to work with an organizer who has experience working with someone who has ADHD. If you are looking for an organizer, that should be one of the preliminary questions. You can also find great organizers who have experience with ADHD through ICD.
The Best Articles from Naeemah
Being able to sit and chat with Naeemah was such an honor. This amazing woman has been featured on Martha Stewart Living and was even in the September 2019 issue of Parent Magazine where she shared tips on organizing your kids!
Here are just a few of our favorite articles by or about Naeemah Ford Goldson.
- Five tips for helping kids of all ages get organized – Omaha World Herald
- 5 Tips to help you successfully meal prep this year – Omaha World Herald
- The Sisters Guide to Clearing Clutter – For Good – AARP
- The Best Way to Organize Your Shoes – Martha Stewart Living
- Can you really be productive as a parent? Here are 4 tried-and-true tips. – Omaha World Herald
Where to find Naeemah Ford Goldson
Go follow Restore Order Now, especially if you need a professional organizer in Atlanta, Georgia!
Here are all of her social media links:
- YouTube – Restore Order Now
- Facebook @RestoreOrderNow
- Instagram – @Restore_Order_Now
- Twitter – @RestoreOrder
- Pinterest – @RestoreOrderNow
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!
INFLUENTIAL HOME ORGANIZATION EXPERTS
If you are looking for a professional home organizer near you, search our website. We are always trying to interview people from all over the United States.
Here are a few other fantastic organizers we had the pleasure of chatting with as well.