Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Pooja Gugnani Wants To Clean Up Your Mess ... and Improve Your Life (plus, a special 'Organizing With You' Valentine's offer)

Pooja Gugnani is a pretty neat person, personally and professionally.

Her expertise, and heartfelt passion, is in helping people reduce clutter and chaos in order to attain a healthier sense of place. So it shouldn't be too surprising that she "fit right in" at a recent Jewish B2B Networking event, despite being of East Indian heritage.

It isn't that the organization, of which I recently became aware and am quite impressed--a feature on its founder, Shalom Klein, will be coming soon--is anything but openly and warmly inclusive. But amidst a group of mostly middle-aged Jews gathered at the Evanston Sam's Club early on a Thursday morning, Pooja was a bit of an atypical and--as befits her specialty--aesthetically pleasing presence.

And as I soon learned, through an introductory conversation, substantive online information about Pooja's business, Organizing With You, and a subsequent interview, helping people "lose clutter and gain control" isn't just her way of making a living. It's her proud purpose in life.

Coincidentally, just days after I met Pooja last week, on Sunday she enjoyed the highest profile exposure yet for her organizing expertise by appearing nationally on NBC's Open House program. You can see her full segment in the clip below:

Before & After shots from Organizing With You. Click for more.
"I love what organization can do for people. It really changes people's lives," she expresses. "Using my own systematic approaches, customized for each client, I simplify lives, increase productivity and clear the pathway to other important destinations individuals want to reach."

Born and raised in Mumbai--where even as a young child she had a penchant for meticulously organizing her toys--Pooja came to America at 17 to study Economics at Pitt. She went on to earn a Master's in Public Policy & International Development from Michigan State and for six years worked for the Michigan State Medical Society, ascending to the role of Manager, Membership Development.

Having further realized how much she enjoyed helping people and incorporating creativity into her professional endeavors--in part echoing her lifelong passion for fine art painting--after planning two elaborate wedding celebrations (in Chicago and Bombay) and getting married to Jashin Gugnani in 2009, Pooja was ready to pursue a new calling upon relocating to Chicago.

"Although I loved my job and what I was able to accomplish, between getting married and moving to Chicago, I just felt inspired to try something new," she conveys. "It gives me such pleasure to be able to help people through organizing, and to also help further how the profession is perceived. People readily hire investment bankers, lawyers, architects, personal trainers and other specialists to help them in myriad ways. I'm proud that a lot of my customers, from families to office managers to behavioral health practitioners, are really beginning to understand the value of a professional organizer. Many companies are even beginning to include organizing services in their Employee Wellness Programs."

For Pooja, one of the most gratifying aspects of the growth & development of Organizing With You is being enlisted by physicians, therapists, psychologists and other medical professionals to create order and structure for individuals beset by multiple sclerosis, ADHD and other physical and/or emotional challenges. "It's been shown that disorder in one's physical space can often aggravate mental issues. I work to put systems in place to reduce agitation in one's surroundings and facilitate greater self-sufficiency."

Beyond the considerable time and effort she puts towards her clients, including conducting initial interviews to better understand personal processes and proclivities before devising lasting solutions, Pooja is extremely dedicated to expanding her business presence online and off. In addition to designing a newly updated website--www.organizingwithyou.com--and attending numerous networking events, she actively posts organizing tips on Facebook & Twitter and regularly contributes to various internet outlets. (You can see her advice about closet care on Crescendo Apparel's eZine and on eliminating clutter upon the Unclutterer blog.)

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Pooja believes that an Organizing With You session, package or gift certificate can make a very unique and thoughtful gift. "A man spends an average of 20 minutes looking for a remote control, and a woman spends another 7 minutes. So those 27 minutes can be spent doing something romantic instead," she muses, in keeping with her tenet that "organizing is about finding what you need in the least amount of time."

Pooja graciously offers a 10% discount off Organizing With You's standard rates to anyone who mentions seeing the Valentine's Day flyer at right on Seth Saith.

For prospective clients, she also offers a complimentary 30-minute consultation, in-person or by phone depending on geographic accessibility.

While Pooja is deservedly pleased with the way her business has grown, and has aspirations for its expansion, I believe her when she says that the satisfaction in working with new clients is not primarily derived from the income it brings.

"If you feel like disarray in your physical space is limiting productivity, interfering with personal or professional development or keeping you from welcoming visitors--sometimes to the point of quelling relationships--it can really be debilitating," she imparts. "I feel that I am the right person to help people through that, without judgment, and in a way that is self-sustaining.

"I love being able to truly impact people's lives for the better, and am delighted that I can make such a difference on a daily basis."

Organizing With You, Inc.
Pooja Gugnani: (312) 282-8280 | info@organizingwithyou.com
Twitter: @naikpooj | Facebook: Organizing With You

(This story was not sponsored nor requested. I have no affiliation with Pooja Gugnani or Organizing With You beyond providing complimentary design assistance for the above flyer.)

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