Shop Talk: Ellen M. Kramer
Productivity & Organizing Consultant, A New Leaf
Please describe your role at A New Leaf. I founded A New Leaf in 2003 after 10 years as a high-level executive assistant. I wanted to take the skills that I developed over my career to help businesses and individuals get control over their environments, both internal and external.
A New Leaf focuses on creating or optimizing systems and structure – in layman’s terms, what does this mean? All of us live our lives in some sort of pattern or system, whether it’s a healthy pattern or not. Often, people come to me when they’re overwhelmed by the consequences of those patterns. Structure refers to the bones of your system of living. Does the person have all the right tools in place to be successful at what they’re trying to do?
In a nutshell, what does A New Leaf do? A New Leaf helps people to clear clutter from their mental and physical environments so that they can enjoy their lives and accomplish their goals.
What is a common genesis of business clutter? Delayed decisions on items and tasks typically cause problems with organizing in business. Another common issue is difficulty with delegating to others, or feeling as though you need to do everything yourself.
How do you navigate the different organizational styles of your clients? Early in my career as an organizer I had some great training from a group called the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. This helped me to understand the differences in how people attach to objects and how to best help them move through that. Being in business for 16 years, the experience has been the most help in navigating different styles, and has helped me understand where they are coming from, with empathy.
What is the most integral part of your business process? Establishing and maintaining trust is the most integral part of my process. Admitting that you need help with organization or getting things done isn’t easy for anyone. It’s very important that I make people feel safe and that they can be honest with me about what’s going on with them.
Is there a connection between organization and mental well-being? Absolutely, clutter causes people to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Once the clutter is cleared from the physical space, they have enough clarity mentally to tackle the behaviors that lead them to having the problem in the first place.
A New Leaf, 115 Delton’s Landing, Picayune, Miss., (601) 916-5300, ANewLeafProductivity.com