The SOS Organizing Program - Frequently Asked Questions
What is it? Who is it for? Why does it exist? How does it work? When did it start?
The basic SOS Organizing Program is a 12-month system for getting your life and your home clutter-free. It is divided into 12 prerecorded modules of approximately 90 minutes each. These modules cover every facet of organizing from how to approach your clutter, to how to handle yourself when you are having difficulty making yourself organize, when you find yourself massively procrastinating. The program goes from the psychological to the physical. It is designed to be inspiring as well as practical. In every prerecorded module you get practical advice and concrete suggestions about how to handle your clutter.
How do I participate in the program?
The SOS Organizing Program is pre-recorded and is delivered in a webinar format. The webinars are recorded in advance and are delivered to you, one per month, and include a handsome 10 - 12 page handout full of graphics and places for you to write the helpful ideas that you receive every month.
During the webinar you will not see Marsha, you will see the handout as she thoroughly goes through the material one page at a time. When the monthly webinar is over, you will know exactly what to do to start working on your clutter. But even more, you will know the rationale behind every action.
15 minutes – Your organizing is broken down into 15 minute segments. All you need to be able to work this program is 15 minutes. If you can give yourself and your life 15 minutes every day, Marsha will use that to teach you how to get organized. The first thing you will learn is Marsha's popular “quadrant method” for organizing anything. You simply break your organizing surface into quadrants. This does three things: 1) it creates a smaller surface to make decisions about, 2) once you have one quadrant cleaned off, you create a “visual disruption” which compels you do get the rest of your surface cleared off, and 3) it gives you confidence that you can continue… because if you can clear off one quadrant, you can clear off one more. And then one more. And then one more. Until all four are cleared off. Then you learn how to keep it cleared off (“bulldogging it”)
How much does the program cost? The program costs $27. Per month. When I was working as an organizer going from home to home, I used to feel bad for the people who needed me that I couldn’t help. When I was teaching the 4-week classes, I would get email from people who really wanted to take my classes, but couldn’t afford it. My heart would go out, and I would wish I could help more people. When my marketing guy came up with this idea I jumped on it. Finally I could help everyone who truly needed my help, because this program is so affordable that if you just don’t buy fast food for one day each month, you can afford my program. I feel good in my heart because I placed real help in the ability of anyone to be able to get real help.
What else is included in the program? When you join you are invited to join our private FaceBook group (which will become or private community once my website is completed). In the private group you are invited to share your accomplishments, and encourage others who are sharing theirs. We have a FaceBook team who will welcome you, and who will tell you that you are doing a good job. This is important because some people have no one to give them encouragement, and organizing is soooo hard to do!
Also we have a buddy system. You can get a buddy to work alongside you and help to hold you accountable.
Extra monthly challenges. One month we sent books for a village in the Cameroon in West Africa. One month we donated extra shoes to help get water in poor nations. We are always looking for charities that need our help.
How does the program help you? The program helps you physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. It covers all aspects of hoarding / cluttering from why are we like this, to why do we have difficulty making decisions, to what happened to me, to why am I like this and what makes people have the cluttering/hoarding problem in the first place.
How does this help people? The program takes you from where you are, to where you want to go as it relates to your cluttered life. You may be a person with very little clutter, but your files need to be put in order, or you may be a major hoarder with paths that run through your home. You may be a shopaholic and your home is full of bags of things you can’t even put away because there’s no more room, or you may be a wonderful soul who receives a lot of gifts, and you don’t know what to do with them all. Perhaps you’re a young mom with children underfoot and no time to organize, or a professional who takes care of an elderly parent. No matter… the program is designed with your life situation in mind.
Every monthly module is generic enough to apply to your individual situation. I’ve received thank you messages from people from all walks of life, who started with very different situations, and all have been able to be helped through the SOS program’s gentle but firm guidance.
Does it work? Yes. Absolutely. If you simply listen to the program and follow the monthly guidance, the program will work for you. Definitely. Guaranteed. No-doubt-about-it!
How many classes are there? There are 12 pre-recorded classes and 12 10+ page handouts that you receive via email every month. When you make your payment, the class module is automatically delivered to you.
What if I need extra help? Can I call you? Yes, you can call me or send me an email. I am not too busy to help you. And, I really do care.
How many people are signed up? Not enough! Tell your friends, shout it from the rooftops! Paint pictures! Tell stories! For the first time in history, you can get organizing help for only $27. This has never happened before, and will never happen again (if enough people don’t sign up for it continuously). Right now there are 150 people in the program. We are marching on towards 1,000.
How many people are happy? All of the people in the program are happy, or they would not be there.
Am I stuck for an entire year? If you are not happy, you are not stuck in the program. You can get out. So, if you sign up and you are not happy, you can cancel your participation in the program, and no further modules will be sent to you.
Can I get a refund? No. We do not give refunds because you have already received the material and there is no way to get it back. Once you have it, you have it forever. But you can stop all future programs and payments.
Will I know when It’s over? The SOS program officially ends when module 12 is delivered. If you have listened to all of the modules and followed the program, your home will be clutter-free… guaranteed. If you want to stay with the program in a maintenance capacity, you can join the Year 2 & Beyond (Y2B Organizing Club) and learn to cement your organizing knowledge.
In the Y2B you will learn how to take the material to the next level by helping others. Our motto is: “Each one, teach one.”
The way I learned to get organized, once I understood the concepts, was to help other people to get the concepts. That’s what made it stick in my head… finally. It took a long time for me to be able to bring the information to my own life and help someone else.
Don’t you have a program that teaches other people how to be an organizer? Yes… we have a CFO (client-Focused Organizing) professional organizing course and certification program. This program is different because you are not learning how to become a professional organizer (that’s the psychological part of getting someone else to do something), you will be cementing the practical part of knowing how to do it for yourself.
How do I get in the program? Simply click this link to sign up. You can sign up with your credit card OR with your Paypal account. If you don’t have Paypal; no problem. I pay Paypal a fee each month so that you don’t have to use a Paypal account to sign up… just your credit card. The first payment is $27. And the remaining $27 payments will be automatically deducted.
Each month when you make a payment, the next module will be released.
How long are the classes? Each class lasts between 1 hour and 1 ½ hours. You don’t have to listen all at once, you can listen whenever you want, at any time of day or night. You can stop and start the recording.
I don’t have an hour to listen to the recording. Don’t worry. You can listen to it in 15 minute segments, or even 5 minute segments. You can listen while you are doing your daily chores, or while you take your morning walk, or while you work in your garden. The information is easy to listen to, and Marsha has a voice that is very soothing and comforting, yet firm. She will stay with you and give you the confidence that you can do it!
Can this really help me? If you want help and you are willing to try, YES this program can help you. If you are willing to give 15 minutes a day to your life improvement, the YES this program can help you.
What is the format of the program? Can I listen on my IPOD or my other device? Right now the program is in an MP4 format and you can easily download it to your devices. This may change in the future. We are looking for a way to make the program available on devices, where we retain control of how / where the information is retrieved and placed.
When was The SOS Organizing Program started? The program started in May of 2013 by marsha Sims. It was started in a sincere effort to help people who cannot otherwise get help from a professional organizer. The program helps in four ways: 1) helps people on a limited budget because it’s only $27 per month. 2) Helps people who live in a serious time crunch. People who are at home with small children, people who are caring for others, people who are working three jobs, people with time management problems. 3) Helps people who are having difficulty getting started or staying on track – they need the support and accountability that only this hand-holding program can give them to get the energy to get started and keep moving towards their goal, 4) helps people to always know what to do. Sometimes we don’t get started because we feel we don’t know what to do. Our “pefectionistic brain” tells us we can’t get started because we don’t know what to do or how to do it. The SOS program solves that riddle. You will always know what you should be doing, and how to do it. In 15 minute bites. So you have all day to work on your clutter? You will know what to do. You only have 5 minutes? You will know what to do. (Start with 5 minutes, then s-t-r-e-t-c-h it to 6… then 7… etc…) You are never judged, because we in the program have walked in your shoes. We know how it feels to get that way, and we know the steps to get you out of the messy problem.
When do I sign up? You can’t start too soon! The answer is… now. You should click this link (link) and sign up right now. Get started having the home and life you’ve always dreamed about. Stop having nightmares that someone is going to knock on the door and you will be embarrassed. Imagine how relaxed you will feel when you know that company can show up unannounced and you will be ready. Imagine how peaceful it will be when you can actually prepare for guests, and not have to make the mad dash to clean-up before your guests arrive.
When do I start receiving the program? As soon as you click here and make your payment, the first module will be sent to you. 30 days later the next module will be sent to you. The modules are set to be sent out in 30 day intervals.
When am I charged? You are charged on the same day every month. For example, if you sign up on the 5th of the month, you will be charged $27 on the 5th of every month thereafter for 12 months.
When do I finish the program? The program is 12 consecutive months. If you start on the 5th of January, your program will end on the 5th of December.
When do I do the lessons? The lessons are created to be able to be done at every organizing session. For example, in module 1 you will learn how to use the quadrant system. This can be done on every surface. If you are organizing a table, you can use this system. If you are organizing a closet, or a drawer, you can use the information in module 1. In Module 2 you will learn how to maintain the success you have accomplished in module 1, a system called “bulldogging.” You can do that at any moment when you are doing your 15 minute minimum of organizing. In module 3 you will learn about “visual bang,” which is always the goal in organizing. That can be done at any moment. So you see all of the lessons are conceptual, and you will use those concepts throughout the month when you are working on deciding where things go and if you want to keep things.
Clutter is simply postponed decisions. Every class talks about decision making, and how to decide whether to keep something or not.
Also, we don’t spend any time in the program telling you to throw your things away. We know you will decide what to keep based on your own values, likes and dislikes. We do spend time giving you the tools to help you make the important decisions that you have to make about your items, one item at a time (which is the only way to do it.)
When will I start seeing progress? You should start seeing progress after one hour of working the program. The SOS program is designed to be incremental, and it teaches you to get organized in the fastest, most logical way. You will start by selecting and clearing off one surface. Your success will give you the “organizing muscle” to clear off the next surface, and the next, each one building on the one before. When all of your surfaces are cleared off we tell you how to empty all of the boxes that are laying around in your home or packed in closets. After that we venture into interior surfaces (closets, cabinets and drawers) and we teach you sound principles of organizing those, based on the methods you used to clear your exterior surfaces.
When was Sort-It-Out founded? Marsha Sims started her company, Sort-It-Out, Inc. in the winter of 1992. She previously owned a real estate company, Sims Realty, and decided she wanted to do something more meaningful to help people in a different way. As a realtor she saw homes that had difficulty selling because they were so cluttered, and heard other realtors referring to these homes as “dogs.” Knowing that her own home could fit in that category, Marsha began reading books about how to get organized. “The books were all fun and interesting to read, but they didn’t help me in my own home.” When Marsha met Mother Kelly, the woman who told her that she should become a professional organizer, Marsha thought she had made a terrible mistake. “I didn’t know how ot organize anything. There was no way I could help anybody else.” Through a comedy of mshaps, Marsha was asked to help someone, and discovered that it was not about the “stuff,” it was about the person. “I was terrible with stuff, but I’ve always been good with people. Once I understood that organizing was not about stuff, I just focused on the person, and it was easy.”
Now, 23 years and thousands of happy clients and students later, Marsha has pulled everything she has learned into one system designed to help everybody. “There is nobody… no-matter how much clutter they have right now… who cannot be helped with my system.”
Who uses the SOS program? I looked for demographics, and what I found was this: Most of the people in my program are women, but from there it loses any type of measurable demographic.
What does the program do? The program helps you, advises you, assists you, solves your questions about organizing, and demystifies it. The program helps you understand what your organized friends are doing that you aren’t doing. In the program we talk about having a “messy brain” vs an “organized brain.” Is it going to be easy? Maybe not… but it is definitely doable.
Quote from a participant “My house is better than it’s ever been before.”
What do I get? Every month you will get a recording and a 10+ page handout with tips, suggestions, direction. The program is not hard and you can do it. It’s a common-sense approach. You will not get a cheerleader, you will get a guardian angel. One cheers you on from a distance; the other holds your hand and guides you step by step over the rocky paths and through the murky mire. Don’t worry… Marsha holds your hand. She understands. She is with you every step of the way.
Every lesson is easy-to-use, easy-to-do, quick start, easy application, helpful and useful, and helps you.
What should I have ready? How do I get prepared for the program? Should I wait until…
You are ready right now. If you are away on vacation, the program will help you to start thinking and planning what you want to accomplish, and what area you want to start in, and how you want to approach your clutter. You will be ahead of the game. But, if you are at home you can start right now. Listening to module 1 will help you and guide you through the first steps in organizing; making a plan.
Don’t be like my clients who just walk in the room and “start doing stuff.” That way never works. In the program I teach you how to plan your work using schematics and other tools that help you get a good start working in a linear direction towards order.
What does SOS stand for? SOS stands for the “Sort-It-Out Solution,” a comprehensive, one-year approach to dealing with clutter and disorganization. Disorganization is not (only) (purely) physical… it’s what we are thinking about and not thinking about; it’s what we are doing or not doing. It’s the physical manifestation of disorganized thinking. It can also be the physical manifestation of depression, abuse, and lack of energy (laziness – but I would never use that word). SOS is a distress signal, used by ships. In the SOS program we believe that the people who come to us are distressed because they aren’t able to handle the clutter in their homes and in their offices, and we are here to rescue them.
What will I learn?
What do I have to do to prepare for the class? Nothing. All you have to do is be tired of living in clutter, and be ready to do what it takes to make it go away. If you can give 15 minutes a day to the program, you can be clutter-free in one year.
What can I expect from the audio? You can expect to be entertained, informed, and educated. You will laugh and you will reminisce. I tell my story and the stories of other clients so you will feel familiar and you will know you are not alone. Together you will learn everything you need to know to get your home and life organized in one year. On year two we take that information and you will learn how to cement in in your brain, and bring it home.
What will happen if I cancel? You will miss out on the next modules. We will hate to see ou go, and you can return and start from where you left off at any time.
What will happen if I stay? You will complete all 12 modules, and your home will again (or once and for all) be in your control. Like any journey, there may be pitfalls. That’s why I’m here with you every step of the way.
Why did you create the SOS program? I know that organizing is difficult. For some it seems impossible. If you hire an organizer, your home will get cleaned up, but if you don’t learn the skills, it will revert to it’s pre-organizer state. I developed this program to help people stay organized. In addition, I understand that some people don’t have a budget to hire an organizer. I developed this program to help people get the information in a more tangible way than just a book. This program starts you where you are, and gently takes you from disorganization to organization, one step at a time. We are there with you every day. Some students turn on the recording while they are organizing. Some say it helps keep them motivated, others asy it’s easier because they don’t feel alone.
Where do you see the SOS program in the future? The SOS program continues to grow and emerge. We now have a buddy system, and a FACEBOOK team to welcome newcomers. We have a project to send books to a school in the Cameroon n Africa, and we are always looking for ways to make the process of organizing less miserable (more enjoyable)
What tools / supplies do I need? To get started, all you need is a willing spirit. Everything else is described as you go along. For example, you will eventually need banker’s boxes, and hanging file folders, but for the most part this program is not elaborate. There is no fancy equipment to purchase. We try to work with the basic supplies that most of you already have on hand.
What are the chances of me getting organized? If you stick with the program and give it 15 minutes per day, your chances of getting organized are 100%. You can’t fail with this no-fail program! If you listen to a program and you have a question, there are levels of support for you. You can post it on the active Facebook group, talk with your buddy, or call Marsha and she will help get you un-stuck.
Where can I sign up? You can go to www.sortitout.net, and sign up with the link on the first page, or go to the “SOS” link. Or, you can click this link to go directly to the SOS sign-up page. All you need to sign up is a credit or debit card.
What rooms will this course help me with? This course is designed to help you organize every single room in your home. From your entry way, to your bedrooms, to your dining room, guest room, play room, great room, family or Florida room, garage, storage rooms, office and desk. But it goes further… it will help you with all of your exterior surfaces, interior surfaces, and remote surfaces.
What can this program not do? This program can NOT help you to make someone else be organized. No matter how much you want it for someone else, this program is for the person who wants to be organized for themselves. If someone is not ready, they should wait until they are ready to embark on this journey. Clutter is much more than just stuff… it’s an integral part of our psyche. Therefore, just like with any addiction, you cannot abstain for the other person, with clutter you cannot force another person to get organized until they want it for themselves.
Why should I sign up? You should sign up because you are ready to solve this problem once and for all. You have had enough. You are tired of the ridicule, the fear of judgement of others, you are tired of your children being ashamed to bring friends home, and you are tired of your spouse / significant others complaining or feeling sad about your living conditions. You have tried and tried to gain control of your clutter, only to fail again. You should sign up because this is the one program that understands you and where you have been. Marsha understands your journey, and she can help you. Sign up today.
Why should I do an online class? This class is the closest thing to being one-on-one with marsha Sims. It’s as close as a telephone conversation with your best friend. Because Marsha has been where you are, she gently takes you by the hand and talks to you, one friend to another, and helps you to see the light for yourself. An online class is physically freeing, because you are not restricted by time (or time zone). You can literally take the class at any time that suits you. You are a late sleeper? You can take the class when you wake up. You are a night owl? You can take the class at 3am. You are not restricted. You should do an online class because the class is priced so that it is an affordable way to get the service you need, and includes everything you could get in person… including additional help if you need it. This class is the next best thing to being in person one-on-one with Marsha.
Why is it $27? (already answered – I felt bad because people were left out. If enough people sign up, I can afford to do it for this price. If enough people don’t, I’ll resume the classes at $195. Simple.
Why can’t I do this on my own? It’s hard. Clutter and dieting are much harder to stop, because we have to eat and we have to have a certain amount of things in our world. Other addictions can benefit from abstinence, but these require balance and moderation. Moderation is hard for us. Making decisions is hard for us, and ultimately, clutter is simply postponed decisions. (quote from Barbara Hemphill)
Why do you only send audio? When I upgrade the program it will be a video program, but it will be more expensive. This program is in audio format because it is fast and inexpensive to produce, and with that I could make it more affordable. ((do I want to say this???))
Why is the program 12 months? Interesting question… the program is 12 months because I had so much to teach that I couldn’t get it all into less time. My original intention was to make each audio exactly 1 hour, but that was impossible. There was just too much to share. I wanted to pack everything I know into a one-year program so that at the end of one year you would know as much as I know. I think I’ve succeeded in making the program comprehensive, yet easy enough that each module is very doable with step-by-step instructions.
Why can’t I just pay in full? I want you to be happy with the program, and I want you to know that this program is for you. By paying one module at a time, you will have the confidence to know that each module must be effective, and must stand on its own. Because you are not locked in, you know that each module is going to be great.
Why can’t I skip around and do the modules that are the most important to me? Each module builds upon the next one. If you skip around you will not have all of the information you need to do the program effectively. I want you to grow and learn everything you need to now with this program. In order to do that, it should be done sequentially.
Suppose I don’t understand something, or I have further questions? If you get stuck, that’w what we are here for. Just call. Start with your buddy and your FaceBook group. If you are still stuck, you are invited to call Marsha. She will help you get un-stuck.
What else will I learn? You will learn Marsha’s organizing principles:
5 minutes a day
Organize from Big to small
Organize from easy to hard
Always go for "visual bang"
Develop your organizing muscles
Guard it like a bulldog
Find an element of fun
If you take it out; put it back
One-in, one-out, in the same bag
Put things in a find-able format
Turn around and look at it