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Snohomish County Business Journal/Christina Harper 
(click to enlarge)
Monika Kristofferson of Lake Stevens is the owner of Efficient Organization a business she began two years ago to help those who need help with clutter in their homes and offices.

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Jim Davis, Editor
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Published: Monday, December 29, 2008

Efficient Organization helps businesses reduce clutter, save money

Anyone with a business who is drowning in paperwork and trying to find where they put that invoice that should have been paid two weeks ago, would be envious of Monika Kristofferson’s Lake Stevens home office.
Files are labeled and stored, the desk is clear and papers and bills are organized. All this and the business owner keeps information on her kids schedules and soccer information neatly in a book/folder she has developed.
Entrepreneur Kristofferson began her business, Efficient Organization, two years ago. Since then, she has helped people in and around Snohomish County to get clear of clutter. She enjoys giving people advice, public speaking and networking.
“I love it. I’m very excited about it,” Kristofferson said.
Kristofferson was only 4-years-old when she realized her knack for organization. That’s when she began telling her mother that she wasn’t making the bed correctly.
For years, Kristofferson was a certified back office medical assistant in an ear, nose and throat clinic. In 1996 she quit her job and moved to Texas.
“My husband is in aerospace,” Kristofferson said.
Kristofferson spent a decade working as a stay-at-home mom. She kept the house in order, organized and balanced. To stay organized at home she gets everything ready and cleans at night.
Part of being a professional organizer means that Kristofferson connects with clients and watches them look at things in a new way.
“What I do is so personal,” she said. “A lot of people are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.”
Clients can be nervous about bringing people to their homes or offices when there is a lot of clutter and disorganization. A consultation with Kristofferson can allay their fears. She looks at the situation and provides a lot of information on what can be done. Clients can have the consultation alone or after that initial meeting they can choose to have Kristofferson come back and work with them side by side.
Some clients may need a checklist to figure out what they need such as a shredder, recycle bins, and other equipment. Kristofferson helps them sort out where paperwork needs to be: in active files, a filing cabinet or sensitive storage in a fireproof box.
“There are ways of separating things out,” Kristofferson said. “Ideas to stay on top of paperwork.”
When it comes to offices Kristofferson helps clients figure out where the best place for them is to set up their systems.
“If you have an office down stairs would you really go down there?” she said. “Make it easy to stick with it.”
Talking about goals and space, and how to let go over clutter really can help clients.
“When we are not sure what to do with something we set it aside,” Kristofferson said.
Things pile up and before we know it we are in clutter chaos and feel overwhelmed.
“People can have a hard time letting things go,” Kristofferson said. “They are afraid they will make a mistake.”
Kristofferson writes a blog to help others with their organization, gives classes through the Lake Stevens School District and Northshore YMCA. She has also used her skills to help those in need, in one case at a domestic violence shelter.
“It’s all the things that I enjoy,” Kristofferson said. “They come together.”
Having clutter and disorganization is emotional for some. Kristofferson asks people to question themselves: what’s the worst thing that could happen if I parted with that item?
“Honor what you keep,” Kristofferson said. “Use and enjoy it. If it’s kept in a box hidden away then you are not honoring it.”
Kristofferson keeps up with news in her industry in many ways. She is a member of NAPO, the National Association of Professional Organizers. Members meet locally too with a group in Snohomish County.
As well as online networking, The Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce is another networking group for Kristofferson who also attends a monthly meeting of La-De-Biz, a small group of women who host more intimate meetings.
“It gets me together with people from other businesses,” Kristofferson said.
For more information, call 425-220-8905 or visit www.efficientorganizationnw.com.

Christina Harper is a Snohomish County freelance writer. She can be reached at harper@heraldnet.com.