Photo by Debra Thornblad
Debra Bosquet has organized her own life at home. These containers are stored in a closet and carefully labeled to help her find what she needs. (click for larger version)
November 14, 2012GORHAM - Debra Bosquet had been a kindergarten teacher at the Ed Fenn Elementary School in Gorham for 19 years, and had loved every minute of it.
Over that time she noticed that when the classroom and projects they were working on were kept neat and organized, students did better.
Describing herself as a "minimalist," she said she had always had a philosophy of having just what you need and love, and kept things organized in her own personal life as well.
So when she began to feel there was something else for her down the road, being a teacher, she put two and two together and got "Reclaim Your Space," a new business she started in June.
"I know my organizational skills had paved the way for good days with the kids," she said. "I knew I could expand that to help others."
Bosquet said she came to this realization through her work as a teacher. Not only had she realized kids did better with organization, but she had met parents who were not doing as well as they could because they were not organized.
The business officially started in June, but Bosquet said she had been helping people unofficially long before that.
Bosquet has always believed the less you have, the better organized you can be.
"Your home should be full of things that bring you joy," she said.
Being organized also helps you keep things need and clean. Bosquet said her college roommate used to laugh at her because she'd dust the little hard to get to area of her alarm clock with a Q-tip.
Bosquet started getting her name out by doing volunteer work, including organizing the food pantry for Senior Meals and organizing things for an adult day care in Londonderry.
She was also part of a team working on a house in Manchester for the TV show Hoarders. Her job was the basement. She had to wear a mask and protective clothing because of a mice issue and mold that was there. They started by laying tarps outside. They brought stuff out and sorted it, putting similar items on each tarp. It took five hours just to do this part.
The owner of the house had had an intervention 10 years ago, but had filled the house again. Bosquet said only about four percent of hoarders are "cured."
Because of the psychological needs involved with hoarding, Bosquet said this is an area of the business she is not interested in pursuing. She feels her strengths lay more with helping people get organized that just don't know where to start and feel overwhelmed.
"I am more interested in helping people get their house in order so they have more time to do things they want to do," she said.
For example, recently she helped a woman who had a "gorgeous" big house, but just didn't know how to take care of such a large house with children.
"I helped her room by room. I helped her decide what had value for her now and what didn't," she said.
Other clients have needed help organizing recipes and photo albums.
Bosquet is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). There are only 24 members in New Hampshire and she is the only one north of Concord. NAPO offers classes to help members get licensed, which she is not fully yet, although she is fully insured. Licensing requires 3,000 hours of working with clients and she will have to then take a test.
Right now Bosquet is averaging about three days a week in her new career. She is continuing to do volunteer work at the food pantry and is enjoying having the time with her family.
"I'm non-judgmental. I'm just there to help, make your life easier," she said.
She stresses all of her work is confidential. "I don't divulge any information about my clients." she said.
When taking on a new client , Bosquet said she first holds an initial consultation to identify the client's needs and goals. Bosquet charges a straight $20 per hour. She taked care of donations and dump runs for no extra charge. So, for example, for just $100 a client can get five hours of help in sorting and organizing their life. And she does work weekends.
For more information, Bosquet can be reached at 752-5339/723-5882 or reclaimyourspacewithdeb.com