Ode to Joy
HOW A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN BECAME A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER Photography by Liesel Schmidt | Photography by Victoria Mance
Most people might not see a connection between getting organized and playing a musical instrument, but those two activities are what define professional organizer, Joy Branagan. A professional French hornist since 1997, Joy has long depended on attention to detail, focus, and drive to find success—and those are the same qualities that earned her placement in the San Antonio Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, as well four years playing in the National Symphony Orchestra as an extra musician. Her attention to detail in music has become vital to the career she’s built in organizing.
As with so many small businesses, it’s the how and why of Joy’s story that are so interesting. “My interest in organizing began several years ago after a particularly difficult audition loss,” she recalls. “I knew I was good at organizing, and I like to joke that I can’t practice my horn unless my space is completely organized. I’d been organizing for friends for fun, but at this pivotal point in my music career, the seed was planted. A few years later when I was freelancing as a musician full-time, I wanted more control over my time and where I worked. I decided to become my own boss and go for it with organizing!”
And thus, Organize with Joy, LLC was born. Since the launch of the company, Joy has gained a reputation for the skills she brings to a project—and really, she doesn’t see it as too different from being a musician. “Practicing and learning new music is all about coming up with ideas and solutions, and that’s exactly what I do when I organize,” she observes. “At the same time, classical music tends to be structured and follows a set of rules, and creating order out of chaos in organizing really relates to that concept.”
That correlation is perhaps what has made the transition such a successful one. “I think the reason most people call me is because that they are overwhelmed with their disorganization,” Joy says. “Where most people see chaos, I see a puzzle to be solved. I love being able to break down projects into categories and figuring out how to make things work. Sometimes it’s obvious what needs to be done, and sometimes it’s trial and error, but because I’m not emotionally attached to the clutter, it’s not overwhelming for me.”
Naturally, organizing is about more than just finding a place for things. It’s about simplifying and, ultimately, making life easier and less stressed by things. “I believe that organization is important because so many people are feeling anxious and overwhelmed in their own homes,” says Joy. “My motto is, ‘Clear your clutter, clear your mind.’ My client testimonials confirm this, and they feel as though a weight has been lifted once their clutter is gone. They can work more efficiently, and their productivity increases. And honestly, you just feel better when you look at a beautifully organized pantry or closet instead of a messy space. I love making my clients’ lives easier, and it’s so rewarding to see the transformation from something that was causing them stress to something that makes them happy! I’m glad I can take that burden away from them. It’s also so personal to invite me into your home and show me your mess, and I never take that for granted. It can be emotional for a lot of people, and I love being able to work with them through it and help make their lives easier.”
For more information on Organize with Joy, LLC, click here