What They're Saying

Cathy Fairchild and I met while in South Bend, Indiana about ten years ago. She has been a trusted colleague & friend ever since.  Today, I am writing about my personal experience using Cathy as my professional organizer in 2017, as I was preparing to sell our home of 30 years and move to Colorado.  I had a six-month timeline because my husband was quickly declining with Parkinson's & Lewy Body dementia.  Once I made the decision to move, I reached out to Cathy with what I thought was quite a challenging request.  Could she please come into my home a few hours each week & work with me discreetly as my husband was being cared for by his caregiver in another part of the house?  Cathy so understood and was very kind & understanding to Bill whenever their paths crossed!  We never talked with him about getting rid of anything.  We simply told him we were organizing to move.  Of course, a lot went to Goodwill, an estate sale, & a junk removal service.  Cathy had contacts & facilitated all of that.

The beauty of working with Cathy was that she taught me her wonderful system so that each evening my husband was in bed, I would continue the process of sorting & downsizing.  Room by room.  We allocated the last two weeks to cleaning out the basement, which was stuffed by a man with dementia.  Cathy and I would work side by side.  When I would get stuck, she would ask me a couple of her key questions & I would get back on track.  Cathy made the work seem so doable....she is a pleasure to work with.  I always felt assured we would meet my deadline.  Cathy is an incredibly persistent and hard worker.  She is the consummate professional.  I continue to highly recommend her to family, friends and colleagues. DC (formerly of South Bend, IN)

I showed a friend some videos of the recent organizing Cathy and I had done in my home and they expressed concern about having someone going through their stuff, so I thought about that.

The first day Cathy came for the evaluation I was terrified to even have her there. And she did take some empty boxes out that first day. But I approved absolutely everything that went out the door, from the first day through to the last. She would give reasons and ask and answer questions on if I really needed stuff, but my okay was given for it all. Sometimes I decided to get rid of things that on earlier visits, or even earlier in the same session, I thought I wanted to keep. I was less and less overwhelmed every time she came, because I knew what it was going to be like. I also eventually had ideas of what I wanted to go through and get taken care of. For example, I really wanted my closet cleared out so we could put other things in it. Most of the stuff in there was already in boxes and containers, but she organized them all since I was not physically able to. She put my things to go through on my bed where I was sitting, and I put them in piles if I wanted to keep them or not. Then she took the 'not' piles out my door in bags for trash or donation. And she made the closet look pretty.

There were some other things over the course of our time working together that I didn't want to go through yet and that I didn't want her to go through, so we figured out where they could live until I could go through them.

I contacted her when I did because that's when I realized a professional organizer was what I needed and wanted and that I was ready for it. Scared, but ready. If someone had told me I have to let 'some stranger' touch my stuff and go through it and see my things and forced me into this process, I would have said, "No way." But I got to know her, and she's super nice and encouraging and even greeted my stuffed critters, so she is a keeper.

One reason I picked Cathy was because she listed her rates on her website, but mostly I chose her because some of the Happy Client testimonials sounded like me. She understood them, so I figured she might understand me, too. M, Mishawaka

Cathy is definitely an organizing guru! I was planning a move and hardly knew where to start until I got in touch with her. There was so much to do to prepare my house to put it on the market and Cathy jumped right in and got the process moving. As a person with ADHD who is unfortunately prone to disorganization, it amazes me how Cathy can move through a room so quickly and get her clients to sort their things. There is no pressure to throw things away, but Cathy collects items for a charity garage sale, so anything you might want to part with will go to a good cause. I can safely say there’s no way I would’ve been ready to sell the house/move without Cathy’s help. She truly went above and beyond for me. I’m so grateful for her expertise, her patience and her hard work and I’m happy to say I sold the house for a good profit!   CS (formerly of South Bend, IN)

Genie in a Bottle: Since discovering Cathy Fairchild, a master at decluttering and moving, my education is now complete. Cathy is a certified decluttering expert whose talent, tenacity and fortitude will serve anyone who wants to learn what it means to collect, and what it means to declutter. With Cathy’s help, you can learn the skills of separating the treasures (10% or less) from the symbolic (90% or more) of all that fills your home, office, cottage, and garage. With Cathy’s methods and unwavering strength, you can clean up the clutter in your life once and for all. If you want to be free to move, travel, and invest your precious time in your family and friends, I highly recommend Cathy Fairchild. Hopefully you can find her before she disappears back into her bottle. SW Michigan resident – July 2022

For the past several years, after experiencing a life-changing time in my life, I have been fortunate in knowing the uplifting, energizing, and practical organizing skills of Cathy Fairchild/Say Yes to Less. Cathy was recommended by a friend as I was inundated with objects involved in an estate pertaining to my own family.  

From our first meeting, she proved that she could organize in 2 hours what would have taken me 2 weeks!  That is what I tell others who ask about my experience with her.  She is quick, yet considers my feelings as we categorize belongings; keep, give, dispose.... Each time she comes, I feel lighter and actually can SEE and enjoy my possessions.  I don't know how I would have come this far without her expertise.  She brings containers according to my needs and labels my files for easy access.  I am an artist and have a large studio, which she and I organized (after 38 years in that space).  I could tell Cathy what I need, leave the house, and it would be done quickly and perfectly.  

She was also invaluable in organizing my son's belongings as he moved from my house. He has a video business and has an extensive assortment of equipment, along with personal belongings, to fit into the master suite of a home he is sharing.  

I plan to be on Cathy's client list for the foreseeable future!  I can't express enough my appreciation for her professional manner and invaluable help.  I have given others my recommendation for her skills.  Birdie Rossow McElroy, South Bend, IN  

I want to tell everyone how much the efforts that Cathy Fairchild put into staging a home for me meant. Some people think staging doesn’t matter, but I am here to tell you that IT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE. Also, it is important to get a Professional like Cathy Fairchild to do it.

I listed a home at the same price that it had been listed by someone else for 6 months. No offers had come in during that time. I asked Cathy Fairchild to meet with my Sellers to help them stage their home. My Sellers did everything she suggested. The results were overwhelming. After Cathy came into the picture and put her professional touches to work, the home had 10 showings in 2 days and went under contract on the 3rd day. I can’t say enough good about Cathy Fairchild. You need to hire her for any home you want to have staged and you should seriously consider having all your homes staged by her.  Wayne Birkey, Real Estate Agent, South Bend, IN

We hired Cathy to help us declutter our house when we put it on the market.  Without question, hiring her was the best decision we made in the process.  She showed up with a great attitude, tons of wonderful advice and knowledge, all the requisite materials, and more.  Not only did she help declutter, she also helped in staging our home.  In what was a very stressful time, Cathy was one of the few bright spots; she really made our lives much easier.  Our house sold, and we received many compliments on how well it "showed."  We recommend her without reservation!  LC (formerly of Granger, IN)

Our home is a more beautiful and more peaceful place because of Cathy's superb work with my wife and me.  She helped us to make hard decisions - identifying what we needed, what we could give away or sell, and what could simply be discarded.  Yet she did this with grace, humor, and a "light touch" that allowed us, in the end, to own our decision with a joyful heart.  I will always be grateful for Cathy's professionalism, energy, and common sense, and I recommend her highly.  Thank you, Cathy!   ESL, Granger, IN

Cathy did a fantastic job helping us transition from a very spacious Texas apartment to a tiny, 500 sq. ft. New York City apartment.  She helped us decide what was important to keep, donate, or throw away.  There were a few non-negotiable items that I knew I wanted to make room for - and she created the space for it!  She is very creative - she was able to use what we already had and make it look great! She has a knack for visualizing a room in a way that we never would have thought of ourselves.  

Cathy's passion for organizing, de-cluttering, and simplifying shines through when she works.  You can tell that she absolutely loves what she does, which makes it fun for the client, too!  She never seems to run out of energy and always keeps you focused on the project at hand.  What we thought would be an overwhelming project at first turned into a full day of laughter and fun!  Emily K (formerly of New York, New York)

Cathy helped John, a family member, get ready to move to a retirement village in another state. The rest of the family did not see how this move was going to be possible since John had little emotional and physical ability to sort, toss, and organize. He had saved 75 years of possessions, including what he had taken from his parents' house. This organizing job seemed impossible. However, Cathy Fairchild worked miracles. She helped John work through the entire house, organizing what John would send to auction, donate to charity, throw away, and take with him to his new home. Emotionally, it was very hard for John to part with a lifetime of memories, but Cathy has an unbelievable talent for handling these situations. John's family was completely amazed when she helped John deal with the contents of the entire house so that he could put the house on the market. If it weren't for Cathy, John's move would probably have gone badly, if it had happened at all. Her fee is reasonable and she works quickly and efficiently. She earned every penny! Forever grateful to Cathy Fairchild.  Linda M, San Jose, CA

This testimonial is challenging for me to write because I am afraid I will not do it justice. I hope I am able to fully express my gratitude to Cathy and her service, “Say Yes to Less.” My mother-in-law was moving out of her home after 60 years of memories and “stuff.” As the only family member assigned to this overwhelming task, I needed help! My daughter heard about Cathy and her gift for organizing and de-cluttering. As I worked with Cathy, she empowered me to make difficult decisions that I was left to make on my own. Because Cathy did not have the same emotional attachment, she was the balance I needed when letting go of “stuff.” I found Cathy kind, fair and so very hard working - a combination hard to find! I am forever grateful to Cathy for linking arms with me and tackling this daunting task.  Ruth D, Plymouth

With Cathy's help, I began the huge project of completely overhauling my storage spaces at home.  I was thrilled when Cathy arrived to help me with my library, which was so overstuffed and disorganized that books were stacked on the floor in front of the shelves, blocking access to some of the shelves. Cathy brought boxes, tape, trash bags, sticky notes, and a deep intelligence about how to work with the space.  I rid myself of 160 books that I had read or was not going to read, got all the books organized by genre, and cleared the floor! This project gave me the momentum to tackle my closets and drawers.  I can  honestly say that Cathy gave me the tools and the motivation to organize my home and "say yes to less!"  Mickey H, South Bend

Cathy’s services have been a Godsend to me personally and to my clients.  I’ve found that so many people feel overwhelmed by the clutter in their worlds that they shut down and begin to drown in it.  The shame and depression that accompanies that doesn’t go away with therapy alone—they need to get a handle on their environments.  Cathy comes in with an unflappable “can do” attitude that sets them at ease but moves them through their blocks.  As a holistic practitioner, I have found that Cathy’s services are another healing component beyond mind/body/spirit that help me to help my clients regain balance in their lives.  And the feedback about her from my clients has been incredibly positive.  Katie S, South Bend

Cathy has a great knack for "editing"! She helped me pare down my art supplies which in turn really helped my creative juices flow! I now have distinct and organized work stations for all the different art I like to make! As a bonus, Cathy is a lot of fun to work with! I actually look forward to more organizing with her!  Erin T, Granger

When faced with a big project, I have an intractable habit of telling myself I can’t just go ahead and do it, I have to plan exactly how I will do it, step by step.  Things must be done methodically, in a particular manner, in a particular order, else chaos will rule, I believe.  This belief is rarely useful because I tend to get bogged down on one task and the whole project comes to a halt.   This is what happened to me recently when I had to move from my apartment to a new home across town.  I told myself all my papers had to be carefully organized before they could be filed and boxed for the move.  I had to label all the wires of my A/V equipment so I would know what goes where when I’m ready to reconnect them.  My huge stacks of books, piles of clothes, shelves full of tools had to be meticulously sorted and labeled before they could be moved.  “No worries, I’ll get it done,” I told myself.  After all, when I started out I had plenty of time to make the move, nearly two months. 

This is the story of my life:  Good intentions, too much value placed on “things,” extreme procrastination, excessive planning, myriad undone projects and failed expectations, all resulting in the chaos I had fastidiously plotted to avoid.  The pattern is familiar and pervasive, but I regard it as real only in the rear-view mirror; I never believe it will strike again.  When I finally, reluctantly admitted to myself I needed help with the move and called Cathy Fairchild, I had only one week left.  What had been just another item on my impossibly long to-do list a month earlier had become a real emergency.  I felt overwhelmed, hopeless.

I called Cathy on a Thursday afternoon and explained my desperate plight.  Fortunately she wasn’t already booked.  She arrived at my apartment with an assistant the very next morning and we spent the entire day boxing everything I owned and began transporting it to my house.  The next day, a Saturday(!), and again on Monday, Cathy arrived with two assistants.  I had a jam-packed three-bedroom apartment, and a two-car garage so full I couldn’t park my car in it.  The job of moving was even bigger than I had anticipated, but by Monday evening it was all but done.  I was exhausted, relieved, grateful and elated. 

Since that first emergency intervention, I’ve hired Cathy to help me organize my new house, my garage, and over 20 banker’s boxes of paper files.  Cathy is an organizer, an advisor, a coach, and a doer.  She doesn’t make decisions for me, but she helps me make decisions then she helps me carry them out immediately.  I have thrown out literally hundreds of pounds of paper and donated half a dozen van-loads of unwanted stuff to Goodwill.  What remains is more easily manageable.  I have several more jobs lined up for Cathy.  Each tangled mess I sort out with her assistance brings me closer to a feeling of mastery over my things, and my life.  Tim H, South Bend

Cathy helped me look at my collections in a new way. As a visual artist, I see almost everything as an object in a yet-to-be-painted still life. Cathy stepped in to help me set limits on my collections and art supplies. She taught me ways to store these things so that I can actually find them! Her pleasant personality and non-judgmental attitude eased the pain of parting with extra "stuff" and clutter.  Jackie W, South Bend