This story is part of an ongoing series covering the "Hidden Businesses" of Divisadero and NoPa. Meet Modern Hound, Birthday Life Vintage and Hello Cheetle, three more creative local businesses that don't have storefronts.
There are few jobs out there that have more of a level of intimacy than personal organizing. Sorting through belongings, occasionally deciding what's trash and what can be discarded, and then rearranging everything into a comprehensive system requires not just an analytical and patient mind, but also a willingness to roll up one's sleeves and tackle big projects. For many people home organization is a struggle, at which point they may reach out for help—and find Danae Cacciolfi of Spacemakers.
Since 1993 Danae has been using her problem-solving skills to help people of all walks of life keep their home or office lives organized. "I really enjoy it," she says. "It's something I love to do. When I go into a space my mind immediately starts working."
In the early-'90s Danae was working as a receptionist at an East Bay temp agency. Occasionally she'd fill in on jobs, and would often find herself bored with the workload in slower-paced offices. So, she'd start organizing.
Her work began to be recognized, and soon the temp agency was sending her out on personal organizing jobs at different offices. Shortly afterwards she moved to NoPa and launched Spacemakers, her own personal organizing company.
When asked what the neighborhood was like when she moved here in 1995, Danae laughed. "It was bordering sketchy," she said. But she started putting down roots, developing a client base, and 20 years later she's committed to living and working in a neighborhood that's still changing around her.
The job brings Danae wide variety of clients. "I've worked with people preparing for a new baby, an incapacitated or deceased spouse, artists, closets, and garages," said Danae. Once, a customer even hired her just to organize his jumble of cords and match his Tupperware tops and bottoms. There's no shortage of variety, which means that in order to prepare for the unexpected, Danae has perfected her client intake system.
(Before and after, via Spacemakers)
Danae explains that she'll never take a job without a free in-person go-see to assess the situation and determine if it's workable. If it's a paper-organizing task, she won't take it. If it's a case of someone who's compulsively disorganized (a polite term for hoarders, she explains), then chances are she won't take that one either. And if it's an ongoing regular organizing job, she'll turn that down, too. Her services, she explains, should usually be a one-time thing.
Using a unique sliding-scale billing system, Danae told us it's important to make sure that low-income individuals to still afford her services. She bills hourly, but explains that "a lot can be done in one hour!"
With 20 years of personal organizing under her belt, Danae has an endless stream of interesting stories. There's the customer who hired her to organize her kitchen, hired her again to remove everything from the kitchen for a renovation, and a third time to put everything back once it was done. From an 87-year old Italian women to the owners of mansions in Pacific Heights, Danae has seen it all.
Many of Danae's customers are referrals, or discover her on Yelp. For those who are interested in her services, she has a large collection of before and after photos showcasing her work. To hire Danae or have her stop by for an initial assessment, you can email her at danae333 [at] juno [dot] com, or give her a call at (415) 656-5948.
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