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The Southampton Press – June, 2006

They’ll Bring Order To Your Chaotic Life

By Jennifer Davis Whether it is organizing cluttered closets, color-coding sock drawers or moving the entire contents of a house across country, representatives of Cross It Off Your List say there is no task too big or too small for them to tackle. Now Cross It Off Your List, which was founded in 1990 by Linda Rothschild, has expanded its team of personal assistants and organizers to cater to the needs of people living and vacationing in the Hamptons with an office in Ms. Rothschild’s Sag Harbor home. “I don’t think this is a seasonal thing,” added her associate Joy Sarfaty, who explained that the influx of year-round residents in recent years means the firm’s services will be in demand during all seasons. Ms. Rothschild and her associates do not physically move boxes, but they will find the right movers, tag everything and make sure a client’s favorite pillow is fluffed and in place when he lays his head down for the first time in a new home. Coordinating every step of the way, the Cross It Off Your List team offers organizing, relocation and management services. That includes waiting for the cable guy or planning a party for 50 with little notice. “We do this in our sleep,” Ms. Rothschild said. While the company’s organizers may be able to straighten out a mess in their sleep, they do not do it cheaply. Rates vary from $65 to $150 per hour, depending on the nature of the task. When she started her company, Ms. Rothschild said, she has no idea she would still be going 16 years later. “It was really a fluke,” she said. After returning to New York from south of France when her father was ill, she was simply looking for work, not to start a business, she said. “It was about keeping myself busy,” she said. At the advice of some friends, Ms. Rothschild said, she began doing odds and ends for people, which led to helping a client move. “Once I did moving, I was hooked,” she said. Today, her spectrum of clients is broad and diverse. Everyone from the basically disorganized to workaholics and single parents come knocking on her door, she said. Although her client list includes its share of celebrities, Ms. Rothschild said she has plenty of ordinary clients too. “This is not just for the super wealthy,” said Ms. Sarfaty, who runs the company’s Hamptons office. “This is for people that don’t want to take the time to do it.” “We see a lot of expectant mothers,” Ms. Rothschild added. “Often, it is something traumatic that makes people call us.” With years of experience between them, the women said they have received requests large, small and odd. Finding a British telephone booth and planning a last-minute hoedown, complete with hay and pitchforks, are among the requests that stand out in their minds. But, mostly, they said, their biggest challenge is removing clutter. “People get very overwhelmed with their stuff,” Ms. Sarfaty said, adding that throwing things away can be emotionally difficult for many people. “Some people have a resistance to getting rid of things,” Ms. Rothschild said. “A lot of people don’t even know what they have and end up buying everything twice.” But, rest-assured, these organizers will not force their clients to part with a favorite tchotchke. “We will never insist you get rid of things.” She added. “We might give you six reasons why you should, but we will never make you.”