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I met Jill Pollack in 1998 when she came on as my Producer for the online entertainment series, Starfreaky with the PSEUDO Online Television Network. She had just come from several years at the Sally Jessy Raphael show as a Producer and was at the top of her industry game. As an academic whiz with a Columbia University education, she loved to mix irreverent pop culture with smarty pants information to deliver a clever and cool product. We instantly hit it off and since then, she’s been involved in my life as a mentor, big sister and cherished friend.
Knowing Jill Pollack for all of my adult career has been a true blessing and I’ve grown forward as a result of it. I’ve watched her grow as well, as a Mother to her son, Sam and in her professional life as a Television Producer and now, a Celebrity Organizer and Host of her own HGTV show, CONSUMED. I’ll never forget when she rang me up from Hawaii, in the middle of the night, from the bushes with her production crew, where she was producing a reality show, to declare she was done with television producing. It was a pivotal, spiritual moment and one that transformed her life. Upon her arrival back to the mainland, Jill gracefully allowed her Type A skill set to set in. She’s been living her dream life, as an Organizational Expert ever since.
JZ: How did you go from producing television to organizing?
JP: I had gotten heavy into the REALITY game of TV and I felt that it wasn’t the best use of my abilities. I really wanted to help people as well as entertain them. I didn’t know what to do with my life after I quit TV producing cold turkey, so I started going through the drawers and cabinets of my house. I was living in Los Angeles with a dear friend from college at the time, an interior designer, and he wanted me out of his closets so he sent me to help one of his celebrity clients who had so much stuff in her dining room that he couldn’t get the new dining room chairs in there. He thought the task would be fun for me… and of course it was! I knew right then and there what I should be doing!
JZ: I remember that! And you were SO good at it. Is organizing a natural talent or learned skill?
JP: I think it can be both. I happen to be an intuitively organized person, but I think one can learn. At least I am hoping that is the case for calorie counting, something I am not intuitive at but always trying to learn.
JZ: With several years of crackerjack organizing now under your belt, what is your process once being brought on by a new client?
JP: I come in and let them show me around to describe what areas are a problem. Many times they don’t even see some of the areas that are issues as well. The kitchen, bedroom, office and bathroom are the most used rooms in the house and should be the best organized. Everyone thinks their garage or attic is the big problem when their refrigerator has three month old lettuce in it. THAT’S a more immediate problem. After I assess, I make a plan of attack. Each person’s needs, goals and budgets are different so I try to keep that in mind. The method to getting organized is pretty simple. Purge unwanted items, assess what you have left and make a system for use and storage of the items you have kept.
JZ: How does being organized benefit a person?
JP: I know that being organized is an important for the mental and physical health of a person. I know that when you know where your stuff is and what you have to do you can sleep at night and make time for the important things in life like family time and exercise.
JZ: What are some easy tips anyone can do to add color and organize their home / office / life?
JP: I have so many but here are some of my faves: make your bed everyday, put bin liners at the bottom of trash cans to take out the trash easier, hang hooks in your closet for pajamas and jeans/sweat pants that aren’t dirty but have been worn, make a command center for your keys, purse, wallet, cell phone charger, use uniform hangers in your closet so you can see all your clothes hanging at the same height. Easy and colorful life changers for sure!
JZ: What’s next for you?
JP: I am hosting a new HGTV show, CONSUMED, that premieres Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT on HGTV Canada beginning August 30. It is an extreme home experiment where I challenge overwhelmed families drowning in stuff to survive for 30 days with only the bare essentials. With their stuff gone, I give each family the chance to rebuild their lives from scratch, both physically and emotionally, by forcing them to confront the effect of clutter on their lives and their relationships. It’s extremely cathartic and I am incredibly excited with this next level of my career.
Jill Pollack can be found on her website at www.JillPollack.net and also hosting the HGTV Canada show, CONSUMED, Tuesdays at 10pm ET/PT starting August 30, 2011.