The New Year brings new priorities for many – among them, decluttering. If your home, office, or space has you feeling like yelling SOS, we get it. So does Julie Braun. In 2019, she started Smart Organizing Solutions – S.O.S. right here in Sauk Rapids.
Julie grew up in Cold Spring and raised her family in Sartell. “I stayed in the area because my family lives here! I also had some great job opportunities – the first of which was working for the City of Cold Spring as their Deputy Clerk/Treasurer and then as the Finance Director in Sauk Rapids. I worked in government finance for about 20 years. While working full time and raising three elementary-age kids, I was also doing the books for our construction company on evenings and weekends. In 2002 I left the public workforce and focused on our family business and raising our kids. This allowed me to be there for my kids (and many neighbor kids) after school. Our construction company grew into a successful commercial contracting business which I thoroughly enjoyed as the CFO.”
So what led her from accounting to organization? “In 2019 I realized that I was burnt out on crunching numbers and sitting behind a desk. To be honest, the concept of creating a professional organizing business came to me in a dream. I woke up and jotted down “Business/Home Organization”. When I googled this the next day I stumbled on information about organizing as a profession and realized while there were many services in the metro area, it was a service that was untapped in the St Cloud area.
In the last three years of business, SOS has flourished. They’ve gone from ‘just Julie’ to a staff of 12 employees. “I am blessed to have a team of hardworking, compassionate staff who are dedicated to making SOS a great company to work with. The SOS team is like one big happy family!”
SOS is more than your average organization company. Their services include organizing clients’ homes, moving and packing services, cleaning services, and hosting estate sales. After hosting their first estate sale in 2020, they realized space was needed, so they can now be found in Sauk Rapids as the SOS Treasure Chest. This allowed them to create a retail location for antiques and other items their clients are parting with. “We sell a lot of items online for our clients (and still do) – which our clients love because we do all the work and manage the negotiations until the sale is final. We sell our client’s purged items on a commission basis so there is new, fresh inventory arriving weekly. Our clients appreciate this opportunity as a way to recoup some value from their treasures – and it offsets the cost of our services.”
Locally, Julie and SOS are able to work with realtors who are helping clients get ready to sell – whether they’re relocating or transitioning to senior living, etc. Julie is also part of Chamber and the River City BNI which keeps her connected. They offer free consultations and all of their services are strictly confidential. “SOS can take the stress out of your mess!”