When we moved to our new house nine years ago, my seven year old daughter was delighted to find a small loft leading from her bedroom. She called it her “office” (I’m a working mom with an office at home), and we furnished it with a desk and bookshelves. Over the year, she accumulated quite a collection of broken crayons, dried up markers, half-finished craft projects and Hello Kitty accessories. And we kept buying more baskets and bins to corral her stuff. When she entered high school, I knew I had to deal with her “office.” She needed a simple study space without a lot of distraction. The idea of clearing out eight years of her childhood paralyzed me and upset her. To avoid the mega battle, I hired Ellen. They disappeared upstairs. Occasionally, I’d hear a burst of laughter. Twelve bags of trash (!), piles of recycling and several donation boxes later, I couldn’t wait to have a look. And there sat my daughter, in her sparkling office, completely organized and ready for a fresh start. Unbelievably, a year later, she keeps it (almost) the same way. Her closet, of course, is another story. That’s the next Ellen project. My advice? Hire Ellen. She gets the job done cheerfully, painlessly and even hauls the castoffs to recycling, the library or where ever else they need to go.
I have known Ellen Madere for two decades; first as an amazing photo editor at Esquire Magazine and then as a friend. She is and always has been the most connected, reliable, efficient fountain of information, what’s “going on now” and valuable resources of anyone I’ve ever met. We have worked together over these many years as collaborators and friends.
In December 2010, my beloved sister, an artist and photographer, passed away. One of the first people I called was Ellen. My sister had spent thirty two years living in the same charming apartment. Being an artist and “collector,” I did not know where to begin; archiving her work, donating her clothing and other things I had no room for. And, just plain organizing the dismantling of a thirty two year life in one beautiful West Village apartment.
Ellen to the rescue. She not only was there for moral support, but she also spent days organizing donations, give aways and most importantly, my sister’s lifetime of artwork....
I couldn’t have survived this monumental emotional, artistic and physical undertaking without Ellen. She is a godsend in every way; personable, totally devoted, organized to the nth degree and efficient and reliable beyond description. I would want Ellen in my corner for anything!!!!!!!
Projects I never thought I would start, no less see finished, are now completed beyond my dreams. And I no Longer have to feel guilty about never getting to them. Ellen is a blessing to this busy family.
Ellen constructed and organized our wine cellar - almost 800 bottles - start to finish. Best gift I ever gave my husband who could never find the time. And she helped us find the greenest solutions to refinishing our basement. Thank you Ellen for your great work and creative solutions!
After our parents passed away, I had projects that I not only had no time for but did not even know where to begin. I simply was too busy and did not have the expertise to figure out how to get them accomplished - tasks like transferring old movies to discs, replating old brass beds, locating the best place to polish old silver or restore old paintings, preserving inherited papers and memorabilia. At this point I think she knows everything about everything, or at least who to ask!