A Family Home Transforms from Time-crunched to Calm
Queen City Concierge delivers home organization and maintenance to balance family and work
The stress of modern life can push a family to its limits. Anthony and Jessica Pizer and their children were not immune to it. Two demanding professional jobs, two active children (James, 5, and Elyse, 2), and a house to maintain left them tired and stressed day after day from the hectic pace of their lives.
“There just weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done,” Anthony said. “We were trying to keep up with our jobs, our family, the house, and maintaining personal and professional relationships. Then we had to eat and sleep in there somewhere. We were exhausted and always on the wrong end of time.”
The challenge of balancing work and family
The Pizer’s spent weekdays trying to balance work with family time, creating a backlog of chores. By the time the weekend arrived, the couple found themselves having to choose between catching up on house work and spending time with the kids.
“These were decisions we didn’t want to make,” Anthony admitted. “We didn’t want to be forced to put chores before family time.”
To add to their struggles, the time-crunched family found themselves either ordering in or eating out because it was faster. That led to spending too much money on food that wasn’t even healthy. Anthony called this “the double whammy.”
Knowing they needed to deal with this snowballing problem, Anthony and Jessica hired a cleaning service. While they saw some relief, a new problem emerged.
“On the days the cleaning service was scheduled to come, we would do a mad scramble before they arrived so they could actually clean,” Anthony said. “The kids had destroyed the house, so we had to do the ‘cleaning-before-the-cleaning.’ It drove me nuts. We were paying for a service that was now adding more stress. That was mind-boggling to me.”
Anthony and Jessica realized they needed more help than just cleaning. Jessica heard about Queen City Concierge from a co-worker, but it was fate and a doughnut run that brought owner Ashlee Ferguson into their lives.
A thunderstorm, doughnuts, and a tricked-out car
Anthony was making a doughnut stop at a local shop when Ashlee pulled in next to him in her Queen City Concierge car. It was pouring rain, but when Anthony saw who had pulled into the parking spot next to him, no amount of rain was going to stop him.
“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh! It’s Queen City Concierge!’ So I got out of my car and motioned to the driver to roll down the window,” Anthony said. “She probably was wondering who the crazy man was asking her to roll down her window in the middle of a thunderstorm.”
But Ashlee obliged him, and Anthony asked for her business card. They called her two weeks later.
Ashlee walked the couple through different options that could help them put their home back on the right track. After deciding how much work needed to be done and what the Pizer’s wanted to gain from her service, Ashlee started them on a package for 20 hours per month. The first order of business would be catching everything up around the house.
“We started with that 20 hours with the intention of seeing how it went,” Anthony said. “They would have to tackle what had built up over time since we had gotten a bit behind.”
Through the first six months, the family and Laura, the concierge dedicated to them, worked together to learn what their needs were and how to use the service to its maximum benefit. Laura jumped right in, organizing the home and catching them up on chores. A routine evolved, and the family eventually found they only needed 10 hours a month to maintain the house.
“There was a learning curve on our end, but they learned our lifestyle, our house and our tendencies quickly. Laura is incredible,” Anthony said. “Her work ethic is superb. She just comes in, goes right to work, and boom! When she leaves, the house looks great.”
The home concierge process settles in
The couple communicates with Laura through a notebook if no one is home when she arrives. Anthony said it works really well to just leave notes for each other. They’ve come to the point now where they’ve basically turned the house over to Queen City Concierge and Laura. She’s able to come in and take care of things without having to check with the family ahead of time. The deep knowledge of home organization that Queen City Concierge has acquired makes them uniquely equipped to step in where a client may not have considered a need existed.
Anthony and Jessica told Laura, “We’ll follow your lead. You’re doing great, so if you see something that you can fix or make more efficient for us, just do it.” They realized Queen City Concierge sees a lot of houses, and Laura was able to bring a lot of ideas to them that would make the house run more efficiently.
One example of this was the day Laura had a little extra time and organized the food pantry. Anthony said they got a great surprise when they opened that cabinet and could see things, and any expired food in the pantry was gone.
Laura also periodically goes through the clothes in the kids’ closets, getting rid of things that no longer fit. She replaces them with new clothes in the correct sizes.
“Just little things like that save us some time. We don’t even have to worry about it, she just takes care of it. Those are some of the things we don’t even have to ask her to do, she just figures out that it’s something that would help us and then does it,” Anthony said.
Ashlee also suggested the family try one of the prepared meal services (like Home Chef, Blue Apron or Plated) to improve their evening meals together. She referred them to one she had been working with, and the family couldn’t be happier. The ability to select and eat fresh foods without all the work has improved their eating habits and given them back family mealtime. Anthony’s doctor even approves.
“After eating this way for a little over a year, I had my first physical. My blood work came back the best it’s been in years. Cholesterol dropped, triglycerides dropped. All from eating more vegetables and having fresh food,” Anthony said. “My doctor told me to keep doing whatever I was doing.”
Today, the couple is still utilizing the 10 hours per month package with Queen City Concierge. They pair the cleaning service with it, having Laura come into the home before the cleaning service arrives. The house stays organized, clean and a source of satisfaction. And, they have no vision of changing the service.
“Concierge services may be more common in larger cities, but Queen City Concierge is fairly unique to Sioux Falls,” Anthony said. “Ashlee has given us no reason to look elsewhere or compare her to other services. We wanted the service, they do a great job, and it’s been fairly easy.”
Peace returns to the Pizer home
The Pizer family enjoys their time at home again thanks to the work Laura and Queen City Concierge do for them. They pick up the slack when the family isn’t able to, which Anthony said has been a godsend.
“It’s changed our life. Chores are getting done. Jess and I can spend more time with our kids because we don’t have to decide between picking up the house or playing a family game. The house is already picked up, so now we just play the family game,” Anthony said. Their home is calmer and more loving as a result.
Anthony said they are less stressed, more organized, healthier, and are able to spend more time with family and friends. Their relationships have flourished as a result. They often refer Queen City Concierge to friends who might be struggling with the same things they were struggling with.
Ashlee and Laura are just great people. They are thoughtful and very conscientious when it comes to our home, our family, and our time,” Anthony said. “They run a really good business, so it’s very easy for me to sing their praises. Not only have they impacted our family in so many positive ways, but they do it in a way that’s respectable, and I appreciate that. They’ve changed our lives.