Misconceptions of a Professional Organizer
Updated: Sep 7, 2019
As a professional organizer, I have the exciting task of meeting new people and helping them navigate the messy process of organization. Most people reach out to me when they are at their wit’s end and are in need of help with a space that causes them stress. Having a stranger come into your house and see it at its messiest is a very vulnerable position to be in and people’s first instinct is usually to feel ashamed or embarrassed. I’m here to tell you, no one’s perfect! Not even a professional organizer.
I’ve started noticing trends in the things I hear from clients or from strangers when they hear I’m a professional organizer that I wanted to share.
“I’m so sorry” As Rachel Hollis would say, “Girl, Stop Apologizing!” I don’t have to live here, but I’m always down for a slumber party if you’re interested. Plus you are paying me money to fix this and to top it all off, I LOVE YOUR MESS. It gives me energy and a sense of satisfaction that I get to help you fix it! So sorry, not sorry.
“Your house must be perfect” My favorite celebrity professional organizers (yes, that is a thing) from The Home Edit say, “if you want your house to be picture perfect at all times, live alone.” Live alone I do not. My home, like yours, has its challenges. My husband isn’t always perfect about putting things back, and neither am I. Life gets busy and sometimes I’m just too tired to put that dish away right this second. I do, however, have a home for everything which makes tidying up a breeze.
“I have to keep that” or “My ____ would want me to keep that” This is my favorite EXCUSE because that is all it is. “I have to keep that” says who? Is that person here? Does that person have to store this item or move it around or deal with it? If the answer is no, then you are choosing to keep it. So many of my clients feel guilty about items that have been given to them as gifts or things they inherited from deceased family members. Think about the person who gave it to you. Did they give you this gift to burden you with it? NO! They thought you would enjoy it. But guess what? People change and we grow out of things and that is OKAY! I promise that person, dead or alive, would understand. If they don’t, tell them your professional organizer made you give it away! I will gladly take the fall for it.
“This must be the biggest mess you’ve ever seen” This is usually coming from a person with like one box on the floor. Even though your “mess” seems out of control and overwhelming to you. I promise you, I HAVE SEEN WORSE.
“I can’t afford you” For most people, getting organized is something you should budget for because it will save you money in the long run. I have worked with people from small to very large budgets, and I promise you, none of them regret spending their money on my services. From one-on-one help to do-it-yourself and consulting services, I will work with anyone that wants to get organized!
“I don’t have time to get organized” Your time and my time is precious. I love asking my clients how long they think their project is going to take. I usually take their estimate and cut it in half. When you’re working with me, time is money so I’m not wasting any of it hunny! For those busier clients, I create a plan with shorter, super focused sessions to get their project done. Once I’ve gotten you to purge all of the things you don’t need, YOU ARE FREE TO GO. The actual organizing, shopping, and staging can be done all by my lonesome. Putting in the time now getting organized will save you time and energy later and create more time to devote to the things you actually want to do.
“I didn’t have time to clean up before you came.” This one makes me giggle. I’m literally coming to help you clean, it’s why you hired me in the first place! You do not have to do a thing before an organizing session. I like to see your space at its worse so I can better understand how it got that way in the first place and create a solution that will stick.
“Please don’t judge” Every consultation when a new client is bringing me around their house, this is said. “Don’t judge, but here’s the closet” or “don’t judge my kitchen, I haven’t had time to wash dishes today” etc. I know I’m a professional organizer, but I’m not superwoman. My house isn’t perfect at all times and I know yours won’t be either. That is just real life!
“Are you going to make me throw all of my stuff away?” This one is just ridiculous. I know you need “stuff” to live. I can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. I will, however, encourage getting rid of things you don’t need or use. I will also encourage you to think about the amount of space you have and be realistic about the amount of stuff that can fit in that space. If you want to be organized, you have to work within the space and storage you have. Period.