Most people I know get the urge to “get organized” every few months or so, usually at specific times of the year like the holidays, when the new year begins, when it’s almost spring, when summer vacation begins, or when it’s almost time for the new school year. What causes these urges? Usually just a quick look around our surroundings, whether it’s work or home, and the realization that there has to be an easier way. Most people I know start the process themselves and may get part of it finished, or they get started and realize they’re doing the same thing they did the last time they thought they needed to get organized.
But what if you could organize a space and never have to do it again because it would stay that way? That’s where a professional organizer comes in. Professional organizers can offer several advantages that help you get organized and stay organized.
New ideas/vision- Let’s face it, we’ve all lived in our spaces long enough that we’re used to seeing them the way they are now, or the way we’ve always had them. Even when moving into a new space, we’re moving our existing belongings in, and we have a tendency to do with them what we’ve always done.
A professional organizer comes into your space for the first time, with a fresh set of eyes, as well as experience to show you how you can best utilize your space. There have been many times when I’ve gone in for a consultation that I’ve been able to say, “You don’t need me!” because it was just a matter of a quick fix to better use their space!
Motivation- We’ve all done it. Had the best of intentions to start a big organizing project that really needs to be done, then after only a short amount of time, we give up and shove it all back where it was before. The nagging voice in our head tells us we should get after it, but we just can’t make ourselves stay with it, and often times it’s because we just can’t see the final result in our head to make us stick with it!
A professional organizer can help keep you motivated, remind you of what you’ve already accomplished, and what it is you’re working for. I’m constantly asking my clients, “How are you feeling?” “Is this working for you?” and telling them how much they’ve already accomplished. “You’ve gone through 4 boxes of papers and purged 90% of them! Good for you!” Not to mention telling them what they have to look forward to. Sometimes after spending a couple of hours on a tedious task, we’ll jump over to something more fun.
Accountability- In a way, this goes hand in hand with motivation and focus (discussed below). A professional organizer will keep you accountable not only for what you’re organizing and sorting, but because you’ve hired this person, you’re also paying for their services and that keeps you focused, motivated and accountable. A professional organizer will keep you accountable for the tasks at hand, making sure you have legitimate reasons to keep the items you choose to keep. One way I keep clients accountable is banning the use of certain words such as: might, maybe, could, probably, possibly, etc. If you want to keep something, you have to have an immediate purpose for it!
Focus- We’ve all done this one, too: We start to go through our things, whether it’s our closet or our photographs, and we get sidetracked. (Ooooh! I wore this shirt in college! I wonder if it still fits! Oh! Look at this photo! Wait, there were more from that day, where are they? I should frame it….Where is that frame I had?) You get the picture <pun intended>! A professional organizer can help you stay focused on the task at hand. Focus= Finish One Course Until Successful!
Efficiency- As stated earlier, what if you never had to organize the same space over and over again? That’s efficiency! Once the task of sorting is done, a professional organizer can help you utilize your space in an efficient way that works for you. I also create a mutually agreed upon plan that, if followed, you’ll never have to go through the process again. I tell my clients that if I do my part now and they do their part later, they’ll never need my services again.
Impartial Objectivity- This one can be one of the toughest parts of the process, if working without the help of a professional organizer. Let’s face it, when it comes to our “stuff,” we’re emotionally attached to it! Otherwise, we never would have kept it all this long!
An effective professional organizer can help you to take a step back and look at your items and make the tough decisions. I can think of several instances when I’ve had to do this with clients, and it’s not always easy. The answer isn’t always to get rid of it, but it does have to do with honoring our memories and honoring our belongings. Remember: in a box in a closet is not honoring anything.
Permission (to purge)- We all know there’s stuff we need to get rid of, but sometimes we just need to hear someone else give us that permission to pass it on, to say it’s okay not to keep it, or it’s okay to repurpose it or change it a bit from its original state in order to use it again. It’s always fun for me to watch my clients go from “I need to keep this” (and of course I ask, “Why?”) to “I can let that go.” It’s really freeing to purge and escape that albatross of “stuff.”
Remember, it’s okay to ask for help! It takes a strong person to admit when they need help and then ask for help. Professional organizers are here to give you that help, and their expertise, so that you can enjoy living or working in your