I recently had a client tell me how she was so happy that I was so nice to her. She was dreading her first home organizing appointment, and she almost cancelled at the last minute because of her misconceptions! She was so glad she didn’t cancel, and extremely happy with the progress we made organizing her clothing during a 3 hour session. This made me think about the common misconceptions people have about my profession.
In my 4 years as a Professional Organizer, I’ve heard the following comments:
“You are going to yell at me to throw everything away!”
I don’t yell at my clients, and I don’t force them to throw everything away! I learn about my clients’ home or business lives to better understand what they need both logically and emotionally to function and enjoy their personal space. Certainly, parting with items does help to create more space, but throwing away everything is not the answer. I ask questions to help my clients make the best decisions. I also promote donating, giving to a friend or family member, consigning or selling an item, or recycling before suggesting throwing away anything that my client hasn’t clearly identified as trash.
“You only work with hoarders.”
I am currently not taking on clients diagnosed with hoarding disorder, however I will refer them to other area members of the National Association of Professional Organizers with that expertise. I work with people who are overwhelmed by clutter and disorganization or in a life transition that caused disorganization such as starting or running a business out of the home, moving, getting married, expecting a baby, changing jobs, divorcing, downsizing, empty-nesters repurposing their grown children’s rooms, sorting through inherited items after a loved one’s death, or planning for an estate sale. No job is too small, whether you have one counter cluttered with paper or an entire home to reorganize.
“You must think terribly of me!”
I approach each job with a professional detachment, and I am completely non-judgmental. As a professional organizer, I’m looking for the solution to your organizing troubles. I understand that organizing is not a priority for everyone, and that sometimes life gets in the way to prevent you from maintaining a well organized home or office. I have worked in many disorganized spaces, and I’m here to help!
“You are comparing me to others, and you must think I’m the worst you’ve ever seen!”
Getting organized is a very personalized process, everyone’s skill-set, mindset and priorities are different. Everyone’s life is different such as the size and type of home or office, number of people you share it with, work and family commitments and schedules, there’s really no way to “compare” to others. There are of course varying levels of disorganization, but I’m not here to compare, I am here to help. I do not compare my clients, and you should not compare yourself to others because every situation is unique.
“You’re happy when I say ‘toss it,’ aren’t you?”
No, I’m not happy because of that. I am happy my client is able to make a decision. I am happy that they are creating more room for the things that matter most to them. Again, I will not force anyone to toss something, but making a choice to part with some items does make it easier to organize the remaining items.
Janet Barclay says
When I was an organizer, I had two different clients who didn’t think I was being strict enough in telling them to throw stuff out!
Nancy Haworth says
Wow! I haven’t encountered that yet!