As a Professional Organizer, I often talk with people about when it is wise to hire someone to help out. What I’ve learned over the years is that the reasons to hire a professional organizer are much the same as the reasons to hire any kind of professional assistance. If any of the following sound like your life, it may be time to pick up the phone:
YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A SIGNIFICANT LIFE EVENT
There are a variety of times when our lives simply get thrown out of control. A child has an accident and needs extra care, a parent has a medical emergency and needs a new living environment, we lose a job, we experience a death, a new baby arrives… all of these turn our world upside down. Suddenly we are no longer simply handling our normal responsibilities, but are instead overwhelmed by new tasks, new decisions, and new worries. When a life event hits, we are inevitably going to find ourselves falling behind. This is normal, and to be expected. This is NOT the time to fall into self-recrimination for “not having it all together.” Rather, this is the time to reach out to those who have needed expertise, who have walked in these shoes and who can sweep in with efficient solutions to make the experience as smooth as possible. Sometimes a few hours of professional assistance can make up considerable lost ground and get us back on our feet quickly.
YOU SUFFER FROM A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
Frequently we don’t tackle tasks because we don’t know how to proceed. We are intimidated by a fear of messing up. We dislike feeling inept. We worry that we may end up making things worse. I see this in students all the time, who avoid long-term projects because they simply don’t know how to get started. In these cases, a professional can be invaluable in helping to construct a plan, answer questions, and decompress anxiety. Working alongside someone with experience is one of the best ways to learn, which builds confidence and skills for future projects.
YOU LACK THE ABILITY TO COMPLETE THE TASK ON YOUR OWN
There could be a variety of reasons why, even if you know what to do, you can’t complete a task by yourself. Perhaps you lack the physical strength to move items around. Maybe the job is just too large for one person. Or a deadline is so near that one person working alone simply can’t get it completed in time. Maybe you are restricted by the presence of little ones underfoot. Professional help is a perfect solution for this type of situation, compensating for any shortfalls our reality may dictate.
YOU NEED/WANT TO DEVOTE YOUR TIME TO OTHER PRIORITIES
For many, the presence of higher priorities – whether work or leisure – provide ample rationale for bringing in a professional. In a society where time is often our most valuable commodity, it makes sense to outsource, creating time in our schedules to focus on what matters most. For example, you may choose to hire a lawn care service instead of spending the weekend mowing. Or perhaps you hire a virtual assistant so you can spend more time with clients. Maybe you want to hire childcare a couple of times a week so you can be more efficient with errands. Intentionally deciding how to allocate resources – both money and time – is not only acceptable, it is wise.
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As you consider the assignments and projects you’ve been procrastinating, ask yourself if any of these circumstances apply. If so, now may be the perfect time to bring in a professional. The right person(s) will bring timely and tangible solutions, making you wonder why you didn’t hire help sooner!
When have you been happy that you hired some help?