5 Myths About Organizers

5 Myths. I've heard some myths about what professional organizers do, so I'm hoping to clear the air.

Have you considered hiring a professional organizer but aren’t sure what it would be like? When considering something new, we often ask around, search the internet, and/or watch social media. Sometimes, we receive good, wise advice. Other times, all we really hear are rumors and perpetuated myths. Knowing the truth is always critical for making good decisions. I’ve heard some myths about professional organizers, so I’m hoping to clear the air.

In spite of what you may have heard, organizers are NOT:

… going to make you throw everything away.

Contrary to popular belief, organizers love stuff. We especially love the stuff that is important to you. We want to help you develop a system for finding, displaying, utilizing and enjoying all these things that have value to you. In pursuing this goal, it is possible that you will identify some possessions that you no longer want, need or value, and then we can help you find the best way to move these items out of your space.

… cost prohibitive.

Like any professional, organizers charge for our time. However, since we are pretty efficient people, we like to move quickly and productively along. I often say it takes months of working with a trainer to lose 10 pounds, but only a couple of hours with an organizer. The well structured, clearly defined project that a professional organizer designs can be the most cost effective way to achieve your goal.

… judging you and the state of your space.

Sometimes people fear that organizers live in perfect houses and look down on anyone who doesn’t. Nothing could be further from the truth! More than anyone, organizers understand the challenges that our complex lives present – this is why we got in the business of developing techniques to help. When we enter a space, we get excited about working as a team to bring about solutions that will enrich your quality of life. If everyone lived in perfect spaces, we wouldn’t have a purpose.

… glorified cleaning people.

While many organizers will help clean a space that is being organized, cleaning is not what organizing is all about. Organizers are professionals who have invested in acquiring the necessary tools and skills to help you be able to find what you need, when you need it. Most organizers have attended seminars, conferences, tele-classes, and association meetings. We read books about organizing, productivity, and time management strategies. We participate in online groups, share tips, and study resources and techniques.

… going to make you do things their way.

An important element of organizing is to bring ideas and suggestions to our clients. However, we will never force a system on you that you don’t love. When establishing “homes” for belongings, I frequently ask, “Where does it make sense to you to put it?” After all, we are organizing YOUR space, and we want it to work for you.

If you’ve thought about hiring an organizer, but perhaps been intimidated, why not reach out and have a conversation. Most organizers are happy to offer a call or visit free of charge. Our goal is simply to make your life better!

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Have you ever hired a professional organizer? Would you like to?

24 thoughts on “5 Myths About Organizers”

  1. This is such a great post! I think a lot of people worry that hiring an organizer is going to be cost prohibitive! I agree with Matt…this post should be on the home page of NAPO-CT!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Michelle. In the long run, hiring an organizer actually may save a client money, and will certainly improve their efficiency and deliver a higher quality of life!

  3. We’ve often thought about hiring an organizer to help us get our garage in order…it’s such a mess in there! You may have convinced me to give it a go. Thanks for the tips!

  4. I have and although I’m a former organizer myself, it was definitely worthwhile. Sometimes we are too used to the way things are that we can’t imagine other options. Getting input from an experienced professional who is viewing our space through different eyes can take you from “I guess it’s okay like this” to “Wow, why didn’t I do this years ago?”
    Janet Barclay recently posted…What’s with all the plugin updates?My Profile

    1. I can relate to that emotion, Janet! It wasn’t about organizing, but we had a broken drawer in our kitchen that we had been living with for years. Over the holidays, when family was staying with us, it became evident that this was a real pain in the neck. I finally bent down and took a good look, figured out the issue, and asked my husband if he would try and fix it. He repaired the thing in about 5 minutes. We couldn’t believe we had lived with it that long! Similar situation when we hired someone to finally repair a rotted porch railing. Change really is possible when we simply focus on making it happen!

  5. What a wonderful capture of the ‘myths’ people often have about professional organizers! I love how you shed light on what clients can reasonably expect. This is such a positive message. As you said, organizers want to help our clients live their best lives. We do that by honoring our clients’ goals, values, and needs in a nonjudgmental way.

    1. I would say that organizers are some of the least judgmental people I have met. We truly want to do nothing but come alongside and help make life better. It’s a joyful profession, and I am so thankful to be a part of it!

  6. I have hired a professional. I had one help me organize my closet and my office. We also had a professional moving service help us clean out our home of 45 years, organize the move and organize and help with the unpacking. It was the easiest most problem free move we ever made. These 3 experiences were unbelievably helpful and well worth the money.

    1. I”m so glad you had positive experiences. These are exactly the kinds of service that we try and provide… bringing relief and ease to daily situations.

  7. After years of reading your blog, I only have trust for your methods. I love your thoughtfulness and I love that you’re speaking for your career path in showing sensitivity and care. People do all think it’s like a Konmari, throw everything out thing, and I have never felt that. I think it’s more about the mindfulness and methods. I’d love to hire you!
    Tamara recently posted…The Cutest Rainbow Cookie Recipe EverMy Profile

    1. Thank you for such a sweet comment, Tamara! Some day I hope we can cross paths “live.” I agree that it is about being mindful, patient, thoughtful, AND positive! Our relationships with possessions can be complex, so it is good to respect the emotions we have, while also balancing our true priorities and needs. 🙂

  8. Hurray for myth-busting. It’s easy for people to make assumptions about cost, attitude, judgment, skills, training, or process, especially when there’s minimal (accurate) public performance of what we do. When there were those TV shows where everything went out onto the lawn, I could at least say, “Yeah, no, I won’t do that to you!” Now, it’s more, “Well, we can color-code everything in your life is that’s what would actually make you more productive, but may I suggest what I think will be even better for achieving the goals you just told me about?”

    While we all have our different approaches, I tell prospective clients that if they’re solely looking for labor, I’m not who they want, and that I see my role as using my expertise to help my (decluttering and organizing) clients find the answers to questions that will help them *confidently* make decisions. I do the physical work, but point out that my hands are value-added; they’re hiring me for my brain and the muscles are just along for the ride.

    You hit every one of those myths that we have to counteract.
    Julie Bestry recently posted…Struggling To Get Things Done? Paper Doll’s Advice & The Task Management & Time Blocking Virtual Summit 2022My Profile

    1. Wow, I love that “my hands are value-added” perspective. I feel the same! I’ve learned so much through the years, and one is that our relationships with our belongings can be complex. How we approach decluttering and system implementation matters! I love this community of organizers and productivity experts, and am grateful for all they have taught me as I’ve come along this journey. I’d say every one of them is caring, intelligent, and there to help!

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