Are you considering to engage the services of a professional to declutter and organise your home? Only you expect the person to come in and do the job for you while you are at work or taking care of the kids? If so, let me share my views on how it should be like working with a professional organiser before you throw your money out of the window.
In short, a professional organiser comes in to coach you and guide you throughout the whole process, not to make decisions on your behalf. Why? Read on…
Working with a professional organiser on decluttering
A professional organiser is there to help you take a step back and empower you to make decisions that are going to leave you liberated, not regretful. Only you can decide what’s important in your life and what does or doesn’t belong in it.
One of my clients was very anxious the first time we spoke as whether I would force her to discard things. Her first and only experience working with a professional organiser had not been positive as the person had discarded drawings and paintings from her late mother while she was not around, paintings that probably didn’t look good in the eyes of the organiser but which my client was very attached to. She was devastated and stopped working with the professional organiser immediately, and it took her 4 years to find the courage to resume the process and engage my services.
The other thing is that most of the times, clutter hasn’t happened overnight, and won’t disappear overnight either. Decluttering can be a highly emotional charged time and there is so much you can swallow at one go. What’s important to me is to be a catalyst in my clients’ lives and equip them with tools, skills, motivation and confidence so that they can continue the process on their own. How can you learn if you are not physically present?
Working with a professional organiser on organising
One of the key underlying principles in organising is categorising your stuff so that you can easily find what you need when you need it by associating it to a category.
But the thing is that we all have our own ways to categorise. Clothes may be categorised by occasion, type, colour, outfit, or combination of these. Shoes may be categorised by occasion, height of the heel, material, colour etc. Personal documents can be categorised by topic, family member etc. Once again only you can come up with categories that make sense to you.
Organising involves setting up processes, systems and tools THAT WORK FOR YOU.
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to home, or workspace, organisation. Some claim it’s engineering work but in my opinion the human dimension is by far more important. Because clutter and disorganisation are unconscious habits that form over time.
I strongly believe that we should embrace our habits instead of working against them when we organise our homes so that we have a better chance to make it work for us in the long run. For example, if you undress in the bathroom, there’s no point in putting your laundry basket in the bedroom. Otherwise clothes are likely to end on the floor and stay there for a while…
So yes, a professional organiser should know best practices, but her value will come from helping you adapt them to your needs and preferences, or come up with something completely different. She will make sure to check back on you after a while and help you make changes if and where needed.
Again how can this happen if you aren’t involved in working with a professional organiser?
If you think of letting the professional organiser do the job for you – or if the professional organiser suggests to do the job for you – think twice. The benefits of her work will be short-lived: it may look nice and tidy once she’s done but you are likely to backslide and clutter to creep back very soon.
I have been working as a professional organiser for 4 years now. I blend decluttering, organisation and time management strategies to coach you through a lifestyle shift. Without your involvement, this can’t happen. We need to work together so that I can understand the emotional or psychological barriers or issues that have created the situation in the first place and so that together we can transform your home and create habits that stick.