Misapprehensions about Professional Organizers

There sure is a misconception out there of what goes down during an organizing session. For instance, I think some of my colleagues at my day job believe I go into people’s homes and organize all their rooms until they look like Martha Stewart’s house, and then leave. (No offense Martha, I love you!). They’ve noted how organized and “beautiful” I can keep the supplies closet, amending it to my skills as a professional. I appreciate their gratitude, but honestly, how I maintain the office’s supply closet barely resembles the work I do when working with a client.

As the productivity and organizing industry becomes more mainstream, with more media attention, research conducted (hoarding is now recognized in the DSM), and coverage in the news, our mainstream understanding of what Professional Organizers do is becoming more accurate. Beyond the falsehood that we just come into your home, force you to throw away all your clutter, and then wave a magic wand that organizes everything to static perfection, here are three misconceptions I’ve experienced and will take this opportunity on which to shed some light!

Organizing Professionals are naturally talented, i.e. born organized. That’s why they chose to go professional.

Actually, some of the most celebrated pro organizers had always struggled with disorganization. Julie Morgenstern, author of Organizing from the Inside Out and made famous as a repeated guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, is a leading example. Judith Kolberg is at celebrity status in our world, literally writing the books and founding the Institute on challenging disorganization. I remember listening to her speak at a conference, and she casually mentioned she has ADD. I thought, “Of course! That’s why she’s been so successful at setting the standard for working with people who have ADD”. Many successful professional organizers are far from naturally talented in this life-skill. In fact, a big reason they are successful professional organizers is that they’ve been there themselves first, living a stressful disorganized life.

We come in, organize your belongings for you, and consult you on how to manage your schedules.

This is especially false for our team at Living-Peace. The organizer and client become a team. We focus on transferring new skills so that clients of Living-Peace are equipped, for lasting success with organizing systems and time-management. These are essential life skills, that we’re not taught in school. And then we are hard on ourselves for not being good at them!

We tell you how to organize your things.
This may be a surprise that it is not true! The client is really making all of the decisions. Only the client knows what they want to keep and let go. Only they know what is a priority in their life and what is less of a priority. And for a third example, only the client knows what items belong in “prime real estate”, easily accessible storage locations, and what items can be kept in less accessible locations. This is why we at Living-Peace operate more as your team member, rather than independently organizing your belongings. Simply put, the latter just doesn’t work.

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