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Debunking Myths about Professional Organizing

Professional organizing can be kind of a mysterious service for some, and I’m here today to debunk some common myths and misconceptions about how professional organizers work! Here I’ve shared 7 myths, and my perspective on the truth behind-the-scenes. What other impressions do you have of professional organizers?

MYTH: They’ll make me throw everything away

TRUTH: Decluttering is a critical part of the organizing process – without it, organizing is much more time-consuming, difficult and less sustainable. As an organizer, I encourage a healthy decision-making dialogue, using helpful prompts to assist you in making keep/toss/donate decisions; but at the end of the day, it’s still a dialogue. I never discard anything without permission, and I respect your belongings – and by reducing your overall level of clutter, I am helping you respect your belongings too!

MYTH: They will post my messy house on the internet for all to see

TRUTH: I do not post any client photos on the internet or social media without a signed photo release form. And when I do, no names, geography or other identifying information is used. Many clients do not want to sign the photo release, and that’s fine too!

MYTH: My house is too embarrassing to have an organizer over; they’ll judge me

TRUTH: The more “embarrassing” the better – no really! Firstly, all of my consultations, discussions and sessions are confidential and judgement-free. It is honestly best if you do not clean or tidy before I come, because this allows me to see the home in its “natural state” – to really pinpoint the areas for improvement. I always say, “the worse the before, the better the after”.

MYTH: Organizers have the cleanest houses

TRUTH: As a professional organizer, my house is neat, but it’s not necessarily always clean or Pinterest-worthy. The truth is, I don’t like cleaning – I like organizing. Having a house with less clutter and fail-safe organizing systems allows me to tidy up more easily – which in turn, makes it easier to clean. Counters that are consistently clear of clutter are easier to wipe down – so yes, an organized house ties back to how easy it is to clean your house, but mine is not always clean!

MYTH: Only disorganized people use organizers

TRUTH: Many of my clients are very organized people, with very organized houses. Usually, they just struggle with one “Achille’s heal”: paperwork, the basement, toys, etc. These people usually understand the principles of organizing, but just need a kickstart to tackle the one project or area that intimidates them.

MYTH: It’s just like on TV: you leave for a few hours, come back and have an organized house!

TRUTH: The truth is, I’m not sure this is really how it even happens on those TV shows, but it’s how they make it look! Typically, a client stays on-site during the organizing process, to make important keep/toss/donate decisions and answer questions about how they live in the space and need it to function. Organizing projects can also span a few “sessions”, as the process involves gathering/sorting/purging items, then later deciding what organizing product will best enhance the “put away” process – which involves measuring, purchasing, implementing and labeling.

MYTH: You have to be rich to use a professional organizer

TRUTH: Paying a professional organizer to organize your entire house using beautiful containers from The Container Store is not inexpensive, let’s be honest. However, that’s not the only way to utilize the services of a pro organizer! Virtual organizing (where you essentially are bringing on the pro as your organizing coach and accountability partner) is a much more affordable option. Additionally, fancy containers are not a requirement to get organized. There are plenty of options to repurpose existing containers or find dollar store options that will function without the price tag. I work hourly and my services are fully customizable to fit within your budget.

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