Get Your Ducks in a Row: 4 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Professional Organizer
I’m starting my eighth year as a professional organizer on November 1. In that time, I’ve learned a lot and grown as an organizer as I listen better to what people need. When I started Yikes Organizing, I chose the name because I thought it took some of the “scary” out of hiring an organizer and I liked the tagline, “Lose the Clutter…Not Your Mind.”
Like everyone who tries something for the first time, there were some false starts and I’m grateful for the people who were good sports (and kind enough to be pleased with my work) during that first year. However, I can now say with confidence that the four most important things I provide are accountability, support, and saving my clients both time and money.
Often, my number one purpose is to provide accountability.
As a wife and mother of six, I’ve
always been a “doer” so the jobs that are the hardest for me are when I
literally sit next to a client and make sure that she writes that important
email or pays her bills. And yet that’s
exactly what some clients need and want.
Obviously, not everyone wants that, but the one trait most of my clients’ share is insecurity. They think they really should be able to do this alone but are embarrassed that they don’t want to or can’t. I get it! When faced with a difficult task, I also choose avoidance, or honestly try, but get distracted when something easier presents itself.
I’m that way with cleaning my house, for example. I’ll start with good intentions and set the alarm on my phone for 30 minutes but 10 minutes in I will remember that I never brought the mail in yesterday and might even be expecting a check. Then I’m folding laundry but get bored so turn on the t.v. and pretty soon the laundry is folded but I’m still watching the show!
My point is that it’s okay to not know where to start or to want help with something that doesn’t come naturally to you. For some clients, the best thing I can do is to get them in the mindset that for three hours, they’re going to work hard but we will see concrete results at the end of our time.
The second thing an organizer provides is support.
I will take something they dread (digging into the mess) and will try my hardest to make it fun, and if I don’t succeed in that, I will at least make it less painful than it will be on their own. So most times, at the end of a session people will say that it wasn’t so bad once we got started.
An often overlooked plus to hiring an organizer is that oftentimes I can either save you money or find something that is important to you.
One day, when working with another organizer, we were going through storage boxes, in a barn of all places, and found a long-lost wedding ring for a client. As you can imagine, this was quite fun as we got to show him a piece of his past he thought he would never see again. Other times, I’ve found large amounts of cash, sometimes still in the banking envelope but more often hidden in a “secret” spot that the client had stashed it in years ago. Another fun thing is finding gift cards or uncashed checks that are able to be reissued.
A quick and easy way I save my clients money is by cancelling subscriptions to things they no longer use. This runs the gamut from health clubs to any automatic renewal where they were getting something (like pet meds) every month and end up with enough to equip a small zoo!
In a related issue, in almost every home I’m in, I find multiples of something that the client keeps buying because she/he can’t find the ones on hand.
For my clients with paper overload, I save money by getting their finances in order so they don’t waste money paying late fees. I also get quotes from various service providers, so they get the best rate when having something installed or fixed.
Finally, and most importantly, I give clients the gift of time.
I had one potential client call and tell me that it took her an hour that morning to find a hairbrush. While that’s kind of extreme, time lost looking for things is money lost.
Okay, I lied. After giving it a bit more thought, the most precious gift I give people isn’t time or money, but the peace of mind that comes when you have an orderly home. The one thing that absolutely every client has told me is that getting organized makes them happier, lighter, freer, less stressed, etc. They all say it in a slightly different way but the bottom line is that an organizer gives you that elusive peace of mind that comes when you control your possessions, not the other way around.