Professional organizing is a a growing industry all over the world. This type of professional is more common in larger cities, but becoming more common by the year. There are many types of organizers, some general and some very specific. In this article you’ll learn a little about what a pro organizer is and what they do.

FAQ About Professional Organizers

What Does a Professional Organizer Do?

Professional Organizers are a growing field of individuals who make money putting people’s things in order for them. They may specialize in a particular home area or organize for businesses, coordinate moves, come up with productivity systems, or do home staging for home sellers and realtors.

There are several professional organizations that a P.O. can belong to and certifications they can obtain, although these are not necessary to do the job well. There are many niches within the organizing profession.

There are people who work only with closets or even clothing. Some specialize in home staging to prepare for selling. Some P.O.s will coordinate moving households. Senior Move Managers work with senior citizens to help them downsize, move and unpack into their new home. There are organizers who work with businesses, and some handle only estate sales. Some organize paper or only photos, and some do event planning.

To put it simply, professional organizers are service providers to people who need organized. Sounds simple, right? Most people who are living with disorganization of some sort are either naturally that way, or they are in a transition in their life. Some examples of what they can help with are:

  • People who are moving into a smaller space
  • Parents with no time left for planning or sorting in their busy schedules
  • People who are trying to sort through the belongings of the deceased not knowing what to do with it all
  • People who need to put their home on the market
  • Senior citizens who want to stay in the home they are in but need to manage their environment and belongings in order to be safe (this is called “aging in place”)
  • Couples combining 2 households
  • Those who are paying to rent a storage unit
  • Anyone who needs less stuff in order to accomplish something
  • Those who want their closet, kitchen, bathroom, clothing assortment, desk, photos, etc., rearranged or sorted or downsized….and the list goes on.

To provide what is needed, organizers often work with various service providers such as:

  • Realtors
  • Estates lawyers
  • Senior living facilities
  • Home builders
  • Custom cabinet makers
  • Hospice
  • Nursing homes
  • Home decorators
  • Closet companies
  • Donation centers, such as Salvation Army and Goodwill Consignment shops
  • Antique dealers
  • House cleaners
  • Handyman services
  • Painters
  • Disposal companies

Questions people ask

QWill I have to get rid of my things?

A: You don’t have to get rid of anything that you don’t want to. An organizer will not force you to do anything. But you will be paying for the help to make decisions about many items that you have kept for one reason or another.

they will be sensitive to your needs and wishes, and will be able to talk you through many decisions, providing ideas about what to do with your things so you can keep the memories, which is often the reason for holding on to things.

QWill they get rid of things without asking me?

A: No. First, you will decide just how involved you wish to be in the organizing project. You may want to go through every item to decide. But as you and your organizer become comfortable with each other, he or she will learn what you want to keep and what you don’t, and you will learn to trust them more.

There may be some categories of things that you will decide to always be thrown away, m saving yourself the decision on such items. These may be expired items, or everything that is damaged, ripped, broken. At the end of a session, you may have a pile or box of items to decide on for sure before they are taken to be donated, sold, or disposed of.

QWhat will happen to the things I decide to get rid of?

A: There are several options for items you decide not to keep. First, you should check to see if any family members would like any of it. This will be entirely up to them and they must not feel guilty if they don’t wish to keep these things.

You may want to sell some of the more valuable items, and for these your organizer can help you find an outlet, such as an antique dealer or consignment shop, or someone who could sell it for you on Facebook or eBay.

Another option is having a yard sale or an auction. Some organizers will help you get these arrangements made. If you don’t want to go to the work of selling, they may even help you get it to a donation center an organization that could use the items, such as a crisis center or church.

QWhat if the rest of my family doesn’t want to be organized?
: This happens more frequently than you might think, when other members of the family are not fully sold on the idea of organizing or downsizing. Most organizers will be glad to speak to any questions your family may have for them.

If you decide to go ahead with hiring an organizer, family members will often start to change their opinions once they see how much easier things are to find, or how simple it is to navigate through getting ready in the morning, for example. The change will be evident to all and most likely for the better.

QMy house is so small, is it even possible to organize it?

A: In a small home, it is even more important to be organized. It can definitely be done. There are many products and containers that will be very helpful for storage in smaller areas. In a smaller home, you may have to downsize quite a bit for efficiency, but your professional organizer can walk you through that process.

QMy mother needs help organizing and downsizing. How can I convince her that she needs an organizer?

A: You can start by telling her about what an organizer is and does. Just plant the seed and let her think about it. If you have had success getting your home organized, she will be able to see the difference it made. You could give her a gift certificate or purchase organizing services for her if finances are an issue for her.

Often senior citizens just need time to think about their current status and have some ideas given them to think about. If safety is an issue and she is averse to moving, an organizer can work with her to help make her current home a safer and easier place for her to live.

These are some common questions and concerns people have about hiring a professional organizer, and what they can do. If you need the help, one of these professionals is worth their weight in gold. It will be expensive, but the value for the money far outweighs the struggle many people have in tackling large decluttering or downsizing projects alone.

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