Having a solid foundation is integral to building a house, or any other structure. Our kids have learned this when they have built Lego buildings, snow forts, or teepees in the woods.
When I work with a client, I often use the analogy of baking a cake when describing how we are going to proceed with an organizing job. If you've ever watched a baking competition, you can see what happens when contestants focus all their efforts on the decorations of a cake without first building a solid cake structure to support it.
To begin, I ask a lot of questions. Is there a plan for paperwork and bill paying? Do important household items have a "home?" What I am doing is establishing whether or not there is a strong foundation of organizing. If not, those are the areas we work on first.
The items that come after this I call "the frosting." This includes fancy organizing containers, more functional and attractive furniture, and all those other add-ons that are so FUN to bring into your home.
Sometimes during a long and intensive session, it is fun to move ahead and add some frosting. I always caution clients, though, not to rush out and purchase fancy organizing containers and new furniture until we've moved a little further along in the process (or ensure that you can return or exchange items). I have met so, so many people who think the perfect container (couch, desk, etc.) will solve all their organizing problems. They get excited to update their look and redecorate, and there is nothing wrong with that, but first, we must build a solid foundation.
I love all the parts of organizing with a client. I love meeting new people, understanding their organizing needs, working through frustrations, and being a part of their excitement as they gain more and more skills regaining control of their chaos. I prefer to really dig in and focus on building a strong foundation of organizing, because this is what will set my client up for the most success. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the "frosting" as much as the next person, but for my client's to get the most bang for their buck, we need to do the hard work together, first.
Please consider reaching out if you think YOU need help organizing. I'd be honored to help.