Do the Work?

When I tell people that I am a professional organizer, the first thing I usually hear is, "I need to hire you!"

Is that really true?

You ALL need a professional organizer? I wish!

What IS the truth?

Am I hearing a nice platitude? A plea for some tips? A real request?

I spent some time this weekend speaking with a very experienced realtor who also wears several different hats. She has helped people downsize, declutter, move, feng shui their home, and decorate. One thing we agreed on is that everyone SAYS they need an organizer, and that may be the truth in some way, but very few people want to PAY to hire one.

Is that a Midwest sensibility? A sign of our times?

I think the truth is that we all need help sometimes, but we rarely want to pay for it.

The clients I have had the pleasure to work with have several things in common. The most important thing is that they acknowledge that they need help, and are ready to pay for it. It could be for a number of reasons (downsizing, stress over clutter, loss of time and money over disorganization), but they had all reached a point where they were ready to hire help.

The second thing they have in common is an understanding of their needs. I have a regular client who has gotten to a very comfortable and realistic conclusion: I will need help approximately every 4-6 months. She does not stress, beat herself up, set lofty and unattainable goals. She has determined her strengths and weaknesses, and lives a happy and fulfilling life, until she reaches a "chaos point," and calls me. I adore working with her. I don't try to fix her, she doesn't try to fix herself, we discuss tips and tricks as we work together, and admittedly, there are longer and longer breaks between our work sessions.

I have another client who has read every book there is on organizing. The desire to learn is there. The information is there. Is the motivation there? I'm not sure if that is true, or if it simply a matter of a very busy schedule. There's no judgement on my end. When she calls, we schedule a session and get working.

Which brings me to an interesting thought...WORK. If the tools to organizing are there, the materials are available, and perhaps even the motivation, why do people even HIRE an organizer? They have all the necessary "ingredients" to do the work. What's holding them back?

Maybe it IS simply that it IS work. Work is hard. Change is hard. Some people are better at both than others.

I'd argue that if someone has been struggling with chronic disorganization and it's consequences for more than a year, it is time to call for help. HELP TO DO THE WORK.

Is this a weakness? I don't think so. I think it is about acknowledging your weakness, finding a solution, and moving forward.

I ran into an acquaintance at the grocery store last week. We stopped to chat and she began telling me about her mother-in-law, who really needed help. I said I'd be happy to meet with her and do a free consultation. Unfortunately, she lived a fair bit out of town, but then it was revealed that she was a hoarder who didn't think she had a problem. Was there a book I could recommend?

Well, I could recommend a whole lot of books, but it wouldn't change a thing. The mother-in-law clearly wasn't ready to acknowledge that she had a problem. A book certainly wouldn't help anything. She wasn't ready to do the work.

I'm holding a couple of free classes through the La Crosse Rec Department in October (link here). I will be sharing information on different styles of organizing, how I work with my clients, tips and tricks, and a list of resources. If it is information you need, I invite you to join me.

If it is WORK that you'd like, please give me a call. I'd love to hear from you.