6 Things to Know Before Hiring a Professional Organizer

The secrets are out

Is your pantry looking anything but Pinterest-perfect these days? Do you double-check your closet doors are shut when guests come over? It might be time to consider hiring a professional organizer. However, much like any professional service, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes. Here are six things professional organizers won’t tell you… until now. 

You Need to Do The Work

According to Janelle Cohen, professional organizer and author of The Folding Book, no matter how good an organizing system is, if you don’t maintain it, you won’t stay organized. “I like to create systems based around my clients' habits, so that it comes more naturally to them, but I also emphasize that when you take the leap to invest in hiring an organizer, you are also committing to a lifestyle change.”

Invest in High-Quality Organizing Products

Thinking about buying those dollar store organizing baskets and bins? If you’re going to invest in hiring a professional organizer, it’s a bad idea to cheap-out on containers. 

“You want to invest in high-quality organizing products because otherwise, they will not last. Baskets, bins, and drawer dividers are high-traffic products that over time will need to get cleaned, or moved to different spots. I always tell my clients to buy it right or buy it twice. It’s a worthwhile investment and will save you money down the line,” Cohen explains.

Your Organizer Cannot Create Space Where None Exists

Whether it’s a tiny house, condo, or mansion—every home has a finite amount of space to store things. So if a client can’t edit the number of sweaters in their closet or purge old snacks from the pantry—the organizer’s job is far more challenging. “I am not a miracle worker. I cannot create space out of anywhere. So if a client is not willing to purge items and is also not willing to purchase storage solutions to make the most of the vertical space (for example), it's going to be hard to get the job done most effectively and efficiently," says professional organizer Joanna Brumberger of An Edited Space. “The most productive jobs happen when clients are willing to listen to my advice when it comes to buying organizing products and furniture and when they do their best at purging.”

No, Your Kids Do Not Need All Of Those Toys

Kids tend to accumulate a lot of toys these days, but according to Brumberger, they don’t actually need them as much as you think they do. “I know they love their Barbies and cars, but just because kids play with all of it does not mean they need the amount that you have. If you had less of a certain item, your kids would be okay, and might actually be able to also see what they have and really enjoy it.” 

Organizers Can Be Like Therapists

Holding on to certain items, whether they are mementos from childhood or gifts from previous relationships, can say a lot about a person. So the process of editing these items can be quite therapeutic. “Organizers can be like the therapists you never knew you needed. Especially while purging, clients often talk a lot about why they are holding on to certain items, why it's hard to let go,” reveals Brumberger. 

Your Organizer Hasn’t Actually Seen Worse

Whether it’s a disastrous medicine cabinet or an under-sink area that desperately needs corralling, it’s perfectly normal for clients to ask their organizers if they have seen worse. While most organizers will kindly say yes— it turns out this isn’t always true, at least for Brumberger. “I like to think I have seen it all and then I see something new. At this point I know I can tackle anything that comes my way—but that does not mean you are not my messiest to date.”

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