Most of us have watched those Hoarding shows and seen how, within a “tv hour”, a team of 4-6 people empties, cleans and organizes an entire house. Someone watching the show might not realize that the team was probably more like 15 that worked 6-8 hours a day for several days.
With the magic of editing, it looks so quick and easy when, in reality, there was a lot of hard work and many decisions to make.
While not everyone will have a whole house that needs to be emptied, it is hard to know what the process is like to work with a Professional Organizer if you have never done so before.
Every Professional Organizer has their own method and flow but there are some things that will be similar.
Once you have decided you are ready to tackle that project or deal with clutter that never seems to go away, you need to contact an Organizer, whom you may have found through NAPOMICHIGAN.com or a referral of an Organizer a friend has used.
There will first be an assessment of what you want to do and what your ultimate goal for a space is. This could take place via phone, video chat or in-person. Due to the personal nature of the work, it is important when choosing the right Organizer that both the potential client and the Organizer feel comfortable and be a good fit, skill-wise.
If we get a call from someone who needs a skill set that we don’t have, we’re more than ready to refer the potential client to another NAPO Michigan Organizer who does have the skill set they need.
The Organizer will work with you to decide where to start and agree on the intended goal for the space. Then you will schedule a date to begin the work. Generally, the Organizer will work side-by-side with you (unless you are organizing virtually) to first sort through the items in the space you are tackling. As you are sorting like items together, you will throw out broken items and obvious trash, as well as gather items you want to donate so someone else can use them.
Once you know what items you want to keep, the Organizer will help you identify the best place and way to store those items. Sometimes clients may want to use containers and bins that they already have in their home. Other times, the client will want to purchase new, matching containers to give the space a coordinated and finished look.
Professional Organizers can help you chose containers, and some will take the extra step of helping you shop for them either via the internet or doing an in-store pick up for items you have ordered.
Professional Organizer sessions can range from 3-7 hours depending on the client’s needs, health and mental stamina. Some projects can be completed in one day and some might be ongoing for quite some time. Some Organizers have a team of 2-3 workers, while others work solo alongside the client. Generally, Organizers tend to work with the client, rather than while the client is at work, so that the client is there to make decisions about what they want to keep and get rid of. But that’s not to say there aren’t times when an Organizer couldn’t be in the house alone completing a task that they have agreed upon with a client.
By the end of the appointment, the Organizer will help you move your bagged trash out to your trash cans, as well as consolidating items for donation into one area.
Depending on the amount of trash or donation items you have gathered, the Organizer may help you find a donation charity or junk hauling company to pick up and remove them.
Hopefully, you will find that working with a Professional Organizer is a pleasant experience and usually goes much more smoothly than trying to work with a family member or suffering through doing it on your own.
Professional Organizers are there to help guide and motivate you, helping you through the decision-making process toward a well-organized home.
This NAPO Michigan Blog post was written by Kari Grady, Director of Membership and owner of Need to Organize LLC.