5 Reasons You’re Afraid to Contact a Professional Organizer (And Why You Should Do It Anyway)

We’ve all been there. We can’t find our keys… for the third time this week. Where did we leave that other shoe; we’re already running 15 minutes late for work. Everyone knows that 8 p.m. really means 8:30 when it’s time to get together and have a good time. Perhaps you hate doing laundry because folding just isn’t your thing. Or maybe you’ve moved into a new place, and you don’t have the time to figure out how to make your new apartment or house truly feel like home. But for some reason, we feel it’s not quite time to pick up the phone and summon the professionals. The following five reasons are common obstacles that prevent many of us from contacting a professional organizer despite desperately needing the guidance and assistance.

1. You never knew professionals who can organize your home existed.

Like cooking, carpentry, and decorating, home organizing is a learned skill that is often greatly enhanced by natural talent. There are people who possess the skills to perform these services for themselves. There are also people who posess a natural inclination and are highly skilled to the extent that they are able to turn the provision of these services into a profession. Home organizing is no different. In fact, professional organizing began to rise in popularity as an industry in 1984. The Los Angeles area is credited as the scene upon which professional home organizing initially emerged. Today, professional organizing has expanded around the world, and home organizers are available in most major cities. Even those who live in mid-sized cities and smaller towns have access to professional home and office organizing services in their communities.

2. You feel embarrassed about needing help with organizing.

For some of us, there is shame in not knowing exactly how to maintain an orderly space or even an orderly life. Some people are secretly afraid their unorganized space will be viewed as reflective of a personal failure to learn avaluable life skills. Those of us who work in high-ranking positions in our career may also feel as if our unorganized personal space is a shameful secret that contradicts our professional image. Some even feel disorganization is a product of irresponsibility and lack of morality. The good news is all these notions are generally false. For many of us, the difficulties we experience in maintaining an organized home are the result of us never having learned a system for organizing that is compatible with our personality, our habits, our learning style, and our lifestyle. There is no singular way to stay organized. Working with an organizing professional can help individuals who struggle with maintaining order in their spaces identify strategies that can make it possible to achieve organizational goals and maintain positive results.

3. You are uncertain of how to communicate your needs to a professional organizer.

Sometimes we know our struggle, but we are unable to conceptualize what an effective remedy may look like. Professional organizers are able to help those who struggle with organizing their spaces and lifestyles better understand the underlying causes of their difficulties with organization and identify effective solutions. The first step toward addressing an issue with organizing is to contact a professional and discuss your current struggles as well as your related lifestyle goals. Organizers are generally able to identify causal relationships and envision solutions those who struggle with organizing may not easily see on their own without professional guidance.

4. You don’t know where to find a professional organizer.

Today, the best place to learn more about professional organizers and to find one nearby is a basic Google search. While conducting an online search for professional organizers, you may be wondering how to find a good one. Sites such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp, all of which include online reviews, are convenient places to start your search. However, as with other businesses, it is necessary to read each review critically and to look for common complaints or common points of praise. Real estate agents, home renovators, and moving companies are other valuable sources for referrals for a professional home organizer in your city.

5. You are convinced you cannot afford a professional organizer.

Professional organizers work with a variety of budgets, depending on the organizer’s target market and the type of service you require. For example, some organizers offer consultations that allow the client to take the knowledge he or she gains from the organizer and DIY his or her own space. Other organizing services are very hands-off from the client’s perspective and include organizing supplies and a team to complete the project without much interaction with the client. Depending on your needs, reach out to different professional organizers and determine whether they are able to offer the level of guidance and service you require to achieve your desired outcome. Today, some service providers are even offering payment plans to extend their reach to a larger audience.

The idea of inviting an organizing professional into your space may seem intimidating as people generally consider their homes to be very intimate and personal. However, you may rest assured that professional organizers, somewhat similar to doctors, are committed to professionalism, and are unlikely to pass judgment or deliberately make you feel uncomfortable in ways that are unhelpful to you. Doing research and, if necessary, speaking at length with an organizer prior to allowing the service provider to enter your home is highly advisable for those who feel anxious about seeking organizing help.

We offer professional, courteous, and discrete service to corporate Executives, entertainment industry professionals, and business owners in the New York City area who would like to create a more organized, balance, and peaceful living space, work space, and lifestyle. Visit or Services page for more information.

5 Tips to Transform Your Home Into a Weekend Self Care Oasis

Self care: it’s something our friends, our doctors, our therapist, and perhaps our life coaches all recommend. However, most of us have come to the conclusion that implementing self care is easier said than done.  Going home to a peaceful, quiet setting may especially be difficult among the confined spaces and abundance of noise in large metro areas like New York City. Nevertheless, virtually anyone can transform an ordinary room into a relaxing, rejuvenating refuge from the outside world, even if the world outside houses the rumbling trains and noisy crowds that characterize Manhattan.

1. Set the tone with lighting.

Migraine sufferers and people who are otherwise sensitive to light can attest to the impact of feeling overstimulated in a brightly-lit room. When your objective is to wind down, the lighting in the room can have a direct impact on your ability to power down. If you don’t have a light dimmer installed, you can make simple changes such as exchanging bright, everyday light bulbs with bulbs that are of a lower wattage. For an even easier hack, simply utilize a small lamp to illuminate the room instead of using standard overhead lighting. Himalayan salt crystal lamps have become increasingly popular to achieve a spa-like, ionized atmosphere. Candle lovers may even opt to forgo electricity altogether and simply light candles to achieve the perfect level of brightness. Scented candles may further enhance the setting by adding a calming fragrance to the room.

2. Wake up your sense of smell.

Aromatherapy is often overlooked in Western cultures as a means of encouraging the mind to enter a more relaxed state. Placing essential oils in a diffuser, placing a few drops of oil on a washcloth in a scented steam shower, spritzing a room with a favorite fragrance, or drying off after a bath with warm towels infused with scented oil are just a few ways naturally calming fragrances can be implemented into daily living. Some of us are aware of smells we associate with happiness or favorable times in our lives or places we have visited. However, there are specific scents that are traditionally associated with positive emotions and optimized mental performance. For example, lavender, ylang ylang, and chamomile are natural oil fragrances that stimulate calmness and enhance relaxation in the mind.

3. Surround yourself with soothing sound.

We are affected by sound more than we may realize. Similar to smells, sound may also be used to induce relaxation and to enhance mental performance. There are some sounds we associate with positive memories and emotions while other sounds add to our tension and stress levels. While it may be tempting to blare top 40s hits all weekend, if your goal is to relax and unwind, it is best to choose slow tempo music with lyrics that do not distract or evoke strong emotions. Nature sounds will also help contribute to your home spa atmosphere. If you feel most relaxed on rainy days and nights, simply include a soundtrack of falling rain as part of your self-care routine.

4. Go off the wireless grid.

High-tech personal devices are more widely available to us now than ever. Untethering ourselves from the electronic devices that have become heavily integrated into daily life can be a challenge. More and more people are establishing personal rules to periodically spend time away from their personal devices to allow for reconnection with the environment and with personal relationships without distraction. Scheduling a tech-free time during your weekend of self-care is essential to fully putting aside all the stress of the work week as well as the feelings of FOMO many of us experience during our free time. If you have dependent children or friends and family members who frequently call, it is advisable to inform people ahead of time before going off the wireless grid. Informing those closest to you about your planned downtime will not only prompt everyone to avoid unnecessarily interrupting your self-care weekend, but doing so will also inform the people in your life that there is no need to panic if they attempt to reach you and find that you are unavailable. It is not necessary to disconnect from all technology and communication for the entire weekend. However, going off the grid for several hours will allow you to more fully focus on self care.

5. Leave guilt at the door.

Self care is as necessary as medical care. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with guilt when we allocate time, energy, and focus toward restoring ourselves. While you may not be able to immediately change your mindset toward regularly engaging in restorative practices, you can adopt a rational approach toward battling your feelings of guilt. For example, before beginning your self care weekend, resolve that you will not entertain guilty feelings regarding your self care during the weekend. Instead, simply remind yourself that you can reflect on your new approach to caring for yourself and evaluate your feelings after you have completed your relaxing weekend. While engaging in your self-care activities, try to remain present and focus on healing and relaxation.

white pillar candle
Photo by Alesia Talkachova on Pexels.com

 

For more information on self-care and strategies you can use to achieve a more favorable work-life balance, contact us for a time management and lifestyle coaching consultation. Our services are available to corporate executives, entertainment industry professionals, and business owners worldwide.

 

 

5 Facts to Know When Choosing a Professional Organizer

With the airing of “Tidying Up”–the Netflix series that showcases Japanese home organizing professional Marie Kondo’s spirituality-oriented approach to bringing organizational harmony to homes–more people than ever are reconsidering whether their household items “spark joy.” Although professional organizers have existed long before the publishing of Kondo’s New York Times bestseller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the mystery surrounding the profession of home organizing remains intact. As more people consider whether a professional organizer can help them, there is a greater need for an understanding of exactly how to find a good, compatible home or office organizer. The following five facts will demystify the process of finding the right professional organizer.

An Organizer is an Organizer by Any Other Name

First things first, it is important to identify how to request a professional organizer by name. Professionals who organize residential and commercial interiors go by many different names. Some titles include:

  • Professional organizer
  • Home organizer
  • Home interior organizer
  • Interior organizer
  • Personal organizer
  • Organizing specialist
  • Organizing professional

Most organizing professionals are unlikely to be offended by the use of any of the names listed above. However, most organizing professionals will specify their preferred title in their marketing materials or when you contact them by phone.

Certification May Not Mean What You Think it Means

As a New York City professional organizer, a question that occasionally comes up in speaking with people who are curious about professional organizing is whether it is better to hire an organizer who is certified. First of all, there are multiple trade organizations that offer certification to organizing and productivity service providers. The most widely known trade organization for professional organizers is the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. NAPO has existed 30 years and aims to offer education, networking, industry research, and increased public awareness for individuals who work in the organizing and productivity fields. While NAPO is well-established, the organization consists of 3, 500 members worldwide.

It is important to note that home organizing is a highly unregulated profession, and certification is not a requirement. There are talented professional organizers in virtually every major city. Many of these professionals have opted to forgo certification for multiple reasons. Therefore, it is my opinion that certification is not the most important factor to consider when seeking out a professional organizer. However, there are much greater considerations a potential home or office organizing client should consider prior to choosing to work with a particular professional. These factors can essentially make-or-break the customer’s experience with an organizer.

It’s Okay to Get Personal When Choosing a Home Organizer

Not only is it okay to get personal when considering a professional organizer, but it is highly suggested that you do so. Your home or office organizer needs to know your specific struggles with getting organized and with staying organized. These struggles may stem from your childhood. They may be related to life stressors such as divorce, major financial changes, illness, or a change in business or occupation. While no client is required to disclose his or her innermost personal secrets, giving the organizer in idea of general events or personal habits that impact the way you live and work will give your professional organizer very valuable insight into how he or she may be able to help you achieve long-lasting positive results.

Personality Counts

When choosing a home or office organizer, it is important to get a feel for your service provider’s personality. Communication is one of the most important factors in making the most of an organizing session. The organizer needs to have a clear understanding of your goals and of the way in which you would like to overcome organizational hurdles. You and your organizer will work best if you have compatible communication styles. Choose a home organizer with whom you feel comfortable. After all, this individual will be in your home. If you are using an organizing service provider who dispatches personnel to the client’s location to complete the project, ensure the service provider uses workers who are background checked and are safe to work in your home. If not, at the very least, make sure the organizing service is insured and has a process in place for handling theft or mishandled items.

Your professional organizer should be non-judgmental

I am often surprised when I hear horror stories about negative experiences with professional organizers who overstep boundaries and make their clients feel uncomfortable. These stories are generally few and far in between. However, I express to every client that a successful relationship with a professional organizer is dependent on comfort and the ability to communicate without fear of judgement. Your organizer should not enter your space with a posture of presumed superiority. Instead, he or she should arrive with a spirit of openness and willingness to leverage his or her knowledge and professionalism to improve your quality of life and bring a peaceful harmonious atmosphere into your space.

For more information about our home and office organizing services in the New York City area, send us an email or visit our homepage to book your appointment with us. We also offer virtual organizing services, consultative strategy sessions, and coaching to entertainment industry professionals, corporate executives, and business owners outside the New York City area. Please inquire for more information.

Choose a professional organizer who understands your lifestyle goals and overall vision.

Can a Professional Organizer Help You Stop Procrastinating?

While posting an installment of OrganizeU that focuses on the benefits of leveraging effective time management, the issue of procrastination came to mind. Before introducing strategies to overcome procrastination, I thought it may be helpful to delve into reasons people tend to procrastinate. If you are a person who is prone to procrastination, your first step on the road to improvement should include taking time to think about the underlying causes of your procrastination habit.

Are You Doing What You Love?


The most straightforward reason people put off doing a task is because they simply don’t look forward to the process of completing the task. While the thought of doing what you love may sound cliche,  and perhaps unattainable, level of interest and motivation directly impact productivity. Having a genuine interest in an activity naturally reduces the likelihood of losing focus and becoming distracted.  But how does this translate to mundane daily tasks and the unfulfilling jobs many of us are required to work to make ends meet?

To the person who is working an unfulfilling job, I would suggest that ideally the motivating factor each workday should be to take a step toward a more fulfilling career path. You may not be able to change careers overnight; however, you can use your current occupation to hone your skills, figure out exactly what you would like to do, and at the very least, discover what you are completely opposed to doing as a long-term career.

Dealing with the monotony of daily tasks such as chores inside the home is much easier. Those who can afford to outsource household chores and errands absolutely should if doing so would improve their overall quality of life; time is priceless; therefore, the money spent will be worth it. The on-demand economy has created more opportunities than ever for everyday people to affordably outsource the most basic tasks. More and more households are not only hiring cleaners, but also professional organizers, laundry services, and even food shopping services to help keep their homes running efficiently each week.

Those who are unable to outsource their most dreaded tasks may break up the monotony in more creative ways. Arranging to complete tasks such as grocery shopping or doing laundry in a more communal setting may make the time seem to pass more quickly and also make the activity more enjoyable. For example, scheduling a weekly grocery shopping trip with a friend or family member may make standing in long lines and perusing the aisles of the grocery store a more social experience and, therefore, more enjoyable. Traveling to a laundromat with a friend or inviting a friend over to fold laundry together can also serve as an opportunity for two or more busy people to connect and catch up while remaining productive. In most ancient cultures, chores were performed with other members of the community. Nowadays, humans in industrialized societies are more isolated than ever. A large contributor to the isolation many modern adults experience is the change in which we complete household tasks and chores. Returning to our communal roots may effectively help combat the loneliness and anxiety many adults experience in addition to reducing procrastination. 

Are You Afraid of the Outcome?

One of the most common reasons for procrastinating is fear of the direct outcome of taking action. As a home organizer in New York City, I have encountered procrastination that is fueled by fear of outcome in multiple different situations. Moving out of an apartment or selling a home may feel like leaving behind cherished memories. Therefore an individual in this situation may subconsciously dread packing for the move. Clearing out the home of a deceased parent is often very uncomfortable for the surviving children. In these cases, hiring a compassionate professional organizer to help sort through the household items and a packing company to help with packing and removal is highly advisable. In much simpler cases, some people are reluctant to get organized because they fear not being able to maintain their new organized space, no longer being able to find everything they need in their space, or they simply feel too embarrassed to show their clutter to another person. In these cases, I recommend the individual consider the numerous benefits of having a more organized home or office and carefully choose a compatible and understanding professional organizer with whom to work.

Do You Simply Need to “Grow Up?”

And now it’s time for the tough love section of the program. Sometimes we procrastinate because we do not establish mature boundaries for ourselves. In some cases you may need to tell yourself no. This often occurs when deciding to allocate time to completing an essential, yet unpleasant or mundane task. One of the best implications of adulthood is the notion that we can do what we want whenever we want once we are living under our own roof. However, with that living arrangement comes responsibility. No longer having a live-in authority figure to whom we must answer means it is up to us to establish healthy boundaries and to implement structure that will lead to balanced, productive, healthy living. Fortunately, we don’t have to do it alone. 

Bring In the Professionals

If you struggle with maintaining an organized space due to procrastination, a professional organizer can help. If your procrastination has led to a chronic issue with time management, a productivity coach can help. I happen to be both. For more information on how working with a professional can help you achieve the balanced, organized lifestyle you desire, check out related topics in our blog, or contact us to learn more about our services.