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.
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.