Have you been thinking about hiring a home organizer? Many people think they can do all their organizing on their own. Or they think that they need to go through all their stuff before the organizer gets there (that’s what the organizer is for, to help you go through your stuff!). Some people can do it on their own, and other’s really do need extra help. Other people think they can work with friends or family to help them get organized. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t! Here are 5 major signs that you need to hire someone rather than going at it alone.
- You have ADHD or Chronic Disorganization. Disorganization is a hallmark characteristic of having ADHD, (although there are plenty of people who have ADHD who have learned to become organized). People who are chronically disorganized have made several (unsuccessful) attempts to get organized on their own. People with ADHD have trouble with one or more executive functions. While the exact executive functioning skills are defined differently by different professionals, everyone can agree with the fact that executive functions are necessary for getting organized and maintaining a level or organization. Organizing, prioritizing, focusing, regulating alertness, managing frustration, modulating emotions, working memory, accessing recall, and self-regulation are all executive functions. When someone has trouble with executive functioning skills, working with a professional organizer can be helpful to stay on task. Clients can mirror their professional organizer’s executive functioning skills so that they can be the most efficient with their time and energy. A professional organizer can also act as a “body double” (someone who sits quietly with a person while they work on a more difficult task).
- You don’t know where to start or how to organize. Most professional organizers have the goal of being able to transfer their skills to others. If you don’t know where to start, a professional organizer can work with you (either remotely or in person) to help you figure out where the sticking point is, and where to start. An organizer can teach you how to create organizing systems that will work for you, and techniques for making organizing faster and easier. Helping to create habits for ongoing maintenance is another big part that an organizer does.
- You don’t have anyone in your life who can help you. Maybe you’ve got great people in your life who get you, who are patient with you, and are great at helping you reach your goals, but they just don’t have the time or physical ability to help you get organized. But most people who are disorganized have had bad experiences with so-called friends or family members who shame them for being disorganized, are impatient, judgmental, biased, and impose their ideas on them. A good professional organizer is a compassionate, neutral third-party who can help someone reach their organizational goals without a whole lot of baggage.
- You’re working through emotional or physical challenges. Have you lost a loved one and need to go through their belongings? Or have you recently gotten divorced and need to reclaim your space as a newly single person? These can be really tough times emotionally. When someone is going through difficult emotional times, it makes it very hard to access the executive functioning part of their brain so that they can make rational decisions about what to keep and what to let go of. It also makes focusing and staying on task very difficult. People who like to process things externally are especially great candidates for people who would benefit from a professional organizer. A professional organizer can reflect back to the client as they talk about their items or as they are making difficult decisions. People with physical challenges benefit from working with an organizer since most organizers are in physically good shape so that they can move things around for their clients.
- You’re under a deadline, or the project is too big for you to do alone. A move is a great example of a time when someone could benefit from an organizer. From helping to declutter before the move, helping to group like items to be packed together, coordinating with packers and movers, and then helping to unpack and put things away in an organized fashion, having an organizer on your team when you move can be a major relief! It’s important to break down big projects into smaller chunks and tackle organizing in the right order. An organizer can set up a project timeline and can also enlist other qualified trustworthy people to help out with projects that are too large for someone to tackle on their own.
Here is an additional resource from the Institute of Challenging Disorganization: Should I Hire a Professional Organizer or Work with a Friend? Tips to Help You Decide
If you’re ready for help getting organized, I’d love to work with you!
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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