How Hiring a Professional Organizer Can Change Your Life

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It isn’t often a Facebook post gives me a surge of adrenaline. But recently I came across this from Atlanta Professional Organizer Heidi Leonard (Operation Organization by Heidi):

“Had a really exciting and encouraging experience with my morning client today. We first worked together about a year ago when I helped her get her whole home organized. She had me back to help her with going through some clothes. I was so surprised when I saw her. She looks like a different person as she had lost over 100 pounds! She said she credits working with me to her weight loss success. She said the experience she had getting her home in order inspired her to then get her body in order. She said she wants to write a “one year later” testimony for me. 🙂 So it wasn’t that she had regressed on what we had achieved together – she simply needed to revamp her wardrobe and get rid of all the clothes that no longer fit her new size!”- Heidi Leonard

Professional Organizers Change Lives

I read it again, this time aloud to my husband. “THIS is why I chose to do this for a living! Organization can actually change people’s lives in wonderful ways!” I immediately began rooting around my colleagues’ websites, sifting through testimonials, and searching the discussion walls in my Facebook groups. The stories are compelling. Client testimonials and Professional Organizer (PO) anecdotes regularly report personal growth and even improved mental health results when the expertise of a PO is enlisted to tame chaotic space.

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It’s Not Just About Being Able to Find Matching Socks

Testimonials on the website of Pennsylvania’s The Organizing Professionals illustrate how hiring an expert benefits you beyond avoiding milk spoilage due to the carton getting lost in the back of the fridge or always being able to find matching socks: “Now I can find things, and I know where they should go,” reports one client, “[but] I can’t express how much it eases the brain and brings peace, as well.” Another client shared about her son who, four years after their organization experience, is a freshman in college: “[He] is interested in law school and one of the most organized in our family! I attribute the skills you shared with [him] years earlier that has now put him on the path to life’s success.”

Can organization of a physical space really make this kind of difference? Sherrie Bourg Carter, psychologist and author of High Octane Women: How Super-achievers Can Avoid Burnout, says “yes.” Excessive visual stimuli in our surroundings cause unnecessary work for our nervous systems, making us tired and distracting us from our objectives. Piles of belongings feed feelings of inadequacy and guilt – not to mention make us nervous about what is hidden and what will be the effort to find something we need. And lack of open surfaces inhibits creative thought, because it blocks a space for creative activity to take place. (How likely are you to plan a creative cooking activity if there is not a spare square inch of open counter space in your kitchen? And have you even SEEN your sewing machine lately?) Conversely, having orderly living and working space reduces the subconscious’ workload, enhances well-being and sense of control, and stimulates creative thought.

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From “Plopping” to Empowerment

Professional Organizers know not all clients are ready for personal transformation, but it is icing on the cake when a client does “get it.” When a person takes ownership for the organization of their spaces, we know they’ll likely experience the benefit for the rest of their lives. As a client of Orlando Home Organizer reported, “[Getting started with a PO has] given me confidence that I can remain organized. I feel that we got to the root of the problems and solved the issues. I feel empowered.”

Another Organizing Professionals client said enlisting an expert’s help “literally changed my life…. The closet and the desk look just as organized as the day we worked on them.”

Just the other day I heard from my own client/friend who has been adjusting to chronic pain as a result of a car accident two winters ago. The limitations and discomfort after the accident negatively impacted her use of her kitchen, which had always been cluttered because of her lack of organized storage habits. Last fall I arranged her kitchen and pantry to accommodate her limited motion and more restricted food preparation activities. “Think of you every time I open my well organized cupboards,” she texted. “Really appreciate them every day!” The subtext says she is USING her cupboards every day now – a big life change for a woman who always described her typical approach to organization as “plopping!”

We all have our turning points. The article How a Professional Organizer Changed My Life  illustrates how, after years of saying “I’ll organize the spare bedroom when we need it for a nursery” as a procrastination technique, the writer found herself phoning her mother in hormone-induced tears. She was realizing that her looming parenthood was paralyzing her ability to reform, instead of helping. Mom’s advice was to hire a PO, who quickly and efficiently prepared the home for family life. And after completion of the project – a surprisingly pleasant experience due to the PO’s fresh ideas, valuable knowledge, positive attitude, and energy – the mom-to-be and her husband were already aspiring toward total home organization.

Just Getting Life Back on Track

Many times clutter happens as a result of life events, and people who normally maintain order in their spaces are blindsided by unfamiliar chaos. In this case, using a PO can be key to recovering a comfortable lifestyle. “Shortly after the move, [I] also lost my Mother…. [I’m] normally a very organized person, but found myself overwhelmed … had not yet found the time or energy to unpack,” wrote a Florida client of Organized by Nicole. “[After hiring Nicole], we have made tremendous progress…. [She helped] me get my life back on track.”

Moving is a very popular time to take advantage of a PO, both to weed out unnecessary items while packing and to efficiently and quickly get the new home functioning. A Texas client expressed gratitude on Living Order’s website very clearly: “What you did for me is not measurable by boxes or truckloads. I can only know in my heart how you have helped me deal with an enormous challenge – one I know I could not have met alone.”

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Transformation photos on PO websites make it easy to see how people’s lives are changed when they hire an expert.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Even without life’s curve-balls, testimonials provide ample evidence that organizing with an expert simply makes clients feel better mentally. It makes sense, really: Everyone occasionally needs to regroup and rethink their environmental arrangement to gain freedom to move into a new season in life. A client of Southern California’s I Luv Organizing said her experience “… lifted a great burden off my shoulders … motivated me to keep going and get rid of useless old junk that was weighing me down.” An Organized by Nicole testimonial said having an expert’s assistance “allows me to see that I have a light at the end of the tunnel of my stuff … as opposed to not thinking that I’ll ever be able to get through.” And that phrase shows up again, from a family member of a The Chicago Organizer client: “[We experienced a] huge victory to get the project started after so many years, and there is light at the end of the tunnel for my Dad to envision moving to a smaller home.”

These statements are over the top. This is not just “They helped me organize my kitchen” or “We can now park our car in the garage” (though there are tons of those reviews, as well). These people report their lives have been changed. Whether the change was thrown at them, as will often happen in life, or the result of a personal resolution, the addition of a Professional Organizer made the change both possible and positive.

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