Come Again? Professional What?

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Though professional organizers have received some much needed publicity in recent years, an understanding of the nature and scope of this field is apparently still widely unknown.  Organizing encompasses many areas, far broader than the popular hoarding shows depict. Examples include clutter control in homes and offices, moving, home staging and downsizing, the creation and/or modification of filing systems (for both paper and computer files), time management and time saving applications, the organization of photos, crafts, memorabilia and collectibles.  Certain populations may find themselves in need of services, such as students, seniors, busy moms/dads, business men and women, the chronically disorganized, those struggling with ADD, ADHD or hoarding behaviors.  While some organizers limit their services  to a small niche within the larger field, others tackle a wider array of projects, similar to the existence of specialists, as compared to general practitioners in other fields such as law or medicine.

Clutter and chaos exist in many forms, from a crammed home or office, to a crammed schedule and its causes are as varied at the clients that seek our help.  The client may simply be weak in organizational skills and need to learn some better strategies or a life transition may have thrown them off course in maintaining control of their environment.  Sometimes, the cause may be rooted in deeper emotional or psychological issues, which are sabotaging their efforts.

We are a service driven society, resulting in available services for virtually anything you can imagine.  We can easily obtain help with cooking, cleaning, dieting and good nutrition, exercising, life coaching, studying, personal shopping, grooming, fixing what is broken, etc. The common thread here is all these service providers help customers accomplish tasks faster and better than they could on their own.

As demand for organizers continues to rise, so has the number of professional organizers. According to the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), now over 4000 strong (and of which I am a proud member), the top 5 Client Groups hiring professional organizers are residential, home-office-based businesses, small-businesses outside of the home, special needs customers and mid-sized to large businesses. Another NAPO poll reveals the top 5 reasons for hiring a professional organizer are too much clutter, general disorganization, difficulty determining what to keep and/or discard, difficulty finding things and selling a home or moving.  Based on these statistics, it appears that clutter control is most needed at home first and at work, second.

As our lives show no sign of slowing down and the constant barrage of information remains daunting, the need for organizers is likely here to stay.  We all have individual strengths and weaknesses.  In an era where we constantly strive for self improvement, convenience and efficiency, there is no shame in recognizing a skill that is a weakness for you and capitalizing on someone else’s expertise, so as to try and improve upon what is not working. Tips are great, if you are disciplined enough to carry them out on your own, until better habits emerge.  However, if your situation has become overwhelming and your past efforts have failed, you may need a fresh and objective perspective, a plan to break your project down, help you stay on task, a person who sees solutions and can work with you, so the job will not only get done, but will be accomplished faster, easier and better.

Though organizing all my life, I am still relatively new to organizing as a career choice.  It has been my goal to amass a broad base of knowledge, enabling me to work with many different types of clients and issues.  Whether I will, at some point, zero in on a smaller niche  remains to be seen, but for now, Simply Orderly is one stop shopping for most of your organizational needs.

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