“A home organizer?” “Really? Is that a thing?” “You mean you go into people’s homes and organize their stuff?” “I have seen those hoarding shows, is it like “Hoaders?”” “I NEED YOU!”
If you haven’t guessed, those are the predictable reactions whenever I am asked “what do you do?” To be candid, for decades I helped individuals and non-profits organize their spaces yet before I started my business I never had any idea it was “A THING.” In fact, when I googled it one afternoon in the throes of building The Practical Sort, I was blown away that others were making a living doing it. And, oodles of those professionals work right here in the Portland Metro Area. Shocking! Many belong to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). So not only is it “a thing,” there is an association established specifically to advance the industry to ensure we do “the thing” really well and abide by a set of guidelines and best practices to protect you, your property, and ourselves. Keep that in mind when searching for organizing assistance, look for the NAPO logo.
Yeah, So What Does This Have to Do With Me?
This is all well and good, but let’s get real what does it mean and what does it have to do with you? Frankly nothing if you or no one you know is on the verge of the proverbial chaotic cliff because home is crushingly or even moderately out of control. When life churns smoothly like a well-oiled machine, all’s groovy. BUT, when each item on the to-do list (WHAT? Should I have a to-do list? I can’t keep track of my phone, glasses, or keys. How would I track a list?) is a hair-raising, shoulder-tensing, blood-pressure igniting experience, then it is time to buckle down.
What does that look like?
Action might be setting aside time on your calendar to straighten up, arrange and rearrange to make sense of household items and the morass that munches away at your time. For some people conceptually that makes total sense. “Yep, I’ll get right on it”. In actuality, good intentions do not necessarily translate to specific tasks and accomplishments. You set aside a bunch of hours Saturday morning to tackle your craft room. You are totally pumped to get started. Before you make it to the doorway, you’ve been sucked into an irritating news segment when your kiddo stomps in reminding you that it is time to head out to soccer practice. Back home in time to whip up lunch before zooming off to yoga class which segues into a grocery store run for dinner ingredients. As you you unpack the bags, your mom calls and the chat elapses into dinner preparation, then some melting into the couch for tv time because you are completely zapped.
In the recesses of your mind, you notate that tomorrow your craft room will get your full attention. Reality check, is it likely to happen? If so, marvelous. If not, you might need to reach out for an extra set of hands and someone to keep your attention on track. No disruptions except for the occasional rehydration, nourishment, movement break. Break over, time to refocus and dig back into the detritus.
Within a few hours, we have more noticeable progress than all the good intention years combined. Piles have been culled through, items have been designated for removal to destinations outside your home, household goods have been assigned logical placements, and excess storage which you never dreamed you had is now available for use.
As for those Hoarding episodes, not all organizers take on hoarding situations. You may have noticed that I have dealt with some hoarding clearouts to prepare properties for home sales and moves. I do not have the qualifications to address the emotional, psychological, and physiological symptoms that lead to and perpetuate hoarding. I refer on-going hoarding projects to specialists. If you are not certain whether a specific situation constitutes chronic hoarding vs messiness vs collections, consult the Institute for Challenging Disorganization’s Clutter-Hoarding Scale by clicking here for guidance. Understanding the magnitude before seeking assistance will help you clearly articulate the project scope saving you time in the search for the appropriate resources.
Home organizing is “A Thing” and it might just be “THE thing“ to get you or someone for whom you have concerns back on track. To learn more about home organizing or to schedule a free 30 minute phone consultation, contact ThePracticalSort.com.