1. Straightening up before the consultation or day of service
As a professional organizer, I need to see how the client really lives. The project cannot be properly assessed if the client is concealing her true lifestyle. For me to understand how to design an organization system that will support the clients’ goals and desires, I need to witness their habits so that I can create a realistic plan for them. If unopened incoming mail is hiding in a drawer instead of piled on the kitchen counter where it tends to gather, I cannot implement a structure in which to eliminate the unnecessary paper, scale the flow of required and an ongoing management system – because I don’t know the problem exists.
We’re here to help our clients live better organized lifestyles, show us what’s truly preventing that and we’ll make it disappear.
2. Being embarrassed or afraid to let us see your mess
Being a professional organizer is a privilege and honor that I don’t take for granted. I am exposed to the very private and personal and people being very vulnerable. If I was to make a client feel badly about the state of her home or office, I probably wouldn’t have many clients. 99% chance someone’s mess is worse than yours. I’ve seen it all – sometimes I wish I could unsee a few things, but my job is to be of service and provide help, support and solutions, being judgmental wouldn’t allow me to achieve those things.
3. I’m an organizer, not a housekeeper
With clutter, chaos and confusion – a little dust and dirt is bound to be exposed. My staff expects that we’ll be doing some cleaning especially if are uncovering things that have been buried and inaccessible and we’re known for meticulously cleaning up before we leave a client’s, but when the client confuses our service as housekeeping it can be frustrating. The more time we spend cleaning, the less time we have to focus on the reason we were hired. Having the area you want organized clean will definitely make the time you spend with the organizer more productive.
that being said…
4. Not providing adequate cleaning supplies
The process of organization is a messy and if done properly creates a lot of trash. As part of our work kit, we carry cleaning supplies, but unfortunately experience has taught us to bring trash bags, paper towels and some cleaning agent. Our contract outlines the clients’ responsibilities and we remind the client when we confirm in advance. It is always important to discuss with the organizer what they might need for clean up so you home doesn’t resemble a tornado’s path.
5. But I bought all these containers!
I love when a client is proactive and wants to live a better organized lifestyle. Unfortunately many a well meaning person believes buying a bunch of containers is the solution to being organized. Most the time containers are just contained clutter that can be easily stacked. Before adding to the chaos, it is necessary to edit and organize all the contents that would go into the container. More than likely you really won’t need what you already purchased however The Container Store has a very generous return policy – but you didn’t hear that from me…