When I embarked on this career after a lengthy career as a licensed clinical social worker, many people asked me “is there such a thing as a professional organizer?” Most people were very curious about this industry. And, if only I had a dollar for every time I heard, “what does a professional organizer do?”
While I knew I had great skills to organize my home and knew I enjoyed organizing, I admit that initially I didn’t know much about the professional organizing industry. A Google search eventually led me to the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) where I learned that there is a thriving and growing community of people just like me…individuals who love to organize and excel in organizing skills. Within months, I joined NAPO National and NAPO’s Chicago chapter, took the courses required to become a professional member, and obtained the residential organizing certificate. While immersing myself in this new industry, I learned all the many avenues one can take in the professional organizing arena.
Professional organizers typically specialize in three areas: objects, data, and time. In terms of organizing objects, this typically means reducing the quantity of objects. The organizer must build the client’s confidence in decision making, help clients reframe attachments to objects, and educate the client on options for disposing of objects. Additionally, professional organizers work with clients to arrange objects. There are many techniques that an organizer uses to arrange objects and since this can get very detailed, it is best saved for a separate, future blog post.
The second area of organizing is data. In this case, data is defined as either paper or digital content. Data can be further broken down into action, reference, and archive. Similar to objects, professional organizers work with clients on reducing and arranging data.
Finally, the third area of organizing is time. Since time is limited and finite, professional organizers coach clients on prioritizing urgent and important tasks, determining personal values towards time, creating routines, and maximizing productivity.
Through my training, I learned that being a professional organizer is more than just having good organizing skills. Being a professional organizer means understanding that each individual client is different, learns different, and has different needs. This means that part of my job as a professional organizer is to understand what makes each client unique so that I can transfer organizing skills to the client and the client can maintain the system that has been created. While working with clients, professional organizers integrate discussions on procrastination, backsliding, and behavior modification in order to launch the client into a successful, organized future.
There are three different avenues professional organizing businesses can take in this exciting industry. Most professional organizing businesses will put themselves in one of these three camps: residential, business, or coaching. So, taking all of this into consideration, where does Abrams Home Solutions fall on this spectrum? Abrams Home Solutions specializes in residential organizing. Services include organizing various spaces/rooms in a home, organizing paper and digital data, managing moves and downsizing, creating home inventories, and home staging. Abrams Home Solutions works with all ages and focuses on individuals and families going through various life transitions. As you have learned, the professional organizing industry is far reaching and can have a deep impact on the client’s life in terms of their future goals. Please join me on a monthly basis to delve into more topics related to residential organizing and staging.