19 Jun What exactly IS a Professional Organizer?
I often get asked about my career choice as a Professional Organizer: You mean, you get paid to organize someone else’s life? How does one become a Professional Organizer? Are you sure this is a real profession?
By definition a Professional Organizer is a person who, as their chosen profession organizes other people for a living. But what does that entail exactly? Believe it or not, we Professional Organizers wear a lot of hats.
Think of a Professional Organizer as a combination of the following:
– Project leader
– Time manager
– Cleaning person
– 3-D puzzle whiz
– Accountability partner
– Life coach
– Recovering Perfectionist
– Someone who pays great attention to detail
First and foremost, a Professional Organizer must be a good leader and project manager. They are responsible for keeping the client on track during the organization process, while also making it an enjoyable, learning experience. Similar to a test proctor (think back to your SAT days), a Professional Organizer must keep track of the time allotted to a task, so that items can be taken out, organized, and put back during a session. People would certainly not ask us back if we left a mess each time we came.
A Professional Organizer must also be a good cleaning person. Typically they carry cleaning products with them and clean/dust shelves or areas that they are organizing. A Professional Organizer must also be very good at solving puzzles, especially three-dimensional ones. They must understand how a space can be utilized to its fullest, whether that be using up vertical space, or placing everything ‘just so’ it all fits.
A Professional Organizer likely has some obsessive compulsive tendencies or need for perfection. They like things in their place, and always put away. But if we’re being honest, most Professional Organizers have their faults, too. No one can be perfect all the time, not even a Professional Organizer. Finally, a Professional Organizer acts as a life coach, guiding and teaching their clients through the organizing process. They answer questions, give advice, and teach as much as possible while on the job. Their end goal is to reduce stress and clutter, while saving their clients time and money by setting up custom tailored organizing systems that the client can easily keep up with.
So now you know a bit more about being a Professional Organizer. Professional Organizers may be certified from the National Organization of Professional Organizers, and many are simply NAPO members. They really do make a living by helping other people organize their lives, often improving their overall quality of life. It’s not a skill-set everyone has, and if you don’t, don’t worry. Consider hiring a Professional Organizer to get you started on living a more efficient, clutter-free life.