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What does a professional organizer do?

If you’re thinking about hiring a professional organizer, you’re probably wondering… what does a professional organizer do? And what don’t they do? What can I expect when I pay someone to come into my home and set up organizing systems for me and my family?

Graphic for Pinterest with a photo of a professional organizer and the title, 'What does a professional organizer do?'

Hiring a professional organizer can be a big decision. It's both a time and financial commitment — one that can be well worth the effort. Before making that commitment, though, it’s important to understand what to expect from a professional organizer. 

The Organizing Equation

I’ve come up with an essential organizing equation for organization, and it’s important to understand this equation before undergoing work with a professional organizer:

(-purge) + a place for everything + everything in its place = organized

Basically, this equation covers everything that’s involved in getting organized. Seems pretty simple, right? It can be! But the secret is… a professional organizer can only help you with those first two steps of the equation. The rest is up to you.

Let’s take a closer look at the equation, so you can better understand the answer to “What does a professional organizer do… and not do?”

Photo of an organized bathroom closet with clear, labeled bins.

The Purge

The first part of the equation is the purge. To organize, you must first understand what you have. And oftentimes you have more than you need, use, and want. 

If you feel like you can purge on your own, you can certainly save yourself money. However, often this is the step that people need the most help with. 

Over the years, I’ve found that people need “permission” to let go of things. There's a guilt associated with throwing away gifts, things your kids have made, or things you spent too much money on but that you didn’t necessarily need. 

There is a more powerful freedom in letting things go than you might imagine right now! And sometimes you need the help of a professional organizer to be relieved of the burden, and realize that freedom.

Me? I love a good purge. I take a tough-love approach to helping my clients purge their belongings. I’ll never push you to do something you really don’t want to do, and I recognize the attachment you may have for certain sentimental items. But all the same, I know the magic that a good purge can make — and it’s my job to help you find it!

A Place for Everything

The second step in the equation can be the most fun part. It’s also the most helpful part of working with a professional organizer: finding a home for everything. 

What does a professional organizer do when it comes to finding a place for everything? Well, this usually involves cataloging what you have, measuring your space, taking trips to The Container Store, filling shelves and drawers with bins, and putting things away in their anointed home. 

Photo of a kitchen drawer with high-end spice containers with white labels.

The finishing touch, of course, is labeling! A professional organizer is most at home with a label maker in their hand!

Everything in its place

This, my friends, is where the organizer’s job ends. When it comes to putting (and keeping) everything in its place… well, that’s totally on you and your family (or whoever you share your space with).

I’ve had to learn through the years to let go of whether or not clients will put things perfectly away. The perfectionist in me cringes at this. But the best I can do is hope that the systems we created are workable and that clients will use them. 

It's up to you, dear friends, to put things away in their home. Every. Single. Time. You. Use. Them.

That’s your answer to “What does a professional organizer do… and not do?”

There are so many great reasons to hire a professional organizer, and I hope that this short article has helped clear up what exactly we do… and what’s up to you! 

Having an organized mindset and a determination to stay organized is the best way to make the most of your investment in professional organizing services. Because the reality is, the only successful organizing equation has a very important spot for you. 

Organized kids' room with neutral decorations.

If you can take this on, then it can be well worth your time to hire someone to help you. But if you aren’t quite there yet, you may end up frustrated at the time and money spent. You might be better off taking a slow approach to doing it yourself — such as with the G+G Membership. And then, of course, you can go ahead and purchase beautiful, professional labels once everything is how you want it!

Thinking about hiring a professional organizer?

How exciting! I recommend checking out my blog post on Hiring a Professional Organizer so that you can cover all of your bases before making a hiring decision. You can also visit the National Association of Professional Organizers website for more information.

As for me, my team and I offer services in Boston and worldwide, thanks to our in-person and virtual consultations. Come read more about working with me to determine whether we’re the perfect fit. 

Do you have any more questions about what a professional organizer does? Let me know in the comments.

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