To require a professional organiser does not mean that you need to have a house packed to the rafters with newspapers, collectables and clutter. Professional organisers can definitely help those people however there are many other ways that they can help the rest of us who are just too tired, too busy, too overwhelmed and just too damned confused!
There are three basic reasons my clients hire me for professional organisation:
They are simply drowning in tasks and feel don’t know how to get organised or where to start on their own. These clients often feel completely overwhelmed at just the thought of decluttering and organising. When I step into these homes often there is 2 or 3 loads of washing that have been sitting on the couch for a week, kitchen benches covered in school notes, bills and to-do lists, toys that seem to breed with every year and a storage shed full of all those hobbies they had pre kids that never seem to be pulled out anymore. A professional organiser can come in and help to find a good starting point, implement steps to take and create a plan to follow. Usually this starts with clearing out the storage spaces, working through the items that you have and working out the best way to re-store them whether it be with purchasing shelving and storage tubs or working with what you have. During this process there is often the opportunity to let go of anything that is no longer required or loved.
They simply don’t have time. Most of my clients are busy parents who have young kids and are often juggling work and family and just don’t have the time to get organised let alone keep it that way. One recent client had a double garage full to the brim with dance costumes, renovation and building requirements, toys the kids had outgrown, items she was storing for her mother, Christmas decorations and a BBQ that had been buried under stuff for the past 3 years. There was no chance a motorbike could be parked in there let alone a car! I was able to come in and sort through the items, group them in a logical way, build storage shelves around the outside, pack everything into storage tubs and catalogue it all for her. Now she can park her 4WD in the garage and quickly and easily locate her dance costumes and everything else! Even better they have once again started to have BBQ’s together again! Not only would this have taken her every weekend for weeks to do herself but she would also have had to drive around to various places to buy the storage shelves and tubs, drop donations to charity and work out the best places to sell off her unwanted stuff.
They don’t want to do it themselves. Just like outsourcing for cleaners, accountants and gardeners there are some activities that people just don’t want to do themselves even if they have the capabilities. Many of my clients aren’t even home when I’m in their house. They text me their to-do list and I take care of it all for them from folding laundry to buying shopping to designing and building a mudroom. Every day brings a different set of tasks and another relieved face.
So why hire yourself a professional
Someone who can make the hard decisions for you. Sometimes in a partnership one partner is messier or more of a horder than the other. Hiring a personal concierge to come to declutter for you takes the argument out of the relationship and gives you that one step of separation from the hard decisions.
As they don’t have the same sentimental attachment to your stuff that you do, they can often help you gently but practically separate yourselves from the unnecessary excess that surrounds you. Don’t worry, they won’t ever force you to get rid of anything you feel strongly about. As the Marie Kondo method that is so popular right now tells us, the key to having a happy house is to only surround yourself with items that either bring joy or are useful. So say goodbye to that ugly jumper your mother-in-law knitted you for Christmas and donate it to charity to someone who actually needs it.
Professional Organisers have access to more resources than the average person with knowledge on where to find the best shelving, wardrobe solutions and container storage options to suit every style and budget. Save yourself time trawling online and in-store as not only will they quickly be able to pin-point what you need, they often get trade discounts they can pass onto you.
Professional Organisers know what is worth selling and what is better to be donated or thrown away. They can help you to list and potentially make money off your unused and unwanted items or donate them to someone in need, both much better results than having that stuff unnecessarily clogging up your cupboards and jamming up your drawers.
Setting up systems is one of the biggest benefits preventing you from falling back into the pattern where you began. Starting with an clearly labeled organised pantry, linen closet, wardrobe, craft room, play room or garage means that when you go to find something it is quick to locate as everything has it’s place. It’s also a breeze to return to where it belongs meaning that it’s less likely for clutter to build up in those problem areas - you know where, we all have them!
Cataloguing collections. Having all your collections itemised and stored in a logical and progressive manner means that not only are the items easier to locate but having a system in place also saves time in the long run. Think of all those times you could have sent an assistant to pick something up from the storage unit only to then have to come and find it yourself as everything was in disarray. Uniform storage tubs with printed labels itemising the contents of each box mean that anyone can walk in, locate the required item and leave within minutes. Returning or adding items is also much easier with a catalogued system in place. Professional organisers will take this one step further and will group contents in a logical way whether it be for a dance company whose props need to be grouped by theme (Under the Sea, Winter, Once Upon a Time) or a mum who wants the clothes and toys the kids have grown out of grouped by age/size and saved for another baby.
Hiring a professional organiser is not all about design although that definitely does play a role. the best rooms are those that encourage you to use the full space (yes and to make a mess) but allow you to quickly and easily put things away again as those systems are in place.
So the best way is not to struggle on or just try to power through by sheer will. Get yourself a professional organiser or a personal concierge and save yourself some angst. Let them help you implement those systems that will eliminate your frustration instead of hoping against hope that one day you will find the time and energy to deal with it yourself.
For more information about Coast services or to book your own personal concierge navigate to www.coastlifestyle.com.au
Blog Post written by Penny Quin from Coast Lifestyle Management.
Former commercials project manager and now mother of two little girls, Penny is an organiser at heart and loves nothing more than to help people. As the founding owner of Coast Lifestyle Management on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, her days are spent helping busy professionals and their families to get on top of their never-ending to-do lists. Hailed as “A wife from another life” and a “sanity saver” her organisational, decluttering, home management and personal administration skills are 2nd to none and should be an essential addition for every busy household. She’s most happy at the end of a job seeing the astonished and relieved smiles of her clients.
pantry images supplied by Little Label Co.