Choosing Your Organizer

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By: Cheryl Adelman Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Your home and office will inevitably become a reflection of you; your interests, priorities, work, beliefs, and daily habits. For any of many reasons, you may find that disorganization and clutter are interfering with personal goals and happiness.
Usually organizers are contacted to swoop in and help get things in order. Sometimes we are needed to set up systems preventively for a new endeavor, like having a baby, or starting a business. To me, the goal of working with an organizer is to create functional and esthetically pleasing spaces to work, play, and rest, and to learn to keep them that way, thus, improving quality of life, long term.
It’s worth the effort to find an organizer who resonates with you. Conduct a few interviews to find the right person. Be honest and clear about what you want: Do you want them to work alone or with you? Can you coordinate schedules? Do they have experience similar to your project? Discuss the finances. Do you want ongoing maintenance? Inform them which of the following motivated you to call for help: you are stressed, busy, overwhelmed, confused, anxious, in conflict with a partner about organizing, in transition, physically unable, in need of the company of someone focused. Tell them if you have a pet. Check their references. Read their testimonials. You want someone who is reliable and trustworthy. You’re going to be spending time together.
You’re more likely to have success with an organizer who listens to you, respects your vision, without judgement, with interest in finding solutions. Find an objective professional with whom you feel comfortable. Hire someone who is flexible and will creatively approach your particular situation, instead of relying on rules about how things “are supposed to” be done. Of course, you don’t want to end up right back where you started in a matter of months! Your organizer should be someone who can help you make some behavioral changes.
Before you even think about purging, categorizing, donating and recycling, your organizer should understand your goal, know your strengths and weaknesses, then, devise a plan of action accordingly, which they discuss with you to make sure you are on the same page.
You may benefit from an organizer who specializes, for example, with going paperless, people with ADD, children and schoolwork, cataloguing collections, family genealogy, interior design, shopaholics, and more.
Organizers are as different from each other as any other professionals. Do your research. Trust your feelings when you choose. And, if you are not happy, you can make a change.
Cheryl Adelman, owner of Organize In A Day™, loves to help people get organized, write about it, and is an entertaining speaker about the subject. organizeinaday.com  organizeinaday@gmail.com  609-287-3119.