Over my organising career there are certain phrases I hear from clients over and over again.
Here are just three of those. I’m interested to hear about your experience too.
It’s natural for people to try to get organised by themselves first before calling in a professional. In fact, it’s common for my clients to have several failed attempts at getting organised, along with much frustration before they turn to an organiser for help.
Where do I start?
It makes sense. Society tells them they should be able to manage to organise their homes and their lives on their own. But as all organisers know, there are many reasons why it may not be so easy. Those reasons range from lack of time to lack of skills, from too much stuff to not enough storage, and may involve physical or cognitive challenges. And sometimes it’s a case of the wrong organising system for the right person.
That’s where organisers come in. an overwhelmed client asks “Where do I start?” A good organiser knows exactly where to start and gets to work, reassuring the client they have made a wise choice to seek help.
Is mine the worst?
Because I work with chronically disorganised people, including people who hoard, on first meeting my clients often ask, “Is mine the worst you’ve seen?” Behind that question is shame or anxiety. Reassurance is what they need in return. Reassurance that they will not be judged, and reassurance that you are on their side. For someone with excess clutter, it takes a lot of courage to seek help. They may have been judged, mocked or shamed their whole adult life about their inability to get organised.
When I am asked that question, I don’t answer directly. Sure, I could say “You’re not the worst, but you’re in the top 5”, but that doesn’t help anyone. I also have to acknowledge that it doesn’t matter if they are the worst on my scale. The only scale that matters is theirs.
“I can see this is causing you distress. It doesn’t matter how I feel about it. The only thing that matters is how you feel.” I am there for them. Not to judge. Not to rate on a scale. Not to compare to others.
I was looking for that!
I love that whatever organising job I am on, always, without exception, I hear “I was looking for that!” Over my 16 years as an organiser, I’ve found cheques worth substantial amounts, jewellery, important legal documents, jigsaw puzzle pieces, Christmas decorations, receipts to enable shopping returns and so much more.
It’s one of the many joys of working as an organiser that you can help reunite people with the things they need and love.
What do you hear from your clients?