In my most recent Quick Question survey, I asked,
What misconceptions about your work have you encountered from non professional organisers?
I further asked,
How do you respond when you encounter these misconceptions?
The responses had a lot in common. Reported misconceptions ranged from being a cleaner to “chucking stuff out”, to living perfect lives and more.
Stefanie King from The Organising Project counters misconceptions of “being a cleaner, randomly throwing everything out, housekeeping duties” by “explaining the difference between cleaning, tidying, decluttering, organising and coaching.”
Karen White from The Sorting Angel said, “Some people think that I’m a cleaner, that I do this job as a hobby (I’ve been asked if I still have that “little cleaning business.”). Some think that I have a super organised home and life, and there are people who say, “I’d love to do that, I love throwing out other people’s stuff. I explain that I am a trained Hoarding and Decluttering specialist and that it is my full-time job. It takes respect and mutual trust to work with people in their homes and help them to let go of things they no longer need, want or love. It is not a job for those who love to ‘chuck away stuff’ in a hurry.”
Tracey Warren, from Professional Organising Solutions, wrote that “Some people expect me to be a kind of bossy dragon who makes forces people to de-hoard their homes. I explain to them that I’m quite gentle and compassionate toward the people I work with, and trying to force someone to do something isn’t effective.”
Nathalie Ricaud from Get Organised & beyond found that “People often underestimate the time it takes to declutter. I try to make them realise that their clutter didn’t happen overnight and it won’t go away overnight either, that there are no quick fixes, and that if they don’t tackle the underlying issues behind their clutter, it will eventually come back.”
Amy Kennedy from The Organising Bee answered, “That as a Professional Organiser, we must have a perfect home and life. Rather, I find it is the opposite – the busier I am supporting others to organise their spaces, the less time and energy that I have to focus on maintaining my own spaces, and therefore it is not as organised as I would like. I compare it to the tradie scenario – the painter hasn’t finished their painting their home, the landscaper hasn’t completed their garden, the electrician hasn’t replaced the light bulb. I don’t live in perfection. I am a mother and I am a small business owner and like everyone else I am tired when I get home after a long day at work. However, I have built in systems to ensure that maintenance is quick and easy.”
Julie Whiting from The Decluttering Co finds that people think “that my house is perfect. I say that it’s not perfect, but pretty good, for me, at the moment. But also there is no such thing as perfect, and compromises are inevitable.”
Thanks to all those who responded. Keep up the great work, educating and reframing the conversations about what a professional organiser actually does.
Want to read more survey summaries? Click here.