Ten Questions to Avoid Asking A Professional Organizer


1.  Should I get a storage space?

?????????????Absolutely not. Ninety-nine percent of the time I will answer no. On a few seldom occasions I saw the necessity and importance of that being a short term solution. The solution is never rent more space. The answer is always “let’s work on living within the space you’ve been given and already own.” More space allows more clutter and delayed decision making.

2.  Should I have a garage sale?

Only if you want to do a ton of work and make $300-500, and that amount all depends on weather and the items you have to sell. The work is usually not worth the energy spent and money taken in.  If you find satisfaction in selling your things instead of donating them, then by all means have the garage sale. Some, not many, enjoy putting on a sale.

3.  Should I clean first?

Absolutely not. We will be going through your things and creating a huge mess before there’s organization or order so do not clean. Clean afterwards when your floors and countertops are clear. It is so much easier to clean when spaces are free of clutter. Before I clean my home I always do a mini “pick up” session. Then I speed through the cleaning time.

4.  How about I buy bins and containers before you come?

It’s not necessary. Most families have containers and bins and typically we have empty ones leftover when we are done organizing. It is rare when we don’t have enough containers and I’ve never once had to stop organizing to run to the store for containers. It’s better to write a shopping list of exactly what you need instead of guessing what you’ll need.

5.  Can I see if my friend or my family wants it?

Yes you can. BUT I don’t recommend it. You’re in a sense putting or pushing your clutter onto someone else. Now they have to make the decision you don’t want to make.  Do you really want to spend your energy on finding people who are willing to take your things? If there is a true need, of course I have no problem you passing something onto a less fortunate friend or family member.

6.  Should I buy another bookshelf?

No. If you have several already, make it your goal to reduce your volume of books instead. Adding bookshelves is not the solution. Once you downsize enough to make them all fit, then stay within that boundary. If you order three new books online, three more will have to leave.

7.  Can we just put it in the basement?

That answer depends on a couple of questions. Is it being used in the basement? Does it belong down there? Most unfinished basements turn into deep dark holes to stash stuff. Avoid filling it up. If you lug it down there, one day we will be lugging it out when you want to use the space, refinish the basement or have a flood.

8.  Can we just put it in the garage?  

I’d give the same answer for this question. If it’s meant to be used outside or is stored with other like items in the garage then it’s a good idea. It’s also acceptable if it is a project you will work on in the garage such as fixing a piece of furniture or spray painting something. The garage is also a good place for items that are leaving the house altogether such as items you’re selling on Craig’s List or a pile of recycling or something for a friend to pick up. It’s meant to be a revolving space where things come and go, not park forever.

9.  Should I get a Costco or Sam’s Club membership?

No. Unless you have a ton of storage space for extras it’s an absolute no.  

10. Can I just take it to work and store it there?

Only if it’s related to work. We don’t want to mix personal and work items. What stays at work is relevant to your work day and what is at home is relevant to you using or enjoying the items at home. Don’t mix personal and business.

Photo © Maridav / depositphotos

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