True Confessions: This Professional Organizer’s Pitfalls


I was recently asked, “What’s your organizing weakness?”  or better yet  “What’s the one area of your home that would surprise people that you don’t have organized? “ Two things come to mind and I’m a bit embarrassed to share. The first place would be my crawl space. Yes, it’s somewhat organized and I know what’s down there but, I do walk down there and throw things in and shove items in. This is one thing I always encourage my customers NOT to do. I should climb up into it and put things back in an orderly fashion. So I find myself cringing when I don’t follow my own advice and follow the rules. Ninety percent of the plastic bins down there are empty. I should recycle them or donate them. You might suggest I need them one day, but that would not be the case. I always want to be in the business of simplifying my life and getting rid of more and more. There’s no way I’d buy enough or gain enough stuff to make it worth keeping them.

I noticed this reaction in a recent client interaction. We had pitched a ton of file folders from their small business and had a huge shredding pile from the contents. The customers noticed all the used file folders going into the recycle bin. Their response was, “why aren’t we keeping those?” I pointed out how much we had streamlined, consolidated and simplified in their business. And then I asked what would we be adding that would need this many extra folders? Then the lightbulb went on and they understood. We all need to flip the switch in our minds. It’s a mentality to learn and embrace. If your goal is to always have less and you desire to be getting rid of more, the likelihood of you needing the extra bins, crates or folders are slim to none. Just let them go. I give you full permission J

The second confession would be the tendency to procrastinate in one area of my life that I’ve been working on getting better at. Now I don’t typically procrastinate but one area of my life trips me up and that would be doing the dishes. My whole house could be organized and clean but at any time throughout the week if you’d walk through my kitchen, you would see a sink full of dishes. I cook often and I’m often running in and out of the house doing things, that I leave a mess there. It’s the only thing my ex-husband would tease me about… the kitchen being a mess. I always smile at myself because I do know better and should be better at tackling the dishes instead of avoiding them.

So what’s your one major weakness? Where would you want none of us to look? Your turn to confess. It’s freeing. No judgement here. No one is calling for perfection. Recognize where you are at and make strides in the right direction.

Amber Kostelny, Certified Professional Organizer, Amber’s Organizing, LLC Chicago, IL 60631

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