Updated: Feb 22
Most of my clients say when I arrive, "We will never get through all this." But I know, you should never say never.
For almost a decade I have been a Professional Organizer. My days have been filled with sorting, purging, donating, and discarding items out of people's homes and lives. During these years I have hit my head more times than I can count while hunched over in attics, because 5'8" ain't easy in an "A" frame. I have cried with clients, laughed with co-workers, found some crazy things stuffed in couches, behind bookshelves, and had my fair share of sinus infections due to mold, mildew, dust, and fungus exposure.
I have always felt a huge sense of accomplishment at the sight of an amazing transformation in a space, but this job is like trying to hit a moving target some days. There are projects I'd like to revisit as veteran in this industry and re-do a screw up or two where there was room left to improve on or better balance how I handled a client's expectation of things. There was a three week paper project that almost beat me, a move that almost got stuck, and a playroom that had more teeny tiny pieces of I don't know what that had to be sorted - but those papers got filed, the moving boxes were emptied and the I don't know what's were binned. Projects always worked out in the end, as things tend to, given enough deep breaths, focus, and energy.
While I love to challenge clients and have been known to push back hard on their excuses I long ago accepted that for many, to purge is just too painful, so some days, as a friend once said, you are just shifting chairs on the Titanic.There is what I call a "no fly zone," and if you don't respect & accept that air space, your plane will crash and burn pretty quickly after takeoff. The "no fly zone" for some, just is what it is. I now value the friendship and trust I build with my clients more than adding one more item to the donate bin.
The stakes are higher now for me, as I walk that line of tough love with my clients, because I've left the comfort zone of a large team. I'm what they call a "Boss Lady" now, which is pretty funny because on more than one occasion I was heard saying, "I'll never run my own business." Famous. Last. Words. Now, as I do this entrepreneur thing, I can't imagine working for anyone ever again. It turns out to be so socially wired, I'm a loner when it comes to work, I like it, a lot, and it's working, it's working really, really well. Who knew?
So each day as I meet with clients do I still stand firm and say, "Your indecision today will become your children's burden tomorrow," yes. Why? Because it's my job. Because I have been hired to help, not enable and because I still believe that if given enough time to process through to why they are really hanging on to something an individual will eventually realize an item is just an item, and not the memory or experience itself. Hope springs eternal in this one, what can I say. I have seen it happen, I have seen a person have an "Ah ha!" moment right before my eyes and it's incredible. I have also worked with people that it took 5 years for them to loosen their white knuckle grip on something, and that's just as amazing. I once would have said, "They'll never get rid of that," but I've learned never say never.
All I want for my clients, all I desire, is for them to stop accumulating and to start seeing how their lack of pause before they purchase is causing them to spend countless hours of their days managing things. I want them to choose to live more lean, simple and less distracted lives. I want them to stop over committing their calendars, stop over programming their kids and to realize the only good deal is when you don't buy something, even if it's on clearance.
Yeah, I said it.
One would think I would actually like the fact that people are addicted to stuff and obsessed with the next great purchase, it's good job security, right? I mean, I am on my own now, and the more cluttered people's homes and lives are the better my business will be. Wrong. I long for the day when this industry is no more, but sadly, I know it's an $8 billion dollar business a year now, with no signs of slowing.
So, I will carry on my wayward son and step in to each new project with the same intensity and focus I've always had, maybe even more, because now if there is a fire to put out, even if it's one I started, the extinguisher is in my hands. I wake each day hoping to bring a personalized strategic approach to my clients situations, and many of them are "situations", don't get me wrong. Most of my clients say when I arrive, "We will never get through all this." But I know, you should never say never.
Now, let's go handle some things. Contact us at (704) 763-7435 to let us handle things for you.