My Organizing Clients: What They Say vs. What I See, Part 1

*Previously posted in 2014, Updated 2016 | My Organizing Clients…

As a professional organizer when I am working with organizing clients I hear over and over again many of the same reasons why people just don’t want to let go of their belongings. The fact that people let piles build up around them in their homes really does affect their inner calm. That’s why so many people call me when they are at the end of their rope and completely overwhelmed. Here are eight popular reasons I hear why people hold onto their stuff:

My Organizing Clients

1.) What they say: Looking around at their piles of paper most people tell me they used to be organized and they just need to get organized again.
What I see: They need to take the time to sort and throw stuff away. Then they would have less stuff to organize.

My Organizing Clients: What They Say vs. What I See, Part 12.) What they say: They show me all of the cute organizing bins they recently bought to help complete our project.
What I see: I see used bins that if we would go through them first and get rid of stuff we could just reuse the old bins and save the client some money.  More new bins usually equals more stuff coming into their house.

My Organizing Clients: What They Say vs. What I See, Part 13.)What they say: They point to several different piles and tell me that the first pile goes to their church, the second pile goes to their friend at work, the third pile goes to their uncle because he might need it, etc. I ask how long the piles have been there and the answer is usually weeks or more.

What I see: Good intentions that have turned into clutter. Give yourself two weeks to get these piles gone. If after two weeks the items are still there donate them to charity.

4.) What they say: Everyone says they hate to throw things away because they might need it.  This is fine if it’s an item you know you will use in the next few months, seasonally or even annually.

What I see:  People use this excuse for things they simply don’t want to let go of.  There may be a bigger emotional reason behind it.  If it can easily be bought at a store for a reasonable price and be in better condition, let go of it for now.  One good example of this is bubble wrap.  How many of you save bubble wrap?  I am guilty of this myself.

My Organizing Clients: What They Say vs. What I See, Part 2 |www.smarthappyorganized.com5.) What they say: I saved all my dads entire hat collection, some of them might be valuable.

What I see: Way to many hats that aren’t valuable except emotionally.  I would say to pick the one’s out you think are valuable, and your favorites and donate the rest.  This is just more clutter passed on down to you by a family member.

6.) What they say: This is my pile of broken electronics I am going to get repaired.  When I asked how long they have been there again, the answer is usually weeks or more. Many of which have already been replaced. Same goes for clothes to be mended, or other broken items that need repaired.)

What I see: A pile of electronic clutter.  If you have already replaced the items you should let the one’s one’s be recycled.

My Organizing Clients: What They Say vs. What I See, Part 17.) What they say: I just need to find a home for all of my knick knacks.

What I see:  They would definitely need a bigger home to fit all of their objects into.  After purging what we can, I suggest picking out their favorite objects to display, then store the other objects out of sight and they can rotate seasonally.

8.) What they say: I just don’t know how to stay organized.

What I see: Sometimes after spending time with a client whom I have taught many organizing techniques, I see hem slip back into their old habits and old way of doing things. They need accountability in the form of me (an organizer), or a good friend whom they have discussed this with. That is where home organizing maintenance sessions can be useful.

I want to say that my organizing clients are everyday people. They are your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers, your family members. To me my organizing clients are the people brave enough to ask for help and to make a wonderful change in their lives!

If you are interested in reading more please read,  My Organizing Clients: What They Say vs. What I see, Part 2

Do any of these sayings sound like something your or a client (if you are an organizer) might say?

29 Replies to “My Organizing Clients: What They Say vs. What I See, Part 1”

  1. Valid points…but tell me how I organize with a husband who insists on keeping everything that he probably will never use again or things he really doesn’t need (hats, for example).

  2. This is so true Autumn and the key is tenderly bringing the client to that awareness. Sometimes it feels like it would be helpful to be a social worker or therapist to help them with the emotional issues that are behind the physical clutter. Thanks for the post.

  3. Excellent post Autumn.
    Plain and simple as it is, our attachment to stuff prevent us from seeing the pile of things that anchor us leaving no way to sail away to our dearest dreams.
    P.O instead see reality and potential, and our job is transmitting the message, so people could realize what they’re missing.
    Nacho Eguiarte recently posted…Nacer OrganizadoMy Profile

  4. Right on target, Autumn. I have heard them all in the 12 years of being a professional organizer. They have no idea how, we as professionals, can see through all of it and know what the truth really is. They soon realize we are non-judgmental and just there to help and that helps them bring down the walls of excuses.

  5. Love this post, Autumn! I’m so glad you updated it so I wouldn’t miss it — especially your closing statement: “To me my organizing clients are the people brave enough to ask for help and to make a wonderful change in their lives!” You’ve nailed it!

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