I once did an organizing consult at a doctor’s office. After touring the entire office and meeting the staff I asked the office manager if she had any questions. She paused for a moment and said, “Yeah, what’s up with your shoes?” I looked down, mortified, as I realized that I was wearing two different shoes! Who would trust an organizer that can’t even match her shoes?! Evidently, she did, as the office ended up hiring me. Though we started off on the wrong foot, there was a certain level of trust between she and I that sealed the relationship. I share this somewhat embarrassing story to make a point about the process of choosing a professional organizer – the chemistry must be correct.

To me, hiring a professional organizer can be a scary thing. The act of letting someone into your home to help you organize what presumably is an area of disorganization and vulnerability is not an easy task for anyone. Simply making the phone call and reaching out is a huge first step. That, in and of itself, is hard and more than most people are willing and able to do. Getting help is terrifying. There have been times when I’ve shown up to clients’ homes and they cant open the door because the thought of letting someone see their home, and see their insecurities, is just too overwhelming. There must be trust. With this said, I feel it is important to have a relationship with your organizer the way you would have with a therapist. You must establish a connection. I encourage people to interview multiple organizers to find that right connection, as it is so important to the success of the process.

The initial walk through is a great time to get a feel for the professional organizer to see if they will be a good match for you and your organizing needs. In addition to the walk through being a time for you to feel out the organizer, it is also a great opportunity for the organizer to get to know your space. With this, it is important that you do not clean up or change anything in anticipation of the walk through. The goal of the professional organizer is to remove stress from your life, not add to it! Allow the consult to be a time when the organizer can get a genuine look at what you need organized, even if that means being a bit vulnerable.

Date around! Find an organizer with which you feel comfortable. The better the connection between you and your organizer, the better your organizing results will be. And the better the organizing result, the better you will be! Similar to finding a partner in life, find an organizer who makes you a better you, not a more timid, stressed out version of yourself.