When I tell people that I’m a professional organizer, they often don’t know quite what that means. Some of the TV shows out there that feature organizers at work only show extreme situations. Those shows don’t really reflect the wide variety of organizational challenges and people that we work with.
Recently, one of my fellow organizers who lives in St Louis, MO, Sue Anderson, asked the members of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) to come up with other titles for ourselves, to help people understand more clearly what “Professional Organizer” really stands for. Some of us specialize in particular things, but as this list shows, professional organizers fill a lot of roles and wear a lot of hats.
Thanks for such a great idea, Sue! Much of the following was contributed by the brilliant members of NAPO, but I have shortened, edited, and alphabetized it. I hope it makes you think about professional organizers in a new way.
Big Picture Breaker Downer
Do your organization problems look too big and unwieldy? Professional organizers can take your big picture thoughts and break them down into manageable steps to get you there.
Do you wish you didn’t have so much clutter? Professional organizers guide you in figuring out how to tackle it, and how to change how you think about your stuff.
Are you stuck? Professional organizers help you recognize where or how you’re stuck and then come up with solutions that will help move you forward in the right direction to reach your goals. We listen to the issues and help guide you to the solutions.
Are you moving to a smaller home? Professional organizers put order to the past to make room for the future by helping you choose what to take and what to do with the rest.
Want to clear out your stuff but not add to the landfill? Professional organizers recommend thoughtful ways to donate or dispose of reusable belongings.
Got different opinions from family members on how to solve organizational problems? Professional organizers work with your entire family and help you come up with a solution or decision that everybody can live with.
Feeling Overwhelmed Tackler
Don’t know where to begin? Professional organizers know that you feel overwhelmed. We know just where to start and where to go from there.
Got storage bins or boxes that don’t work in one area? Professional organizers can often re-purpose them to a different use or area.
Wish you could be that organized person? Professional organizers teach you how to work on changing your habits to incorporate organizing and time management techniques into your daily life, in ways that will work with your processing and learning styles.
Wish your office, living room, or bedroom looked better? Professional organizers help you decide what will stay or go and how to arrange the room to look bigger, inviting and more peaceful. We can envision all of the possibilities of what a room or office can be.
Do you wonder if there is a reason the disorganization exists in the first place? Professional organizers can determine if it is based on factors due to mechanical problems, emotional resistance, situational circumstances or system failures.
Got a cluttered junk drawer, storage unit rental, or something in between those two sizes? Professional organizers don’t see any problem as too big or too small. We’ll dive in and tackle the situation at hand.
Wish it were easier to keep your home or office tidy? Professional organizers help you set up systems that you will find easy to keep using, long after we’re gone.
Do you keep having to buy another package of brown sugar for your kitchen, or another black sweater for your closet, because you’re not sure what you already own? Professional organizers save you money by stopping the need to keep buying duplicates of things, because you will be able to see, access, and manage what you already have.
Non-judgmental, Impartial Observer
Not sure whether to keep that gift from a relative, or the favorite shirt from high school that is too small to wear? Professional organizers are there to help you make the tough decisions about your stuff.
Wish you had a better system for keeping up with bills and other office stuff? Professional organizers strike a balance between what’s coming in and what’s going out.
Paper Pile Destroyer
Got too much paper? Professional organizers make paper management less painful.
Need to explain? Professional organizers let you vent over who, what or when, and then cheerfully coax you into what you really want to do. We are good listeners and sounding boards.
Torn about keeping your stuff? Professional organizers give you permission to part with things you don’t like, need or want. We help you realize it’s OK to let go of it.
Need some reinforcement? Professional organizers encourage you to keep going.
Don’t know the best storage and organization products to buy? Professional organizers know what products work well and will best meet your needs.
Puzzle Piece Placer
Do your different organizational challenges seem unconnected? Professional organizers help you figure out how to fit all of the pieces together to make your life simpler, your work more efficient and your time more manageable.
Researcher and Referral Maker
Need a trusted expert? Professional organizers can find and recommend other types of professional service providers you may need.
Space Maker and Storage Stylist
Got wasted space in your closets and storage areas? Professional organizers can optimize and maximize your available space to make you more efficient, and make your belongings easy to access. We help you decide where and how your stuff should be stored so that it’s easy to find when you need it!
Stress Reducer For Finances, Bills, and Taxes
Wish your receipts and financial papers were in better order? Professional organizers don’t do your taxes or bookkeeping for you, but we simplify the process and set up systems for you and your financial person. You will always have the information ready at your fingertips going forward.
Want to learn new strategies and techniques for being organized? Professional organizers teach you and your family new systems that make your life easier, and teach you the skills to tackle any organizational problem with honors!
Tired of rushing around and being late? Professional organizers save you time by making easier to get out the door in the morning with everything you need.
Going on vacation? Professional organizers can handle your mail, email, bank deposits, getting rid of junk mail, paying your bills and lots more while you are on vacation. When you return home, rather than being greeted by a huge pile of mail and things to do, you return to a peaceful home and the knowledge that the important tasks have been resolved.
Need a pep talk? Professional organizers encourage you on the importance of the progress you’re making, no matter how big or how small that progress is.
Visual Tour Guide
Want to approach your organizational problems a new way? Professional organizers help you to see a new perspective with a fresh set of eyes.
I loved this list of titles! Has this helped you think about tackling some of your organizational problems with the help of an organizer like myself? You know you want to do it.