A professional organizer is someone who comes into your home, helps you organize using tried and true processes and principles of organizing and shows you how to practice those skills every day.
Compulsive hoarding is marked by the acquiring of often worthless items with little to no value. These items are acquired in very large volumes which the hoarder is unable to throw away. There are 5 levels of hoarding, ranging from level I (which most of us are at) to level V (which includes structural damage of the home). Often associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, we are hoping that hoarding will be included in the the next psychiatric DSM IV (diagnostic manual), so that insurance companies will cover treatment.
To help a hoarder, it is most important to bring in professionals from psychiatrist to a professional organizer. The hoarder is most often in denial about their situation and will often resist this. Patience is the key.
Downsizing is the process of moving from a larger home to a smaller home. Downsizing is usually done later in life when children have moved out or a spouse has passed on. A professional organizer helps immensely in downsizing because they can identify way to donate or consign unwanted items or they can carry out the process on their own.
To organize a closet, you can use my 6-step SIMPLE process. You’ve already choosen to StartSmall. You need to Inquire why – once you’ve taken everything out, figure out why you keep and what actually needs to be in your closet. Make groups – group things together that need to go together. Keep hats together, scarves together, wrapping paper and bags together. Plan – Plan where items that don't belong in the closet will go. The attic? The basement? With the Christmas stuff? Let go – Let go of the items that you don’t need – clothes that don’t fit or you don’t like for example. Evaluate – as you put things back in, keep evaluating whether you need it or if it actually belongs in your closet.
When asked how to organize a home, I usually ask the question: “how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” The easiest way to start to declutter and to organize a home, if you need to do your whole home, is to hire a professional organizer. They have the tips and tricks that will make the job much easier and go much easier and faster then if you were to do it by yourself. Just think – you could try to fix your car yourself, and read a book about how to do it, but hiring a professional mechanic to do it, you’re guaranteed it will be done correctly an quickly.