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Why Professional Organisers aren't Cleaners, and Vice Versa.

What is the difference between a Professional Organiser and a Cleaner?  Our friends at Wikipedia offer the following answers:

"Professional Organisers offer a wide variety of services, from designing a functional closet to organising a cross-country move.  For homeowners, a Professional Organiser might plan and reorganise the space of a room, improve paper management, or coach in time management , or goal setting"

Whereas the Cleaning definition is:

"The action of making something clean, especially the inside of a house.  e.g. 'the housekeeper will help with the cleaning'"

Basically, cleaning involves using physical things like a mop, broom, bucket, vacuum cleaner etc.  I don't pretend to be an expert cleaner, but I do have knowledge and ability in the Professional Organisation arena.  Professional Organisers each have different areas of interest and expertise.  The below list will give you a good idea of the kinds of assistance you can expect from a Professional Organiser:

  • Help with decision making.  Overwhelm can mean people get stuck and need assistance with knowing where to start and how to make good decisions.
  • Setting up systems that work.  Fads come and go, but really good systems are developed taking into consideration your specific situations.  We're all individuals so it just makes sense that no one system will suit everyone.
  • Understand the importance workflows.  Helping you to implement good workflows is part of their job.
  • Personality types and style preferences.  A good Professional Organiser knows what works best for different personality types.
  • Removal of rubbish/donations. (or arranging same).  Donations should go to the charity of your choice.  A Professional Organiser will know which products can be accepted, and which ones will need to go to the tip or be recycled.
  • Productivity and Time Management.  Knowledge in the area of scheduling, systems (as mentioned above) and offer genuine time saving recommendations.
  • Area specific advice and knowledge. Knowing that children's items need to be readily accessible; WHS advice re storage of items (e.g. don't store heavy items above shoulder height); setting up office spaces that work.
  • Development of functional work and home spaces.  If you can find things quickly, you definitely save time and energy.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my cleaner and would never be without her.  She's an expert in her field and does an excellent job. 

A Professional Organiser decluttering and cleaning a cupboard doesn't mean she/he is a Cleaner any more than a Builder doing the same after finishing a renovation.

There's space, a need and a place in society for both.