lady writing in a diary

I Can Do It Myself!

September 25, 2016

Mona Kay runs her business The Organising Ninja covering the Nottingham area.  She shares why she was born to do this job and how she overcomes any challenges.

Organising is my favourite thing to do.  Since I was very young, all my dolls were always sitting on the window sill in a very neat row. I attached each notebook to the schoolbook designated for in my bag. I helped my mum with her spring cleaning. I was an expert in loading the dishwasher with maximum dishes possible! I made a timetable to study and finish before the exam date in university. I did inventories for books and a file system at work. I feel great satisfaction when I make things in order and now, I get to do it for people who need help in organising and decluttering.

Starting a career as an Organiser was such an important milestone in my life, as I get to use my “talent” (if you call it so) as my daily job. So, doing the “job” is not the issue. I helped many of my neighbors and relatives the past 6 months with unpacking, tidying, decluttering, and many others things.

Organising and decluttering for others is a very different experience from doing it for your own home. As for organising for my home, I am the only decision maker and I tidy how I find it fit for my daily practicality.  In this situation, I have to ask the homeowner of every change I will make. It does make the progress a bit longer and so mind tiring, but it is an obligation I have to take. As a result, I overcame the anxiety of entering other people’s homes and going through their clutter. The final results are so satisfying and all home owners were very pleased.

With the help of the APDO training, I can now do this job in a professional and standardised way. I’m ready!

Now, I am facing many challenges. One of them is the client’s “I can do it on my own” attitude. I don’t mind at all people dealing with their own clutter and managing it by themselves. On the contrary, an Organiser’s goal is exactly that, to make people understand the importance of having a clutter-free life and the benefits of it. Some people know how to do it, bravo for them! They are Organisers by nature. But what about the other people who don’t know how? Or need help? Or probably just in denial? How can we reach them? How can we spread the word that there are professionals who can do this service for you?

The culture of hiring an organiser/declutterer is still not common in the UK. Many people fear strangers entering their homes and being judged by their “mess”, as they call it. Even though our code of conduct strictly states to never be judgmental and each client has their unique circumstances. Some underestimate our profession and see it is a waste of money. Therefore the “I can do it on my own” attitude that I spoke about earlier comes through their minds and the clutter stays where it is until the homeowner chooses the day to do it ….. and they don’t! That is why Organisers such as myself have a responsibility to spread the awareness of our profession. We need you to know that hiring us is the best choice instead of leaving the task untouched. After a short period, that clutter will turn to a difficult hoarding problem that us declutteres may not be able to help anymore. Don’t be shy or embarrassed to ask help. That is our job and we are everywhere!

All of my colleagues in the decluttering business participate in fairs, community and networking events, conferences and even do voluntary work. We do collaborations with cleaning companies, estate agencies, charity institutions and local councils as well. In addition to all that, the traditional marketing methods of business cards, flyers and newspaper ads. And to keep up to date with the tech side of things, Social Media is indeed helping us in do so by setting up accounts on famous social channels such as WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest and Youtube. TV programmes helped with the awareness such as Oprah, Ellen and Rachel Ray in the US, and The Big Spring Clean and Making Space in the UK.

capture

Capture Screen from Channel 4’s website, (Making Space) Programme.

With all this, we still have to enter each home and shout out that there are professionals out there to help you. And don’t say “I can do it on my own”! Call us before it is too late!

Perhaps whilst reading Mona’s post, you were thinking Professional Organising could be your calling too!  If so, find out more about joining APDO.  If you are need of decluttering and organising support, you are not alone.  We have organisers all over the UK ready to help.  Find one here.