The Excuses That Professional Organizers Hear

When I tell people that I am a Professional Organizer, their response is usually the same, “boy do I need you in my house!” and they laugh. So it got me thinking about what some of the things are that are stopping people from taking that next step and hiring me.

1. They are too embarrassed. Without a doubt when I walk into someone’s house they always say that they are sure that theirs is the worst house that I have ever seen. Let me tell you a little secret, it isn’t the worst. Even if it was the worst I wouldn’t tell them. I am proud that they took the chance to invite me in their home. They should be feeling good, not bad. My tag line is “I enter with no judgment, I leave with no stories” period. I usually look at your home and decide on what we should attack first. Don’t be embarrassed as they are asking for help. They should be proud!

2. Pressure from a family member. Well meaning family members tell potential clients that they should call me. Some will even buy gift certificates for my services. My tip is to only buy a gift certificate for a professional organizer if it is a requested gift. I have had clients who have hired me because a child or spouse tells them to. The client isn’t ready for me. I often leave without charging for my time as I can tell that they are not ready to change. I want the client to want me there helping.

3. The scope of the project is too overwhelming. People are of the opinion that it will take me weeks to help them get organized. I will only book a three hour time slot at a time. Very rarely will I book for more than one of those slots before meeting and working with the client. When I work with a client we work side by side. I ask them questions that make them think. I ask them why they are holding onto a particular thing. When they start to answer me they begin to realize how silly some of their reasons are. They come to that conclusion all on their own. Pretty soon I stop asking the questions and they are able to process what to keep and what to toss all on their own. After three hours with me my clients tell me that my voice will forever be in their head asking them if they really need something.

4. The cost. Let’s face it, cost is a factor for many. To help people with that I write my blog that is free to read and I also have my MS. Simplicity Facebook page where I give daily tips and advice. If you have a question, feel free to post it there or send me a private message. I have certain non-profits that I support that I donate my organizing gift certificates to their silent auctions. Often we just need an accountability partner. Just like having a personal trainer and having someone weigh you in weekly, just having support in some hard areas of life are necessary to make the change.

5. There is no time. Some people ask me if I can do the work while they are not there. The answer is nope, can’t do it. You have to take those three hours off of work and work along side me while the kids are in school and you have no distractions. I consider taking time off of work to organize as a “mental health day”. All employees should be given mental health days. Sometimes putting some well deserved attention on the issues at home can make for a more productive employee at work.

6. They don’t know where to start. This kind of goes hand in hand with number three listed above about being too overwhelmed. For most people it is their kitchen area that is where the most help is needed. The kitchen is where we prepare meals and often process daily mail and paper. Having an organized kitchen can mean a family can sit down and enjoy a meal together instead of grabbing a plate to eat on the couch and zone out in front of the television.

Whatever your reason is, stop making excuses and start taking action. Your first step could be to simply find your own accountability partner to make it happen. It should be a friend who you trust and who you are not offended by when they tell you to get rid of stuff. A close family member is never a good idea. Maybe your first step is to work 10 minutes a day for 21 days to focus on organizing. If you can do it for 21 days you are well on your way to a more organized life! Get in the right mindset and start your journey now.


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity


MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at


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