Don’t be embarrassed, get organized

Monika Kristofferson

Have you ever looked around your cluttered office and considered hiring a professional organizer to help you get a handle on your papers, files and stuff?

Fortunately, professional organizers are gaining more and more exposure thanks to shows like A&E Hoarders and books like, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.” Organizing has only been an industry for a few decades, so the more exposure we can get the better so we can get out there and help the people who want it.

It makes me happy that more and more people are posting on social media asking their friends if they know a professional organizer. I believe that type of referral is going to assist people in being more accepting of our help.

But there are usually roadblocks to people asking for help and I’d have to say a big roadblock is embarrassment. A few years ago, I was preparing to have a professional organizer over to my home for a social event and I started getting nervous. I had to stop and tell myself, “You’re a professional organizer, too, and the house is organized!” I get it that it’s hard to let people into our personal spaces, especially if we aren’t proud of them. If you’re a business owner, I think it can be especially hard to let someone see your piles because you may feel like the disarray makes you look unprofessional.

Well, I’m here to say that there are too many reasons disorganization happens to even list them all here.

So, when a professional organizer comes to help, they walk in with the knowledge that something probably took you off track and they certainly aren’t going to look at the piles and think you’re lazy or some other negative adjective.

They want to figure out what’s going on and then help you through the process so you aren’t feeling overwhelmed as you get organized. They aren’t there to judge. Secretly, we organizers are a little giddy inside knowing how much we can make the space change for the positive. We look forward to seeing you look as elated as we feel with the results.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the downsides of being disorganized in the business office. When you’re disorganized:

• It feels stressful when you feel scattered

• It feels stressful when you can’t find something you need

• Time is wasted searching for important documents

• You may be losing money by not invoicing in a timely manner

• You may be losing money by actually losing cash, checks or gift cards in your piles

• You may be losing business by not servicing your clients efficiently

• You may be embarrassed to have clients come to your office for appointments

• You may be embarrassed to have co-workers or superiors see your office

Let’s take a look at a few of the upsides of being organized in the business office. When you’re organized:

• You feel more in control of your environment

• It’s easier to focus on your work without distractions

• It’s more comfortable to invite people into your office for a meeting or appointment

• You can work more efficiently in an organized space where you can find things quickly

• It’s easier to prioritize your work when you’re not surrounded by piles

If you’re ready to take the leap from thinking about getting help to picking up the phone to hire a professional organizer, follow these tips:

• Ask people you know if they know a professional organizer or, even better, have worked with one.

• Make sure the organizer has a professional website.

• Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their experience.

• Make sure you hire someone you feel comfortable with since you’ll be working closely together.

Don’t organize the space before the professional organizer gets there so they can really see what’s working and what’s not working. This will help them find solutions that work for you.

I imagine you wouldn’t be embarrassed to hire a lawyer, a tax professional, a business coach or a doctor-all helping professions. If this is your time to get a handle on things in your office, don’t be embarrassed, get help and get organized.

Monika Kristofferson is a professional organizer and productivity consultant who owns Efficient Organization NW in Lake Stevens. Reach her at 425-220-8905 or

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