Monday, April 28, 2008

How to tell when a Non Professional organiser has written an Article on Decluttering.

It never ceases to amaze me how obvious it is when a non Professional Organiser has written an article on "How to declutter". I have been doing a little surfing this evening and an amazed at how much interesting!!!! advice there is out there to help people become more organised and declutter.

A word of warning, if somewhere in the first 3 tips is the advice to "buy plastic boxes", "buy storage containers" or "get a storage unit" appears in any article you read about decluttering, you can rest assured it was probably not written by a PO (Professional Organiser).

One of the things I hear often is I cannot afford to get organised because I will need to by storage "stuff", and I want to dispel that myth here and now........ Buying storage equipment of any shape or form should be one of the last steps of any organising project if required at all.

By truly decluttering and clearing out items you no longer need or love you will often find you have more than enough space and storage that already existing in your home to accommodate these items. I am constantly amazed by how much clutter is created by someones belief that they need to "buy storage equipment" to get organised. When it comes to really clearing the clutter and stuff from their lives and space it is often the "plastic boxes", "storage containers" and other paraphernalia that is the first to go.

So next time you are reading an article on getting organised and decluttering, stop and look at who has written the article, who is quoted and where they get their advice from. If they are telling you to get storage equipment first then they are leading you down the garden path to more clutter. Do yourself a favor get advice and read articles written by real PO's who deal with clutter on a daily basis. There is plenty of this on the Internet.

Better still ensure that the advice you get is from a PO who is a member of a Professional Organizing Association such as AAPO, NAPO, POC, NSGCD or Get Organised in South Africa. These are the real professionals when it come to getting organised and they know their stuff and are passionate about the Industry. You cannot get any better credentials than that.

Happy Organising!


Geralin Thomas, CPO-CD said...

Another "red flag warning" should be when an individual claims she is an expert at every form of organizng imaginable (ADHD, physical disabilites, estate sales, closets, garages, finacial data, wardrobe building, productivity, corporate, residential, paper, electronic, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Amen, sister! I especially love it when a freelancer clearly has read YOUR STUFF and made it sound like her own tips, without crediting you... just skirting the edge of copyright infringement... this has happened more than once!

Angela said...

Wendy, you are sooo right. And the photos that go along with those articles are just plain unrealistic, and blatantly designed to sell product.

Allison Spitzer Carter said...

So true, so true.
As a trained journalist I can see how it happens. A journalist does research and really believes s/he knows the scoop and her job is to make it as simple as possible for the reader. Organizing really is difficult to sum up in a short piece.

So how does someone know when to follow the advice/suggestions in an article???? that is the real question.
And it's not just in organizing. We read stuff all over the internet by people claiming to be experts and don't ever really know who is and who isn't.

So, my best thoughts are to get advice from several sources and synthesize it and see what really works for you in the case of organizing.

But never buy containers first!
-- Allison

Marcia Francois said...

Wendy, that is so true!

I think people want to buy the containers hoping that it will get them organised, much in the same way that they buy books hoping that they'll have time to read them :)

In my DREAM method of organising any space, the containers are only part of doing the A!