I’m a Certified Professional Organizer, and a member of NAPO for 14 years. When I meet new friends, they either blurt out, “Boy, do I need you,” or, “You’d be scared to come to my place.” (My responses are either, “Doesn’t everyone need an organizer?” or, “Not a chance!”)
The first thing to know about us is that unless you are paying me to evaluate your home, I’m not really going to notice much about your home. It’s true. If I’m off the clock and visiting as a friend, I don’t spend time secretly evaluating your clutter and redesigning your playroom in my head. Truly, I don’t. (Do you like to work when you aren’t at work?) I’ll pet your dog, look for cats (my favorites), and take you up on a cup of tea. So please, don’t be afraid to have your organizing friend over for a social visit. I swear to you that she or he isn’t secretly judging you.
The first thing I or any guest might notice are the smells. Good smells like cookies baking will draw me in, just like anyone else. Heavy chemical or cleaning smells are a turnoff. Loud pet smells, trash, or mold from the basement might shorten my stay. A guest in your home will definitely pick up on scents that you’ve gone nose-blind to, but they may not say anything out of courtesy.
Got toys on the floor? No problem. I’ve seen worse, and I’ve probably got a bumper crop of Legos on my floor at home. If you have kids, I’m not interested in judging. Life is too short.
I might, however, notice if your house is “magazine ready.” If it looks like the Better Homes and Gardens photographer just left, I’ll probably ask you if I should remove my shoes, and I’ll definitely ask for a coaster for my drink. (Here’s a cool DIY coaster idea.)
The one thing I always notice is any furniture or artwork that it looks like you might have created or DIYed yourself. The huge shabby chic dresser acting as your foyer table. The repeated color themes in the wall art. The ceramics and pottery pieces that are clearly one-of-a-kind. Those are the things that make our homes personal, and there’s usually a good story there. I love to hear what you created and how you did it. You might inspire me to head home and finish my own projects, like this large scale art that my daughter helped with. I really have to blog about that sometime soon.
Your house is lovely, really. In fact, if the heater works, the roof doesn’t leak, and you don’t have an open mouse hole to the outside, there’s nothing wrong with your house.
My job as a professional organizer is a fulfilling one, and we’re here when you need us, but when we’re not working, please take joy in the fact that you have a perfectly lovely, warm, safe and dry house that holds your treasures, including your things and the people you love.