As the country gradually starts to reopen, there’s a big question hanging over the heads of professional organizers: will people be willing to let us in their homes anytime soon?
We weren’t seen as an essential service when the virus hit. Will people still be willing to spend money on getting organized when life opens up again?
Even if they let us in, will they be willing to let go of things or will this experience have reinforced the belief that you never know when you might run out of something? We’ve faced some core challenges to the idea that traveling lightly through the material world is the best way to go. Even confirmed minimalists are surely rethinking their idea of how much toilet paper is enough to keep on hand.
It’s important to remember that for every person who’s been all over social media rhapsodizing about the gift of time at home to be productive and #blessed for all the organizing projects they got done during the shut down, there are plenty more who didn’t find the stress and anxiety of a pandemic conducive to learning to organize.
Can Zoom Save the Day?
Virtual organizing may work well for the crowd who want a motivating body double on the other side of a screen but for people who struggle with organizing, real live in-person help is where it’s at.
These are the people who don’t learn best from blog posts, books, online courses, worksheets, printables or any other visual static media. Zoom seems two-dimensional. They learn best with the apprentice system.
They need someone to show them in person, to work side by side with them and transfer skills, to lend an encouraging ear, provide instantaneous feedback and unfailingly positive reinforcement. To create a safe, welcoming environment to learn skills they’re ashamed of not having. To teach them they’re not broken and that shame doesn’t help anything. To partner with them to create organizing systems that work for them. To hang in there with them for as long as takes. We don’t abandon them, we don’t judge them, we don’t expect them to be anywhere other than exactly where they are.
Once they know in their bones how to declutter, life changes. They may never be Olivia Organized but the baffling techniques of decluttering and getting organized are no longer impenetrable. They see for themselves that it can be done and what’s more, it can be done by them!
Our People Are Waiting For Us
During this pandemic, the walls have closed in for the chronically disorganized. Unable to escape their mess, they’ll have left virtually, logging as much time on Facebook, Instagram and the Internet as it takes to forget the state of their homes.
Let’s welcome them back and remind them of their hidden superpowers. Let’s partner with them to bring what we do best to the table and help them clear theirs.
Is Professional Organizing Doomed?
Most definitely not. As soon as it’s safe, our people will not only be willing to let us into their homes again, they’ll be jumping at the chance to free themselves from the shackles of clutter and to shake off the shame. We’ll be there for them all the way.