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  • Writer's pictureTina Mader

"Top Lessons Learned from a Professional Organizer"

Professional Organizer learns from her clients.

I began Square 1 Organizing because I love to organize and I love people. I want to uplift and help others feel valued and seen. Over the years I have learned how being organized has reduced my stress and anxiety. I'm not yelling at everyone to help me, I'm not in tears when people stop by for a visit, and I'm overall in a much better mental space when my home is clutter free. I wanted to share this joy with others. Over the last few months since I opened my business I have learned so much. The best part is that i am exactly where I should be! This is without a doubt my calling.

My first job as a professional organizer was with a young family who moved into a smaller space. They had a family emergency the day after they moved and didn't have time to unpack. When I was called they needed the home unpacked and set up quickly for a parent to come stay with them. The young mom was stressed and it was so nice to be able to say 'please take time for yourself, I got this.' I was so empowered knowing that I was really helping the family and gave her a very needed break. You can't help others when you are on empty.

Since then I have met so many amazing people. I am so blessed that they are comfortable sharing their space and their personal lives. I have learned how growing up in foster care affects every aspect of your life. When we are not taught how to take care of ourselves, how can we take care of our belongings? I didn't realize that treating the items we buy with respect was a learned behavior!

While working another client I asked why they feel they need 20 sets of sheets for 2 beds? They said that they grew up without a mom and didn't know how many they were supposed to have. This person is an amazing, educated, and hard working person. I truly didn't know how important home economics is and how much of it is taught at home.

I got to meet another family who was drowning in clothes. They buy for family and friends and find free items all the time to give to those who need it. When they get a few dollars, they will buy something new for themselves. As we were sorting I asked why they had so many black tee shirts. There is not enough time in a year to wear all of what they have. I got to learn that they grew up with nothing and they are afraid that if they get rid of anything they will have nothing again. This is a real fear! I completely understand that feeling.

I understand the fear of letting things go. Messy Craft area

I love to scrapbook but I have become a collector of supplies. Once i use that paper pack it will be gone! Then what will I do if I need it in the future? This created an overwhelming mess and way too many supplies! I ended up donating boxes to a local senior center. Learning how to buy only what you need is not always easy. When we are sad we shop, when we are happy we shop, when we are lonely we shop. Shopping is a quick fix to many woes. It releases endorphins to make us happy. unfortunately this feeling doesn't last long so we need to do it again and again. This finally creates a new problem, and how do you fix it? We buy more to make ourselves feel better, even if it's just for a moment.

Sometimes our chaotic area expresses how we feel. It shows that we are not in a good mental space, depression is real and it's a bitch. I worked with one couple who decided to play the blame game. Both were super stressed out with work, life has thrown them a few nasty curveballs, and their living areas were showing all of this conflict. We needed to take a break and talk about not assigning blame. This is where we are now, let's look forward and figure out how to get where you want to be. I could tell they were just throwing things out just to toss them. I ended up putting these items aside so we could revisit them at a later date. The last thing I want is for you to throw things out that you really didn't mean to. Thank goodness I did this because some sentimental pieces were in the donate piles.

Overall, becoming a professional organizer has taught me listening is the most important thing i can do. I love what i do! I truly believe that organizing is so much more than being pinterest pretty! It affects how we feel about ourselves, it reflects our past, and it impacts our future. We need to give eachother grace, stop judging one another, and learn that is ok to ask for help. Find those teachable moments in life. If someone says, "I have 20 sets of sheets, how many do you have?" Let's answer the question with love in our hearts. "I have 3 sets of sheets per bed. One set to be on the bed, one to be in the wash, and one in the closet." We never stop learning!

Love you,


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