Seeing all the posts, memes, jokes and praise for Marie Kondo and people asking my opinion I have decided, as a Professional Organizer for over 13 years, to share my thoughts on this. A few years back a client handed me Marie’s book Sparking Joy and asked me if I had read it. I shared that hadn’t read it but I had heard of it, and he asked if I wanted to borrow it as he felt he could relate to it so I did read it, having a feeling it would not "Spark Joy” with me. As I predicted, it had some ideas and techniques that radiated with me and some that did not. Now with the Netflix episodes, again, I felt that I had to watch just to say I did. As I watched I tried to see it through some of my client's eyes that I have worked with and realized that most probably wouldn’t connect with her and some of her methods. Let’s take folding tee-shirts vertically. Using vertical space is my favourite thing to do when organizing, but I have had clients say they like the look of it but they wouldn’t keep it up, and me, I like to hang my tees.
As I watched I tried to understand how I was feeling, as some things made me uncomfortable and some things I could relate to, but it wasn’t till I read an article in the Huffington Post about her and her culture that it hit me. She is approaching organizing that works for her and that fits into her culture and beliefs and that is not a bad thing but it does not work for everyone.
Most Professional Organizers, when we first go in to a client’s home for the initial consultation, not only find out what their organizing challenges are but we are sensitive to their culture, we listen to what it is that has made them make that first call and it usually is not about the “stuff”. The client needs to feel that you understand them and that they feel trust with you and that you are non-judgmental. Some people are letting us into their homes that not even family and friends have been in for years. I could go on and on but what I am saying is that we organize for the client, not to say that we are not constantly suggesting different ways to organize but we give them options that we feel might fit their way of thinking and it is ultimately their choice.
The biggest positive about the Marie Kondo hype and movies with POs as main characters is that our industry is being talked about. I have been doing this for years and still meet people that do not know this industry exists or asks “so what do you really do?” The wonderful thing about our industry is that there are many of us that have different specialities and support each other. We are in many different areas across the world and have Associations in many countries, so if you are thinking that you have an organizing challenge you would like to talk to someone in your area look up the organization in your country. Here in Canada, you can search for an organizer in your area at www.organizersincanada.com and in the states, you could visit www.napo.net.
There is one more positive thing that has come out of this and that is this has forced me out of my comfort zone to write my first blog. So now that this first one is over I hope to share many more with you in the future.
May you find peace and clarity.