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Career Story: Home Organizer And Counselor To Shopaholics

Home Organizer And Counselor To Shopaholics

Job Title: Self-Employed Organizer

Type of Company: home organizer/stager

Education: BS, Management

Previous Experience: I have worked as both a manager and a supervisor.

Job Tasks: I go into homes to do one of two things: either get the house ready for sale by cleaning, culling and arranging its furniture -- a practice known as "staging" -- or to help people with years of accumulated purchases, things they've never thinned out or let go of. It can take me days (or even weeks) to help people dispose of items they've never used or barely remember they had. Emotionally, they just couldn't deal with the stuff, so they let it sit there, unwanted, gathering dust.

Some customers feel especially badly giving things away they got from loved ones -- even if they don't like them and never used them. They hang on to them instead, out of pure guilt. I try to talk them through this -- to dissolve the guilt -- by making it clear that someone else could use the stuff, which would otherwise go to waste. I have contacts at local organizations that will take such things and distribute them to families in need. Knowing this makes it easier on my customers and helps to ease their minds as I clear their junk out.

People don't realize that the clutter in their homes can clutter up their thinking and cause unwanted anxiety. So I also try to help people to not continually purchase items if they don't need them. If they do make a purchase, they have to get rid of something already in the house to make room for it. Many of my customers are repeat customers as they are still trying to control their urge to buy.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of the job is cleaning attics and cellars, which are frequently dirty and dusty. They can also be very damp or hot to work in.

The best part is the people I meet. I become a psychologist when I'm working and hear many amazing life stories.

Job Tips: This type of work requires an individual to be a great listener. Customers want a sounding board and not necessarily someone who gives them advice.

Lots of patience is needed to help customers understand the need to let go of their items. It can take hours or days for people to understand the need to let go. But once they do, it's often liberating.

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