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What Makes You Want To Be An Organizer?

While there are growing numbers of “newbies” earning degrees in related fields of study and joining the industry straight out of college, organizing is usually a second (or third or fourth) occupation for most of us. We show up on the doorstep either seeking a change or a challenge—looking for the chance to make a name for ourselves while helping others create order.

Admit it. We’re all drawn to this field (at least in part) because being helpful gives us a big fat case of the jollies. Lord, do we time-tamers and clutter-cutters love showing lost clients “the way!” At the core of our being, organizers are essentially search-and-rescue workers—leading folks over their obstacles, out of the woods, and back onto the right path. We’re happiest when hacking a new trail through the brush after the old one has gotten overgrown—color-coded pith helmet on our heads, machete in one hand, and a label- maker in the other!

I’ve never met a colleague yet who didn’t get a huge charge out of “fixing” broken situations. I swear it’s genetic, part of our DNA—few things are more satisfying to us anal-retentive types than hearing folks rave about what a difference we’ve made in their lives. Turning that beneficent streak into a fulfilling career, being rewarded for what comes so naturally, (and getting paid for something that feels so damn good) is better than sex, drugs, or chocolate!

Fortunately, nothing promotes this sort of personal growth like the kind of work you’ll be doing with disorderly clients. Savor every chance you get to enter that arena, stare a problem down, and stab it through the heart with your big steely (and highly organized) blade. You may walk away a bit sticky, sweaty, and stinky—but your confidence level is guaranteed to soar, every time you emerge from battle victorious and dripping with self-esteem!

“Simplifiers” have been preaching the virtues of downsizing in one form or another ever since Thoreau went to the woods to live deliberately (conveniently returning to Concord every time the dinner bell rang). The idea that modern life has gotten too big and too fast is not new—and every so often, the cause re-emerges sporting a different face, ready to scowl at the latest contemporary “excess:”

  • arts and crafts movement—The William-Morris-fueled anti-industrial backlash of the late 19th century promoted cottage industry and a modest design aesthetic.
  • back-to-the-land crusade—Hippie homesteaders in the 60’s shunned city life in favor of self-sufficiency and utopian off-the-grid living.
  • tempering shopaholism—This most current incarnation questions the sustain-ability of a consumption-based “work-buy-earn-spend” lifestyle.

These days, we’re trading ladder-climbing and oversized McMansions for leisure time and financial freedom. We’ve come to recognize that the key to stress-free happiness is not having more, but wanting and needing less. We’re right-sizing our lives to fit a new American dream—and organizers occupy a prime position on the front lines, leading the attack against “affluenza!”

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Ramona Creel is an award-winning 15-year veteran organizer and member of the National Association Of Professional Organizers. As well as having birthed “The A-To-Z Of Getting Organized,” Ramona is also the author of “The Professional Organizer’s Bible: A Slightly Irreverent And Completely Unorthodox Guide For Turning Clutter Into A Career”—and the creator of more than 200 “quick-start” business tools and templates for use by productivity professionals. She writes seven different blogs, has worked with hundreds of clients, and has delivered scores of presentations on getting organized. Ramona resides on the roads of America as a full-time RVer—living and working in a 29-foot Airstream. Learn more at and RamonaCreel.com.

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