9 Things Pro Organizers Wish You Would Stop Doing Today

This post may contain affiliate links and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links – at no extra cost for you. Please read my disclaimer here.

People who get it, however, have either built a career around organizing, or are self-proclaimed Pro Organizers. You have a long list of best practices when it comes to room and home tidying, as well as a long list of don't-dos, so you have a lot to keep in mind.

We've put together this list of nine things pro-organizers wish you'd stop doing. So if you find yourself nodding your head to any of these points. You may want to change things up.

1. Don't feel guilty about poor organization

According to Caroline Clark, a Professional Organizer and Home Organization Coach, "getting organized isn't an intuitive skill for most people, and we're not explicitly taught how to do it.

Pro organizer

You don't have to be perfect. It's okay to not be the best. We'll get there eventually, Clark says.

2. Avoid the temptation of taking on everything single-handedly

When it comes to organization, it's important to recognize that it's perfectly acceptable to seek assistance when needed. Kim Sneath, The Clutter Coach, emphasizes the importance of reaching out for expert help if you have been struggling with clutter for an extended period.

Instead of relying on short bursts of decluttering with 15-minute timers, Sneath advises creating dedicated space for proper decluttering or seeking guidance from someone experienced in this area.

3. Stop talking negatively to yourself

The negative self-talk people use to tell themselves that they cannot do something should stop, says Ryan Vaughn, co-owner of San Diego Stamped Concrete & Staining and an organizing expert. “If you just put your mind to it, you can be anything you want to be and do anything you want to do!”

At first, the process may seem overwhelming, but Ryan suggests taking one step at a time: "The beauty of organizing is that it creates a snowball effect when you get organized," he says. Once you realize how great it feels to have an organized junk drawer, you'll probably move on to your desk drawer, and so on."

As you continue to conquer one small area of clutter or disarray, the positive momentum will build, propelling you forward to tackle larger and more challenging tasks. Each small victory serves as a reminder that you are capable of making positive changes in your life.

Ryan Vaughn emphasizes the importance of shifting your mindset and embracing a can-do attitude. Instead of feeding into self-doubt and negative self-talk, remind yourself of your potential and the limitless possibilities that lie ahead. Remember that you have the power to shape your reality and achieve your goals.

It's crucial to be patient with yourself throughout the organizing process. Rome wasn't built in a day, and transforming your living or working space won't happen overnight. Allow yourself the time and space to make progress at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Celebrate each step forward, no matter how small, and acknowledge the effort you're putting in.

Ryan encourages individuals to start with one area and gradually expand their organizing efforts. By focusing on a specific space, such as a junk drawer, you can experience the satisfaction of seeing immediate results.

Once you witness the positive impact of organization in that small corner of your life, you'll gain the motivation and confidence to extend the same principles to other areas, like your desk drawer or closet.

As you dive deeper into the process of organizing, you'll likely discover that it's not just about tidying up physical spaces. The act of organizing can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional well-being. Clearing out clutter and creating order in your environment can bring a sense of calm and clarity to your mind, allowing you to focus better and be more productive.

Remember, the journey of organizing is not a race but a personal exploration of self-improvement. Embrace the positive changes that organizing brings to your life and let go of the negative self-talk that holds you back.

With determination, perseverance, and a belief in your own capabilities, you can create an environment that supports your goals and aspirations, fostering a happier and more fulfilling life.

4. Don't organize by color (please!)

“I think rainbow order is ridiculous,” says Melissa Keyser, professional organizer and certified KonMari consultant. “While it's photogenic and trendy, I don't think it works in most homes.”

Don't organize by color

Having to remember the color of the packaging of a particular brand of soup so you can find it in your pantry or searching for a book you want to read because you cannot remember the spine color, Keyser says, doesn't make life easier.

From there, if you're still stuck on the rainbow, you can order by color.

5. Don't ignore the power of hangers

Many garments have been destroyed due to improper hangers – corduroy trousers from wire, sweaters with permanent ‘shoulder bumps’ from too-narrow hangers, and outerwear falling off of tubular ones.

The weight of the item should correspond to the sturdiness of its hanger – coats on strong wooden hangers, sweaters/blazers and tops on crystal ones, silky fabrics and tanks on sort of 'huggable' or 'fuzzy' ones, and pants may be hung from skirt holders or open-ended pants hangers.

She says investing in a good hanger will prevent you from having to replace clothing in the future.

As for Mary Cornetta, co-owner of Sort & Sweet IncShe says matching hangers make a huge difference in both the functionality and appearance of a closet.

6. Don't shop without a plan

A major thing pro-organizers wish you'd stop doing is heading to the Container Store or Target without a plan.

As the owner of a boutique professional organizing company based in San Francisco, Lucy Miligan Wahl does not let her clients go unsupervised to the Container Store. "If people are unfamiliar with the inventory, they can become overwhelmed and either buy the wrong thing ... or nothing at all." She also recommends getting sizes and measurements before even leaving the house.

7. Don't save unnecessary bags and boxes

Unnecessary boxes

Let's do a quick survey. Raise your hand if you have a collection of boxes in your house. Now, raise your hand if you have a specific area under your sink or tucked away in a closet designated for bags.

Why do we do this?

Nylon and canvas shopping bags are ubiquitous in our world, and many people cannot part with them. I encourage clients to pare down their bag collections to a few and discard the rest."

8. Don't hold onto things for the wrong reasons

Somehow, we can't seem to let go of things from our childhood, family heirlooms, or even silly trinkets.

Austin of Perfect Steel Solutions says fear is what ties us to the clutter in our lives, leading us to worry unnecessarily that if something were to break, the cost of replacing it would be too high. However, she reminds us that if we cannot afford to replace something, perhaps the best option is just to do without it.

Letting go can be a liberating experience, allowing us to free ourselves from the burden of physical clutter and the emotional attachment that comes with it. While it is natural to form sentimental connections to objects that hold memories or represent aspects of our past, holding onto every item can create a sense of overwhelm and hinder our ability to move forward.

Our attachment to possessions is often rooted in fear – fear of loss, fear of change, or fear of the unknown. We worry that if we let go of something, we might regret it later or find ourselves in a difficult situation without it. However, it's essential to recognize that these fears are often exaggerated, and the perceived value we assign to objects is not always grounded in reality.

By decluttering our lives and letting go of unnecessary belongings, we make space for new experiences, personal growth, and a sense of lightness. It allows us to focus on what truly matters, such as relationships, personal well-being, and the pursuit of our goals and dreams.

Letting go of physical objects can be a metaphorical representation of letting go of emotional baggage and outdated beliefs that no longer serve us.

Letting go

Of course, it's important to approach decluttering with intention and mindfulness. It doesn't mean discarding everything without thought or consideration. Some items may hold deep sentimental value or serve a practical purpose in our lives. The key is to strike a balance between keeping what truly enriches our lives and letting go of what no longer serves us.

In the process of letting go, we may discover that our attachment to material possessions was merely a temporary substitute for something deeper—a need for security, validation, or a connection to the past. By recognizing and addressing these underlying needs, we can find healthier ways to fulfill them that don't rely solely on physical belongings.

Letting go is not just about physical objects; it extends to intangible aspects of our lives as well. We can let go of grudges, past mistakes, and limiting beliefs that hold us back. By releasing these emotional burdens, we create space for forgiveness, personal growth, and new opportunities.

Ultimately, the act of letting go is an ongoing process—a journey of self-discovery and self-reflection. It requires courage, trust, and a willingness to embrace change. By learning to let go, we can cultivate a sense of freedom, clarity, and a deeper appreciation for what truly matters in our lives.

9. Don't call yourself a perfectionist

Perfectionism is not a cute or positive label—we've heard it before, and we'll hear it again. John Ward, co-owner of Austin Iron Fences, says putting those expectations on yourself is a surefire way to never accomplish anything, have enormous amounts of stress, and greatly limit your potential.

Embracing the label of a perfectionist can be deceiving, as it implies a pursuit of flawlessness and an unattainable standard of excellence. While striving for high standards and wanting to do well is not inherently negative, it's important to recognize the potential pitfalls of perfectionism and the impact it can have on our well-being and personal growth.

Perfectionism often leads to a cycle of self-imposed pressure, constant self-criticism, and a fear of failure. The need to achieve perfection in every endeavor can be paralyzing, causing us to procrastinate or avoid taking risks altogether. It can create a state of chronic stress and anxiety, as we become consumed by the fear of not meeting our own impossibly high expectations.

Additionally, perfectionism limits our potential for growth and learning. By setting unrealistically high standards, we may become hesitant to try new things or take on challenges that might result in mistakes or setbacks. It hinders our ability to embrace the learning process, as we become more focused on avoiding failure than on acquiring new skills and knowledge.

Instead of labeling ourselves as perfectionists, it can be more productive to adopt a mindset of progress and self-compassion. Recognizing that perfection is an unattainable goal allows us to shift our focus towards continuous improvement and personal development.

It allows us to accept that making mistakes and experiencing setbacks are natural parts of the learning process and opportunities for growth.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}