The Rise of the Professional Organisers
8 signs that decluttering isn’t just a lifestyle trend — it’s big business.
1st January 2019 saw the Netflix premiere of Tidying Up, a show hosted by Japanese tidying guru Marie Kondo. The programme heralded a flurry of media interest and shone a spotlight on the transformative effects that come about when people call in professional organisers to help them declutter and organise their belongings and homes.
Time Magazine named Ms Kondo as one of the most influential people of the year back in 2015 and, according to Celebrity Net Worth, she is currently worth $8 million. But did you know that she is one of a growing wave of professionals who are passionate about providing practical and emotional support to deal with the clutter in people’s lives?
Here are a few signs that organisers are a rising commercial force…
- Across the pond, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) has more than 4,000 members in 22 countries, all helping organisations and individuals to bring order and efficiency to their lives.
- The Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers (APDO) was formed in the UK in 2004. It now has over 300 members organising homes, offices and lives but the standout statistic from last year’s conference was that in 2016–17 the membership grew by a third.
- Celebrities are often at the forefront when it comes to highlighting the role of professional organisers in helping people achieve the lifestyle and balance that they are seeking. Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon are just a couple of the A-listers who have promoted the achievements of The Home Edit team. The organising firm’s 785k followers on Instagram have subsequently been treated to images of the stars’ professionally organised closets and rainbowtised pantries.
- Influencers such as UK style blogger Erica Davies have recently highlighted the role of professional organising as a lifestyle service similar to personal training, cleaning and gardening.
- TV and radio programmes have of course picked up on the interest generated by Marie Kondo’s method. By way of illustration, This Morning now has a resident organiser, APDO member Vicky Silverthorn of You Need a Vicky, sharing organisational tips, methods and products with viewers.
- In January 2019 John Lewis reported record-breaking sales of decluttering essentials. Similarly, the Freedonia Group predicts that sales of home organisation products in the US will rise 3.8% annually through 2021 to $11.8 billion.
- Charity shops have reported an upsurge in donations since the start of 2019. According to a BBC article, one charity shop is getting double what it would normally expect — with many donors referencing Marie Kondo’s Netflix series as their inspiration.
- Same day delivery, multi buy offers, interest free credit and auto renewal of subscriptions have all contributed to a culture of convenience and consumerism. However, there now appears to be a significant shift towards a simpler, more sustainable and minimalistic way of life, with recent books and magazines highlighting the concepts of hygge, lagom and mindfulness appearing on retailers’ shelves.
The reasons that people enlist the help of organisers are many and varied. Sometimes their homes have become cluttered following an illness or bereavement. Perhaps they have found that the busyness of modern life has made it difficult for them to keep on top of their belongings or paperwork. Often, the prospect of moving house is overwhelming and clients will have an organiser on hand to help with the practical and administrative aspects of the move.
Essentially, an organiser’s role is to support the client’s decision-making and help them achieve a comfortable level of order and organisation in terms of their belongings, space or data. Some organisers will also coach clients on matters relating to time management, task management and productivity.
It is so exciting to be part of such a rapidly growing industry. It is particularly reassuring to be sharing the journey with a thriving community of such professional and supportive business-owners in APDO. The association’s organisers are all accredited and have a range of professional backgrounds, specialisms and services offered. No matter what your organisational challenge, you can be assured of finding a reliable professional who is the right fit for you. To search for an organiser, visit https://www.apdo.co.uk/find-an-organiser/
I’m Kate, a professional organiser & PA and the founder of Better Organised; decluttering and organising homes, offices, businesses and lives in and around Milngavie, Glasgow. For more tips, advice and news about all things organised, please sign up to my newsletter at https://www.betterorganised.uk