Tackling Clutter With A Professional Organizer

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Disclosure- Michelle Worthington, Professional Organizer of Worthy Spaces provided me with some of her services to facilitate my post.  All opinions are 100% my own.

Tackling ClutterThis post is a long time coming because it has been one of the hardest ones for me to write.  I’ve been putting it off because I was embarrassed.  You see I have been too embarrassed to show what the inside of my house used to look like before I called a local South Florida Professional Organizer, Michelle Worthington of Worthy Spaces.  When things were at it’s worst in my house I was so overwhelmed with the clutter.  I know it effected me on such a personal level.  I was depressed and anxious whenever I was in my house.  It was hard to get motivated or get anything done because I would look around and just see a disaster.  With my fibromyalgia, I am exhausted all the time.  It is very hard to get anything done myself when it comes to cleaning.  And when I am tired I am certainly not motivated to declutter.  One day I finally hit rock bottom and knew I had to do something. It took a lot to swallow my pride and call a professional organizer but I knew it was best for the sake of my sanity and for the sake of my family who had to live in our cluttered house.

I didn’t know professional organizers existed for people like me.  I thought that professional organizers just worked with people like I had seen on Hoarders.  I had no idea that professional organizers can help people with all levels of clutter or people who just need help getting organized.  Professional organizers don’t just deal with garbage and clutter, they also deal with helping their clients use their spaces more efficiently.  They can help people pack, unpack, and so much more.  Professional Organizers can also help businesses set up or organize their spaces to function better.

Michelle and I met by chance a few years ago but I think it was fate honestly.  She told me all about what she did as a professional organizer but it took me several years to actually bite the bullet, get over my nerves of someone from the outside seeing my house, and call her.  Making that initial call was a little scary.  I wasn’t sure if Michelle would judge me or if she would even be able to help my craziness.  Within a minute of talking to Michelle, she really calmed me.  She reassured me that everything I was going through was totally normal.  We all think that everyone else has perfect houses behind closed doors but Michelle insisted that having clutter and getting behind in keeping things neat and organized, especially with an autoimmune disorder and 2 kids, is very common.  We set a date for Michelle to come assess my house and get started helping me to get it decluttered and organized.

I was really nervous and I canceled several times before I even let Michelle come over because I was so embarrassed at how my house looked. It was such a disaster.  There was clutter everywhere and not a horizontal surface that wasn’t covered with stuff.  Right before Michelle was about to knock on my door, my anxiety level was through the roof.  What would she think of my house? Would she be able to help?  Would she think I was the biggest slob she had ever seen?  But I knew things had to change.

I had no idea what to expect when Michelle came over.  I was as nervous as I was excited.  Michelle assured me that she had seen it all but of course in my mind I thought, “No way, my house has to be the messiest she had ever seen.”  We hadn’t had a cleaning person over in at least a year because there was too much to “clean and declutter” before I could even let a cleaning person in my front door.

Michelle walked through my front door and was instantly reassuring.  I felt so calm and at ease with Michelle.  She was so comforting and told me that it wasn’t my fault and everything I was feeling was totally normal.  As we walked through my house and I showed her all the nooks and crannies she took some notes and started getting ideas on how we could get the clutter under control.  I say we because I was part of the process.  She was there to help and make suggestions but I was in control of deciding what changes we made and what things we got rid of.

Once Michelle and I went over her ideas we both got to work.  I wanted to be a part of the process but clients can choose to let Michelle work by herself, too.  Michelle made sure to show me EVERY little thing she was putting in the garbage to make sure she had my approval.  Things that could be donated were separated and bagged up for donation.  We put on some tunes and the afternoon flew by.  Michelle and I got so much done.  She really helped me decide what I wanted to keep and what I needed to let go of and donate or throw away.  The whole process was actually kind of fun and I had such a feeling of accomplishment.  We had lots of laughs and chatted the day away as we worked.  Michelle gave me lots of guidance and tips as we went along.  She was so comforting.  I can’t say that enough.  By the end and even now I can hear Michelle in my head when I go to put something where it doesn’t belong, when I try to decide if I should purchase something or decide if I should keep something.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and my house didn’t get cluttered in a day so of course my whole house wasn’t organized in just a few hours but after only 1 day it was noticeably better.  When my husband came home he was surprised how much we had gotten done.  It took 2 days for Michelle and me to get most of my house in order and a third day for us to tackle our garage with my husband.  There are still a few areas that we still need to tackle (like the top of our closet) but it is a work in progress.  When Michelle left I kept on asking myself “Why did I wait so long?” as do most of her clients.

One of the most important things I took away from having Michelle here is that Professional Organizers are not be judgmental and do not make their clients get rid of stuff.  Everything was on MY TERMS and what I was comfortable with. If there were things that my husband or I weren’t ready to get rid of then Michelle didn’t push us.  Plus everything is confidential.  We have a mutual friend and Michelle (just like any other professional organizer) would never tell our mutual friend or anyone else that she knows me professionally because she’s worked in my house.  The whole experience was amazing and I loved that I was able to donate and pass a lot of items on to charities so people can put them to use.  You can tell that Michelle truly loves what she does as do so many other organizers.  Anyone can say they are a professional organizer but make sure they are really a professional with the NAPO- The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) which has about 4,000 professional organizers and almost 40 chapters across the United States.

Here are the before and after photos of my house.  Please don’t judge. 😉

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Here are some tips from Michelle:


How Michelle Worthington got started:  The Amanda’s TV show really opened my eyes to the profession of Professional Organizing.  It helped to show people in need of help … outside of what I had only seen on “Hoarders” and “Clean House”.   Amanda and her team were very polished and professional – I was excited to see more about a possible industry and how broad the client base and needs truly are.   I started googling and reading books to find out more about the profession and worked up the courage to make a call to a local professional organizer.   She invited me to an upcoming NAPO South Florida meeting… I went … I loved it and decided to go for it.

What Michelle does:  Simply put … I help people.   I enjoy residential organizing – I am honored to be invited into people’s homes and to help them work through their clutter or chronic disorganization issues.  I help with all sorts of projects including paperwork, home offices, closets, kitchens, playrooms, whole home organization just to name a few type of projects.  Having a corporate background I am also able to do small business or corporate organizing projects.


Mention this post and Michelle will take $25 off your first sessions booked!!!

Interested in getting organized, ridding your life of lost items and wasted time, and overall being increasingly productive?

  • Why hire a professional organizer? Like a coach, a professional organizer provides the motivation, support, encouragement, and direction necessary when getting and staying organized.
  • How can I find a professional organizer? Finding a professional organizer is no different than choosing any other service professional. The “right choice ” for you will be a professional organizer who has the expertise, skill set, and personality that best suit you and your goals.  If you are in South Florida, please check out Michelle Worthington of Worthy Spaces.  You won’t regret it.  No matter who you choose, make sure it is someone you feel comfortable and I highly suggest finding someone who is a member of the NAPO.
  • What can a professional organizer help you do?  With the help of a professional organizer in your home or office, one can: accomplish more at work and home, meet important deadlines, find things faster, gain control of surroundings, reduce clutter, create streamlined processes, improve your quality of life, and reduce stress.

Even if your space isn’t as cluttered as mine was I highly recommend hiring a professional organizer to help you get organized.  You’ll be glad you did!

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