Q: Can you personally come to my house and help me declutter?
Many thanks for your inquiry about my decluttering and organizing services. As much as I’d love to come to your home and help you personally it’s just not possible for me to do that at the moment — so here are some ideas that I am confident will help you.
If you live in the United States, your best place to find a professional organizer to assist you would be to check out the website of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) at www.napo.net or for situations of extreme clutter contact ICD: The Institute for Challenging Disorganization
Similar professional organizations exist in other countries also:
Australia and New Zealand – AAPO: Australasian Association of Professional Organisers Inc
Canada – POC: Professional Organizers in Canada
United Kingdom – Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers UK: www.apdo-uk.co.uk
The Netherlands – NBPO: Nederlandse Beroepsvereniging van Professional Organizers
Africa – POAA: Professional Organiser Association Africa
Germany – BooND: Büroorganisation Büroordnung Netzwerk Deutschland
Japan – JALO: Japan Association of Life Organisers Japan
At any of these sites you should be able to find information on professional organizers in your area that you could speak with who could offer advice and, if appropriate, professional services and support. I strongly recommend that you interview potential organizers to ensure you are comfortable with their style and approach. Asking for references from some of their past clients, and speaking with them, is also an excellent way to ensure you are well matched.
That said, there are some organizers in the United States that I would recommend if they are located in your area. Check out this state by state listing for an organizer close to you that you can speak with.
The approach that I’ve developed and recommend for decluttering is outlined in my book It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff which is available at your local library, bookseller or online at www.peterwalshdesign.com. In addition, I’d invite you to join me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/peterwalsh where you’ll receive a ton of advice and ideas for decluttering and getting organized.
I have also made a DVD version of the book that walks you through each room in the house — it’s also available at my website. These are probably the closest thing you can get to having me there to give you a hand! I strongly recommend you read the book or view the DVD before tackling the job yourself or seeking outside assistance.
I’d also strongly recommend Dr David Tolin’s book Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving and Hoarding. In addition the Institute for Challenging Disorganization has a range of resources at www.challengingdisorganization.org that you may find useful.
Finally, I have also just released an App for iPhone and iPad use that takes you room by room through your home helping you to declutter and organize your living spaces — you may find that useful too.
I’m sorry that I’m not able to come to your home and help you personally but I hope that these ideas are useful.
Q. How can I learn more about your talks or appearances across the country?
You have three options for keeping track of me and learning where I’m next appearing — or just to hear what’s going on in my world.
First — keep an eye here on my website at www.peterwalshdesign.com for the latest in what’s happening, for tips on decluttering and getting organized and for information on my latest projects.
Second — and most immediate — join me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/peterwalsh. I’m working hard to keep the most recent news flowing on my Facebook fanpage and would love to have you join me there to hear what’s happening and to share your thoughts and ideas.
Third — sign up for my monthly newsletter at www.peterwalshdesign.com You’ll get the latest news each month straight to your inbox.
Q. Where can I read more of your organizing ideas? Do you have books I can buy?
Check out the Books tab on my website for complete details and purchasing information about all my books.
My book It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff in which I pull together all my experience and ideas to explain why people buy so much, hold onto so much and find it so hard to let go of their stuff even when it’s causing huge problems in their lives and relationships. The first part of the book tackles the psychology of clutter from a really practical point of view. The second half of the book then shows how the techniques from part one can be successfully applied by anyone to any room of any home. I have seen time and time again that it’s impossible to deal with the clutter if you don’t understand what’s behind the clutter. That’s why I wrote It’s All Too Much. I’d love to hear what you think! There is now a comprehensive Workbook that accompanies It’s All Too Much as well as a young adult version for the teenagers in your life who are struggling with clutter.
Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?: An Easy Plan for Losing Weight and Living More is a book about you and your relationship to your body — what you think about it, what you put into it, how you treat it, and whether you are happy with it. This is a book about clutter — the clutter around you and the clutter inside you that prevents you from living the life you want. Your relationship to your body and your stuff is complex and your problems with both are real. If clutter and disorganization are even a small part of your life, this book offers a way to change your attitude and your life.
Enough Already!: Clearing Mental Clutter to Become the Best You takes you far beyond the clutter in your home and tackles the clutter that fills your head and impedes so may areas of your life. In this book I examine the underlying feelings that create the clutter that blocks the path to who you want to be.
Lighten Up!: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier With Less helps you reexamine your relationship to what you own and explore the basis for what makes you and your family happy. This book provides three simple and comprehensive audits to assess every aspect of your home and well-being. From this information together we chart a plan for a happier, less-stressed and more fulfilling future for you and those you love.
How To Organize (Just About) Everything is over 600 pages (and more than 500 tips) and covers pretty much any organizing question you could have from organizing a closet to pulling together a great holiday vacation for you and your family. Organizing tips for your home, business, the garden, your education and even your career are all covered somewhere in the book. All of my books are available at any bookstore, in your local library or you can order them immediately online. Check out the “My Books/DVD/App” tab at the left of this page for more information.
Q. Is there a professional organizer you’d recommend in my state?
If you live in the United States, a great place to search for professional organizers is through the website of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) at www.napo.net
However, there are professional organizers in each state that I’d recommend you start with. Check out the list below:
SORTED Organizing Products & Services
Contact: Brenda Spangrud
Phone: (602) 214 5546
Area serviced: North/Central Phoenix, Scottsdale
The R.E.D Team
Contact: Sue Crum
Phone: (760) 803 2786
Area serviced: San Diego county, San Clemente (South Orange County), Temecula Valley. Virtual organizing.
addSpace To Your Life! — a professional organizing and image consultancy
Contact: Kathi Burns
Phone: (760) 840 9997
Area serviced: San Diego
Contact: John Trosko
Phone: (323) 512-7039
Area serviced: Southern California including Los Angeles, Orange County, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and San Diego.
Contact: Jodie Watson
Phone: (818) 590-7800
Area serviced: Santa Monica to Los Angeles to San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.
Organization & Relocation, Inc
Contact: Sheryl Hadley
Phone: (303) 448 9966
Area serviced: Colorado and California — inquire for services elsewhere.
Impact Organizing LLC
Contact: Kate S. Brown, CPO ®
Email: Email Impact Organizing
Phone: (941) 927 6858
Area serviced: The Southwest Florida Gulf Coast: Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Venice, Englewood (Sarasota, Manatee, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties)
Organized To Perfection
Contact: Beth Fuchs, CPO
Phone: (630) 668 0993
Area serviced: Chicago Illinois, surrounding Chicago suburbs, Southwestern Michigan, Northwestern Indiana
CastAway the Clutter! Organizing & Coaching Services
Contact: Jacquie Ross
Phone: (410) 615 0320
Area serviced: Maryland — Baltimore/DC Metro
Sane Spaces, LLC
Contact: Cena Block
Phone: (570) 351 7146
Area serviced: PA — Pike and Wayne Counties, and Scranton Metro Area; NY — Orange County (Sometimes Rockland and Sometimes Sullivan); NJ — Sussex County (Sometimes Morris)
Organizing Goddess, Inc.
Contact: Sharon Lowenheim
Phone: (212) 249 3537
Area serviced: New York City (specifically Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn)
Let’s Get Organized, LLC
Contact: Gayle M. Gruenberg
Phone: (201) 248 5208
Area serviced: NJ – Bergen, Passaic, Essex, and Hudson Counties; NY – Rockland County
The Joyful Organizer
Contact: Bonnie Joy Dewkett
Phone: (203) 731 4651
Area serviced: New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont
Birdie Brennan Professional Organizers
Contact: Birdie Brennan
Phone: (614) 297 1550
Area serviced: Central Ohio; Columbus and surrounding communities.
Inside the Box Organizing
Contact: Anne McCallister
Phone: (503) 421 6465
Area serviced: Clackamas County, Southeast Portland, Portland Metro
Leave It To Lieber — Coaching & Organizing for Adults with ADHD
Contact: Susan Lieber, CPO ®, COC
Phone: (412) 967 9567
Area serviced: Pittsburgh PA and surrounding municipalities
Contact: Mary Kay Taylor
Phone: (843) 884 5585
Area serviced: Charleston Tri-County Area and surrounding
Clutter-free & Organized
Contact: Mary Pankiewicz
Phone: (423) 581 9460 or (865) 607 9460
Area serviced: East Tennessee – Knoxville to Tri-cities (Johnson City, Bristol & Kingsport), Ashville, NC
Elite Custom Organizing (ECO)
Contact: Dala Mulholland
Phone: (817) 681 2498
Area serviced: Texas. For other location please inquire.
In Your Business
Contact: Susie Hayman
Phone: (804) 360 8337
Area serviced: Greater Richmond, VA area (city of Richmond, counties of Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, and Henrico) and Central VA
Contact: Laura Leist or Christina Bus
Phone: (425) 670 2551 or (877) 342 8592
Area serviced: Greater Seattle Area, Bellevue, Kirkland, Snohomish, Tacoma
Q. I am thinking about a career as a professional organizer — where do I start?
Your best place to start when thinking about a career as a professional organizer would be to check out the website of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) at www.napo.net
There you should be able to find information on becoming a professional organizer, organizers in your area that you could speak with and also, hopefully, a local chapter of NAPO that could give you advice, professional support and encouragement. There are also some great books available about organizing that you may find helpful — some of these are recommended on the NAPO site.
Another great resource is The Ultimate Guide for Professional Organizers that can be purchased online at www.getorganizednow.com
Check out my book It’s All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff which gives an overview of the psychology of clutter and why we find it so hard to let go of things — it’s a great starting point for understanding how to deal with anyone with clutter or organizational issues.
Q. I’ve purchased an audio version of one of your books and can’t locate the PDF files and charts that you refer to — where can I find them?
An easy place to find the PDF files for any of the CD versions of my books is on audible.com. If you go to www.audible.com, then search for the title you’re interested in, on the page of the desired title when you scroll down you will see a link that says “Download the accompanying reference guide.” Upon clicking on that link, you will be given an option to either open or save the files to your computer.
As for the actual CDs, the PDF files can usually be found on the last CD of the series. Please be aware that the PDF file is not an audio file but a text file, even though it’s being delivered to customers on a CD, which is also used for audio. The text file is an addition to, or enhancement of, the audio file. The directions for accessing these files from the CDs are written out below.
On a Mac:
- Insert CD that is labeled “Enhanced CD”, usually the last one in a package.
- Pictures of two disks will pop up, one that is labeled “audio”, and one that is labeled “data”.
- Click on “data”.
On a PC:
- Insert the disk labeled “Enhanced CD”
- Go to “my computer”.
- Click on CD drive.
- Right click on “open”