Professional organizing has been around for quite a while. The National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals™ (better known simply as NAPO®) was founded in 1986. It trains professional organizers and productivity consultants, which it defines as follows:
A professional organizer supports evaluation, decision-making, and action around objects, space, and data, helping clients achieve desired outcomes regarding function, order, and clarity.
A productivity consultant supports evaluation, decision-making, and action around time, energy, and resources, helping clients achieve desired outcomes regarding goals, effectiveness, and priorities.
If either of these two definitions makes you jump for joy, you’ll love the training they offer and it will enable you to provide a useful service to clients seeking this type of help in their life.
What’s different about our clutter clearing practitioner training
The professional training Richard Sebok and I offer is very different.
There is nothing else in the world that I know of that is even remotely close to this training. If you truly want to help people remove clutter from their lives for good then taking this course is the only way to go. You will change your clients’ lives and your own life as well. – Previous trainee
Organizing can be done on a purely mental level. It’s about tidying and arranging things so that you know where everything is. Productivity management takes a similar approach in relation to time.
The clutter clearing methods we teach go much further than this. They are about letting go of everything a person no longer loves or uses to bring themselves up-to-date with who they are and where they are headed in their life. It’s an extraordinary process of restoring integrity, one item at a time.
The impulse for clutter clearing is therefore not just a mental one. It comes from a higher part of a person that sees how restricted their life has become by their over-accumulation of material possessions and can feel how the stagnant energy that collects around clutter is affecting them. This part of themselves sees the bigger picture and wants change.
The clutter clearing process usually brings up emotions and involves some tough decisions along the way. So it’s not as easy as tidying and organizing, but the rewards are far more fulfilling. It’s freeing and empowering. It allows a person to reclaim their life, and it opens the door to new possibilities so that they can move forward rather than living in the past.
This is no ordinary course about helping people declutter and getting organised. Yes, you’ll learn effective techniques to do that, of course, and you’ll learn much more. A key part to the training is learning how to source the reasons behind their accumulation of clutter; this realisation will prevent the client from accumulating more clutter in the future. – Previous trainee
A unique aspect of our professional training is that we teach practitioners how to open a space for clients to see for themselves why their clutter accumulated in the first place. This lies at the heart of the remarkable effectiveness of our techniques because, without this level of insight, clutter tends to quickly build up again.
Who our professional clutter clearing practitioner training is for
Our training is for people who naturally live clutter-free and want to learn how to help others do likewise. The people who make the best clutter clearing practitioners are those who already have a good balance between having the things around them that they need to live life to the full, but not so much that it holds them back in any way.
They are well organized but not obsessively so, and they generally do things on time or ahead of time rather than procrastinating. They are genuinely compassionate, non-judgmental, and endlessly patient, yet have the ability to be objective, firm and decisive. They see clutter for what it is and how it affects people, and are committed to helping clients learn to see this for themselves, let it go, and move on.
Clear your own clutter first
Some people are attracted to this profession because they are battling with their own clutter issues, and they hit upon the idea of teaching what they themselves need to learn.
This rarely ever works. It doesn’t work for the clients because they can only make limited progress when being coached by someone who hasn’t yet taken the journey themselves.
And it doesn’t work for the professional because the last thing they feel like doing when they get home after a long day of helping clients with their clutter is to spend time sorting through their own. Not only that but they are faced with the daily hypocrisy of advising others to do something they don’t do themselves. And unless they have very strong principles about never accepting discarded items from clients (essential, in our view), they may also be confronted with the temptation to acquire more things, which means this line of work can add to their clutter rather than reduce it.
So before applying to take my professional training, we ask all trainees to take my trilogy of online personal clutter clearing courses first:
This is then followed by a more advanced course:
I am not the same person who signed up for the first online course – I believe none of the trainees are. I remember emailing Karen that I thought this course would be life-changing. I had no idea. An interesting thought after having been certified is now that I have completed the training, I understand how much more there is to learn! – Previous trainee
All the courses have been created in such a way that they can be engaged at whatever level a person needs. This means that someone who has already sorted through all their things and wants to move to the next level will get as much from them as someone who is just getting started. In fact, many people tell me they get more from the courses when they repeat them than they did the first time around. Even my certified practitioners like to regularly re-take them because they discover deeper levels each time.
Is there a need for clutter clearing practitioners?
An estimated 3% of people living in the West have a hoarding problem, and this figure is increasing year by year. Some statistics I’ve seen put it as high as 5% or 6% of western populations, which means, in effect, that there is someone who has hoarding behaviour in just about every street.
A further 30% of the population say they avoid going home because they find the mess in their home so overwhelming. Only 10% say they have negligible clutter or none at all. My Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui book was published in 1997 and is still going strong, with sales of over two million copies in 26 languages. There’s a lot of clutter out there!
So yes, there’s definitely a need, and that’s why Richard and I offer our professional training course, featuring a range of techniques and skills that are not taught in any other program. It’s primarily designed to help clients before they get to the stage of clinically defined hoarding, while it’s still relatively easy to assist them in turning their lives around. It’s very rewarding work for those who feel called to do it.
If you would like to train
If you’re interested to take our next professional training in 2020 and you haven’t yet taken the required preliminary courses, the next series will start in January 2019.
I usually offer all the online courses twice a year but they were offered once in 2018, during March-June, because I’m taking some time out during July-December 2018 to focus on writing new books.
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Copyright © Karen Kingston 2018