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  • Writer's pictureCathy Borg

Can't decide whether to hire a cleaner or an organizer? Read this!

Hiring professionals to help you clean and organize your home can be very helpful, but you may not be sure what the difference between cleaners and organizers really is.

When you want to get your house in shape how do you choose the right professional for the job?

Do you choose a home cleaner or a professional organizer?

What does each service actually entail?

In this article, we'll break down the distinctions between these two types of services so that you can hire the right person to do the job properly.

Firstly. Organizing and cleaning are two very different things!

Yes, they both have to do with services for the home. But after that they part company. Think about it this way. Would you go to the dentist to have your hair done or the hair stylist to have your teeth cleaned?

Organizing requires making decisions about your belongings and giving a 'home' for each of the items you choose to keep. Questions about who will do it and when; where they will be placed and why are common.

Cleaning requires eliminating filth, dust, grime, grease and other contaminants from living spaces.

Both are very valuable, complementary services - however, they aren't the same.

Recently, a cleaning service owner contacted me to invite me to give a training lecture to his employees on organizing a house before cleaning it.

I was taken aback. I thought about all the courses taken, books read, job shadowing done, workshops and conventions attended and I just couldn't imagine how I could compress anything useful into a one-hour lecture for house cleaners.

Even my very first and only house cleaner knew that cleaning and organizing were two different creatures. Shaking her head in disbelief at my cluttered dining room table, she gave me a look and told me that if I wanted her to clean THAT I would have to do something with all that stuff (most of it was reference books and marking).

Oops! I thought the cleaning lady was the answer to my disorganized house. Not even close.

My own personal journey of decluttering and organizing led me to become an organizer who did that for others as well.

It could be tempting to ask your cleaning service for organizational help if you've already hired a house cleaner. But keep in mind that cleaning services and organizing services are not interchangeable. The effectiveness and quality of the various service types vary greatly, in addition to being quite different from one another. The organizer assists you in managing emotional choices so that you can get rid of items that no longer serve you, and in containerizing and storing your belongings so that they are simple to locate. A housekeeper won't participate in those emotionally taxing choices with you. Since they are there to clean, they will clean around and underneath any clutter. However, they won't declutter or store anything. No, a house cleaning doesn't work like that.

What are cleaning services?

A house cleaner does routine cleaning.

A house cleaner helps you clean your home.

Cleaning bathrooms, mopping floors, dusting, doing laundry, are part of a house cleaners duties.

They put forth a lot of effort to clean your house using the proper tools and methods.

For various cleaning chores, they are aware of the proper cleaning materials and equipment.

They are aware of the ideal cleaning sequence.

For instance, they are aware that dusting is more effective when done from top to bottom and starting on the top floor.

Additionally, you don't need to be at home when they clean. Especially if you and they have established a routine and/or you have given them the proper instructions.

What are organizing services?

On the other hand, a professional organizer is uniquely qualified and equipped to declutter and organize your possessions for you.

A professional organizer can help you when you have emotional attachments to different items you may need to declutter. They can also deliver a maintenance programme for you or walk you through the process so you may learn how to keep the things you and your family bring into the house in order.

Decluttering and arranging your home's areas are part of the services professional organizers offer. They provide straightforward options that suit your way of life, financial situation, and—most importantly—thought patterns.

Professional organizersA professional organizer provides a variety of othere services, including managing and organizing personal papers, setting up routines for dinner, breakfast, and sleep, as well as scheduling.

“Organizing Is What You Do Before You Do Something, So That When You Do It, It Is Not All Mixed Up” – A.A.Milne

People hire an organizer under a variety of circumstances. Such as when:

  • You'd prefer to create more room in your life (physically and mentally).

  • You want to live a simpler life, but you don't know how to start.

  • You intend to relocate within the next year, so you want to get rid of any extra items you have.

  • You've experienced a major life shift in the past year, such as children leaving for college or a marriage or divorce, and you feel overwhelmed by their things.

  • You want to be more organized in your life, but you're feeling disorganized and worn out.

  • You want to get a handle on your stuff, but you don't know where to start.

  • You are physically unable to organize.

  • You want to renovate your home.

"Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door." – Marcelene Cox

People hire cleaners under a variety of circumstances. Such as when:

  • You want to get your house cleaned from top to bottom, but you don't know where to start.

  • You are physically unable to clean.

  • You've experienced a major life shift in the past year, such as children leaving for college or a marriage or divorce, and you want to clean up

  • You are selling your house and want it cleaned for an open house

  • You are busy and can't keep up with the big cleaning jobs.

  • You want a house cleaner

When to hire a Professional Organizer or a House Cleaner!

Common household problems.

Is your kitchen dirty?

  • Hire house cleaners because they know how to clean even the toughest problems and will get rid of the grease and grime.

Are you moving and need help settling into your new home?

  • Hire professional organizers. You can work with a professional organizer to pack up your old house and settle in and organize your new house.

Are you anxious about downsizing and deciding which possessions to take with you?

  • Hire a professional organizer who has experience downsizing and helping clients decide which goods to get take with you. And how to give what you don't need safe passage either through sale or donation.

Do you want the floors or vacuums regularly?

  • Hire house cleaners since they are usually more suited to repetitive cleaning tasks.

Is your problem that you don't have time to keep up with laundry?

  • Hire a house cleaner or laundry service.

Is the problem that you and your family members don't know put the clean laundry away?

  • Hire professional organizers since they are suited for projects, system setup, and teaching organizing skills. They can show you how to fold and roll your clothes to keep your closets and drawers tidy.

Are your closets overflowing with clothes and souvenirs?

  • Invest in a professional organizer. Cleaners can assist you in picking up and washing your clothing. An organizer will help you decide what to keep, donate, gift, sell, recycle, or discard. Cleaners don't have time to make various choices.

Do you have difficulty keeping your files and paperwork organized and paying your bills on time?

  • Hire a professional organizer. Paperwork and filing are organizing specialties.

Are your floors strewn with junk?

  • Hire a professional organizer. They can clear the clutter and properly store what you're keeping. The cleaners will then be able to clean your flooring.

To have a practical, orderly, and clean house, you need to activate all three activities: declutter, organize, and clean.

A professional organizer's job is considerably different from that of a house cleaning.

Hire both if you can if you want the best of both worlds. A cleaning service will come into your home and clean it from top to bottom. But a professional organizer gets to the root of the issue and then creates a plan to help you put the processes and systems in place to keep your home organized. Once you’ve gotten rid of clutter and organized your space, you’ll have a much easier time cleaning it.



Linda Samuels
Linda Samuels

I love the clear distinctions you made between organizing and cleaning. I'm aware of some POs who offer both services, but this isn't the norm. I also have many clients that are not happy with their cleaning service because while they clean, they also tend to "tidy" by shoving clutter in closets or drawers. So it can make the disorganization worse. In those cases, it's best to discuss your wishes with the cleaning service and work separately on the organizational and clutter issues, as you suggested.

Cathy Borg
Cathy Borg

Thanks Linda. I agree and really appreciate your thoughtful comments.

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