Do Professional Organizers Use UX?

I love organizing stuff. For a while I considered become a professional organizer. There is a special joy in making a space cleaner and neater. (My 7 year old self does not believe I’m really saying this.) Organizing for yourself is easier, I think, than organizing for someone else. You know where you’ll look to find things. You know what makes sense to you. You know you’re always going to take your shoes off first thing in the door so why bother putting the shoe rack any where else?

If you organize for somebody else though things get sticky. It doesn’t matter where you put your shoes in your house if you’re organizing someone else’s front hall. Sure you could put the shoe rack there and it would look great with all those shoes you put on it for a week, maybe two. But if your client doesn’t ever take off shoes until reaching the bedroom it won’t get used. That shoe rack you so carefully placed becomes just another shelf to dump random stuff on.

So what do you do?

You talk to your client. Do a needs assessment. Get a feel for how a person inherently wants to use a particular space. That’s a reflection of how the person interacts with that room, that furniture and the thoughts that space creates.

Probably the space needs some rearranging but maybe not as much as you thought. Maybe adding a beautiful flower vase or coat rack next to that new shoe rack in the front hall will shift those automatic thought processes just enough that the shoe rack gets used exactly as intended without any extra brain power.

Or maybe the shoes really do need to go in the closet and any other place would upset the careful balance and harmony of the space and the client.

That’s your goal as organizer: make it as easy as possible for the person to stay organized after you’re gone. That only comes from knowing the person better than they know themselves. From observing and taking into account the client-space interaction.

So yeah. I think great professional organizers have to be great at designing user experiences.