Inside the mind of a professional organizer: Understand the why, how and who

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

As I draft this column, I find myself wanting to begin my thoughts with one of the most underrated three-letter words in existence.

I believe there are three, three-letter words that promote steps for us to execute daily challenges: Why, how and who.

Why we desire organization stems from our circumstances. It is common in the grand scheme of things.

Why do we desire organization in our life?

It starts small but builds against us when left unaddressed.

Maybe our daily activities are adding up, and we’ve noticed that our punctuality is lacking.

Maybe finding pockets of time to focus on our interests has dwindled.

Maybe we notice we are misplacing items more frequently, costing us lost time searching for stuff.

Maybe we can’t physically or mentally do something.

Maybe we’re not performing daily tasks.

The list goes on.

Once our why has been identified, our mind gravitates toward how.

• How do I manage my schedule, let alone my family’s?

• How do I begin downsizing to maintain all the stuff?

• How do I dispose, relocate or sell things to justify my past spending habits?

• How do I regain my momentum after the pandemic?

How, how, how?

The how is where the majority of us get stuck.

However, the question is not how to do something, but rather, who does it?

It’s likely you don’t recognize that we already practice the why, how and who daily. However, many of us are not applying these to our most difficult circumstances because we are too consumed by trying to figure out how to do everything ourselves.

In honor of spring fashion, I’ll break this down.

• Why do we seek a new look? Because keeping up with the current trends makes us feel awesome.

• How will we obtain the look we want to achieve? And who can perform our desired beauty service?

• Why are we not tapping into who more frequently when it comes to organization?

I’ve heard more rebuttals, excuses and sarcasm vs. honest acknowledgment of needing help with organization.

Here are a couple more examples:

• When our car requires maintenance, who do we call?

Sometimes, we can take care of the issue ourselves. Sometimes, we have a friend or family member who can assist. Sometimes, we need to schedule an appointment at a service shop with a professional.

• When we’re not feeling well, who do we call?

Sometimes, we can visit a local retailer and pick up an over-the-counter remedy. Sometimes, we need to schedule a visit to see our doctor. Sometimes, we need to execute our urgency and visit the emergency room.

We understand that with a professional service, comes a fee. With a purchase, comes a fee. With disposal, comes a fee. This is where procrastination to organize comes into play.

With too few hours in a day, asking family and friends for help downsizing and organizing easily can become low priority. This stems from the fact that people are busy. On top of that, many despise the task of organizing.

Embarrassment, lack of knowledge and resources are obstacles that stand in our way, encouraging whatever situation that needs attention to build up and become unmanageable.

The majority of the time, this negatively impacts our effort to create and maintain our desire to live a life enriched by organization.

Professional organizers offer a service that impacts our life, just as much as our beloved hair stylist, make up artists, boutique fashionistas, tattoo artists, accountants, care providers, maintenance specialists and anyone who offers a professional service we seek assistance with to enhance our lives.

Organization can make us feel amazing.

Jessi Bushman is a professional organizer, member of the Iowa Professional Organizers Association and owner of Organizer Jessi in Dubuque. Visit her at or on Facebook at OrganizerJessi.

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