Organizing: Reality vs. Television

cleaning declutter organization services Jun 11, 2022

If you are a client who has called asking for what you've seen on TV, I am breaking down some of the differences and how to achieve your reality tv dream!

Professional Organizers, you know what I am talking about ;)

As a Professional Organizer, I often get calls from clients who say that they want what they saw on TV. But what does that actually mean?


What the audience is actually seeing is a very curated production. The homeowners have already started some of the pre-work that is done with the Organizer prior to filming. They have gone through the vetting process and they have started to answer some of the questions that might come up when the organizer starts the work.

An Organizer who is working with you 1:1 will still need to go through those steps, which might have taken the production team months to go through with the homeowner prior to shooting. Not everybody organizes the exact same way. You can't put a cookie-cutter approach on someone, their family, and their needs. The chances of it staying organized is very slim when a production team goes in to get the episode and then leaves. People need different organizing techniques and processes that work for the whole family.

When done correctly, organizing takes time. It will take time to get to the point where you are ready to declutter and purge items. Finding the right system that works for the home and then maintaining that system. Reality tv shows do a disservice to those wishing to organize by not showing all the steps that go into the project.

So, if you were to hire an Organizer, you might have that you have in your home, the organizer, and a few team members if they have them. It could also be the lead organizer on a job (separate from the owner) and their team members who have been asked to help with the project. What you won't find, is an entire production crew that is there to support the homeowner, and project, and facilitate the organizing in lighting speed, upwards of 30+ people!

As a client, you might have a really hard time accepting the limited capabilities of reality when you say that you too want to declutter and get organized on a weekend like you have seen it done on TV. What you are really saying is that you are ready to accept the extremely high price tag of bringing in a large team, their subcontractors, the product needed to organize, and any contractors who might need to be on hand the day of the project (junk removal, handyman, trucking companies, auctioneers, etc.) All this and more will be needed to pull off a decluttering and organizing job in a quick turnaround.

Take for example, the Home Edit. In the hit Netflix show, they highlighted just how impactful the industry of Professional Organizing can be. Their show made it common for people to see that they too can hire an Organizer, come in to get the space organized, and then leave the client with a beautiful home.

On the flip-side, you would see the organizers panicking while the client was out, scrambling to meet extremely tight and unheard-of deadlines, people rushing around to get things thrown away, and really just putting items from one area of the home to another and masking the decluttering portion altogether.


If you are rushing that quickly, you are much more likely to miss things and make mistakes. For example, for someone who is packing and rightsizing, if you are trying to meet a tight deadline, you can very easily throw things out there that were sentimental to one of your family members.

Not to mention the fact that all of the emotional healing work that needs to be processed during a typical organizing session, will get swept under the rug and the likelihood of the situation becoming cluttered again, is very high. When you work with an Organizer, you are giving yourself the space to process the emotions that come up when you declutter items. This ensures you are less likely to fall into old patterns that brought you to the cluttered space in the first place.

A part of organizing that should be taken very seriously, is the emotions that come up with items and working through those. This is especially important if someone has passed and you are working through their things. A big part of my work with clients is processing those emotions and not stuffing them down only to resurface at the wrong time. If you did a whole home cleanup and won't get that chance to work through things and your emotions are still unhealed.

Okay, I wasn't kidding when I said that your reality TV dreams can be achieved. They really can! Just keep in mind, they might come with a higher than expected price tag but that can be worked out over a period of time to help alleviate those costs.


I'd love to know what your thoughts are on this. How do you feel about these reality shows? Do you think they help or hurt the idea of decluttering? Let me know!

If you want to schedule a call and start the journey to living a more organized life (and a less stressful one!) you can book your call with me HERE.