How to Choose the Right Organizing Buddy: 3 Essential Criteria

Have you ever faced a daunting organizing project? Knowing it was more than you could handle on your own, you may have tried asking for help. 

Maybe you turned to your friends and family members. Grateful for any assistance they were willing to offer, you invited them into your home, ready to tackle the mess and clear out.

For a moment, everything was going well. Suddenly, though, judgement started raining down, feelings were hurt, and you found yourself wondering why you ever thought it was a good idea to ask this person for help in the first place. 

If this tale sounds familiar, it’s because it’s yours – rather, it’s the same tale we’ve heard over and over from countless clients: Well-intentioned friends and family try to help you get organized, but it fails… sometimes to the degree that relationships are critically damaged. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get help and conquer your clutter without emotional chaos or collateral damage.

You just have to choose the right organizing buddy. 

In the video below, I share the three essential criteria to look for when choosing an organizing buddy, whether that’s your sister, your best friend, a colleague, or an organizing consultant. 

(If you’ve tried and failed with a friend or family member, you’ll probably recognize exactly where your past buddy experience fell short!)

As I cover in the video, there are three core characteristics you want in your organizing buddy – and they’re not necessarily what you’d expect. 

(Don’t have time to watch the video? No worries. Here’s a quick recap.)

No Judgement

The first characteristic to consider when selecting an organizing buddy is the ability to be truly non-judgmental. 

For many of us, feeling disorganized is embarrassing. We don’t want to air our dirty laundry for others to see. Admitting we have a problem large enough to need help can be its own hurdle.

But vulnerability is exactly what must happen to receive the help you need – and it cannot be met with judgement if you’re to succeed. 

So, before you make your choice, think about the person you’re asking to be your buddy. Consider their reactions to disorganization, stress, and strong emotions during decision-making. 

If you’re not confident they can hold space for you without judging your situation or pushing you to make decisions too quickly, it’s unlikely your buddy relationship will feel like a true partnership. Keep looking.


The decisions we must make to move from chaos to order aren’t always easy.

So, when you’re tackling an organizing project, you want someone with you who understands the journey may be a little rough. Decisions may be emotional. There may even be tears.

When that happens, you want someone with you who can say, “It’s okay you’re feeling this way. It’s okay that this is a challenge for you. I’m here to help you through this.”

Compassion is what allows an organizing project to move forward without leaving you feeling like you’ve been pushed to move too quickly or in a direction that just isn’t right for you. Organizing without compassion is unproductive and can even be traumatic. 

If you’re not sure you’ve found a non-judgmental, compassionate organizing buddy, keep looking. 

Organizing Know-How – For Someone Else

When choosing your organizing buddy, you may be tempted to simply look for the most organized person you know and ask them for help. But this approach has its downfalls.

Unfortunately, disorganized situations can be surprisingly overwhelming for organized people. Adjusting to someone else’s chaos can be extremely tough, especially if you’re used to being in your own organized structure.

In addition, the more organized someone is, the more likely they will have developed their own organizing methods and patterns. While this may sound like a good thing, their way may not work for you – and they may not want to hear that, especially if they take pride in their approach.

Instead, you want an organizing buddy who understands organization AND who knows what it takes to teach someone else to be organized

These are two different skill sets… and when it comes to your organizing buddy, it’s the teaching component that really counts. 

So… who will your organizing buddy be? Do you have someone who is non-judgemental, compassionate, and knowledgeable enough to help you clear the clutter and learn to live organized? If not, we’re here for you. There’s no shame in calling in the professionals!

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