Do I really need to work with a professional organizer? It's not like I'm a hoarder. Actually, virtual organizing isn't for hoarders who need more support than I can offer. (And since I grew up in a home with hoarder-parents, I'd likely have flashbacks and hyperventilate during the entire session.) Virtual organizing is perfect for the DIYer who is ready to do the work of decluttering and organizing their home but wants some guidance and the chance to ask questions and get the personalize answers they can't get from books and articles.
How much time will it take me to declutter or downsize? Every situation is different; every project around your home will move at a different pace. How much stuff do you have? (Remember, a lot of stuff can be stored inside boxes, bins, drawers, cabinets, and closets.) How quickly can you make decisions about items? Unless you have a tight deadline, you can work at the pace that gets things done without adding stress to your life.
Also, are you willing and able to declutter between virtual organizing sessions? While I can offer guidance, virtual organizing is a DIY process.
Should I just buy tools or systems to organize what I own? Organized clutter is still clutter. Why spend money storing things that aren't useful or important to you? I do appreciate a well-labeled clear plastic box sitting on a shelf; however, if you don't use the items you've stored, you've wasted both time and money organizing those items. And, because they look so neat, those items may linger, unused, for years, while taking space away from the things you do use and like. Declutter first. Use organizing tools and systems that help you better use the things you own as opposed to storing things just in case you want it someday.
Can I declutter my spouse's/child's/parent's stuff and space without their participation? Unless the person is deceased or mentally incapacitated and unable to to make decisions, no. And, in those cases, are there other people who want to be or expect to be part of any decluttering or downsizing efforts? Although you may want to work through someone else's "junk," you should always focus on your own belongings and things within your realm of concern (say, you're the only one who cooks in your house, you can make decisions about kitchen stuff).
If you're trying to help a parent downsize or to go through cleaning a parent's home after they've died, I highly recommend organizer Peter Walsh's book, Letting Go. (This is an affiliate link.)
Are you going to tell me to get rid of everything I own? No. I want you to consider your goals for your life and your home. Then, you'll look at the things that you own and question whether those items help you meet those goals. You want things that you use and that you love and that don’t distract you from your goal for your life. (Holding onto those skis just in case you go skiing someday in the future? Is skiing more often a goal for your life?) What about my privacy? You deserve respect and confidentiality. I follow the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals' Code of Ethics. And a benefit to working with me virtually is that you control what I can see. If you don't want me looking at your stuff at all, you can work with me through the Decluttering Q&A Email Package and become my decluttering pen pal!