I want to start by saying that I have the utmost respect for those in the home cleaning business, and I firmly believe their job and that of an organizer go hand in hand.
However, it is not unusual for people to comment that Professional Organizers are glorified Cleaning Ladies; therefore, I would like to point out five differences between these two service providers.
Difference #1 - The Method
A maid cleans your home using cleaning tools and products with the goal of removing the dust, grime, and dirt from the space. They scrub, shine, and sanitize surfaces throughout.
An organizer organizes your home and your things. They remove clutter, go through and sort your belongings, and guide you in determining what to keep or get rid of. Then they plan and implement systems to keep your spaces organized going forward.
Difference #2 - The End Result
A maid leaves a visible mark on your home every time she comes. As soon as you walk into your space, you can immediately see that the surfaces are clean and the floor is sparkling.
However, an organizer commonly works on all the "hidden" spaces, including cabinets, drawers, and closets.; the areas you don't immediately see when you walk in. They also seldom finish a space in one day.
Difference #3 - The Clutter Handling
A maid can, and often will, pick up and put away the clutter left out and about in your home. However, it is not unusual for people to "pick up" their home before the maid is scheduled to come.
On the other hand, an organizer assesses the clutter and finds proper homes for the items, implementing new systems as needed. Organizers will also tell you to please not pick up your clutter before they arrive so they can get an accurate picture of any potential issues.
Difference #4 - The Client Involvement
Maids do their job with little or no input from you. Often, you might not even be home while the cleaning occurs.
An organizer usually works alongside you, especially during the first phase of an organizing project. They will aid you in decluttering and going through your belongings and coach you through what can often be a trying and emotionally difficult process.
Difference #5 - The Scope of the Project
It usually takes several hours to complete a whole-home cleaning, depending on the size of the home and the level of detail. Maids are often scheduled to come back weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
A whole-home organizing project takes days, if not weeks, to complete as the process tends to be very in-depth and often emotionally draining as well. Furthermore, it is usually only done one time with potential quarterly or bi-annual maintenance sessions scheduled to address high-traffic areas down the line.