Modern society rapidly changes, and turns into something new. To survive and make it here, we are asked to be more efficient in our limited time and space. To increase efficiency of work, we should make the most of what we are given---especially time and space---yet it is not as easy a task as we might want to believe.
How about your own room or your own desk? If you are not the exception, more often than not, the secret lies in organizing. If you visit a book store, you can easily find bestsellers through different types of organizing and you will see the importance of organizing. Following the social trend, there is a man who has already explored the once-unfamiliar territory of organizing consulting. Seon-hyun Yoon is the CEO of VeryGood organizing consulting company and he is the author of 15 Minutes a Day, the Power of Organizing. It’s time to listen to his life and experiences.
1. I’m afraid a professional organizer is quite a new job to many people. Would you please explain your job and tell us what caused you to start it?
I think ‘work’ means doing our own activities while managing our time. Everybody is given a certain amount of resources---time, money, people, stuff, and space---but most people can’t control these resources wisely. Teaching people how to control the resources is the professional organizer’s job. We give them advice, organize and let them learn the effective ways of managing time and space. A professional organizer is the expert in terms of producing the best result for those who need help. We help newlywed housewives become better at their chores, and company workers obtain successful results. To sum up, professional organizers lay out certain orders that are necessary for every walk of life.
2. How did you launch the business?
I started as a one man business in May 2010. When I first introduced the idea of organizing consulting, many people found it fresh and interesting. Even as a child I had a dream to earn a lot of money through my business, but I needed money and a business partner to launch my business. I had to get a job first but life in a company was very different from my expectations as I had to do tasks that seemed so unnecessary to me. There were lots of difficulties but the hardest one was having not enough time to finish all the tasks. I thought of the reasons why I didn’t have enough time and I realized it was caused by a lack of experience and knowledge.
In order to solve the problem, I read many books but it didn’t give me the key to the imminent problem. Company work that I chose to prepare for my future ended up giving me stresses without providing funds or a partner as I had intended. Finally, I concluded that I couldn’t reasonably control and manage my resources, and I learned that I had to fully utilize my given time and money, plus I needed to meet people who could help me out. Then I realized about the need to be organized and came up with this job.
3. I believe you must have struggled in the beginning due to the low awareness of your job. What was the biggest obstacle?
At first, it was difficult to introduce my job to people. For the first 18 months, I was busy spreading information about my job, and I’ve constantly used SNS and blogs in order to let people learn about this new and strange job. My exposure to the media was really helpful. They contacted me after they discovered my SNS and blog, and I think I was really lucky. Since then my business has started to work out, and my book 15 Minutes a Day, the Power of Organizing also started to gain popularity since last year. I guess all the time and effort that I invested in the past seems to show now.
4. I’m also one of those who are not good at organizing time and space. Could you please give me some tips on what I should be focusing on when I’m organizing?
In the case of space organizing, what is important is knowing what you have and how to use them. I have a firm standard on which to keep and which to throw away. First, I sweep the things away which have not been used for a long time or which wouldn’t be needed in the future. For example, I throw away old cosmetics and food in the refrigerator. There’s no item that can be stored for over 6 months and still be fresh, including food. Yet there could be some conflicts between clients in the case of items that have no expiration dates such as books and clothes. When that happens, I persuade them to use those items in better ways or to change the place to store them. When useless materials take up unnecessary space, it influences the whole atmosphere. For example, books covered with dust could affect people’s health, so they needed to be re-organized.
4-1. In addition, what are your tips to clean up well?
The most important thing is to know what you need. First, check what, and how much stuff you have. Then consider what the results you get from using that stuff is. If the results are bad, that means you are not using them properly. To make good results, it is important to change the way of using items and the position of your items. Also, meeting good people is important but sometimes you need a drastic organizing of personal connections to achieve your goals. In one sentence, to accomplish your goals, you need a new arrangement of the items and friends around you.
5. I think that this job attracts a lot of people’s attention because it is unfamiliar. What is the qualification and process to become a professional organizer at your company?
Yes, I have an interesting job and many people contact me for that from middle school students to the elderly. However, I feel unsatisfied because more often than not their passion for the job just ends up being a mild interest. Still there are many inquiries about the occupation, and I made a program about it and encourage people to participate. Every one of our company’s organizers has finished its curriculum, and those who want to be one should finish our curriculum as well. Then they can apply for our company, have an interview and should be given on-the-job training for 10 times. After the training, if the applicants pass the company’s test, then they finally become a member of our company. Through the experience of three years since launching the business, I have learned that people who have an interest in this job have a stronger passion and they could provide a better, quality service.
6. The notion of organizing personal connections is interesting, as we all meet many people through our work and social lives. Yet, what does it mean to organize personal connections exactly? Is it good to create broad human networks, so to speak?
Actually, personal connections make us stressed, and waste our lives. Whether most of us feel happy or not, depends on those relationships between people. I have a standard to evaluate my personal connections, which is to consider if the relationship with that person makes me happy or not and if relationships around that person and me can go on or not. I say that the core of organizing personal connections is ‘connect, cut, and maintain’. The reason that you should organize your relationship among people is for yourself. We couldn’t be happier than if we can connect and maintain the relationships with people who have strong passion for their work which is also necessary for us. One word of advice on meeting people though, it is important to meet necessary people, not many people. Also, you need determination to cut the relationship between people who are not helpful. Meeting many people and cultivating your own judgment could be another solution.
7. I wonder what your dream to achieve is and how you are planning to promote your job in the future. < Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
Though now people acknowledge that my company is the first and the best organizing consulting company, it is my goal to build a bigger company than now. Currently we consult on home organizing but in the future, I want to consult on bigger scales---corporations, businesses, cafés, so on and so forth. After expanding the company, I want to create a professional consulting group and dispatch them to various locations so that more people can get help. As companies influence various areas of our society, expanding the consulting market is another goal. I am trying to publish a book every year to endorse our company, and I’m writing my second book, which is about personal connections. I hope the second book receives many people’s attention, and I want to make diverse consulting campaigns. I want to make issues about organizing through many campaigns.
Seon-hyun Yoon has a firm philosophy about organizing and effective organizing strategy. He has strong self-esteem towards his job, which qualifies him to be called the No. 1 organizing consultant. During the interview, he emphasized the ways to manage resources properly. If efficiency of your work and study do not increase, or you cannot achieve your goal despite your effort, please try to find the reasons right around you. Check your surroundings and circumstances, such as your room. Is it organized well? Do you use your time wisely? We should clean up unnecessary things, organize things the right way and the right time. According to a psychoanalyst, cleaning up your room can change a lot as it organizes your memories and emotions as well, so you can focus on your work. As such, organizing can influence not only your work but also your psychology. Nobody is a natural born organizer, but we can make it step by step through small habit changes. I hope Gachon University students achieve their goals by honing and practicing, and organizing becomes a habit.