How To Hire A Professional Organizer
You have decided to make it happen after many years of unrealized New Year’s resolutions and failed attempts to get organized. You have chosen to hire a Professional Organizer! Well, you will be amazed at how working with an Organizer can transform your home, time, and perspective in life.
What Kind Of Organizing Services Do You Need?
Some Organizers offer a wide range of services, while others work in a specialized niche. For example, some Organizers work with corporations rather than residential clients. Others specialize in specific areas such as home offices or closets. Finally, some Organizers specialize in working with clients with brain-based conditions, including the chronically disorganized and individuals with ADD.
Where Should You Begin Your Search?
- Use NAPO’s Professional Organizer Directory to search for a professional organizer by type of service, distance from your location, or both.
- You can google Professional Organizers in ______ (your area).
- Use resources such as FindMyOrganizer.com, for example.
How Do You Decide Who Is Right For You?
It would help to speak to several Organizers before choosing the one for you. If you prefer to meet in person before deciding, note that some Organizers offer free consultations. In contrast, others charge for the talk and credit that fee toward services if hired. Yet others charge separately for assessments and services.
As with most professions, fees vary widely based on experience, geographic location, and competition. For example, many Organizers charge by the hour, while others charge by the project. Therefore, establishing a budget and deciding what feels most comfortable would be the first thing to do.
Avoid choosing an Organizer strictly by price. Instead, focus on value by finding a professional with a personality you click with and whose skill set matches your needs. That person will probably deliver the results you expect in the shortest time.
What Questions Should You Ask When Hiring A Professional Organizer?
One of the first questions is whether the Organizer is a National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) member. Membership in NAPO demonstrates that the Organizer is committed to continuing education and an industry code of ethics.
Other professional associations directly related to the organizing industry include Professional Organizers in Canada (POC), the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), and the Australasian Association of Professional Organizers (AAPO).
An experienced Organizer will ask many questions about you, your work style, what you are looking for, and the issues you believe have thwarted your best attempts to get organized in the past. In addition, they want to get to know you, understand your objectives, and determine whether they will be a good fit for you.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to be as candid and straightforward as possible about what you want to achieve.
So here are some suggestions of questions to ask a potential Organizer:
- What kinds of organizing projects do you do?
- Who is your typical/usual client?
- What services do you offer?
- Do you have any training or certifications in organizing or related areas?
- Can you describe your organizing process or describe a typical working session?
- How long have you been in the organizing business?
- What is your fee structure?
- Do you work with a written contract?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- I have tried to get organized before. How will this be different?
What To Expect From An Organizer
Professional organizers should be nonjudgmental, encouraging, and supportive. They should be good listeners and recommend various suggestions, alternatives, and solutions to create the system that will work best for you.
If you start working with a Professional Organizer and, along the way, decide that you are not comfortable with their style, you are rarely under obligation to continue the relationship. Be sure to let the Organizer know how you feel. More than likely, they will be happy to recommend a colleague.
A Professional Organizer strives to increase the organization of your space and its functionality so you can do more with your time and live a happier, better life. This person is skilled at creating systems that work for you. But for this to happen, the Organizer needs to learn about your preferences, habits, and style.
The Deep Dive
The Organizer will invite you to have a deeper conversation about why you want this project done. Why is this space the way it is today? What circumstances brought the area(s) to its current state? Are those circumstances still present, or will they return? What are you doing to ensure those situations or circumstances won’t return?
You might need to address these aspects to ensure the organized areas don’t return to their previous state sooner than you imagine. Ideally, during the process, the root causes of the problems in the space are analyzed and corrected during the organizing process.
What if you aren’t ready to talk about the real cause of your disorganization? This can be hard to face. The long-term results of your project will be different than you hoped for, and expectations should be adjusted.
There’s Always An Option
Organizing takes strategy, planning, thought, skills, and time. An experienced and accomplished Professional Organizer will seek a lasting transformation of the space and the client’s life. And there are many scenarios in which an organizing professional can help you. To name just a few:
- Maintaining the space once it’s done (recurrent service)
- Bringing order to the home when your attention and time need to be elsewhere due to circumstances out of the ordinary
- Moving out of your home and setting up a new one
- Organizing the home before or after a renovation project
- A Professional Organizer provides a specialized service to improve your home’s order, functionality, and style.
If you’d like to experience working with a Professional Organizer, let’s chat and see if that’s something you can benefit from.