How To Hire A Professional Organizer
After many years of unrealized New Year’s resolutions and failed attempts to get organized on your own, you have decided to make it happen. You have chosen to hire a Professional Organizer! Well, you will be amazed about how working with an Organizer can transform even your perspective in life.
What Kind Of Organizing Services Do You Need?
Some Organizers offer a wide range of services, while others work 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, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor.com
How Do You Decide Who Is Right For You?
It would help to speak to several Organizers before choosing the one to with you. If you prefer to meet in person before making a decision, note that some Organizers offer free consultations, while others charge for the consultation 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 Professional Organizers charge by the hour, while others charge by the project. Therefore, it would probably be best to establish a budget first and decide what feels most comfortable.
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 is most likely to deliver the results you expect in the shortest amount of time.
What Questions Should You Ask?
One of the first questions is whether the Organizer is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). Membership to 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 hold any 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 come back?
Failing to address these aspects might result in the organized areas returning to their previous state sooner than you imagine. Ideally, the root causes of the problems in the space are analyzed and corrected during the organizing process.
You might not be ready to engage in that conversation yet. It can be a difficult conversation to have. You might not want to discover or discuss the cause(s) behind the disorganization bothering you. If this is the case, expectations need adjustment. The long-term results of your project might be different from what you desire.
There’s Always An Option
However, you can always engage the Organizer’s help in maintaining the space to avoid reversing the progress made; a good option until you feel ready to tackle the root cause of the problem head-on. And when that time comes, your Organizer will be there to hold your hand.
When your project is due to a lack of time or availability on your part to maintain an organized space, or if you need an Organizer to help you move, or after a renovation project, for example, this professional can help you all the same. In this case, expect the Organizer to provide a specialized service to improve your space’s order, functionality, and aesthetics.
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.