8 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Professional Organizer
How many times have you tried to organize your home and found that you don’t have the time or energy to make it happen? Organizing a closet, office, kitchen or any space in your home requires specialized skills and you can waste time and money trying to tackle the job yourself.
Our society has normalized the idea of hiring a cleaning or landscaping service. However; hiring someone to organize your home has only recently becoming more widely accepted, due to popular HGTV home organizing shows and a plethora of books and magazines on the subject.
So where do you start? Here is a list of questions to ask when you are hiring a Professional Organizer:
What kind of training and experience do you have?
Look for an organizer who is a member of NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals). NAPO organizers are specifically trained and certified in the organizing industry. Find a NAPO professional in your area.
What is your area of expertise?
There are several different types of professional organizers and areas of expertise. Organizing specialties include: residential organizing, closet/storage and design, downsizing, move management, business organizing, time management, digital organizing, photo organizing, ADHD and chronic disorganization. Ask yourself:
Are you looking for someone to help you declutter your space?
Are you looking for a company to help you downsize or move?
Are you looking for help to create organizational systems?
Are you looking to get your files or business organized?
Do you have a website?
Take a look at their organizing projects and see if the organizer’s style and approach is a good fit for you. Their website will often include testimonials from other clients.
How much do you charge?
Organizers may charge an hourly rate, project rate or offer a package rate such as a 10% discount for 20 hours of organizing. Ask if they offer consultations and if they are conducted over the phone or in person. Some organizers offer free consultations.
How long will it take?
Each job and client is different and it can be difficult to give an estimate; however, an experienced organizer should be able to give you a good ballpark figure.
What is your process?
Every organizer works differently. Do they work alone, or do they have a team? Will you work alongside the organizer or will they do the bulk of the work?
What services are included?
Some organizers charge additional fees for shopping, removing trash or taking things to be donated. Make sure you know exactly what you will be responsible for during the project. Note that organizers have access to a large number of resources, such as junk removal companies, donation facilities or helping you get the best price for your collectibles.
Do you have liability insurance?
Most professional organizers have insurance, but it is important to ask this up front. The organizer and their team will be handling your household and personal things and you will want peace of mind if something should break.
Your final and most important assessment should be whether you feel like the organizer will be a good fit for you and your family. The organizer and their team will be spending a good deal of time in your home, so you will want to hire someone you are comfortable with. Take note of whether they are respectful and listen to your needs and goals for the space. They should also be non-judgmental and trustworthy. A good organizer will have excellent communication skills and let you know what to expect and explain how they will help you achieve your goals.
I can’t tell you how many times a client has said that they wished they had hired me years ago. They often express how much they love their new space and how much less stressful their lives have become now that their homes are more organized. If your attempts to organize haven’t yielded results and you find yourself caught in a cycle of one step forward and two steps back, hire a professional organizer. You will be so glad you did!