How to hire a professional organizer?
What brought you to this question?
You have gotten away with an out-of-place pile of paper, a computer that needs recycling, or have some clothing in a closet that doesn’t quite fit anymore. Then, there is more junk mail arriving, new electronics being purchased, and the inflow of stuff into your home that does not stop. You have chosen to close the office door, keep the closet unused, moved all of the bags into the basement or garage and vow to take care of the clutter soon.
Or you have moved and are tired of looking at all the unpacked boxes, thinking I will have time tomorrow. Meanwhile, remembering all of the scenarios above, and dreading that you have moved so much you didn’t need.
You are stuck, and feeling more overwhelmed, without a real solution in sight. You’ve forgotten what it feels like to feel good about your home, your business or your life. If that sounds familiar, you should hire a professional organizer.
Professional Organizers come in all shapes, sizes and specialties. I love attending my yearly NAPO Conference and meeting professional organizers from all over the world, servicing clients in a lot of different ways. Some organizers are Certified Professional Organizers, and others just work a few hours a day to supplement their family income. Some have very specific niches while others are general professional organizer. It will take time to find the right fit, but Google has made the research alto easier.
Where to begin?
I would recommend hiring a professional organizer that belongs to one of these organizations. There are several large governing bodies for professional organizers. There is the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). There are other associations professional organizers belong to like National Association of Senior Move Manager (NASMM) and Association of Personal Photo Organizers (AAPO) depending on their specialties. Belonging to a professional organization will demonstrate that your professional organizer is committed to professional development, ethics, and their business.
Why should I care about Certification?
Some of us are Certified Professional Organizers (CPO ®) and some of us are Certified Professional Organizers in Chronic Disorganization (CPO-CD ®). What that means in a nut-shell is that we have a lot of experience! To become a CPO an organizer has to have been in business or organizing for at least 3 years, and have provided at least 1700 hours of services to clients. To become a CPO-CD ® an organizer must have gone through a 2 year structured program, guided by a mentor organizer. You must have been organizing for a least 3 years and have a client load to support monthly client challenges coaching calls.
How much should I pay?
Most professional organizers charge by the hour. However, some will include a lot of valued added services, which might make sense for a higher hourly rate. In your research you should ask what is included in their hourly rate. A few important item to know, travel time, shopping time, and recycling unwanted items time. Do they provide for a way to discard your unwanted items or are you left to deal with the items yourself? You are a busy person, you should consider whether the added services pay for any the added cost.
What should you ask?
Make sure you to bring a good list of questions to the phone call. An experienced Certified Professional Organizer will ask powerful questions about you, your project, and your goals. If they spend the whole time telling you how amazing they are, they might not ever stop to listen to you and your goals.