Since working with a Professional Organizer is a personal, collaborative relationship, you will get better results if you find an Organizer who is a good match for you. Here are some things to consider:
- There are many different kinds of Organizers and it’s extremely important you find someone in the right field for your needs. Some only work with businesses, while others prefer residential spaces. Some specialize in working with groups such as seniors, kids, clients with ADD or those who are chronically disorganized. Some can advise and train you on technology, others will stage your home for sale.
- Do you feel comfortable working with this person? Do you trust their judgment? Are you OK with them being in your home and digging through your clutter? Will they push you to make tough decisions, without being so controlling that you regret your actions later? Meet with your Organizer, and see how comfortable you feel. Try starting with a very short project, to see if you can build a good working relationship.
- Professional Organizers in the US do not have to be certified (although some are), but membership of a professional association such as the National Association of Professional Organizers or the Institute for Challenging Disorganization is a good sign. This shows you the Organizer is committed to continuing education and is keeping current with developments in the field. In addition, these groups have a published code of ethics.
- What hours is the Organizer available? Is this their full-time job?
- Are services charged by the hour, or by the project? Who is responsible for buying supplies or products that might be needed?
- Have you been shown a contract, or terms and conditions? At a minimum, you should be clear on fees and a cancellation policy before you begin.
- Does the Organizer carry any type of insurance? Depending on the project, you may be sorting and moving valuable items.
The English Organizer specializes in living spaces for residential clients and offices for image-conscious small businesses. I am a member of NAPO together with the local chapter, NAPO-SFBA. As a full-time Professional Organizer, I’m available in the daytime as well as some evenings and weekends. Services are charged by the hour and I invite you to view my working agreement.