What’s It Like To Work With You?

Questions About Organizing

Since professional organizing is a relatively new field, many people really don’t know what we do and what happens when you hire us. Not knowing what to expect can be a barrier to trying something, so I thought I’d answer some common questions.

Can I talk to you about my situation without hiring you?

Typically, yes! It is important that you feel comfortable with your professional organizer, so it makes sense to talk, ask questions, and express concerns ahead of time. I don’t charge for the initial “meet and greet.” If you are geographically close, I’ll even come by at no charge. Some organizers will charge a fee for this consultation, but then credit it back to you if you hire them.

Do you tell me how much it will cost?

This is a tough one! After discussing the project, I typically provide a proposal that summarizes what we have discussed and outlines a suggested approach for the project. It is difficult for an organizer to tell you in advance how long a project will take, as individuals make decisions at very different paces. I want my clients to feel good about their decisions, so I don’t rush you. Most of my work is billed hourly, so we can agree on a number of hours to get started. You can always add more later if you like.

Should I clean up before you come?

Definitely not! Organizers actually get energized by seeing the situation as it is, and then working toward a solution. We love the “before” and “after,” so please make sure you home or office is in its natural state when we come. Don’t worry, we are not judging you… we are here to relieve stress, improve the situation and have fun.

What will I need to do when you are here?

The first step in most organizing projects is to eliminate excess. We usually begin with “Review and Sort” sessions, where we pull out, look at, and make decisions about the contents of an area. This may seem stressful, but we are right there with you, and in the end you will most likely find it empowering and freeing! The end of this stage is typically to trash, donate or sell some items, and then to design an efficient system for reloading the contents into your space. If we need to, we will buy supplies as well. Either you can do this on your own, or you can pay me to do this.

Will you pressure me to get rid of stuff?

No, that’s a myth. Making the decisions on what to keep and what to let go is your role in the process. Contrary to popular belief, I often err on the side of “when in doubt, keep it.” I offer a second opinion for when you are wavering, and I also have ideas of how and where to donate or sell items, which makes the process easier.

Can you help me get rid of belongings I don’t want?

I can! Most professional organizers have relationships with local charities, junk haulers, resellers, recycling facilities, etc. Our network is part of what we offer to you.

What if I need help with my time instead of my stuff? How does that work?

Time management consulting and life coaching work a bit differently. Typically I will meet with you for an hour once per week. We can meet at your home, at a local spot over a cup of coffee, or virtually. At each session, we discuss goals, progress, and issues. We also look ahead to the upcoming week so we can problem-solve any conflicts.

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Some people feel that hiring a professional organizer is an admission of weakness or inability. Nothing could be further from the truth! Bringing in a professional to help you perform a task you’ve been dreading, feel ill-equipped to handle, or simply do not enjoy, is both efficient and smart.

What questions do you have about hiring a professional organizer?

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36 thoughts on “What’s It Like To Work With You?”

  1. It’s really nice of you to answer these questions for potential clients. I think it’s really important that people understand how things work before hiring someone to do a certain task. I haven’t tried hiring a pro organizer. In fact, I’m the one always organizing stuff. Hehehe

    1. You don’t really need an organizer, Rea!! Maybe you will switch careers and become of us? But yes, it helps to let people know so they don’t feel awkward…

    1. The BEST part of my job is getting to come alongside people as they “finally” tackle the things that have been driving them crazy. Once you start, if really doesn’t take that long if all of the resources are readily accessible, and it is just the BEST feeling!

    1. Thanks, Nacho! I imagine a lot of people wonder about these questions.. maybe a few answers will make it easier to take the next step in hiring some help!

  2. Great post! I have many of these questions on the FAQ page on my website (great minds think alike!), but I like the one about getting rid of belongings and the resources for charities and junk haulers. I may have to update my page!

  3. Awesome post! And I’m embarrassed I hadn’t liked you on Facebook until I just noticed it today.. Oops! Shame on me.
    My parents hired an organizer before we moved from our childhood home in New Jersey. I loved her! She was so helpful.
    Tamara recently posted…Your Kiss is On My List.My Profile

    1. Oooooh, I love to hear that an organizer has been helpful!!! A move is a divine time to have extra arms, legs and brains… Thanks for the like 🙂

    1. Thanks, Linda. I always try to make that my vibe, both in print and in person. Life’s too short to get caught up in self-recrimination… let’s just get it done and have in the process!

  4. Great answers to the questions we have as professional organizers. It’s helpful for everyone to know what goes on before, during and after our work together. It takes away the anxiety clients have to know what to expect.

  5. I guess my question would be do you do phone coaching or Skype coaching for clutter clients? I keep thinking I should do that because I don’t have a lot of time for the in-person clients since I have a 9 to 5 job. But I tried phone sessions once and it didn’t really work out. The client didn’t really follow through on my suggestions or do the homework we had agreed on, so I got discouraged and kind of gave up on it. Has it been more successful for you?
    Adrian recently posted…My Blogger Meet ‘n GreetMy Profile

    1. I haven’t had a lot of experience, but I do offer virtual organizing and I typically do this via Skype or FaceTime. Follow through is definitely the difficult part, so a very clear session recap with expectations is important. AT the end of the day, if the client won’t do the homework, they are wasting their money, so you can usually get a feel for that after a couple of sessions and have this conversation.

  6. This is great Seana!! This is how I work with clients as well and I really have limited experience working with clients in my own business. Its nice to see that I am on the right track. I love that clients shouldn’t clean before we show up. My clients are cleaning like mad before and when I arrive at their home. I need to update some things on my blog site as well. Thanks
    Kim recently posted…The Walls Came Tumbling Down – Part 1My Profile

    1. Thanks for reading, Kim! I’ve gotten nice feedback from other professionals, and I like to take the “mystery” out of the process. Working with us is easy, right?

      1. Typos always welcome, Janet! I seem to always notice mine after I hit “send.” Very interesting that a client wanted you to make her get rid of things… sorry, I wouldn’t do that either!

  7. This is serious! I had no idea that you were a professional organizer for a living! I thought that you were just good at this and it was something you shared about on your blog. I’m very impressed and excited that you do something that you love so much. You seem like you would be perfect to work with. I like when people work with someone and advise but always leave things up to them and don’t pressure them. I recently worked with a business coach and designer for my new business and she was so exceptional in that area. I really appreciated this aspect of her services.
    Brittnei recently posted…We Are PerfectMy Profile

    1. So great to hear from your, Brittnei, and that is really funny that you didn’t realize this was my profession!! I hate being pressured, but I like being encouraged, so that is what I try to do:)

    2. And I’m trying to comment on your great post about bullying, but I can’t seem to do it…understanding someone’s motives always helps us understand their behavior!

    1. I think you are right… everyone can use an organizer! I hope that someday people start to think of organizers like another tool in the household toolbox… like a cleaner, painter, etc. It is true that not everyone has the space in their budget, though, which is why I try to share a lot through social media to keep people encouraged and enabled!

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