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?