Professionals organizers have one major advantage over you: they know how to get the job done right. Their incentive for getting the job done efficiently is simple: in business, time is money. The less time they spend on any individual job means the more jobs they can book in a day.
But you shouldn’t hire a professional simply because it’s a fast solution. If your budget permits it, you should hire a pro because it’s a smart solution.
Pros are experienced in key areas including space management, clutter control, and photo and memorabilia storage. They may even be able to help you plan a garage sale.
Professional organizers also have a gift for time management that most amateurs lack.
Many request an on-site consultation so they can assess the nature of the work to be done and the extent of the services to be provided. Some charge for this visit, while others offer it for free.
Although fees vary widely based on geographic location, experience and the work that will be provided, hiring a pro can be surprisingly affordable. Most residential organizers charge an hourly fee that may range from $75 to more than $150.
The time and effort they save you, in addition to the expertise they bring to the project, may be well worth the money to you.
Six Tips for Finding An Organizing Expert
Ask neighbors and friends for recommendations. There’s nothing like the perspective of someone who’s “been there and done that.”
Visit www.napo.net. the web site of the National Association of Professional Organizers. The site has referrals to NAPO members who are bound by a code of ethics that includes serving customers with competency, integrity and strict confidentiality.
Do a “background check”. Find out how long the organizer has been in business and whether he/she is a member of any professional association. Ask about past training and continuing education. Ask for references…and really check them!
Find out how much the organizer charges. Some organizers charge by the hour, others by the project, and some use a combination of hourly and fixed fees. If a project is exceptionally large, a professional may ask that you pay them a retainer to contract their services for a defined period of time.
Define the terms and arrangements. Since each job is unique, professional organizers need to ‘customize’ the nature and the scope of the work to fit the needs of an individual client. He/she may handle everything, do some of the set up and let you complete the work, or work with you to complete the job.
Ask what supplies you’ll need to have on hand, such as bins and trash bags for sorting.