How to Hire a Professional Organizer

If you have never hired a professional organizer before, you may have some questions about the process. There are similarities to hiring personal trainers, career advisers, wardrobe consultants, or other experienced professionals to solve issues that you need help with.  Why not seek professional help in getting organized?  You will be amazed at how much your quality of life can improve when your home and work place are organized and running smoothly. 

Did you know that there are lots of different types of organizing specialties? You can find an organizer to help with your specific goals and challenges on our Find A Pro page. 

The "right choice" for you will be a professional organizer who has the expertise, skill set, and personality that best suits you and your goals. Consider the questions below before making the first call.  

What kind of professional organizing services are you looking for?

Some professional organizers offer a wide range of services, while others specialize in certain types of organizing. Here in Central Texas, we have organizers who specialize in corporate, small business, or residential clients with time management, office management, photo organizing, closet design, productivity improvement, holistic organizing, and more. We also have professional organizers who specialize in working with clients who are chronically disorganized or have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD). 

Please see our member directory on the Find A Pro page to find the professional organizer who is right for you. Some of our members list the geographical areas they service as well as their specialties.

What questions should you ask?

One of the first questions you should ask is whether the organizer is a member of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO). See our Find A Pro page for NAPO Austin member organizers in the Central Texas area. Of course, NAPO membership does not guarantee the quality of the professional organizer's work, but it does demonstrate a commitment to continuing education and an industry Code Of Ethics 

Other professional associations directly related to the organizing industry include Professional Organizers in Canada (POC), the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), and the Australasian Association of Professional Organizers (AAPO).

Your relationship with a professional organizer will be a very personal one. An experienced professional organizer will ask a lot of questions about you, your work style, what you are looking for, and the issues you believe have thwarted your best attempts to get organized in the past. The organizer will want to get to know you, understand your objectives, and determine whether they will be a good fit for you.  It is in your best interest to be as candid and clear as possible about what you want to achieve.

How do you interview professional organizers to decide who is right for you?

You should speak to several professional organizers before choosing one to work with. Check our Find A Pro page to see your choices, and click on individual names for their contact information.  

Some organizers do consultations by telephone, in person, or through email. If you prefer to meet in person before making a decision, note that many organizers charge for the consultation and others charge separate fees for assessments and services.

What fees should you expect to pay?

As with most professions, fees vary widely based on experience, geographic location, and services offered. Professional organizers charge in a variety of ways; for example, by the hour, by the project, or using packages, just to name a few. Some will give you options. You will need to establish a budget and decide what feels most comfortable to you.

Avoid choosing a professional organizer strictly by price. Instead, focus on value by finding an organizer with a personality you click with and a skill set that matches your needs. That person is most likely to deliver the results you expect. Our Find A Pro page provides contact information for NAPO Austin members.

Suggested Questions to Ask a Potential Professional Organizer

  • What kinds of organizing projects do you do?
  • Who is your typical/usual client?
  • What services do you specialize in?
  • Do you have any training or hold any certifications in organizing or related areas (chronic disorganization, coaching, feng shui, interior design, etc.)?
  • Can you describe your organizing process/approach (consulting, coaching, hands-on, team organizing, seminars/workshops, etc.) and describe a typical working session?
  • How long have you been in the organizing business?
  • Will I work directly with you, or will you assign an employee and/or subcontractor?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • Do you work with a written contract?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Can you provide references?
  • I have tried to get organized before. How will this be different?

The characteristics of a good professional organizer include being nonjudgmental, encouraging, and supportive. They are good listeners and will recommend a variety of suggestions, alternatives, and solutions to create the system that will work best for you.

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