Hiring a Pro

How to Hire the Right Professional Organizer or Productivity Consultant for Your Needs

Hiring a professional organizer is not so different a concept or process than hiring a personal trainer, career advisor, wardrobe consultant, or other experienced professionals to solve issues that you need long term help with.  

With the help of a professional, you will be amazed at how much your quality of life can improve when your home and work place are organized and running smoothly. 

If you have never worked with a professional organizer before, you may have some questions about the process. Below, we provide suggestions and a list questions for you to consider before making your first call. When you're ready to begin, you can find an organizer to help with your specific goals and challenges on our Find A Pro page. 

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. We have those who work with corporate, small business or residential clients, with specialization in time & office management, photo organizing, closet design, productivity improvement, holistic organizing, and much more. Here in Central Texas, we also have professional organizers specially trained in working with clients who are chronically disorganized or have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD). 

Our member directory will help you find the professional who is right for you.

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)

Of course, NAPO membership does not guarantee the quality of the professional organizer's work, but it does demonstrate a commitment adopted by NAPO Austin organizing and productivity professionals 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).

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

Your relationship with a professional organizer will be a very personal one. An experienced professional organizer will ask many 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.

You should speak to several professional organizers before choosing one to work with. Check our Find A Pro page to search our members, where you can click an individual 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 bundling their typical services into 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.

It's important to avoid choosing a professional organizer strictly by price. Working with an organizing professional can often feel like a very personal and vulnerable relationship. Instead, focus on value by finding an organizer with a personality you click with and a skill set that aligns with your needs. Look at their website to see examples of their work and check out their reviews. That professional you click best with is most likely to deliver the results you expect. Our Find a Professional search page provides contact information to connect you with 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, feng shui, coaching, 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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