FAQ

What is a professional organizer?
Who uses a professional organizer?
What does a professional organizer do?
What is the benefit of hiring a professional organizer?
How does a professional organizer charge for their services?
Is hiring a professional organizer expensive?
How long does organizing take?
I am embarrassed for you to see my home.
Are you going to make me throw things away?
How does a session work?
There are many organizers out there. How do I pick one?
How much will it cost and how long will it take?
Do you have a guarantee?
Do you organize everyone using the same systems? What if that doesn’t work for me?

What is a professional organizer?
An experienced professional who can help you develop customized solutions tailored to your needs. An organizer assists individuals and companies regain control over time, space and paper. When you hire a professional organizer, you can expect complete confidentiality, open discussion about processes and costs, expertise and experience with different organizing needs, creative problem solving, assistance with shopping if needed and referral to other experts if appropriate. A professional organizer is not a cleaning service or an administrative assistant. They can set up systems and introduce organizing products needed to maintain your space going forward.

Who uses a professional organizer?
I work with busy people who are looking to be more efficient and effective in their daily lives. They want more time to spend with people and activities they enjoy. Often these people know they would have more time if they were more organized, but they don’t know where or how to begin. They do know they are tired of feeling stressed, overwhelmed and unproductive.

What does a professional organizer do?
As a professional organizer, I provide expertise and recommendations to teach you new habits and processes to stay organized. My goal is to simplify the tasks you’re doing and implement solutions customized to your family and lifestyle. There is no standardized process – we will find the process that works for you! Together we will work to:

• Address the reasons behind the clutter
• Assess your needs
• Choose the right tools to implement your processes
• Teach you the processes so they become habitual

What is the benefit of hiring a professional organizer?
There are many benefits of hiring a professional organizer. Sometimes, you just need help knowing where to start and how to simplify what you are trying to do. Benefits include:

• Increased productivity and efficiency
• Increased quality personal time
• Restored order and peace of mind
• Time savings due to information being more accessible
• Help from a non-judgmental professional
• Decreased stress

How does a professional organizer charge for their services?
Typically, the organizer and client will discuss the client’s needs over the phone, usually followed up with an assessment meeting where the organizer can meet the client and assess the project in person. Most of the time, the organizer can give an estimate of the time it will take to accomplish the project charging by the hour, but in some cases the organizer may charge a flat fee for the project.

Is hiring a professional organizer expensive?
You determine your budget and you decide how much help you want. You may decide you just need someone to review your situation and offer suggestions and you will do the manual labor yourself. Or, you may want someone to come in and actually DO the work (set up a filing system, reorganize your kitchen cabinets, simplify your office procedures). It depends on what works best for you. Your organizer should be able to provide the level of service you find most helpful and cost effective.

How long does organizing take?
This depends on how challenging your particular situation is. Veteran professional organizer Julie Morgenstern suggests that the average room in a home will take about 1 – 2 days (working 8 hours a day) to complete and that the average one-person office will take 2 – 3 days. However, smaller jobs (like a bathroom) should take less time and some big jobs (like an overstuffed garage) will take more. A key component to working efficiently is your ability to make decisions quickly. For example, how willing are you let go of some things? How emotional will it be for you to go through your things? How much will you be willing to do between sessions? Finally, as a guideline, it generally takes longer to organize papers than it does to organize objects, and again, it may take one person 15 minutes to go through a stack of papers that takes another person several hours.

Remember, getting organized takes time and commitment, but the results are more than worth it.

I am embarrassed for you to see my home.
I have my own areas of weakness, and can empathize with the discomfort of letting another person see those weaknesses. Remember that I do this because I enjoy the challenge of helping someone get organized. I understand how things can get out of control and quickly become overwhelming. I try to visualize how a space will look when we are done or how much easier tasks will be with simplified processes/procedures. Remember that in this business, we are used to seeing cluttered homes and offices. . . .don’t try to organize before the organizer comes! We need to see how things really are so that we can find the right solution for you.

Are you going to make me throw things away?
Not if you don’t want to. If things are important to you and you have the room to keep them, then we simply find a suitable way to store them. It is completely your decision. Please keep in mind that not everything can be equally important and rarely is there suitable space for everything you currently have. When sorting piles of papers, I create a pile of things that you probably don’t need. Then you sort through and make that decision. I do not throw anything away without your permission.

How does a session work?
I work with people at all different levels. Some people just want a consultant to help them create an outline and a plan of how to accomplish their goals.  Some clients who want things organized, but do not want to do any of the work themselves, and they may not even want to be around while the work is being done.  This can work up to a point, but unless the client is involved, it is likely that he/she will have difficulty maintaining what we set up.

Most often, I work one-on-one with clients to teach them the skills they need to get organized and then maintain their desired level of organization. Sessions are usually 3 – 5 hours long, depending on the client’s energy level, and I work with clients to:

• Reduce all forms of clutter
• Rid the area of things that waste time, space and energy
• Create a system that makes every day jobs easier
• Develop effective routines and simplified procedures
• Reduce the amount of time and energy spent on routine tasks

There are many organizers out there. How do I pick one?
You are right. There are many different organizers with a wide range of specialties and rates. The most important goal in selecting an organizer to work with is making sure you feel you can work well together. If you feel a sense of rapport with the person and feel you could work well with him or her, chances are that will be the right organizer for you.

How much will it cost and how long will it take?
Most people want specifics of how much it will cost and how long it will take to accomplish their goals. There are so many factors that these are not easy answers. Some people make quick decisions and others are slower, and clients have different levels of stamina. I will do my best to help you work efficiently and keep the cost of working together contained. In addition, I will outline different ways to achieve your goals so you can determine what works best for you and how much of the work you want to do yourself to save on the cost.

Do you have a guarantee?
Yes. During the initial consultation, if I feel that I am not the right organizer for you, I will recommend another organizer who is more suited to your needs.  Also, if you determine during the initial consultation that I am not the right organizer for you, you may terminate the session and owe nothing.

Do you organize everyone using the same systems? What if that doesn’t work for me?
I believe that everyone’s needs are unique to the individual, and that the organizing approach needs to be tailored to that. Some people have to be able to “see” all of their stuff. Others want to have everything behind closed doors and out of sight. Still others like a hybrid approach, with some things visible but “containerized”. We will discuss your specific needs and create an approach just for you.

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