FAQ: Everything You Want to Know About Hiring a Professional Organizer
The idea of hiring a professional organizer to sort through the details of your life might be a scary thought. Having someone (who may be a stranger) spend time in your personal space and see the clutter – and sometimes chaos – behind closed doors can be nerve-wracking. I completely understand!
As a professional organizer, I’ve seen it all, and I enjoy creating clear and calm spaces you can love. It’s my job to help you sort through the things, sometimes lots of things, that are in your way.
Today, I’m answering some of the most frequently asked questions I get about hiring a professional organizer. If you’ve been toying with the idea, but still have some questions, this post is for you.
Why do I need a professional organizer?
Professional organizers, like myself, are individuals that help you purge and declutter your home or office of unwanted items. We purchase or recommend organizing products and create systems to organize what you keep.
You might need help with organizing projects for any of the following reasons:
You don’t have time to do it yourself.
You don’t want to do it yourself.
You don’t know where or how to start.
You need the accountability of having a designated time to get it done with someone right there with you.
You need someone to give you permission to let go of items you’ve been holding on to.
What can a professional organizer help me with?
I can help you with everything from small tasks to large-scale organizing projects. Whether you want to finally transform the room you’ve never gotten around to organizing, or create new systems for your entire home or office, I’m your girl.
Here are some of the situations a professional organizer can help you with:
Going through 30+ years of “stuff’ in your house and purging, room by room.
Moving into a new home and wanting assistance setting up everything perfectly for a fresh start.
Tackling one or two areas in your home that are unorganized and driving you nuts, but you’re not sure where to start.
Refreshing the office you’ve worked in for years and reorganizing it to be more productive and efficient.
I’m embarrassed by my home. Will you judge me?
I walk into every session with my “organizer goggles on.” I mean it! When I look at your space and the project(s) at hand, I’m not judging its current state. I see the potential and envision the end result. I almost instantly imagine the calm, clutter-free, and organized space I’ll help you transform it into.
There is never any judgment involved in what I do. We all have areas in our lives that could use some improvement or assistance, and my passion is helping people get organized.
Do you work with “hoarders?”
Technically, my answer is no. True “hoarders,” like you see on TV, need more than a professional organizing service. They’re best helped by professionals who specialize in the mental aspects of their hoarding tendencies.
However, the term “hoarder” can be used loosely. I’m happy to provide a complimentary consultation and give you my professional opinion if you’re unsure whether your project would be a good fit for my services.
Can you help me with interior design?
Most professional organizers have an eye for design. It’s a natural extension of what we do because a clutter-free space is very visually pleasing. While interior design isn’t my focus, I’ve helped clients complete a room’s look by selecting storage solutions and decor that aesthetically enhance their space.
Sourcing and purchasing items like bookshelves, baskets and bins, rugs, and other items can be added on at my hourly rate.
Where do you purchase your organization products from?
I purchase most of my organizing products from The Container Store, and I get a trade discount there that I pass along to you. I know the store and shop quickly (saving you money), and I know which of their products work well in different parts of the home. If needed, I’ll also shop at The Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, Office Depot, and Ikea.
What types of people do you work with?
My clients range from busy professionals and families with children of all ages to empty nesters, baby boomers, and seniors. No two clients’ needs are the same. I love meeting new people and figuring out how I can best help them.
How long does an organizing session take?
Every project is different and timing depends on how many rooms we work on, and how “full” each room is. We’ll develop an estimate of how much time your project(s) will take during our in-home consultation.
I typically recommend three-hour sessions, and here’s why: It can be difficult to achieve the results you’re hoping for if we work together for fewer than three hours. However, spending more than three hours on a project can be exhausting and overwhelming if you are new to organizing and purging.
I can go on organizing marathons, but I know that’s not fun for most people! So, three hours is what seems to work best.
Do you clean as part of your service?
Yes and no. I don’t scrub floors and clean toilets, but some cleaning is involved in purging and decluttering. During our session, I’ll wipe down surfaces, sweep the floor, and vacuum (if applicable) to leave you feeling wonderful about your new space.
How far will you travel for clients?
I’ll typically work with clients located within a 30-minute radius of downtown Milwaukee. If your home or office is outside of that range, I’m happy to prorate my hourly rate to work with you. I’ve even traveled to other states! I’m happy to discuss any unique situations you may need help with.
Do I need to be there for my session?
There have been instances where clients didn’t need to be present for their session. It’s my preference, though, that we work together. If you aren’t there, I’ll err on the side of keeping vs. getting rid of. I wouldn’t want to get rid of something valuable!
I don’t want to keep things that you’re willing to part with, though. I’ll never force you to get rid of anything, but I’ll provide a nudge if I think you’re looking for it.
How should I prepare my space?
There isn’t really any preparation you need to do. We’ll have a 15-minute phone consult, followed by your 30-minute in-home consult. Then, we’ll come up with a plan to tackle your space(s).
When I arrive, your house can be in its’ “normal state.” You don’t need to lift a finger until I get there. I just ask that you plan to spend as much time with me as you can during our time together.
Do you get rid of trash, recycling, and donation items?
I do! I’ll fit as much into my SUV as I can. I don’t take large items like sofas, tables, and other furniture, but I can help you coordinate pick-ups for those items.
My partner isn’t on board with hiring a professional organizer. What do I do?
It can take time for people to warm up to the idea of having someone enter your home to help you with organizing. Here are a few things you can talk about with your partner:
There’s a good chance that getting organized will help you save money. Once you sort through your items and purge, you’ll have a clear picture of what you have and what you don’t need to buy more of.
Think of other areas of your life you hire people to help you with. They provide you with a service you either can’t do or don’t want to do yourself. Organizing might be one of those things for you.
Find out why they’re hesitant. Often, a reluctant partner just needs to be heard. Maybe they’re afraid you’re going to make them get rid of all of their possessions. You can reassure them that this isn’t my intention.
Remind them that the in-home consultation is complimentary, and there’s no obligation. I pride myself on the fact that I make most people feel comfortable pretty quickly and can help warm them up to the idea.
Lastly, I have to say, once your partner sees the progress, they’ll likely want to organize more areas in the house – sometimes even their things. It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened!
What’s your favorite kind of project?
I enjoy organizing in general, but my favorite kind of project is a large purge or decluttering project. I love the transformation, how much lighter you’ll feel when I leave, and removing the physical clutter that may be causing mental clutter.
There you have it! I hope I answered any questions you had about hiring a professional organizer and that you’re more comfortable with the idea. And as always, if there is anything else you would like to know, please reach out! Send me an email at email@example.com; I would love to hear from you!