Hiring a professional organizer to help you get your life, or just your house, in order can be daunting. For instance, I live in Nashville, where there are dozens of gifted professional organizers. Here are just a few questions you may want to ask before you hire someone:
1. You may want to ask if your organizer has any affiliation with other organizations related to organization and/or has had any kind of training.
There are several organizations specifically related to organizing (NAPO and ICD being the biggest and most well-known) and because anyone can call themselves a professional organizer, it’s important to know their level of expertise.
I’ve taken classes through NAPO and became a Certified Professional Organizer® because I want to get to the highest level that I can as an organizer. Also, I realize that other professionals trust those who are certified because they know that certification isn’t a walk in the park.
The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) says this about being a CPO®:
“CPOs embody a professional ideal that includes a proven level of knowledge, an ethical approach, and requisite experience. Professional organizers who have successfully completed the steps of becoming a CPO® have shown they are committed and serious about their work. By maintaining CPO® status, they are demonstrating a strong commitment to ethics and education.”
2. You may want to ask your organizer’s style.
I have worked with five or six other organizers over the years and it’s always fun but there are definite differences. I think people would describe my style as quite laid-back and others are way more business-like. I don’t know that there is a “right” or “wrong” in this. It just depends what speaks to you and what you are looking for. It’s not you…it’s me, right?
3. You want to ask about pricing, policies, and any other pertinent questions you can think of so there are no surprises.
Organizers are different than almost any other occupation I can think of. I guess the closest relative would be a house cleaner. Someone who cleans your house might see everything but the difference is that we see it all and DISCUSS it!
While this has led to a few embarrassing moments for clients… “Oh, I didn’t remember my _______ were in that drawer!” you have to feel comfortable with your organizer or it’s going to be a long day. I make a point of asking clients to put firearms away somewhere safe before I come over as well as anything else they don’t want me to come across while we are working.
I do a free 30-minute “meet and greet” so we can talk in your space and you can get an idea of who I am and how I work. If the person you are thinking of hiring charges for this initial consultation, that’s fine, but see if you can talk on the phone first so you can ask some good questions about their policies, etc.
I try to be an open book and you can find out a TON about me through my website. My pricing, policies and client agreement are clearly spelled out so there are no surprises and no confusion. This is for my benefit as well as yours. We all want win-win scenarios!