Professional Organizer: All Questions Answered
- Who do professional organizers help?
- Can a professional organizer help me?
- Is there a difference between a personal organizer, a home organizer, and a professional organizer?
- How long will it take to organize my home?
- Being embarrassed for your home in front of the professional organizer.
- The process of organizing with a professional organizer.
- How to stay organized when the professional organizer leaves?
Did you know that such a job as a professional organizer even exists? Apparently, it started in 1984 in Los Angeles and became very popular with the appearance of Marie Kondo books and “The Life Laundry” tv show. As for me, as soon as I found out about this profession, I knew what I’m going to do with my life right away.
When I mention what I do for a living, oftentimes I need to explain what it involves as so many people have never heard of professional organizers, or if they did, they don’t understand what is it exactly they do. Do they just throw things away and store the rest in pretty containers? So I thought I am going to answer popular questions that you might have when debating about hiring a professional organizer.
1. Who professional organizers help?
Because of the popular TV shows, you might have an idea that professional organizers only help lazy people and hoarders. You might even want to hire a home organizer, but feel embarrassed and don’t want to be seen as someone who can’t organize your own home, because isn’t organizing something everyone should be capable of doing?
I worked with many clients. Some were disorganized, some very organized, some were maximalists, and others were minimalists. Not one client is the same. Some want to be involved, others don’t, some want to be guided, and others know exactly what they want. None of them are lazy or hoarders.
Just like you could have done your manicure and taxes yourself or worked out on your own at home, you can organize your home or you can hire someone to do it for you. Sometimes you need an objective, experienced opinion to help you move forward.
Professional organizers help people who:
- Feel overwhelmed, stuck, and don’t know where to start
- Have a hard time making decisions
- Need direction and guidance
- Need motivation
- Don’t have the time and energy
- Want to cook more healthy meals but it takes too much time and the kitchen brings anxiety
- Never can find anything at home
- Feel home is always chaotic no matter how often you clean
- Just moved and want to set up their new home in a functional and beautiful manner
- Selling a home and need to declutter
- Moved a few years ago and still didn’t unpack a lot of boxes
- Downsized and there is not enough space for everything
- Need help sorting through things after the death of a family member
- Want to organize their collections
- Business owners who need paper organization and set up a filing system
- Business owners who need their craft room/workroom/studio set up
Professional organizers work not only with disorganized people. Many of our clients are very organized, but if there is a change in life, like a move, divorce, or death, they need help. When you hear the words “professional organizer” you automatically think about a cluttered chaotic home, but it’s often not the case. It’s better to delegate a task to a professional and enjoy all the benefits once the job is done.
2. Can a professional organizer help me?
Yes! Firstly, start with visuals. Instagram is the best place to check home organizers’ work and see similarities of what can be done in your home. Secondly, book an in-home consultation. A professional organizer will come into your home and spend up to 1 hour talking about you, your needs, goals, and vision for your home will give you personalized advice and organizing solutions, encourage you, motivate you, and support you. After the consultation, you will know if this particular professional organizer can help you.
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3. Is there a difference between a personal organizer, a home organizer, and a professional organizer?
No, there is no difference at all. Whoever you choose, professional, personal, or home organizer, they all are the same. Choose based on personal qualities, after all, this person will be in your home going through your things. It is a very personal experience and you should be comfortable.
4. How long will it take for the professional organizer to organize my home?
The time it will take to organize your home depends on the following:
- Size of the space you want to organize
- Amount of stuff you have
- How fast do you make decisions on what to keep and what to donate
Size of the space you want to organize.
To give you a very general idea of the time it takes for the professional organizer to organize a particular space, here is a list of spaces with estimates:
- Closet: 3-24 hours (linen closet might take 3 hours, while huge walk-in 24 hours)
- Kitchen & Pantry: 12-36 hours
- Office (including filling system): 6-24 hours
- Garage/Basement: 6-24 hours
- Bathroom: 2-6 hours
- Playroom: 6-24 hours
- Bedroom: 6-12 hours
- Living room: 6-12 hours
Amount of stuff you have.
If you have a lot of stuff to sort through or don’t have that much, will have a big difference in how long it will take to organize. Any organizing process starts with going through all the belongings and sorting. The more belongings to sort through the more time you will need.
How fast you make decisions on what to keep and what to donate.
For some people it takes half a second to decide if they want to keep something or not, for others, it might be a very hard decision and they will need time to consider. So you see, it all depends.
5. Feeling embarrassed and will a professional organizer judge you?
When I know I am going to have someone over, I will go around the house and tidy up because I want to seem as if I have everything under control in my home and live a good life. To invite someone to your home to actually see the chaos and talk about it, can be embarrassing. But it is a professional organizer’s job to organize, and without your chaos, there would be no demand for us.
When we go to a client we expect it to be messy and cluttered. Nobody’s life is perfect, you may be good at numbers or sports, but I am good at organizing. I assure you we’ve seen it all and we expect it to look really, really bad, otherwise, you wouldn’t call us, would you?
6. The process of organizing with a professional organizer.
Ever wonder how it actually works? What is included in that hourly rate? What to expect and don’t expect from a professional organizer?
Here is a short overview of the process:
1. Initial quote based on pictures you sent us.
2. In-home consultation
– deciding how many hours it will take
– measuring your space
– signing contract
3. Before the first session
– shopping for organizing systems and supplies, based on the measurements taken
– decluttering and sorting
– donations haul away
Step #1: Initial quote based on pictures you sent us.
Head out to our contact page and send us pictures of areas in your home that you want to organize. We’ll give you an approximate estimate of how many sessions it will take to organize your home.
Step #2: In-home consultation.
At the consultation you will meet with the organizer, spend up to an hour walking through your home, discussing everything that bugs you about the space and get ideas on how to improve some areas right away.
The professional organizer will give you an estimate of how many hours it will take and will take measurements. You could be ready to sign a contract, write a check, and schedule for the first session right there or take some time to think over and consult with a spouse.
Step#3: Before the first session
Based on the measurements we took, your budget, and the vision, we’ll go shopping for your home – bins, dividers, baskets, etc. You may need a whole new closet system or some additional furniture pieces, we’ll plan and shop for that too.
By the first session, we will have an agreed plan of what spaces you want to organize, priorities, and the approximate timeframe for each area. Usually, organizing starts with decluttering and sorting. There will probably be some donations that the home organizer will take to a charity on your behalf.
With all the needed supplies it’s time to set up organizing systems in place, find a home for every item, and complete the area. If there is more to be done, we will come back the next day to finish the space.
7. How to stay organized when a professional organizer leaves?
Professional organizers will not simply store your things away nicely. They are on top of all available organizing solutions for any budget and will be able to create a personalized system tailored to your lifestyle.
What does that mean for you? It means that it should take you no more than 5 minutes per room to put things away in the evening.
How does that work? When every item has its designated spot and it is convenient to put away, it is easy and even fun (you feel a sense of accomplishment) to spend a few minutes and tidy up.
- A professional organizer works not only with disorganized people but also if there is a change in life, like a move, divorce, or death.
- Start with an in-home consultation to figure out if a professional organizer can help you.
- How long it will take to organize your space will depend. The professional organizer will be able to give you an estimate after in-home consultation.
- Don’t feel embarrassed. The professional organizer expects it to be really, really bad, otherwise, you wouldn’t call, would you?
- After the professional organizer leaves it will take you no more than 5 minutes per room to tidy up.
Do you have more questions about working with a professional organizer? Leave a comment below or send a private message at firstname.lastname@example.org
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