The professional organizing industry is having its moment in the limelight. Certain companies are getting notoriety on Netflix, YouTube, and HGTV. Because of this, more and more people are warming up to the idea to hire a professional organizer. They realize they need help in getting their lives and homes in order.
But as people learn about professional organizing from television, it creates some misunderstandings. Let’s be honest: television doesn’t always showcase the most accurate depiction of professions. Ask a writer friend and they’ll tell you Carrie Bradshaw would never be able to survive living in the city on her one column a week paycheck.
People hire professionals all the time. Plumbers, electricians, contractors. You don’t hire the first one on your Google search.
You do a little research.
You ask friends and family for recommendations.
The process should be no different when you want to hire a professional organizer.
Ask yourself — Does your home benefit from getting professionally organized?
Our homes are reflections of ourselves and sometimes our lives get messy. We leave a few extra dishes in the sink. We forget to put the laundry away after folding. If your home is a little unorganized because you didn’t have time that week to get it in order, there’s no need for you to hire a professional organizer.
It’s important to note that not every organizer works the same. What you see on Netflix won’t be what you get in real life. Every organizer uses individualized systems. Yes, some may be similar, but like fingerprints, they’ll all be different.
Some organizers are just “good at it” and decided to open up a shop. Others study and train in specialized areas for years so they can work with a target market. This can include hoarders, clients with ADHD, as well as empty-nesters who are looking to downsize.
Other types of specialized organizing include:
Move management services
Digital decluttering & organizing
It’s important to know exactly what type of organizing help you want before hiring the first person on your Google search.
All organizers and organizing companies are different. This is why you really need to determine if your home will benefit from one. Don’t have a knee-jerk reaction after watching one of these shows. If you do, you’ll hire the wrong organizer and you’ll spend money on a service that doesn’t benefit you in the long term.
Tips to follow when looking to hire a professional organizer
You’ve thought about it.
You realize you can benefit from hiring a professional organizer.
You’re still a ways away from getting someone into your home though — now you need to find the right organizer.
Many people find their organizers online through websites like Thumbtack or LinkedIn. But these listings often portray a message that organizers simply show up and work their magic without much preliminary conversation. You can’t just show them a picture of your house and say, “Work your magic!”
In some cases, organizers can solve problems and work our magic in a triage-like way. But just like you wouldn’t go to the ER for an ingrown toenail, you probably don’t need someone today to organize your entire home. It’s painful but not life-threatening.
This is where certain tips can come in handy. When you’re looking to hire a professional organizer, here are some things you should do:
#1 — Be candid
Most organizers will offer a consultation call first. This can range from 15 to 45 minutes. It’s our chance to hear your challenges and make the call on whether our company is the perfect fit for you.
During this conversation, be candid about what you want. Don’t sugarcoat or think the organizer can read your mind. Have a list of problem areas or things you want to improve. If you miss one small detail, that’s fine, but come onto the call with as much information as possible.
The more open and honest you are about your needs, the better the organizer can determine their plan of attack. This is a no-judgment zone. Organizers have heard all sorts of crazy stories. We need to hear all the insane details as this will help us serve you better.
#2 — Research
Before scheduling any consultation calls, make sure you’ve done your research. Scheduling a call with every organizer on the top 10 list of results will only waste your time and the organizer’s time.
When searching for organizers, look at their websites. Check out the organizer’s credentials, their level of education, and any relevant experience. Do they specialize in anything? Do they work in the area you’re looking to get help in? If you’re looking to downsize, don’t hire an organizer who doesn’t work in that area.
#3 — Prepare questions
After you’ve completed your research and you’ve scheduled your call, prepare a list of questions. Websites and social media accounts only showcase the shiny surface of companies. Consultation calls are your time to dig deep and get answers to questions you couldn’t find elsewhere.
Most organizers will use this time to talk about their process and give you a general idea of how it works. But this is also your time to find out if they’re a perfect match. Trust your instincts. If you end the call not feeling confident then the organizer isn’t right for you.
Make sure you are 100% confident when you hang up. The ball is in your court now. This is the moment when you decide if you want to hire that organizer.
#4 — Make a budget
Most organizers have basic rates they’ll list on their website. But they’re often willing to work with a client. During your call, have a budget written down. Share that budget with the organizer. Sometimes the organizer will be unable to work within that means and you’ll get your answer pretty quickly. Other times they’ll need to think about it.
Remember, organizing is a business. It takes time. An organizer needs to determine if your budget is worthy of their expertise and resources. If they say no, don’t take it personally. This is another example of how different organizers are.
#5 — Get feedback from your family
If you live alone, then the decision is entirely up to you. If you live with family, you should get their say on what it means to hire a professional organizer. You might be able to come up with a plan to keep the house in order and you won’t need to spend money on organizing services.
If you’re adamant about bringing in professional help, explain the benefits to your family. Some may not like the idea of a stranger coming in and rearranging their stuff. If you need to, promise them they’ll skip their room. Compromise when you need and trust the process.
By now you should have a pretty clear understanding of what it takes to hire a professional organizer. It’s not as simple as Googling one near you and selecting the first one on the list. There’s a lot that goes into this decision and it’s one you shouldn’t rush.
Dexterous Organizing is here to help busy professionals put the pieces of their life together through organization. We understand how chaotic life can be and that it’s impossible to handle everything at once. We are a team of women ready to help you get things in order. Learn more about us here.
Not sure if we’re a right fit for you? Contact us and tell us a little about yourself. We’re always willing to listen.