With the incredible explosion of organizing TV shows, books, and magazine articles, many people are taking active steps to combat clutter in their homes, offices, and lives. Often, the easiest and most efficient way to get organized is to work with a Professional Organizer – a professional who is dedicated to helping you meet your organizing goals. Choosing the right Professional Organizer is important – this professional will be working with you in your own home or office, and will see things that most other people may not see. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering working with a Professional Organizer:
What is a Professional Organizer, anyway? According to the National Association of Professional Organizers (the industry standard professional association), a Professional Organizer helps people take control of their surroundings, their time, their paper, and their lives by using organizational principles and concepts. This usually includes developing strategies and systems for to meet your organizational challenges, and helping you learn the skills to keep up the systems on your own.
Background and experience make a difference. Professional Organizers come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds and their skills and experience vary widely. It’s important to ask about your organizer’s education and professional experience, as well as whether they have any ongoing professional education related to organizing.
Are they truly a “professional?” See whether they work as an organizer full-time and how long they’ve been in business. Find out how whether their business license is valid and if they have liability insurance. Ask if they are a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, and how frequently they attend chapter meetings. The answers to these questions can give you key information about how dedicated the organizer you’re considering is to the profession of organizing and how serious they are about their business.
Know what services they provide. Organizing often bridges several related professions, such as project management, interior design, carpentry, cabinet design and personal assisting. Ask your organizer if they are qualified to do work in any of the related areas, and if not, if they have a network of professionals that they can refer you to.
Ask for testimonials or references. My clients have found that organizing has made such a difference in their lives that they have been happy to provide testimonials. Ask any organizer that you’re considering if their past clients have provided testimonials or are willing to act as references. Satisfied clients can be a great indicator of the quality of service that an organizer can bring to your projects.
Choosing the right Professional Organizer for you may seem like a complicated process, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow some of the guidelines that I’ve outlined and you’ll be on the right track to finding your partner in the fight against clutter.