You may be hesitant to begin working with a professional organizer because you just arent' sure where to find someone that will work well with you and do so within your budget. There is a wide range of options available and usually a solution for everyone. To find the best professional for your situation, follow these 5 steps.
1. Search directories for organizers near you. Some good places to start are FindMyOrganizer.com or NAPO.net. NAPO is the National Association of Professional Organizers and will only list members of NAPO in their directory. Not all professional organizers are members, so you will not get a comprehensive list here. FindMyOrganizer.com is a directory that organizers can place a free or paid listing. You can find great options here according to your location or keywords. Find a few in your area that appeal to you and provide the services you are requesting.
2. While you can contact organizers through the directories, they may not get your request if they didn't pay for a listing. So, step 2 is to do research on those organizers you found in the directory that offer the services you want. Most organizers have a website, facebook, instagram, or pinterest page. Look through those to get an idea of the organizer's work. You may find other information that will help you narrow your choices even more.
3. Contact the organizers that you have researched - by email, website, phone, etc. You'll want to have some questions ready to ask. Minimally, you'll want to ask: What are your rates? Do you have experience working with clients with (downsizing, ADD, full house organizing, etc)? What is your availability? Beyond those initial questions, you might also ask how many years have they been in business (you may want to check them out on the Better Business Bureau), and do they have any package pricing or discounts available.
4. If you were satisfied with the organizer's answers in your initial contact, the next step is to setup your first appointment. Many organizers offer a free in-home estimate. You might take advantage of this to get to meet the organizer before you decide to hire them. Usually, this is a short appointment, but you can get an idea if their personality and work style will be a good fit for you. Otherwise, you can schedule a paid consultation or an initial organizing session. The important thing is to not lock yourself into any further sessions with the organizer until you have confirmed they are a good match for you. The organizing process will likely not be successful if you feel uncomfortable with the organizer.
5. The last step is to evaluate your interactions with the organizer during the in-person visit. Did you feel good after the visit? Were you able to ask questions and get good answers? Did the organizer appear and act professional during the visit? If you know you've found a good match, you can go ahead and setup additional organizing sessions according to your needs and your budget.
Most of the time, I would suggest clients follow all 5 steps before hiring me, but sometimes, clients hire me after speaking with me in step 3 - the intial contact. And that's ok, too. The important thing is to be comfortable with the knowledge, experience and workstyle of your organizer so that you can move to a clutter-free, ordered home!
Jennifer Raschig loves to share thoughts on creating restful spaces and presenting your best self every day.