How to Hire A Professional Organizer
(tips from the National Association of Professional Organizers)
If the tips on www.straighten-up-now.com are more than you can handle on your own and you feel you need to hire a professional to assist you, these tips from NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) will help.
Finding and hiring a professional organizer is the same as hiring any other service professional. Not every professional organizer is right for every client. Many things come into play: expertise, skill set, personality, your goals, etc. Here are some things to consider:
- What type of services are you looking for? Some professional organizers offer a wide range of services; others have a specialized niche -- corporate, residential, ADD/ADHD, custom filing, senior help, etc.
- Where should I begin my search for a professional organizer? There are many places to begin your search. There are many directories for you locate a professional organizer in your area. The Directory on www.straighten-up-now.com is a good place to begin. NAPO also has a directory of professional organizers.
- How to you interview a professional organizer to decide who is right for you? Talk to several different professional organizers, preferably in person or on the phone. However, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. is also available for you to use. Good communication is best in person for you to get the right “feel.” Make sure they offer a free consultation before you meet in person to avoid any surprise “fees.”
- What fees should I expect to pay? As with all other professions, fees vary widely based on experience, geographic location, competition, specialty, etc. Some charge by the hour while others prefer a value-based pricing profile and charge by the project. Others will offer various other options. You will need to establish a budget and decide what is best for you. Don’t make a decision based solely on “price” – focus on value and finding someone with a skill set that matches your needs.
- What questions should I ask? Find out if they are a member of NAPO. While NAPO membership doesn’t guarantee the quality of work, it does demonstrate a commitment to education and industry code of ethics. There are also other professional organization organizers such as POC (Canada), NSGCD (National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization) and AAPO (Australiasian). Your relationship with your professional organizer is personal. They should ask a lot of questions about you, the issues you have, what you may have attempted to become more organized in the past, etc. They should take time to get to know you and your wants, needs, desires and budget.
Questions you should ask are:
a. What kinds of organizing projects do you do?
b. Who is your typical/usual client?
c. What services to you specialize in?
d. Do you have an training or hold any certification in organizing related to specific areas (chronic disorganization, coaching, interior design, etc.)?
e. Can you describe your organizing process/approach and a typical working session?
f. How long have you been in the organizing business?
g. Will I work directly with you or will you assign an employee and/or subcontractor?
h. What is your fee structure?
i. Do you work with a written contract?
j. What is your cancellation policy?
k. Can you provide references?
l. I have tried to become organized before. How will this be different?
Keep in mind that your choice of a professional organizer is not irreversible. A good professional organizer should be non-judgmental, encouraging and supportive, good listeners, good problem solvers and recommend/offer a variety of suggestions/alternatives for your particular situation. Always be sure to let him or her know exactly (but politely) how you feel about the relationship and the work being performed.
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