Article Summary:Guidelines to assist those hiring a Professional Organizer.
As a Professional Organizer, I receive calls daily from people seeking to improve their lives by becoming more organized. Hats off to them for recognizing that they need help, and want to better their lifestyle. Organizers can play a vital role in assisting those seeking order in their daily routines, and not just by showing them how to save money and time. That's just scratching the surface. It goes much deeper than what the public's perceptions are. What I have learned over the years, is that many are not really sure what a Professional Organizer can do for them, or how the entire process works. Sure, there are television shows on the various cable networks give a brief overview of what miracles can be produced, but other than what is presented, what exactly is involved in hiring a Professional Organizer?
Let's look at what is involved prior to contacting a Professional Organizer, as the better prepared you are before you start your search, the more successful you will be in locating the right professional who will work with you to become more organized. Here are some steps to help guide you in the right direction:
Think about your objective.
What is it you are trying to accomplish? Are you seeking help to get a handle on the clutter in a deeper more educating level, or are you thinking more on the lines of just wanting someone to organize your surroundings? There is a difference. If you are looking for an Organizer to come in and "just make it work", then you need to convey this from the beginning. If on the other hand you are seeking guidance to making a change in your lifestyle, let us know. Professional Organizers are extremely effective if we are aware of what your goals are.
Make a list of all the areas or things that you do want organized, and be specific.
For example: If you want your office organized, but really want certain problems to be addressed, then write them down. Likewise for any area or project you want organized. The more information you provide, the better understanding the Organizer will have of what it is you want to accomplish. This will also allow the Organizer to determine if they are the right professional for your particular project.
Be realistic on the time you can commit to your organizing project.
Do you have the time to complete your goal? Depending on how complex the project is, this will determine the amount of time it will take to reach your goal or finished project. Anything can be organized with the right guidance, but is your timeframe for completion realistic? Will you be doing some of the work alongside the Organizer, doing it alone, or wanting the Organizer to do it for you? Any and all these options are available, so ask the Organizer how they work and set up their sessions.
Consider your budget.
Determine how much you can or willing to spend to have the project completed. This would include labor and materials/ additional services needed for completion to your satisfaction. Professional Organizing doesn't have to be expensive, but depending on what your set budget is, it will also determine what type of service you can realistically afford. If you want your area to resemble a "magazine", you have to consider the materials, the labor, etc which financially can add up, not to mention more time involved to accomplish. Now, if you choose to do some or all of the work yourself with a custom outline prepared by a Professional Organizer, that can be very reasonable alternative versus working one-on-one at an hourly rate with an Organizer until your project is finished. Again, this is based on the size of your organizing project, and how committed you are. Always prepare a budget beforehand so you know what you can expect for your investment. Organizers will charge according to their level of expertise and experience in the industry, and have many ways to assist you, so be clear on your budget.
Organizing is a process.
Are you ready for the whole process? The area in question didn't get to its present state overnight, and correcting the problem won't happen overnight either. There are various levels to organizing, and it will possibly take some time to obtain the results you are happy with. A Professional Organizer isn't simply clearing the area in question, but they are looking for ideas to set up systems designed specifically for you and to assist you in coming up with a gamelan that will work for you in maintaining the area once it is complete. Some of the "road blocks" you have encountered may be in the re-thinking of habits, so it is a learning experience as well as an organizing experience. Are you willing to learn new ways to do things for your benefit? Remember, organizing isn't about perfection, but rather what systems work best for you.
(Are there more people involved in your situation besides you?) You may be tired of the clutter in your surroundings, and have decided the answer is to hire a Professional Organizer. It could be. However, if there are others in your workplace or household who are completely comfortable with the surroundings that bother you, and they are not aware you are thinking about contacting a professional, this idea could possibly backfire. Before you contemplate hiring a Professional Organizer, ask other members (spouse, partner, colleague, family member) how they feel about it. Are they "on-board" for this as well? If they are, then you will have a higher success rate of the whole process succeeding. If there is resistance, you may not achieve the results you desired, and it would be a waste of your time and hard-earned money to try and change their point of view.
Emotional, Medical or Physical Needs.
Another area to consider is if there are any emotional, medical or physical needs that need to be addressed. Have you been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD or depression for example, and does this have a direct affect on your current situation? Then you need to possibly think on the lines of working with a Professional Organizer that specializes in these areas for the best results. If there are medical or physical challenges, you need to take this into consideration as well and let your Organizer know, so they are cognizant of your needs.
If you have any uncertainty about the sections presented above, you may not be 100% ready to tackle your project just yet. That's okay. It's better to think it through ahead of time by doing your homework and becoming informed. This may help you realize what is involved, and also gives the Organizer a better feel for what your expectations are as well when you are ready. Once you do decide that the time has come, you will be well educated on what points to think about before you start on your quest of improving your life.
Janine Godwin, of Nooks and Crannies Professional Organizing enjoys educating the public on the benefits of organizing. As a Professional Organizer, she also writes articles, develops interactive workshops and is a public speaker on the topic of organizing. Nooks and Crannies is located in Katy, Texas and you may contact her by visiting Nooks-and-Crannies.com