Read THIS Before You Hire a Pro Organizer

 Photo by  Ryan Dearth

Photo by Ryan Dearth

Finding the right pro organizer for your project can feel like a living nightmare. You’re pretty much welcoming a complete stranger into your untamed home, and going through all your crap with them. It’s like finding the right therapist. I mean, you may even cry literal tears (of grief, or joy, or nostalgia) in front of this strange person, who claims that they actually enjoy this work!  

On top of that, your organization project probably needed to be done by now, and you’re running out of time - meaning you likely will need to postpone that weekend getaway, or opt out of hosting Thanksgiving this year, and delay that next chapter of your life where you were actually going to enjoy spending time in your own home, (So much for that new years resolution where you wanted a pantry that looked like Gwyneth Paltrow’s).

As your skimming local pro organizers’ websites and reading their Yelp reviews, the episode of Paw Patrol your three year old was watching just ended, and you need another 30 minutes to find the right organizer for your project  (after already searching on yelp and google for 15 minutes straight- how long will this take?!), so you try to start the next episode, but the remote’s batteries are dead. were did those extra AAA batteries go? Didn’t you just buy a bulk package from Costco? You joked about how you wouldn’t need to buy batteries for like 10 years when you were checking out? This is why you needed a professional organizer in the first place! But you don’t have the goddamn time to find the right professional organizer because now your toddler is crying, and let’s just eat this jar of peanut butter on the kitchen floor together, forget about hiring a pro organizer. Everyone knows Gweneth’s pantry is a lie anyways. Maybe you’ll hire someone next week, or next month, or next year, or never….

Take a deep breath.

Here are the main questions to ask when hiring a professional organizer:

Did they respond to my inquiry in a timely manner and are they available to work with me at a convenient time?

I wouldn’t trust someone who doesn’t respond to your within 48 hours- It shows they aren’t taking their job seriously. Of course, sometimes your schedules may not work well with an organizer - They may be booked out for the next few months or only available on weekdays, when you’d like to work with them on a weekend.

What sets them apart from other organizers? How are they different?

What kind of credentials and experience do they have?

Some organizers are NAPO certified (me included), some are Marie Kondo certified, some are not certified in anything specifically, but have lots of experience and a hefty portfolio.

Do they specialize in anything?

Paper management? Email clutter? Time and productivity? Basements, closets, mudrooms? What kind of specialties do they have? Is there a specific client they typically work with?

Will I actually enjoy spending time with them? Will I like them as a person?  

This is crucial. This person is about to spend a lot of time in your home, learning a lot about you, your family, home, and your lifestyle, and asking you a lot of questions.  Do they seem like someone who could make this otherwise boring and tedious task actually seem fun? Do you trust them? If you were trapped on an island with them, do you feel like they would stay positive, and start organizing the rocks and leaves into color categories, rather than kill you in your sleep? These are important questions to ask…

Out of all of these questions, which seems the most important to YOU? What red flags would you need to watch out for, or what specialties are you most interested in? Comment below with your answer!

Cheers to turning messy spaces into meaningful places.