Let's start with the name. Is it Professional Organizer? Professional Organization? Not to be confused with professional organizations (plural), which Google confuses way too often. Is it home organizer, PO, Pro Organizer, Residential Organizer? Again, not to be confused with an "organizer", as in politically active. Oh, and there is also "coach" which many folks are tapping into. So no matter the name or title you know or someone goes by, it all can convey an individual or company that supports individuals, families, and even businesses, organize their homes, offices, business, and even finances.
When I explain to folks unfamiliar with the field what I do, I tell them that I help folks organize their space, and their lives. It's decluttering the inside and out. Don't get me wrong, this is a new field and edges on "luxurious", so it may be foreign for many. So the secrets part, well there are many. The biggest secret about professional organizers and organization, is that you can do it yourself. That is to say, you can change your car's oil yourself. You can clean your own teeth. You can buy your own groceries, and you can also take paint your own nails.
Hiring out, if available, is a way to either have it done for you if you don't have the time or simply don't want to do it yourself, or it allows you to learn the skill-set yourself. After working with a PO for 10 minutes, you'll quickly recognize that their brains just work differently. Not everyone was born with the organizing gene, but everyone can learn some of the basic tenets of organizing.
The next secret is that it can be expensive. Everyone has their own rates and there isn't a flat guide, but in general (mind urban vs rural), across the US hourly rates range from $40 - 250. But what most clients don't factor in is is material. If you want the matching acrylic style with white cursive labels that is currently very popular, a pantry alone could add $500 in materials. To cut costs, you can work with the organizer or find used materials. Many clients that want to pinch pennies end up spending more opting for an hourly instead of package option (all-inclusive) which many POs discount based on the number of sessions booked.
So the practical tips:
- Use a timer
- Make a specific goal
- Include other family members
- Have a vision of end product
- Bring in PO if you can't get started
- Have a donation bin ready and drop it off immediately
- Send a friend before and after pics for accountability