Congratulations, you've made the decision to hire a Professional Organizer. Yep, you can breathe a little bit deeper. Although not all POs are created equal and each business is run differently, it's safe to assume that this is going to be life changing.
Do you have a messy kitchen that drives you bananas? Endless laundry piles (and laundry that you have to wash more than once because you forgot about it)? How about this one, you are constantly getting frustrated with others in your house (or vice versa) because it is always dirty or cluttered. The good news: A Professional Organizer, Professional Organiser, PO, Home Organizer, Pro Organizer, and an Organizer Coach can help.
The bad news: There is none.
Hiring a PO is like any other service, you can google, get a referral from a friend, search yelp or other review platforms, or try the special PO website: www.FindaProfessionalOrganizer.com
*Note that when you use this, or other similar platforms like Thumbtack, Houzz, or even Yelp, your contact information is blocked from the PO if you use the "shop around" feature. It may seem like the easiest way, but most folks end up disappointed when they don't hear back from anyone. Instead, if you've found a PO or PO business that seems to jive with you, contact them directly. Still unsure which one to pick? Look for reviews, their website, and pricing.
Like other service-based businesses, not all have their pricing listing, so you may have a second task to get past this gate-keeping. To begin, most POs will do an intake of some sort, in person or virtually, give you an estimate or a ballpark of how long the project might take.
*Do make sure to ask about scheduling out, if they don't have availability for three months and you are super motivated today, it might be better to keep looking. Personally, I avoid this issue by limiting the number of clients that I work with at a given time. When projects are bigger and the client is highly motivated, blocking multiple days vs. one or two sessions a week is a better option based on your individual needs.
To officially get started, a seasoned professional will have a standard professional organizing contract to sign and most likely they will ask for 50% down-payment or 100%. This is totally normal, reasonable, and part of my best practices.
But How Do You Charge?
I'd like to say that most POs charge by the number of sessions in a package, but there isn't a national directly or data to confirm or deny it. Some offer hourly, but require a minimum number of hours, which essentially is a session. Some professional organizers have two hours sessions, while others have three (like myself), and still others have four hour sessions. If they charge by the hour, make sure that it is clear of what is and is not included/calculated in that time. For example, do they take a trunk-load or one bag of donations every time that you are there? Is there a charge for this or is it simply included? These are questions that should all be answerable in the contract. If they don't have a contract...hint hint, keep looking.
What are Professional Organizing Packages?
A package is a number of sessions that you commit to. Again you will either pay 50% - 100% upon signing. I offer three packages: Small, medium, and large. The larger package, the greater the discount, thats 2 - 12 total sessions (my sessions are 3 hrs, so 6 - 36 hrs). Know that your PO cannot guarantee how long a project will take. It's impossible, there are many variables involved, the majority being client based. Some clients can take guidance and support, will take on homework, and will be getting sweaty working together, while others prefer to give me keys and they come back to a decluttered and organized home. If you're choosing a package but can't decide between the number of sessions, get the larger size and ask to use any leftover sessions for a later project or my absolute favorite, monthly maintenance. Most even if they are not familiar with the concept, will be open to this if asked. In addition to offer three regular packages (small, medium, and large), I also have two maintenance options (one once a month and one twice a month). You could probably guess that these maintenance package is also and even further discounted. When clients have leftover sessions, I offer to save them for a later date, quarterly updates, or even to gift it to a local friend.
But what if you can do it yourself, you just needs the vision and a to-do list?
I love you guys! I create a Consultation just for this. For those that can get it done on their own, I have an up to two hour virtual or in-person consultation where we outline what needs to happen in each room and how to do that. I'll follow up with these sessions with a hyperlinked product list if applicable, and a handful of check-in/accountability emails. If you are the DIY type, more power to you and there are in fact organizers that would happily support you in your organizing journey.
So there you go, the complete guide to finding a Professional Organizer near you and how to hire them. Lastly, if you are on the fence about hiring a PO?
Do yourself the favor, and you'll thank yourself later.