Check here for frequently asked questions and answers regarding hiring, and working with, a professional organizer.
What is a professional organizer?
According to Professional Organizers in Canada (POC), “A professional organizer provides information, products and assistance to help individuals and businesses achieve their specific organizing needs. Organizing professionals should guide, encourage and educate you on how to overcome your organizing challenges by offering support, focus and direction.”
Are all professional organizers the same?
No. As with other professionals, many professional organizers have different skills, certifications, and expertise. Some organizers work with specific populations such as children, students, seniors, and people with hoarding issues or who are chronically disorganized. Other organizers offer products, seminars, and workshops on organizing. The three major service areas of professional organizing are: home, small and home office, and corporate. Within these areas, professional organizers may assist with closet systems, space planning, downsizing, packing/moving, filing, time management, paper management, personal shopping, financial management, records management, and more.
How do I make sure the professional organizer is the right person for my situation?
Organizing is a very personal thing, so it is extremely important that you feel comfortable with whomever you are working. You want to make sure they have your best interest in mind at each step of the process, are knowledgeable in what they are doing and recommending, and will be non-judgmental. If you have a specific need in mind, or think you have particular issues, it is important to match that need or issue with the professional organizer best suited to help you.
Ideally, you should talk to two or three organizers before making a decision. Email or telephone conversations are almost always free, but be aware that if you want an on-site assessment or consultation, some organizers may charge for their time. Check the POC directory for professional organizers in your area.
Does the organizer come to me?
Yes. All sessions take place in your home or office.
What happens during a session?
The professional organizer will complete an assessment with you first, either by phone or in your home or office, to discuss your space, your challenges, and your desired outcomes. At the on-site session, the organizer will assess your space with you; together you’ll determine the priority of the session and work together to organize the designated space.
How many hours will it take to organize?
It will depend on the size of the space, its current state, and your motivation level. Small spaces, such as closets or a laundry room, can generally take three hours. Larger or more complex areas, like home offices, kitchens, or heavily cluttered areas, can take longer. If furniture is being assembled, or hardware installed (such as a closet organizer), additional time may be needed. Some clients simply need someone to help them get started, and then want to finish the jobs themselves. Other clients prefer to work with the organizer from beginning to end. Each client’s needs and situations are unique.
What if I am embarrassed at the state of my home?
Please know that professional organizers don’t judge! Our profession exists to help you and all services are confidential. We also abide by POC’s Code of Ethics, which is a set of principles and guidelines that pertain to our professional conduct with our clients, colleagues, and community.
How are the services billed?
Professional organizers’ rates and billing structures vary. Rate options may be hourly, single- and multi-session packages, or by project. Some organizers have a three-hour minimum per session and others do not. Payment type, e.g., cash, cheque, credit card, e-transfer, will also vary. Payment details will be discussed with you during your initial assessment and a contract, job order, or letter of agreement will be given to you prior to any services being provided. Please be aware that until the organizer sees your physical space, they may not be able to estimate the time required for your project accurately.