If you have ever spent any time in front of HGTV or a similar network, you know the appeal of hiring a professional organizer can be extremely alluring. However, is hiring a professional organizer worth all the muss, fuss and expense?
Hoarders are not the only ones who benefit from a professional organizer. Stay-at-home moms and busy professionals may also benefit from a session or two with a professional.
Disorganization creates chaos:
Disorganization creates chaos, or maybe it is the other way around. Either way, clutter is bad for your health. LA-based home organizer, Lynne Gilberg, told WebMD that clutter has negative effects on the mood. “Clutter is bad for your physical and mental health,” she said.
The problem with having a disorganized house is not necessarily that it looks messy. Your home can look clean but still be unorganized. Here is a quick test: How long would it take you to hang a new photo? Could you find a frame, the hammer and a nail in less than a minute? If you needed to get a photocopy of your birth certificate, would you know where your copy is?
Organizing your home allows you to be more productive. “By having systems in place like a weekly schedule of chores, a dinner plan, allotted time to run errands, a combined family calendar and clutter cleanup routine … you’ll be a heck of a lot more productive,” Vanessa Hayes wrote on Get Simplified.
What do Professional Organizers do?
Not surprisingly, their job title is self-explanatory. A professional organizer will meet with you, come up with a plan and then help you clear out the clutter in your home and put a better system in place. Most organizers offer several different levels of service so you can find a package that works best for your home.
For most people this can include:
• Helping clear out closets
• Making a playroom functional
• Help sort through and organize your papers (even difficult papers like tax forms)
• Help clear out an attic or a garage
• Assist in downsizing when you are preparing to move
A professional organizer will help you accomplish what you want done with your organizational situation. This means that you should have an idea of what is most important to you when it comes to organizing your home. Most home organizers have seen it all, so embarrassment about your clutter is a waste of energy.
What you really need to know about a professional organizer
Most of the information many people have about professional organizers is skewed by reality TV. If you are interested in hiring someone to get you back on track, here are a few things you should probably know:
They are not your mother: Yes, your organizer will help you pare down on things in your home, but they will not force you to throw anything away. Their goal is to help you create a living (or work) space that is functional and comfortable, and that often means ditching things that are just taking up space. However, you always have a choice.
They encourage responsible disposal: When you are clearing out clutter, your personal organizer will help you get rid of things in several ways including making donations or even encouraging you to sell items. Erase “environmental concerns” from your list of excuses, because you can clear out of your home without taking over an entire landfill.
They get creative: While you may need to purchase some organizers, many professionals know how to take what you already have and make it work better. This means you do not have to store everything in plastic containers. This can help save money and keep your home feeling like your living space.
It is going to take a while: Your clutter fiasco did not happen overnight. It is going to take a while to get your home really organized. Depending on how much space you want help with, it will likely take a few hours over the course a week or more to get your home up and ready.
As a side note: you really need to be there to make decisions. Your organizer cannot make personal decisions about what to keep and what to toss.
You are never done organizing: You will have to maintain your organization unless you want to end up with a giant mess again. Maintaining an organized home or office is easier once you have a system in place, but it will be your job to keep up with it.
Finding a Professional Organizer:
Hiring a professional organizer can be a bit daunting, but, with the right questions you can find an organizer that will help you create a system that is easy to maintain and creates better energy in your home. Make a note of a few of these questions to ask when searching for the right helper:
1. What are your specialties? (Some organizers can help with time management as well as digital organization)
2. Are you certified?
3. Do you have local references I can contact?
4. Do you belong to any professional organizations?
5. How long have you been working as a professional organizer?
6. When are you available?
7. What is your policy about purchasing items for the home? (Do they add an additional fee if they purchase storage items themselves?)
8. Will you help me get items to a donation center?
9. Do you work alone or will there be other people helping?
10. Tell me about your fees.
Whether you hire a professional or tackle the organization yourself, creating a system that promotes better productivity can help alleviate stress and free up a lot of time!
Brazilian mother of two and CEO of Sparkling Clean Pro & Green Living Supplies since 2005. Working as an ecological advocate within the cleaning industry & aiding immigrant families and women at risk.