I have blogged about how you know you might need a Professional Organizer and the transitions in our lives that might be a catalyst for causing you to get in a state of OVERWHELM.
Today I thought it might be helpful to understand HOW TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER.
There are several things you want to consider so you are sure you have the Professional Organizer (PO) who can help you with your unique circumstance. First, you need to identify the area that causes you the most stress.
Do you need someone to help with basic home organizing, such as kitchen, closets, toy rooms, or basement? Are you behind in payments for bills? Perhaps you are now the caretaker for an elderly relative, and you are responsible for organizing all those files related to bills, investment decisions, and health care costs.
You might be in a corporate environment and find the need for productivity training, event planning coaching or computer management skills.
We all know from television that there are individuals who have chronic and substantial challenges organizing their belongings. Then, there are adults and children who are clinically diagnosed with distraction issues such as ADHD. We can all use a bit of Time Management help.
Moving is at the top of the stress ladder, so if you are an Empty Nester downsizing or moving to a new location for corporate reasons, a PO might be a treasure and worth every penny. And of course, we are now in ‘OMG’ holiday mode. If the thought of Organizing for the Holidays makes you want to start the Xanax now, please consider calling on a Professional Organizer to help you get your plans in order.
Rest assured, there are organizers who specialize in almost any stressful situation that presents itself. I am particularly familiar with Organizers in the greater Atlanta area as I am a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) Georgia chapter.
Speaking of NAPO, that is your best place to start as a criterion for selecting someone to come into your personal space. Members of NAPO are bound by a Code of Ethics, in addition to being privy to unlimited resources and industry education.
Tips for Hiring a Professional Organizer
You can go to the National Association of Professional Organizers website to get more details, but I am providing some of the main highlights they point out in considering your hire.
- Personality of Organizer – You can get a sense of the Organizer’s style by talking with them on the phone or meeting them in person. Most organizers will not charge you for an initial quick introductory meeting by phone or in person. Do not expect them to give you tips on your issues if you are having them over for a get to know you interview. That is very different than a consultation, where you should expect to pay a Professional for sharing valuable information.
- Can You Work With This Person? Your interaction with your Organizer will be very personal as they will be talking to you about precious, sometimes intimate belongings or vital financial and life information documents. This goes back to my urging you to make sure they are a member of NAPO. Of course, you will need to use some natural instincts in deciding if you can work side by side or trust this person to be in your home or office.
- Skill Set. Once you decide this person is easy to talk to, nonjudgmental, articulate, and sensitive, you need to figure out if they have the knowledge to help with your organizing needs. Ask them how many years they have been working in this area and how they would approach this unique situation. Find out if you will work side by side with the person you are interviewing or if they send in a team. Inquire if they have specialized training such as working with ADHD or financial investment certifications.
- Referrals. Find out if the prospective organizer has clients you can speak with regarding their credibility. If this person has been referred to you by a trusted source or you feel you are a good judge of character, you might not need to go to this step. You might also get an idea of their credibility by researching their website for testimonials.
- Contracts. Do they offer a service contract outlining their services, obligations and your understanding of their commitment to the services provided? Are they insured or bonded?
- Cost and Fees. You will want to know how they package their services. Do they offer a discount for X number of hours? Do they charge a flat or project fee? Will they charge you for shopping time if they purchase products for you? Do they charge a travel fee? What is their billing arrangement and how do they accept payment: cash, check or credit card? These are all things you need to consider. Your budget will determine how many hours and who you choose to hire.
My best advice is to make sure you think you can connect with the personality of this Organizer and do your homework to confirm their credibility. Most of us are in similar price points, depending on the nature of the project. By the way, if you find you are not getting along with this individual, you can fire them, just make sure you have read the contract and understand your obligation to uphold the requirements as well.
I hope this information helps you understand aspects of the hiring process. These are actually good questions for you to use whether you are searching for a Professional Organizer or any home service provider in general.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.